A university student by the name of Aluwaine Manyonga was graced at Lux Award as the winner of the Society of Light and Lighting Young Lighter of the Year for 2020. Aluwaine Manyonga is a fourth-year electrical engineering undergraduate at the University of Zimbabwe who works with Emmanuel Consulting Engineers in Harare, Zimbabwe.
For the first time, the SLL Young Lighter final was held online with all four finalists delivering their presentations virtually to an international audience. Manyonga delivered his presentation, Offgrid Solar Lighting, and Chigubhu Lantern, Africa’s Education System Game Changer, during the 2020 LuxLive Digital Festival.
The factors that led to his win are that his proposal not only supports the introduction of solar-powered lighting systems but seeks to tackle plastic and electronic waste through the re-use with the ingenious Chigubhu (Chigubhu is a Shona word for plastic container or water bottle) Lantern. His presentation outlines the resources required, set up, and ongoing maintenance with a methodical and informed approach.
Manyonga’s projects seek to utilize competitive pricing of solar-powered solutions, developing a clean and reliable light source to positively impact the education system. The advantage of the project is that the ingenious Chigubhu Lantern uses plastic waste to create low-cost housing for solar-power LED luminaires.
Looking at the concepts stated above and more he presented, the judges were all very impressed by the social value of Aluwaine’s project. “We thought he showed immense initiatives, as well as technical know-how, using limited resources to create something that will improve the lives of a huge number of people in areas with insecure electricity networks. Aluwaine’s work reminds us of how lighting can make the world a better place.” This was a window of Aluwaine’s success and winning the competition as it revealed young talent.
This year’s finalist included Aleix Llenas with his project, Spectrally Tunable Lighting for the Real World: A UK Case-study in Tracking Human Behavior and Implications for Future Technology; Giorgia Rossi with her project, Open Beams: A laser Lighting System for Future; and Dipali Shirsat with her project, Redefining the Image of a city: Lighting for Disabled Spaces. You can watch the presentations on the Lux Review website.