Uday Bhatia's Innovative 'Uday Electric' Bulbs Illuminate Rural India with Built-in Inverter

By auther pic. CSRBOX

April 11, 2024

Uday Bhatia's Innovative 'Uday Electric' Bulbs Illuminate Rural India with Built-in Inverter

Uday Electric

In April 2022, 18-year-old Uday Bhatia from Delhi visited the village of Bichpuri in Uttar Pradesh as a volunteer with the Aasra Foundation. He was there to conduct a 2-day economic literacy application for the children. During his conversations with them, Uday was greatly surprised to research that the village faced common power outages lasting 8-10 hours each day, making it very hard for the kids to examine.


This revelation deeply impacted Uday. Coming from an urban area where electricity is abundantly and reliably available, he had taken it for granted. Hearing first-hand accounts of rural communities struggling with such a basic necessity shook Uday to his core. He was determined to find a solution.

The Power Crisis in Rural India

Upon returning to Delhi, Uday dove deeper into understanding the electricity crisis faced by rural communities. He learned that states like Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have been facing severe power shortages.


According to a Moneycontrol report, in January 2023, Uttarakhand alone faced a shortfall of 18 million units of electricity per day - about 40% of total demand. In some remote villages, outages could last up to 8-9 hours daily.


The primary reason was insufficient generation capacity, which made it unable to meet the rising demand. Decades of neglect of rural electrification have left these areas under-served. Frequent disruptions in the supply chains of coal and gas used in power plants added to the generation shortfalls.


Another major bottleneck was the creaky transmission and distribution infrastructure plagued by heavy losses. Almost a third of the power generated did not even reach rural homes due to technical and commercial issues.


What troubled Uday even more was learning that most rural families could not afford essential backup solutions like inverters due to their precarious financial conditions. This left entire villages engulfed in darkness for hours when outages struck, severely disrupting everyday life.


Children struggled to study, shops and businesses suffered losses, healthcare services were impacted, women felt unsafe venturing out, and overall productivity and quality of life took a hit.


Uday was determined to develop an affordable and sustainable solution that could bring some relief to these communities and illuminate their lives.

Conceptualizing the Uday Electric Bulb

Uday first explored if renewable energy could be leveraged to electrify rural homes. However, he realized that options like solar and wind energy required significant investments beyond the means of the rural poor. They also had limitations in storage and consistency of power generation.


Uday was excited to productize this innovative concept of a power-backup bulb tailor-made for rural needs. This was the genesis of his venture, Uday Electric bulbs.

The Making of the Uday Electric Bulb

In April 2022, Uday set up a modest DIY workshop on his home terrace with basic supplies like a soldering iron and electrical components. He watched YouTube videos to teach himself the basics of bulb assembly and power electronics.


After many days of painstaking trials, Uday developed a working prototype that could glow for 4 hours during a power cut thanks to an inbuilt lithium-ion battery. But his goal was to provide 8-10 hours of backup to alleviate rural lighting issues meaningfully.


The challenge was enhancing the battery backup without increasing its size or adding substantial cost. Uday had to dig deep into his passion for computer science and apply advanced concepts like power optimization algorithms.


He tweaked the brightness levels of the bulb using a technique called Pulse Width Modulation. By finely controlling the power flow to match rural lighting needs, he was able to extend the battery life to 8-10 hours - a breakthrough!


The Uday Electric bulb was now ready with the right mix of features at an affordable price point of just ₹250. It consisted of a battery and power control circuitry cleverly packed into a standard LED bulb form. Unique fins dissipated heat for safe operations, and a 1-year warranty provided reliability.


During grid supply, the battery charges unobtrusively. When an outage occurs, it taps into the stored reserves and steps down the brightness, keeping the bulb glowing for 8-10 hours. It was a perfect decentralized power backup well-suited for rural requirements.

Empowering Rural Communities

In May 2022, Uday launched Uday Electric bulbs using ₹30,000 of personal savings. He sold the initial inventory through local markets and rural networks. The value proposition was an instant hit.


So far, over 7,000 bulbs have been sold across Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Delhi's outskirts. The numbers continue to swell as rural communities embrace the life-changing solutions.


950 Uday Electric bulbs have also been donated to the Kabadi Bazaar slum community in Dehradun, which had little access to electricity. The simple bulbs have bestowed the gift of light to their homes.


Amit Balodi of the Aasra Foundation, operating in the Kabadi slums, observes - "The labourers and their families living here face 10-12 hours of daily power cuts. The Uday Electric bulbs charged through solar panels during daytime provide them precious light in evenings".


The conventional method of relying on kerosene Lanterns was hazardous and expensive. The Uday bulbs have reduced indoor air pollution and fire risks apart from allowing children to study at night - helping break the cycle of poverty.

International Recognition

Be it cities, towns, or remote hamlets - Uday Electric is lighting up lives across rural India. Uday's innovation, borne out of a deep desire to solve real problems facing communities, is now transforming their existence.


In 2023, his efforts were honoured with the prestigious Diana Award, which recognizes humanitarian works globally. Set up in memory of Princess Diana, the award celebrates young changemakers who create lasting social impact.

Charting the Road Ahead

Now outsourcing manufacturing, Uday aims to spread the benefits of his innovation to even more households across energy-starved regions of rural India. He also has plans to develop variants like tube lights for rural factories and shops based on the same design principles.


Uday's deeper goal is to spawn an ecosystem for decentralized, affordable power backup solutions tailored to rural needs. Tens of millions still live without reliable access to electricity in India's remote expanses. Uday Electric aims to progressively banish darkness from their lives and empower these communities with light - the most basic necessity for human progress.


Just like the name 'Uday', meaning sunrise, the brand aims to usher in bright futures for rural India while illuminating the immense potential of homegrown innovation to solve pressing local issues. The young founder-inventor Uday Bhatia has shown the light to thousands of lives already. There are millions more to reach, starting from the village of Bichpuri, where this remarkable journey began.

Impact Created

Uday Bhatia's innovative Uday Electric bulbs have made decentralized power backup solutions accessible and affordable for electricity-deprived rural communities. His simple yet ingenious innovation has illuminated the lives of thousands across five Indian states in a short period.


By integrating batteries and power control systems within LED bulbs, Uday has pioneered a novel product category tailored explicitly to rural needs. At just Rs 250 per bulb, the cost is 1/6th that of conventional solutions out of reach for average village households. Over 7,000 units have already been lapped up, indicating the sheer demand at the grassroots level.


The social effect on unelectrified villages is multi-dimensional. Children can now have a look at the impact after sundown. Shops enlarge working hours, leading to elevated earnings. Streets are more secure, and family lifestyles are more handy thanks to the provision of light. By decreasing dependence on unsafe kerosene lanterns, the Uday Electric innovation has also created an adequate environmental impact.


The non-earnings Aasra Foundation donated 950 bulbs to the Kabadi Bazaar city slum in Dehradun, where families huddled in darkness for 10-12 hours each day. The easy invention has reduced indoor air pollution and the chance of fires in congested localities - other than ushering in a semblance of ordinary life. The Foundation observes that getting the right to enter the lights has appreciably benefited daily salary labourers and their youngsters who had been earlier deprived of strength.


The Uday Electric story continues to energize more lives every day while lighting up the promise of frugal Indian ingenuity. Just like his name, 17-year-old Uday Bhatia has ushered in a new dawn for thousands subsisting in the darkness of poverty.

Also Read: Honeywell & Americares Collaborate: Enhancing Rural Healthcare & Education


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