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More than a quarter of the world’s population burns fossil fuels for light, resulting in about 190 million tons of CO2 being emitted into the air each year. A small company - Nokero – has developed a solar light bulb that promises to reduce those emissions as rural and remote areas of the world adopt this technology. The company recently improved its own technology by developing the N200, a small, lightweight, waterproof and durable bulb that could put an end to the dangerous and polluting practice of burning kerosene fuel for lighting. In fact, the name “Nokero” is derived from the words “No Kerosene.” The Nokero 200 burns brighter and lasts longer than the original N100, and it’s estimated to use 200 times less energy than a kerosene lamp consumes.
The following article is about the Nokero Solar Light Bulb:
Nokero bulb to light way for rural communities
by Allie Gardner, November 2010, Clean Energy
Inventor Steve Katsaros isn’t one to waste time. In January of 2010, Katsaros had a bright idea to design and create the world’s first, and only, solar-powered light bulb. By June, he had launched Nokero, a solar light bulb company based in Denver, and began distributing solar light bulbs to countries around the world.
A patent lawyer, Katsaros didn’t have any experience in the solar industry prior to launching Nokero, but had toured a solar factory in China and the Edison estate in Fort Myers, Florida. He credits these trips as planting the seeds of his idea, though he says at the time he had no idea about the widespread need for such a product in the developing world.
“The idea came to me late at night,” said Katsaros. “I woke up and drew it up. Then I quit the law firm where I’d been working as a patent lawyer and devoted myself to Nokero full time.”
Now, only five months later, Katsaros has already improved upon his original N100 light bulb design and has just released the N200—a longer-lasting version with increased brightness and energy storage. The N200 burns 60 percent brighter than the original and lasts for six-plus hours, rather than four, on a single charge.
As quickly as Nokero was launched, success has followed.
The N100 and N200 solar light bulbs are now sold in over 60 countries, and the company is manufacturing 50,000 bulbs in November alone.
Katsaros notes that success isn’t about making money, but about saving lives—1.6 million people a year die from kerosene lighting fires, and an additional 1.6 are estimated to die from indoor air pollution caused by kerosene lanterns.
“Nokero stands for No Kerosene, and the N200 will strengthen our effort to end the dangerous and polluting practice of burning kerosene for light,” said Katsaros in a press release.
Already the N200 is being used in Pakistan where refugees from flooding and war-torn areas have been using them to safely light camps at night. The solar bulbs are expected to arrive in Iraq soon where residents can use them to replace expensive diesel generators. The bulbs are also being used to light an orphanage in Kenya where children are improving their education and safety by using the N200 to study at night.
Nokero 200 Press Release Nov 2010 (133 kb)