Portable Light :: 2007
Portable Light is a non-profit interdisciplinary research, design and engineering project to provide de-centralized, sustainable lighting and electrical power to serve the large number of people—more than 2 billion—who do not have access to electric light or power. The Portable Light Project began with an idea created and developed by MATx, the materials research unit of Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd. The MATx team developed design strategies to leverage the extraordinary energy efficiency of low cost, large market HBLED technology, optomize it with digital electronics to work efficiently with flexible photovoltaics and integrate it into energy harvesting textiles that are small, smart and shippable. The goal of the portable light project is to create fully autonomous, off-the-grid light “engines” that can provide durable, energy-efficient illumination to enable better options for household economic self-sufficiency, community based education and health care. Portable Light can be easily folded and can travel with the person who uses it. The flexible textile form works as an optical reflector and provides a material common denominator that is familiar in many different cultures. Portable light is highly adaptable and can be integrated into traditional textiles. This creates the possibility for women who are often among the most vulnerable in developing countries to produce, own and use this technology on their own terms.