In the developing world, access to a reliable source of artificial light is a significant problem. People living without a regular source of energy sometimes use archaic kerosene lamps to bring light and heat to their homes, even though the side effects of inhaling or ingesting kerosene can be devastating.
The need for innovative ideas when it comes to energy and lighting is pressing. The International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook 2014 states that, globally, 1.3 billion people have no access to electricity. The IEA has estimated that by 2030, 635 million people living in Sub Saharan Africa still won't have access to electricity.
For people living in off grid and underdeveloped communities, New York based Solight Design is hoping that its SolarPuff can help change the way people think about light and how it is generated.
Inspired in part by origami, the SolarPuff is a flat pack, foldable, solar powered light. It contains a solar panel, a lithium ion battery, LED bulbs and a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) material that is described by Solight as being, 'specially architected to inflate into a cube.'
The concept of the SolarPuff was shaped in part by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, where an estimated 220,000 people died, according to the Disasters Emergency Committee. According to Alice Min Soo Chun, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Solight Design, events there reinforced what she described as, "the necessity of having light in an emergency state."