By Tiffany Hsu
4:45 PM EST, January 10, 2013
Jacques-Philippe Piverger, 35, went from a finance career to the head of a company hoping to bring light to the darkest places.
The chief executive and co-founder of Mpowerd was at CES this week demonstrating the Luci solar lantern, designed for campers, eco-devotees and people caught in disaster scenarios -- such as a hurricane.
About 3.1 billion people live with little or no access to energy, Piverger said.
The Luci lamp, manufactured in Asia, is a transparent cylinder that weighs four ounces. It’s waterproof. It’s collapsible.
The 10 LED lights inside can brighten a space of up to 15 square feet, producing six to 12 hours of light after being charged in direct or indirect sunlight for four to six hours.
The lights can be set on high or dimmed, even put in flashing mode. A single lamp costs $15.99 -- Mpowerd is offering two for $19.99 in a buy-one-give-one deal.
The company was launched less than a year ago and went through as many as 25 Luci prototypes, Piverger said. He said 5,000 lamps have been sold in the last five months, with a mass order for 10,000 units coming in this week.
Mpowerd is now trying to raise $200,000 on crowd-funding platform Indiegogo.
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