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Lamp powered by salt and water shines on storm-torn areas

Katie Jones
Digital Reporter

Monday, August 17, 2015, 5:30 - Powerful storms across the world often strip countries of access to basic amenities, such as electricity and water. Inspired to help impoverished, storm-prone regions, a new invention out of the Philippines shines on where all other lights go out.

A start-up organization is behind a safe, sustainable light source that could bring significant relief to parts of the globe affected by poverty and a lack of resources -- using basic ingredients found almost anywhere in the world. 

And most important of all, no electricity.

Known as SALt, the group's acronym stands for Sustainable Alternative Lighting and the key to their 'magic' lamp is all in the name. Co-founder, engineer and Greenpeace member Aisa Mejeno was inspired to deveop the SALT light while living with the Butbut tribe in a remote village in the province of Kalinga.

The fact that this region is surrounded by saltwater was a fortunate coincidence.

Combine one glass of water and 2 tablespoons of salt and their lantern will glow for up to eight hours. Salt contains sodium and chlorine ions. When mixed with water, the ions are pulled apart and carry electrical currents within the H20 to the light bulb.

No batteries are required to operate the lamp, which provides illumination equal to the glow of seven candles using LED light bulbs.

The multi-purpose unit also comes with an USB outlet to charge mobile devices when it is not needed for lighting.

Of more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines, many are without electricity as approximately 16 million families live off the grid. Many people are forced to resort to other methods of lighting their homes once the sun goes down, such as traveling long distances to acquire lantern kerosene, or chop wood and build a fire.

RELATED: 'Noul' swirls towards the Philippines, threatens to become super typhoon

The Philippines is no stranger to the devastating impacts of severe weather. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, slammed the island nation in 2013. It remains one of the deadliest storms to ever hit the Philippines, killing more than 6,000 people.

The award-winning lamps retails for $35 USD, equal to 1,570 Philippine pesos. It has a shelf-life of about 10 years.

Development of the device's functionality and design are ongoing, as SALt works to create a version that is both water- and shock-proof.

Source: SALt | Tech in Asia

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