Lights On

A Solar Light Bulb Brightens Far Corners Of The Globe


Martin Gonzalez holds a Nokera bulb in his store in La Mesa, Colombia. Martin Gonzalez holds a Nokera bulb in his store in La Mesa, Colombia. Cover photo credit: Courtesy Nokera


Martin Gonzalez had been selling Nokero light bulbs out of his garage store in La Mesa, Colombia, for only a month when he realized there was a strong interest in his new product.

Gonzalez, who is also a community pastor, tried taking the bulbs to indigenous villages in remote areas that had never had electrical power. The bulbs were quite a technological leap from the kerosene lanterns or candles used by these struggling families. But they welcomed the change.

“Larger cities in Colombia don’t see the value in the light bulb, but it’s useful for those areas that don’t have lanterns or electricity,” says Gonzalez, 44. “There are people who understand its ecological value.”

The sea green Nokero light bulb looks much like the light bulbs found in kitchens or living rooms. It’s compact and simple to use. It provides ample reading light. Children can do their homework alongside its cheerful glow.



Bright Idea

But this bulb is solar, and rechargeable. And it’s brightening up some of the most impoverished regions on Earth.


About the author

Tatiana Sanchez

Tatiana Sanchez is a freelance writer for Latin Business Today, reporting on Latino work, life and culture topics. Originally from San Francisco, Calif., Tatiana received a Master of Science from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. During her time in New York City, Tatiana came alive as a reporter. Her work was featured in the Queen’s Chronicle, the Bronx Free Press, and the New York Daily News.Tatiana was named the 2011 Kaiser Media Health Intern- this past summer, she joined the staff at The Oregonian as a health reporter, where she produced a cover story on the growing obesity epidemic in Oregon.