As part of Panasonic’s ongoing 100 Thousand Solar Lanterns project, which aims to distribute solar powered LED lanterns to off-grid communities, the company has launched a design contest that seeks to bring more awareness to the challenges and issues faced by many people around the world.
For those of us in the hyper-connected and über-electrified developed world, it’s hard to imagine life without access to light or power, but there are over one billion people on the planet that still don’t have electricity, and must use kerosene lanterns to illuminate their homes. These kerosene lights are not only expensive to run, but they also pose fire and health risks to those who use them everyday, so having a solar-powered LED lantern could make a huge difference in people’s lives.
With Panasonic’s “Cut Out the Darkness” project, users can design and submit a unique artistic version of a shade for these solar lanterns, and could see their creation produced and distributed to those in need.
“The “Cut Out the Darkness” project website offers its own unique application that enables users to design a cutout and see a virtual shade image on-screen while working on the design. When finishing the design, the design can be submitted online, and displayed in the “Design Archives.” Based on a popularity poll by site visitors, the best 100 shade designs are chosen and fabricated by laser cutter into lantern shades true to the original cutout designs. Moreover, original designs contributed by eleven globally acclaimed paper-cut artists, who are supporting the project, are also showcased on the site and made into lantern shades. Solar lanterns and shades, including those made from selected designs by a popularity poll and from designs contributed by paper-cut artists, are delivered to homes and schools in non-electrified regions.” – Panasonic
To design and submit your own version of a solar lantern shade, go to the Cut Out the Darkness project site.