Driving on foreign roads is just one of the many eye-opening experiences that comes from traveling. Road conditions are often a good indicator of both the economy and the presence or lack of effective public works programs. In developing nations, unsafe road conditions can be a real problem. I’ve written a blog about my sister’s work as a monkey-chasing primatologist, which often takes her to exotic locations far and wide. Lucky for me, I’m sometimes able to accompany her on many such journeys. We’ve traveled to Southeast Asia, East Africa and South America, and in all of these places, road conditions have stood out as an element that has a big impact on quality of life.
That’s why it always makes me so happy to see affordable, sustainable travel solutions become available for developing nations—everyone deserves access to comfortable, well-maintained and safe roads, in my opinion. To that end, developers have been turning more and more frequently to energy efficient LED lights– from solar powered LED light kits that bring off-the-grid illumination to remote villages, to this latest news: solar powered LED street lights in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Energy giant Philips has spearheaded the project and says it could lead to 100 percent energy savings, thanks to new, super bright waterproof LED lights and an “intelligent controller” that ensures the most possible energy is transferred from the solar panels to the batteries that power the lights.
Launched during the 40th Anniversary of the UN Environment Program (UNEP) in Nairobi, this program is first of its kind in East Africa. “A new generation of Solar powered LED road and area lighting has the potential to transform life throughout Africa at a social and economic level,” says Andre Dehmel, Philips lighting General Manager Africa.
Thanks to UberGizmo for the quote and image.