Portable Light Project

The Portable Light Project is a non-profit research, design and engineering initiative established by KVA MATx that creates new ways to deliver decentralized renewable power and light to the developing world. Each Portable Light unit is a simple, versatile textile with flexible photovoltaics and solid state lighting that can be adapted to local cultures and customized by people using traditional weaving and sewing technologies in an open source model. This creates the opportunity for greater levels of cultural acceptance and stewardship of this technology, particularly for women who are often among the most vulnerable in developing countries.

A Portable Light textile provides bright, white light to read, support cottage industries and facilitate community based education and health care. Each textile generates electrical power to charge cell phones and other small devices. Portable Light maximizes its efficiency through digital communication protocols between linked units. This distributed intelligence allows linked Portable Light units to charge in the sun and work together more efficiently as a group than they could as a collection of individual units. Families benefit from individual ownership of Portable Light and can join their units at times to create a co-operative and sustainable distributed network for community tasks.

Portable Light has been serving indigenous communities in the Mexican Sierra Madre since 2005. New Portable Light projects are underway for Nicaragua, through the Paso Pacifico program, for the Brazilian and Venezuelan Amazonias through Tele-Salud Medicos. The Portable Light Team is working with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), to scale the project.