Sapphire Industry Watch – July 31

  • Lamp runs for 8 hours on one glass of water and some salt – Treehugger: Aisa Mijeno, CEO of Sustainable Alternative Lighting (SALt Corp.), has developed an LED lamp capable of running for eight hours a day on one glass of water and two tablespoons of salt. The lamp was designed by Mijeno to be a practical lighting solution for people in undeveloped areas  that lack reliable access to light at night.
  • The Skysphere: New Zealander Jono Williams builds solar-powered retreat for $75,000 – Stuff.co: Construction novice Jono Williams has designed and built an app-controlled, solar-powered tower deemed the “Skysphere”. Complete with voice-controlled colored LED lighting, fingerprint locks, motorized doors and a wireless sound system, Williams said he plans to put his new expertise in green-energy design to good use by designing a fully off-grid house.
  • Seven technologies that will save the Earth – World Policy Blog: As renewable energy options become more accessible and affordable, populations around the globe are lessening their dependency on fossil fuels and turning their attention to more sustainable alternatives instead. LEDs, vertical farming and smart grids are just a few of the green technologies gaining momentum today.
  • Six ‘solar cities’ to be developed in the northeast – The Times of India: In an effort to improve India’s energy crisis and popularize the use of solar energy, the Tripura government is developing six cities in the northeast into solar cities. As part of the project, solar hot water systems and LEDs are being installed.

The LED Revolution: Bringing Light to a Country Near You

Nowadays, LEDs are ubiquitous. Whether we’re talking about a football stadium, a street light, or nightlight, LEDs are used virtually anywhere lighting is needed.

What most people don’t know is that LEDs are also at the forefront of an “illumination revolution” in developing countries throughout the world.

While we live in a technologically driven society, we may not realize that access to safe and reliable electricity remains one of the key challengers plaguing more than 1.5 billion people in developing countries around the world.

Where do LEDs fit in?

According to International Finance Corporation, 2.1 million LED-solar products have been sold in countries that lack access to electrical grids.

In Africa — A growing portion of the more than 1 billion people living without reliable sources of electricity now have access to lights, thanks in part to LED technology. Nearly 5 percent of Africans without access to electricity — or some 28.5 million people — now use solar-powered LED lights.

Africa

A women in Senegal charges her cellphone using a port in her solar-powered LED lantern.

In IndiaPollinate Energy has one simple mission: improve the lives of India’s urban poor by providing access to sustainable technologies, including solar lights and improved stoves for cooking.

With the help of LEDs and kerosene-free cooking equipment, local Indian communities can save money, experience reduced indoor smoke and enjoy better lights in homes and businesses.

Pollinate has already helped more than 25,000 people in Bangalore switch to solar LED lighting in their homes.

So how are LEDs changing the equation?

Eight to 10 years ago, the high cost of LEDs made them unrealistic for use in applications like this. But the efficiency of LEDs is rising, and prices are dropping, finally allowing LEDs to become a viable option.

The shift is taking place thanks to sapphire — the foundation for more than 95 percent of high brightness white LEDs. Large diameter sapphire wafers and patterned sapphire substrates contribute to greater efficiency and lower costs for LED lighting.