30 June 2010


LLFY partners Osram and Infineon support LED lamp project for Sri Lankan fishermen

In collaboration with the partner network LED Light for you (LLFY) of Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH of Regensburg, Germany, German firm Diana Electronic-Systeme GmbH of Schwaikheim, has developed an energy-efficient LED lamp for the Global Nature Fund to be used by local night-fishermen in Sri Lanka instead of their environmentally harmful kerosene lamps.

There are 85,000 canoe fishermen in Sri Lanka, many of whom catch prawns in the mangrove swamps at night. The prawns are attracted by the light of the fishermen's kerosene lamps and trapped in a complex system of baskets. While the prawns are fished sustainably, the kerosene lamps used by the fishermen pose an environmental hazard. Leaking kerosene can pollute the water and spawning grounds, while about 100,000 liters of kerosene is burned every night (30 million liters per year, corresponding to 75,000 metric tonnes of CO2).

Launched by the environment foundation Global Nature Fund (sponsored by the Wuppertal-Institut, Dicota and Sika AG), the project ‘Improving livelihoods of fishermen in Sri Lanka by introducing LED and compact fluorescent lamps for night fishing’ aims to promote the use of eco-friendly LED lamps for night fishing, as well as other forms of energy-efficient lighting in homes and public buildings. Supported by LLFY partners Osram and Infineon Technologies, Diana Electronic has developed a robust, watertight, low-cost LED-based alternative to replace the kerosene lamps. The Fund is distributing 100 of them to the fishermen in a first phase. Virtually all kerosene lamps are to be replaced in the long term.

The LLFY network aims to provide guidance in a highly fragmented LED market, supports potential users of LED technology, and helps to find partners who have been certified according to stringent quality criteria to implement the LED lighting projects. The lamp made by Diana Electronic uses standard LED drivers from Infineon and amber-colored Golden DRAGON LEDs from Osram Opto.

“This will not only help to protect the sensitive ecosystem of the mangrove forests from leaking kerosene and reduce CO 2 emissions, but will also provide the fishermen with innovative technology allowing them to continue their night fishing and thus safeguard their main source of income,” says Osram Opto’s European sales manager Michael Wohs. “Catches are not expected to suffer, as the light of the amber-coloured Osram LEDs of type Golden DRAGON is very similar to that of the kerosene lamps,” he adds.

Osram Opto says that the project marks another step towards introducing energy-efficient lighting in Sri Lanka and will contribute to protecting the local environment. Already, in 2008, Osram and the Global Nature Fund supplied fishermen on Lake Victoria in East Africa with energy-saving products. Osram adds that it provides long-term support to countries in economically underdeveloped regions, helping them make more effective use of energy-efficient lighting.

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