Meet the Company That’s Bringing the LED Revolution to the Developing World
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Yesterday three physicists won the Nobel Prize in Physics for creating blue-light LEDs, which makes the LED white lights we find everywhere possible. We experience the LED revolution through computer and smartphone screens, household lighting and greenhouse grow bulbs. But for over a billion people in the world, access to light is something that they cannot rely on. One company, WakaWaka, is working to bring the LED revolution to people who live off grid and on less than $2 a day.
In many ways, WakaWaka came about by accident. Founders Maurits Groen and Camille van Gestel won a competition by the South African government to “green” the 2010 World Cup through carbon tax exchanges and LED lights. However, they soon discovered that many South Africans who lived in the townships of the host cities could not participate because they lived off grid. Instead, most people living in the townships relied on kerosene lamps to light their households after dark, which produce 14 times more black carbon than burning wood.