One Million Lights at SPIE, August 2010

SOLAR LIGHTS: One Million Lights leverages SPIE conference to illuminate the developing world

Aug 19, 2010

San Diego, CA–Sponsored by SPIE in the “Photonics for a Better World” pavilion at SPIE Optics + Photonics 2010, the One Million Lights exhibitor booth intrigued attendees and spurred donations. One Million Lights is a Palo Alto, CA based nonprofit with a goal to distribute 1,000,000 environmentally friendly, re-chargeable solar lights to adults and children in off-the-grid, developing regions around the world to replace toxic and expensive kerosene lanterns.

The One Million Lights organization is trying to replace toxic kerosene lamps with solar-chargeable flashlights for improved safety and education, and a better environment. They were featured at SPIE Optics + Photonics 2010.

The One Million Lights (OML) booth was sponsored by SPIE in the “Photonics for a Better World” pavilion to highlight how photonics are enhancing lives and making a difference worldwide. SPIE was thrilled to have One Million Lights as part of the pavilion. Pamela Robertson, the organizer, said, “I’m proud that we were able to support such an important and worthwhile organization–they are using our technologies to make a difference in the world. They were a huge hit.” Robertson added, “Joan Dorsey, Executive Coordinator at One Million Lights, created wonderful buzz while bringing awareness to the social and economic value of optics and photonics research.” SPIE is looking forward to working with OML again in January 2011 at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco.

“Our solar-powered flashlights instantly improve the lives of people living in poverty in developing countries where access to electricity is inadequate or non-existent,” said Joan Dorsey, executive coordinator of One Million Lights. “Families replace their kerosene lanterns, candles, or complete lack of evening light with a clean, safe light through our distribution programs. Literally overnight, our light recipients see improvements in their children’s enthusiasm and ability to study, in respiratory health, and income savings and generation. Burns and eye strain are reduced and carbon emissions are eliminated. One Million Lights is empowering children and communities through access to clean, affordable light to ultimately gain better access to education and opportunity.”

One Million Lights has brought clean, safe light to tens of thousands of people in 17 countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. More than 5,000 lights have been distributed in remote schools, rural villages, and off-grid healthcare centers since One Million Lights’ inception in late 2008. These lights have detoxified 65 million hours of evening light and offset more than 1,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

“For a donation of only $28, people in the U.S. can give clean, safe light to a child in the developing world. It is a gift that keeps on giving–for years and years to come,” says One Million Lights founder and CEO, Anna Sidana. “By replacing the family kerosene lantern, this gift of light increases the child’s study time by 2 hours per day, detoxifies the 5 hours of evening light a family typically spends near a kerosene lamp, eliminates 1 tonne of carbon from entering our atmosphere every 5 years, and saves the family an average of 1/3 of their household income.”

SOURCE: One Million Lights

–Posted by Gail Overton; gailo@pennwell.com; www.laserfocusworld.com