The Strategist

Kickstarter Users Invested in a Flashlight Glowing From Hands Heat

11/03/2015 - 15:28

Forget batteries and solar panels – an American inventor came up with a flashlight powered by hand touch. A small device called Lumen is equipped with a panel that converts human body heat into electric current to power a small LED.

Lumen, 4 centimeters in length and weighing 35 grams, does not have much luminosity, yet is not inferior to a built-in flash of a smartphone, often used as a flashlight. The gadget’s author is an engineer Ross Zhuravsky from New York.

The apparatus includes a ceramic plate - a thermoelectric element that is intended for collecting heat energy from human touch. The electricity is generated with the temperature difference.

By reading the outdoor temperature, Lumen “feels” when touched. The flashlight’s metal case accumulates the resulting heat.

The campaign to raise funds for the project has been launched on Kickstarter. The venture has already collected more than 40 thousand dollars against the alleged 5000. The campaign will last for three weeks.

- The temperature difference between body and environment enough for the device to generate the energy needed to operate a LED - said Zhuravsky.

Lumen is capable of producing about 15 mA and 3 volts at relatively small temperature difference.

The example at Kickstarter considers difference in outside temperature (27 °C) and a finger tip’s (36 °C). When the difference is large, the excess energy is stored in a capacitor. This is enough to power 5mm LEDs with the light output of 3000 mCd, - explained the engineer.

Lumen costs from $ 35. For an additional $ 15 you can buy tritium illumination, which ease search for the flashlight in dark.