Reporting Ian Schwartz
DAVIS (CBS13) — U.C. Davis graduates are shining a light on hunger with a small solar invention they’re taking to a competition this week in Germany.
It’s a simple idea to use an LED light. They’re in your car, TV and other electronics. With their invention, students could help to feed people who need it most.
Emily Sin was shocked when she heard the small group’s tiny bright idea would put them on the world stage.
Emily, along with Edward Silva and Lorena Galvan, will be in Berlin on Wednesday to compete in the Thought For Food Challenge. They’re one of just five groups in the world picked to come up with clever and efficient ways to feed people.
So the group invented the Henlight, a tiny, solar-powered light for small farmers, and to use in their coops.
“It is meant to stimulate the photoreceptive cells in the chickens brain,” said Emily.
Light helps hens lay eggs. In the winter, our feathered friends lay fewer eggs, because there is less daylight.
Silva says the Henlight’s added light can boost winter egg production by 80 percent. And since it’s solar, it won’t cost a small rural farmer anything to run.
In some developing countries, it allows people to have more localized production away from an electric grid and still have the access to create more eggs year round.
Giant food corporations do the same thing—trick the hens with light to get more eggs. But small farmers don’t have easy access.
But with this little light, the future could be brighter for farmers and the growing global demand for food.
The inventors say it could go for $25, but more importantly, they hope to meet an investor in Berlin to take their invention big.