Solar powered - Design for Need
A large percentage of the Alexandra township in the eastrand, Johannesburg, do not have electricity. Many of these people resort to dangerous and harmful paraffin lamps or even burning firewood as a light source in and around their homes. If the homes do have electricity it is usually in the form of an informal, illegal connection that also posses as a safety hazard. After visiting the township and gathering relevant information, we were tasked to design a solar lighting kit specifically for this community. The light had to be inexpensive, bright, durable, and safe amongst other things. The lighting kit was to include a solar panel and wall plug/transformer as a secondary power source. The light should also include an outlet to be able to charge other electronic devices such as cellphones.
Because a large portion of this project was dedicated to research, it was important to be able to capture and apply this data in the designed product. Design began with a narrative, then to design the light around internal components. Functionality and practicality had to be considered as well as product placement/orientation. The solar panel case and wall plug had to be redesigned to match the aesthetic of the light and everything thereafter had to be fully engineered for moulding and manufacture.
The Hawk light was developed around the narrative shown on page 1 of this project. The idea is to eradicate the use of illegal connections in the form of live wires strewn across the township (“Nyoka” meaning snake). In nature a hawk will kill a snake, hence the birth of the Hawk light. The light is designed with 3 LED strips that are placed at 60 degree intervals giving a wider range of light. The LED’s are low power allowing them to last longer. The casing is very compact, saving material and protecting internals, all of which assemble without the need for screws. The entire light is made up using only 3 moulds therefore saving costs. The light is designed to stand on a table, be wall mounted or hang from the roof.