Philips Makes Noble Gesture Despite Impracticality

Solar PanelsThe pairing of two green technologies, solar power and LED lighting, has the potential to pay off in hugely practical ways. Yet, for one reason or another, the two have never been efficiently brought together, until now that is.

According to Philips Lumileds, a new solar-powered LED floodlight system has been made available for residents and communities who find themselves without electricity, particularly those on the African continent. At least, that’s how they’re billing the product.

According to a press release, the “new, fully portable solution enables people with little or no access to electricity to enjoy playing or watching a sport long into the night. Today, some 1.6 billion people in the world are unable to connect to a regular electricity supply. The new system enables communities in developing and developed markets alike to participate in social, educational, cultural and commercial activities after sunset — including the world’s most popular sport, football (soccer).”

The lights are said to last up to eight hours a on a single charge and illuminate up to 40×20 meters.

Now, while I think this is a wonderful advancement in green technology, and even a noble gesture to make these lights for undeveloped communities, I find it hard to believe that those same undeveloped communities can afford the price tag affixed to Philips’ new product. Aside from possible grant monies, it’s unlikely these third-world communities will see the light of an LED system, unless Philips gives them away, which is probably just as unlikely.

[photo: Theodore Scott]

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