Colombian renewable energy startup E-Dina has developed a portable flashlight called WaterLight, which generates electricity from a renewable natural resource such as salt water.
Developed in collaboration with the Colombian division of creative agency Wunderman Thompson, WaterLight is a more reliable alternative to solar lights in communities without electricity.
The portable device must be filled with 500 milliliters of seawater – or urine in emergency situations – to generate light for 45 days. This, thanks to the ionization of an electrolyte composed of salt water, which reacts with the magnesium and copper plates inside the lamp to produce electricity.
WaterLight acts as a mini power generator and can be used to charge mobile devices and electronic devices via USB port.
WaterLight works 24 hours a day thanks to ionization, which allows the lamp to produce electricity and light, for long periods of time, thanks to E-Dina’s patented way of maintaining the chemical reaction for a extended period.
WaterLight was created as a 100% recyclable and sustainable product. It is rated to operate for 5,600 hours, which equates to over 230 days or 2-3 years of use, depending on frequency of use.
The device has a cylindrical wooden outer shell with an integrated circuit at its base and a perforated cap at the top which allows water to flow into the device while the hydrogen created during the ionization process can escape. Once the salt particles have evaporated, the lamp can be emptied and refilled, while the water used can be reused for other purposes.
The lamp was specially designed for the Wayúu people, an indigenous community that lives in the far north of South America, where Colombia meets Venezuela. The area is surrounded on all sides by the Caribbean Sea, which provides an abundant resource to power the WaterLight.
Wunderman Thompson says the lamp can be fully recycled and the goal is to eventually release a scaled-down, mass-produced version of the WaterLight worldwide.
WaterLight is not the first initiative to bring light to rural communities around the world. In February this year, Henry Glogau’s Solar Desalination Skylight was announced as a finalist for the 2021 Lexus Design Award.
More information: www.waterlight.com.co