UK charity SolarAid and solar panel manufacturer Yingli Solar just launched “the world’s most affordable solar light.” Sold by SolarAid’s social enterprise SunnyMoney in Africa, the SM100 solar light costs only $5. People in the UK can buy one of the lights for 10 pounds, and the money will help distribute two more solar lights in African countries.
The SM100 is designed for off-grid use by African families and children working on homework at night. The light is “two times brighter than kerosene” according to SolarAid, and the light’s battery provides five hours of illumination. The SM100 is equipped with an adjustable stand that can be removed or be used to hang up the light. In the UK, the SolarAid is marketing the lamps for campers or festival goers, suggesting users add a strap and wear it as a headlamp.
SolarAid CEO Nick Sireau said in a Yingli Solar statement, “When I first started at SolarAid 10 years ago the lights we sold in Africa were $25 each. Over the last 10 years prices have come down and now SolarAid is proud to be launching what we believe is the world’s most affordable solar light on the market…We sincerely hope this step change in pricing will help us to eradicate the kerosene lamp for good.”
SolarAid’s goal is to get rid of the need for expensive, polluting kerosene. During the past ten years, SunnyMoney has sold 10 million solar lights in Africa, and gathered feedback on the features people need in a small solar light. In August 2016, SunnyMoney distributed 9,000 of the little lights in Malawi, Zambia, and Uganda to gain insights from users for future solar light designs. The SolarAid SM100 is available for purchase here.
Images via SolarAid