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Magic lamps for power-starved homes

Mar 02, 2010

Winner of the best electronics product in energy at the India Semiconductor Association's annual conference, the Egg Lamp is about to transform Indian homes. The light-weight solar-cum-mobile charging lamp expected in the first half of March will bring in health and social benefits.

A multi-purpose, light-weight solar-powered lamp will be launched soon to meet the rural energy requirements for lighting.

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“Egg Lamp”, as it is called by its Bangalore-based maker Kotak Urja Pvt Ltd, also has new generation features - it can also be used for charging mobile phones and has a provision for FM radio with built-in antenna and speakers.

The product has already come in for praise before its formal launch, expected in first half of this month, winning the award for best electronics product in the energy (honourable mention) category at the India Semiconductor Association's annual conference last month.

The product, which is rechargeable by solar energy in six hours of sunshine besides by main AC, is being positioned as a replacement for kerosene lamp, and also emergency lamp in urban areas to compete with the likes of Panasonic and BPL.

Egg lamp, which can be wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted, hung on hook or carried by shoulder strap, is expected to be priced below Rs 1,500, Kotak Urja's CEO K Srinivas Kumar told PTI.

The product operates on LED or CFL mode, works for six to 16 hours depending on usage pattern and has “dimmer mode switch” for operating for reading light, “habitation” (family atmosphere light) and night light.

Kumar said it has a mobile charging socket suitable for top brands of mobile phones. Just like the mobile phones, this product also shows the health of batteries (indicates its usage status).

“It's portable and light-weight and has NiMH batteries for multiple recharge and weighs 2.2 kgs only,” he said. “For urban homes, it is positioned as emergency lamp. Brightness is as good as that of a 25 W bulb”. These rechargeable batteries last for 4-5 years.

The company is now looking out for a huge network of NGOs and entrepreneurs to take the IP-based product to the masses.

It hopes to sell 25,000 to 30,000 units in the first year, going up to a cumulative figure of ten lakh within two-and-half-years.

Kumar said the product also has export potential in countries with similar profile as that of India, in Africa and South East Asia, and in fact the company is scouting for partners. In Europe and the US, it can be positioned as a “camping” and “recreation” light, he said.

Kumar also talked about the product's health and social benefits. Egg lamp is safe and clean, unlike kerosene lamps whose toxic fumes cause respiratory infections.

In power-starved rural homes, this product enables family members to gather together, with the help of “surrounding” light (habitation) of Egg lamp, he said.

The product also helps small shop owners and vegetable vendors to extend their business hours, and improves “government finances” as kerosene is subsidised to an extent of Rs 20,000 crore annually.

Source : The Hindu
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