The Lightie™

Submitted by: Michael Suttner


27 year old GO-GETTER, visionary and inventor Michael Suttner likes nothing better than a good challenge and finding solutions to real world problems. Enthusiastic and energetic, the serial/social entrepreneur has an unorthodox, out-of-the box approach to problem solving and that is where much of his inspiration originates. Having a background in mechanical engineering, he gave it up for what came naturally at the time. From photography to computers to entrepreneurial business deals, he has been both successful and lost it all. He has learnt from his experiences to become a now seasoned entrepreneur. A BA degree in creative brand communications, coupled with determination to succeed, second to none, has proved useful in his quest to get his multi-award winning invention, The Lightie™ known to the world. And his deal-making talents have already attracted the attention of many leading global brands, each keen to get involved in the project.

Idea Summary

“The Lightie™ is an extremely efficient, patent-pending, test-tube shaped solar powered “light bulb”. It is a Picosolar device, designed to bring affordable lighting to the predominantly impoverished masses worldwide that still use paraffin for their lighting needs. The Lightie’s innovative design has been crafted to screw on and fit flush through the mouth of a standard soda bottle 22mm in diameter, thus converting the bottle into a multi functional and waterproof solar powered lantern/task light. The elongated design of The Lightie™ made from durable injection moulded acyrlic housing acts as a compartment to both the proprietary Photovoltaic panel (PV) and its rechargeable batteries, which store the energy of the Lightie™. The Lightie™ absorbs its energy from the sun via the CIGS PV panel, built in around the radial internal surface of the elongated tube. The main ideas of conceptualising a PET bottle for the structure of the Lightie™, was two fold. Firstly to shave off additional material related costs in the manufacturing process and secondly I see the Lightie™ as having potential co-branding synergy benefits with brands such as Coke/Pepsi.

The axial end/tip point of the Lightie™ housing contains a highly efficient 120 lumen dual LED setup which is capable of outputting up to more that ten times the brightness of even the best paraffin lanterns. By Leaving the Lightie™ outside during the day, its proprietary cylindrical PV panel absorbs the suns rays, which in turn charges the batteries that in turn stores the energy for use in powering up the LED on demand. End users can expect to get 40hrs of light on the low settings (120 lumens – can light up a 50m2 space) and around 20hrs of light on the low setting (30 lumens – more than enough to read with and find your way around the room). The Lightie™ only needs 5–8 hours of sun to fully charge and can even charge in overcast and rainy conditions. The battery of the Lightie™ will last 4-5 years.

Top supporters

No support this week. Be the first.

15 Comments to "The Lightie™"

  • Mathias Haut says:

    October 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Great Project, I really like the idea, you should take it to european market, especially Germany, I think they are very open minded to renewable energy.

    1. Tarren Blake says:

      October 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm - Reply

      Well done Michael, i knew someday you would make a difference in the world! This one is all yours :)

    2. Michael Suttner says:

      October 18, 2013 at 9:09 am - Reply

      Hey Mathias! Thanks for you kind words my friend :) I am sure I will be back in Germany soon for more R&D. True you guys are very open minded! Thanks for the support mate! I will catch a wave for you this weekend ;)

  • Michael Suttner says:

    October 18, 2013 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Aah thank you Ta! Your comment really means a lot to me. I cannot wait make a real and impactful difference in the world! How awesome is the opportunity/platform from FNB?!
    Light WILL help the way ;)

  • Lee Avnit says:

    October 27, 2013 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    Hey Mike. We’re all rooting for you on this incredibly innovative idea. The world needs more like you and responsible corporate masses who are prepared to listen to those who are.

    1. Michael Suttner says:

      October 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm - Reply

      Hey thanks LEE – I hope to inspire those around me and can see myself going this route, of helping others to make their social inventions a reality!

  • Jo King says:

    October 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Brilliant idea! Something that fixes environmental and social issues for the world and those less privileged than others. Well done.


    1. Michael Suttner says:

      October 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jonah, together we can do so much more!

  • Brian van Hansen says:

    October 28, 2013 at 12:35 am - Reply

    Genius Michael! I totally support this very brilliant idea of yours and cannot see it not materialising. Taking this idea abroad will only highlight the necessity of such an implementation. Go get em!

    1. Michael Suttner says:

      October 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      Hi Brian, thanks pal! The Lightie™ has a truley global reach. It is a proudly South African invention and I want the world to see what we are capable of. I will hopefully be showcasing the Lightie™ all around the world – Africa, South America, Asia, India to name a few. Thanks for your support!

  • Kimsalabim says:

    October 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    I love this idea. Having worked on myriad projects in Africa on renewable energy I can honestly say It has the potential to really impact the lives of millions!

    1. Michael Suttner says:

      October 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm - Reply

      Thanks kim, your comment gave me goosebumps!

  • John R Niemand says:

    October 28, 2013 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    What an amazing concept , super talented !!! It’s what the world needs right now !!!

    1. Michael Suttner says:

      October 29, 2013 at 11:47 am - Reply

      Thanks John, Hopefully soon!

  • Tshepang Mahlangu says:

    July 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Michael, Hope things are still going well for you. And as late I can be, congratulations on your victory. I just need to ask you one question as I am also looking to join in the competition this year, did you have to Trade Mark and Patent your idea before entering the competition or does that start to take place after the winner is announced? I am curious of how must prepare myself for the competition.

Back to top



© 2017 First National Bank - a division of FirstRand Bank Limited. An Authorised Financial Services and Credit Provider (NCRCP20)