Product designer Ermi van Oers created Living Light: a lamp which harvests its energy through the photosynthetic process of the plant. It’s a wonderful new sustainable technology on it’s way to commercialisation.
It works like this: during the process of photosynthesis plants release organic compounds in the soil. This causes bacteria to generate electrons and protons, which are then used in a similar way to a traditional battery. Van Oers discovered that healthier plants produce more energy. If you take care of it properly, a Living Light will produce up to 0.1 mW, which is enough to use it as a night lamp. The duration of light depends on the well-being of the plant. So the better you take care of the plant, the more energy you will receive back. Watch the movie.
Van Oers is currently looking into ways to increase the Living Light’s energy output. Together with Plant-E, she is now finalizing the prototype, improving the design, and discovering the best production techniques, so she can make a beautiful and valuable product in the most sustainable way.
Plant-E is one of the World Economic Forum’s 2015 class of Technology Pioneers. The Dutch company is developing technology that generates electricity from living plants without damaging them. The company is a result of the research based on the ideas of assistant professor Bert Hamelers of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Due to its simple process, the potential for application for generating electricity from plants is seen as huge. It can grant energy to poor people that live in remote rural areas and currently have no energy at all.
According to Nanda Schrama, COO of Plant-e, the dream of this new technology is: “that we are generating clean electricity around the world in any suitable wetland or wet area – including rice paddy fields, mangroves and salt marshes, which takes us to some of the most remote and impoverished parts of the world. It is in these off-grid communities that we believe the technology can make a real difference to people’s lives”.
Every big dream starts with a small step. Van Oers’ Living Light will start off with a production of 50 pieces. The price is yet unknown, but you can grab a spot on a limited list pre-ordering her first product.
Note : This article was originally published on LinkedIn
Gijs van Wulfen
Gijs van Wulfen is a recognised authority and keynote speaker on innovation and Design Thinking. He was chosen as one of the first LinkedIn Influencers and as of 2017, 300.000 people across the globe are following his notably engaging, prolific and insightful posts. In 2016 Gijs came number 2 in the international Top 40 Innovation Bloggers. In 2017 his book ‘The Innovation Maze’ was elected ‘Management Book of the Year’.