For Dave Irvine-Halliday, a Canadian photonics specialist born in Scotland in 1942, winning a Rolex Award in 2002 for his Light Up the World (LUTW) project was like winning ”a mini Nobel Prize”.
The project, to bring affordable lighting to the developing world through the introduction of solid state lighting (SSL) based on light emitting diodes (LEDs), has gone from strength to strength.
From his original inspiration — on a visit to Nepal, he met an elderly couple with only a tiny fire as a means of heat and light —the University of Calgary electrical and computer engineering professor has expanded his work from Nepal, India and Sri Lanka to 43 countries in Asia, South America and Africa.
Irvine-Halliday’s current goal is to achieve very large economies of scale in order to reduce dramatically the cost of the lighting system, making it affordable to exponentially more people than the 100,000-plus individuals who now benefit from LUTW.
Published in 2009