Portable Light & Solar Surgery

From different sides of the Atlantic, come two lighting projects that have similar intentions. Both are looking to bring the virtures of solar powered lighting to those, whose lives do not consist of flicking off-and-on illumination from the Grid. With their 'Portable Light' project staff and students from the University of Michigan, alongside Kennedy & Violich Architecture are seeking to offer affordable electric light to the nomadic Huichol people from Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountains. Solar panels, high brightness light emitting diodes (HBLEDs) and traditional weaving are all being combined into functioning prototypes. One such design has been a folding stool, that children can sit on and drape soft lit fabric over their knee while they read and write at night. (We’ve reported on similiar student projects, such as pedal powered designs for remote communities.) For this story we went via we-make-money-not-art to ::Portable Light (PS. Their Flash version alas, does not load in one!)

The second project, out of Denmark, is for a solar charged hospital lamp, suitable for surgery work. Designed to be wheeled out for a daily dose of bright African sunlight, it can then be trundled into the operating theatre, whence the lights run off stored energy housed in the car battery that performs double service as a counter weight. It is anticipated that the lamps should beam down on scalpels for up to 3 days, following 6 hours of exposure to dear old Sol. Designer Kent Laursen consulted with both Danish doctors and local Africans to develop his product. But of course the idea has application in many locations. Via Index 2005 or more Danish at ::Kent Laursen Design