Flickers of Hope: Bright Ideas Bring Light to Remote Communities

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27th February, 2019

In the far reaches of Indonesia, some villagers live their day-to-day without a source of electricity – meaning simple, everyday tasks like cooking or studying at night can represent great challenges. How do we address this inequality? Enter Ujang Koswara, a man whose ingenuity helps bridge the electrical divide and kindles the embers of hope.

It Started with a Cellphone

When Ujang was a child, his village was without electricity, and this made it hard for his mother to sew at night and do other work around the house. Moreover, it was next to impossible for Ujang to do his homework in the dark.

In 2008, his cellphone inspired him to come up with a solution. Ujang found that although the device had a tiny battery, its flashlight function could emit an amazingly bright light for long periods of time. He also discovered that light-emitting diodes (LEDs) powered the flashlight. After researching the components and experimenting with a friend well-versed in electronics, he invented the "LIMAR lamp"—a long-lasting LED light bulb that uses very little power.

Delivering Light to Villagers

Since inventing the LIMAR lamp, Ujang has been travelling to remote villages to deliver kits that include 5 lamps, a switch box and a battery that can hold a charge for 30 days. When the charge runs out, villagers can go to a central generator to recharge their batteries at a low cost. To bring more light into kitchens, Ujang also created a gas stove that can power a light while cooking.

The joy he brings to villagers is one thing that keeps Ujang going. After lighting up an island community with LIMAR systems, "the villagers all cried because they were so happy," Ujang recalled.

Ujang’s dream is to make LIMAR a tool to "achieve justice for all people in Indonesia," he said. But he doesn’t plan to stop there. "The next goal is to help other countries with the same needs as Indonesia," Ujang explained.

Reliable Power for Life

Ujang saw a problem—a chronic lack of access to electricity in rural Indonesia—and dedicated himself to providing a solution. Like Ujang Koswara, we at Mitsubishi Electric are also driven by a passion to improve quality of life by enabling a reliable flow of electricity.

Since we produced our first vertical-axle hydraulic generator in 1924, we’ve steadily expanded our power systems business. Our products and systems are key to power generation, transmission and distribution throughout the world. For example, our switchgears and transformers ensure the stable transmission of power, and our smart meters are enabling the efficient use of electricity to reduce environmental impacts. And as the demand for renewable energy increases, we’re playing a leading role in developing technologies for the smart grid and other energy businesses of the future.

We share the same goal as Ujang Koswara—to make sure that electricity goes where it’s needed so people can live more comfortable lives.

The content is true and accurate as of the time of publication.Information related to products and services included in this article may differ by country or region.

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