Results of NowLight field test

“I am very happy because I was able to finish this school year, thank you for supporting me with the NowLight that helped me a lot to charge my tablet and be able to send the assignments.”

Margarita, from the village of Cerro Blanco, Sarstun, Guatemala

TIES (funded by Viaduct Foundation) partnered with S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation and Asociación Ak’Tenamit to field test Deciwatt NowLights in two villages in Sarstun, Guatemala. The field test was launched during the pandemic, when schools in Guatemala were closed and student were sent to study from home, equipped with tablets. However, the villages of Cerro Blanco and Blue River (and many others in the Sarstun area) are without grid electricity. So we were told “Students do not have electricity so they will walk a couple of hours to recharge the tablets.” A perfect application for the NowLight, a human powered generator /battery unit that is not only a light but a USB charging device too.

Watch a couple of YouTube videos showing the journey and the installation of the NowLights:

30-second overview
Full video (<3 minutes) with narration in Spanish

The field test was a resounding success! The families that used the NowLights said:

  • The NowLights were easily transported, first by boat, then on muddy trails on someone’s back!
  • They were very easy to install and use, with minimal training required.
  • Charging was mostly done by pulling the cord, but some houses on a hill with direct sunlight were able to recharge with solar power.
  • There were no mechanical failures during the field trial.
  • Students were able to do their homework using the light, and recharge their tablets.

And not just the students benefited; one other advantage was that families were able to eat dinner together in light from the NowLights, without the need to buy batteries or burn fossil fuels. In fact, the only disadvantage noted during the field trial was that there weren’t enough NowLights to go around. So planning has begun to equip more homes and more villages with NowLights!

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