It is undeniable how much we rely on lighting on a daily basis. Roughly one-fifth of the world’s population lacks access to electricity and instead rely solely on fuel-based lighting. Many fuels are used to create light including kerosene, diesel, propane and candles, but kerosene and candles are the most dominant. However, fuel-based lighting coincides with adverse health and safety risks such as indoor air pollution and compromised visual, mental and maternal health.
Such fuels are mostly burned indoors close to other people, which questions the direct health of those nearby. Fuel-based lighting can cause fatal burn injuries and the destruction of homes, not to mention the increased health risks associated with homelessness. Likewise, unintentional swallowing of kerosene is the top cause of child poisoning in the developing world. Furthermore, the low quality of these fuelled-lighting sources impacts negatively on the delivery of healthcare services that use them. Evidence suggests a lack of consistent quality lighting in healthcare clinics in developing countries intimidates patients from seeking care, leading to a higher infant and maternal mortality in developing countries. Also of concern is the range of conditions caused by direct exposure with kerosene such as chemical pneumonia, dermatitis and dry skin, neuralgia, memory loss and detrimental impacts on blood, kidney and breathing functions. It is suspected kerosene can cause CNS depression as it associated with symptoms of the illness including headache and vertigo. Such adverse effects can be countered with energy efficient, off-grid solutions whilst also reducing green-house emissions and lowering the cost.
In addition to the risks directly associated with human health, fuel-based lighting also contributes to climate change by releasing significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and black carbon. Our planet is warming up too rapidly and out of our control to the point where there are more tsunamis and cyclones alongside the melting of glaciers causing sea levels to rise.
LED lighting systems
Introducing LED (light emitting diode) lighting systems is vital to delivering a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and broadly reducing poverty through reduced costs. Small-scale solar or grid-charged LED lighting systems provide better and safer light for a lower total running cost. In fact, the United Nations is currently working on clean energy projects in refugee camps, where destructive fires and violence against women and children result from the areas being poorly lit by fuel- based lanterns.
LED lights reduce risks to vision because they do not emit ultraviolet or infrared radiations. They can also be designed with shields to lower glare and blue light, which is known for causing insomnia and mental health problems.
In short, people are spending roughly $40 billion USD annually to operate highly inefficient lamps when we have the technology to operate LED lights at a fraction of the cost. The energy efficient solution of LED lights is the best way to save money and reduce health risks.SHARE THIS