A sustainable solar headlamp for rural medical use.

In rural developing communities all around the world, electricity is scarce, and the closest doctor is a volunteer. When it's dark at night, and someone needs help, having hands-free direction light is a big advantage. This open-source solar headlamp is designed to be resilient, adaptable, sustainable, and affordable. 



Qualities of the solar headlamp


Designing a product to be easily repaired instead of "indestructible" to reduce electronic waste and increase educational and entrepreneurial opportunities.


Understanding the context of customer needs, and putting those needs first... even if it means using more basic technology.


Using a cradle-to-cradle approach to identify the positive and negative impacts of the product from a multi-faceted perspective (e.g., environmental, social, economic), and designing to cause the least negative impact possible.


Applying an open-source approach to hardware in order to more efficiently evolve the solar headlamp design, and more rapidly disseminate information for regionally-appropriate versions.

Check out the design files on GitHub: https://github.com/SmallTomatoes/Headlamp

Bamboo prototype created in Nicaragua

Bamboo prototype created in Nicaragua

IEEE Humanitarian Technology Conference 2014, Montreal, Canada

IEEE Humanitarian Technology Conference 2014, Montreal, Canada

Prototype History

Learn more about the historical iterations of the headlamp

See Prototypes →


Check out what's happening with the solar headlamp in real time

Blog/News →


Header photo by Topher Wright