Bloomberg Philanthropies just invested $5 million to bring the popular solar-powered Little Sun lamp to communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Designed by <a href="http://www.olafureliasson.net/Olafur Eliasson and Frederik Ottesen, the lamp can provide a safe and steady source of off-grid light to communities that currently rely on dangerous kerosene lamps. Thanks to the investment, the solar lamps will be available for less than the cost of kerosene in these communities.
Seven out of ten people in these targeted communities live almost entirely off the grid, and they rely on kerosene for light and cooking. Kerosene is not just expensive – it’s also toxic, and it can lead to accidents in the home like fires. Communities in Africa that rely on it are reported to spend 20% of their income on kerosene. Eliasson, a Danish designer and renowned artist, worked with Ottesen to create the Little Sun as a safe and cost-effective alternative to kerosene that could bring light to these communities.
The Little Sun can be hung or worn, and it needs just four hours of charge time to provide five hours of LED illumination. The flower-shaped lamp includes a 6 cm by 6 cm single cell mono-crystalline solar module, and when used in place of kerosene lamps it reduces CO2 emissions while keeping communities safer. With Bloomberg’s investment the Little Sun can flourish, providing light and social benefits by enabling local entrepreneurs to supply their communities once the sun sets.