Wish you could have the warmth of a candle, and the brightness of an LED? Meet the Lumir C, a brilliant LED lamp that’s powered by the heat of a tiny tealight candle. Launched (and successfully funded) on Kickstarter, the Lumir C offers an eco-friendly alternative to lighting that’s not only beautiful, but also has off-grid applications and is more reliable than solar.
Lumir C creator Jehwan Park was inspired to create the candle-powered LED lamp after a trip he took to India in 2014. While there, he witnessed firsthand the “seriousness of blackouts” and was shocked to learn that as many as 1.3 billion people around the world still lack access to reliable electricity. Many households in developing countries still work by candlelight at night; however, the flames are often not bright enough to see properly. Thus, Park and his design team created a solution to light up an entire room with just one candle.
Park’s first product is the Lumir C, a lighthouse-shaped lamp that generates electric light from the heat of a candle flame. When placed on top of a candle, the lamp’s large heatsink draws the flame’s thermal energy and, thanks to the Seebeck effect, turns the temperature difference between the hot and cold air into thermoelectricity that powers the LED at the top of the lamp, which glows 15 to 60 times brighter than candlelight. For a special touch, the design team recommends using a scented candle.
The candle-powered Lumir C lamp is still available on Kickstarter, which has already surpassed its $50,000 funding goal, and can be purchased for the early-bird price of $59. The Lumir C team also created a low-cost option, the Lumir K, which uses the same technology as Lumir C but will not be sold for profit and was created to help developing countries such as the Philippines.