As public consultation starts on ways to reduce and replace fuel-burning lighting around the globe, Nokero has announced a solar-powered LED solution aimed squarely at disaster areas and the developing world. The rugged, rainproof N100 is about the same size as a standard lightbulb but requires no electricity and offers users around two hours of bright light in exchange for a day's worth of sun.

A report prepared for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and recently discussed in a meeting of its Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board states that "a quarter of humanity still obtains illumination by directly burning fuels, emitting nearly 200 million tones of Carbon Dioxide each year in the process, the equivalent of 60 million cars." Also of grave concern is the fact that impoverished users could be "spending about 5% of their income on lighting fuel."

The CDM is currently calling for public input on plans to replace fuel-based lighting with LED solutions. Hong Kong based Nokero has created a product that might help in that regard. The Nokero N100 is a weatherproof, solar-powered LED lightbulb said to provide about four hours of light when fully charged or about two or three "after a typical day charging in full sunlight."

The N100's wind- and rain- proof housing is made of impact resistant plastic, upon which sit four solar panels. Five bright LEDs provide a clean light source with no risk of fire or air pollution while in use. At five inches high, it's about the same size as a standard incandescent bulb and its user-replaceable nickel metal hydride battery is said to last for at least a couple of years. According to inventor Stephen Katsaros, the N100 represents "our best chance at eradicating an outdated, dangerous practice and replacing it with a safe, sustainable solution."

"There are so many ways this product can change lives: It can help keep families and shopkeepers safe, help students study at night, eradicate indoor pollution, and reduce worldwide carbon emissions," said Katsaros. He sees the Nokero N100 as paying for itself within months when compared to the cost of fueling a kerosene lantern (no kero - get it?).

The Nokero N100 is available now for US$15 (plus shipping) per unit. Bulk purchase can further reduce that sum.

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