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Nokero launches $6 solar bulb for off-grid users

The N180-Start is designed to replace kerosene as a light source. The high-end N222 solar bulb, meanwhile, can also charge your phone.

Nokero N180 Start
The N180-Start has an LED that shines a low light for four hours.

About 20 percent of the world's population still lacks access to electricity, according to the World Bank. Those who use kerosene as a source of light at night face the danger of fumes and fire.

Lighting startup Nokero has launched what it calls the world's most affordable solar bulb, the N180-Start, which sells for $6 on its Web site.

The bulb has a 5-lumen LED that can shine for about four hours on a full charge after hanging outside in the sun.

Nokero, which is short for "no kerosene," says the light can pay for itself in 15 days to two months depending on the user's income and use of kerosene.

"I'vemet people in Africa and Asia who walk for miles to spend significant income on kerosene fuel for light," Nokero founder Steve Katsaros said in a release.

"Prices fluctuate wildly, and are often controlled by cabal, so people don't know what the kerosene will cost. They also know it's dangerous and even deadly to burn this dirty fuel in their house, but they don't think they have another option."

The startup, which launched its first solar bulb in 2010, has also announced a high-end solar bulb and phone charger combo, the N222.

With its lithium ion phosphate battery, it can shine a bright light at 50 lumens for 6 hours and charge cell phones or other devices via USB.

It can also be run for 15 hours at a lower-intensity setting of 25 lumens. It has a five-year battery life, weatherproof housing, interchangeable color lenses, and grid-charging capability.

It's selling for $45 at the Nokero shop here; there's a demo of both the N180-Start and N222 bulbs here.

Nokero N222
The Nokero N22 is a solar-powered LED that can shine for up to 15 hours. Nokero