Rustom Meyer, creator of Yeti Solar, first became interested in solar energy while researching improved solar box cooker designs as an undergraduate at Cornell University. He graduated Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science Cum Laude, and a Masters of Engineering in Biological and Environmental Engineering. He holds a Professional Engineer's license in Environmental Engineering. Rustom has been researching, designing, prototyping, and directing manufacture of high efficiency, well designed indoor solar lighting and LED systems since 2009. His driving passion is to make these systems so affordable, adaptable, reliable, and user friendly that solar lighting becomes the obvious choice for everyone. Yeti Solar recently donated a solar lighting system to a clinic in Nepal, which they are using as emergency lighting for their Operating Room. Although the clinic has access to grid power, it's quite unreliable, and sometimes cuts out in the middle of surgeries. Prior to installing solar powered backup, their Plan B for lighting in the Operating Room was hand held flashlights
Not that Yeti Solar has anything against flashlights. Yeti Solar has designed a simple DIY flashlight project that makes it easy to build a unique and powerful flashlight. At the Maker Faire Rustom Meyer will have a dozen or so of these flashlights on display and interested audience members can purchase a kit to make one. Walk-up participants can easily build and decorate one in about 15 minutes with supervision.
His flashlight project teaches participants about circuits and LEDs, as well as how to solder and some basic assembly techniques. The participant gets to choose their LED color, the light diffusing texture of the lense, and also how they want to decorate the flashlight body. The switch mechanism is a socket screw; tighten it to complete the circuit and loosen it to break the circuit. After the flashlight is complete, Rustom seals all the decorations in place with heavy duty adhesive lined clear heatshrink. This also gives the flashlight a ergonomic, 'grippy' surface, and diffuses the LED light such that the whole head of the flashlight glows when it is on.
Check out this blog by Rustom Meyer, which describes how to make his flashlight project!