Clean Power LEDlanternsolar

Published on November 1st, 2013 | by Derek Markham


Panasonic Starts 100,000 Solar Lanterns Project

November 1st, 2013 by  

Originally published on Ecopreneurist.

Panasonic's New Solar LED Lantern to Provide Offgrid Power

For those living off the grid, either by choice or by default, having an affordable way to use the sun’s energy to provide light and power after dark can make a big difference in their lives, and a new solar lantern promises to deliver on both counts.

The new solar LED lantern from Panasonic, the BG-BL03, will provide not only light, but also a rechargeable battery for storing solar energy to charge small mobile devices.

The new device is designed to be able to provide 360° of illumination from its 5 LED bulbs, enabling users to light up an entire room, and is powered by a separate 3.5 W solar panel that can fully charge the lantern’s internal nickel-metal hydride battery in about 6 hours.


“The lantern contains five LEDs and is designed to emit light 360 degrees. This wide emission angle makes it suitable for use in everyday life such as at family dinners and for children studying. With a touch of button on the lantern, the brightness can be adjusted between High (100 lx), Medium (40 lx) and Low (6 lx). The lantern has a handle, which allows for flexibility in setting up the light. It can be hung in the room, placed on a table or carried with the user.” – Panasonic

The BG-BL03 can provide up to six hours of light at the maximum brightness setting, or up to 90 hours at the low brightness setting, and a USB port is said to be able to charge a 700mAh capacity mobile phone battery in approximately two hours (and is capable of charging such a phone twice on a single charge).

Panasonic says their new Solar LED Lantern will initially be launched in Kenya, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Malaysia, followed by other “Base of the Pyramid” markets (low-income groups in developing countries). This product is a great addition to the company’s 100,000 Solar Lanterns project
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!

  • JamesWimberley

    At last an entry into this market with a well-thought-out quality product by a big company with a proper supply chain, not a tiny well-meaning startup. Though it’s probably due to the tiny startups that this is happening.

    Panasonic are a heavyweight manufacturer of high-quality mono solar panels (600 MW in 2012 – It incorporates Sanyo, a pioneer volume producer. My guess is that they are launching these solar lanterns as a way in to a potentially enormous off-grid solar PV market in Africa.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Bringing electricity to the hundreds of millions who currently live without it will be an immense undertaking. It would mean that either a major corporation such as Panasonic (or multiple major corporations) get involved or some of the tiny startups evolve into major corporations.

      The result would be the same, very large companies. Probably better for the people who need the product that a large, established company jump into the market and move things along faster..

      Perhaps the startups should morph into distribution companies. The other part of the puzzle is creating ways for people to purchase these systems on credit, paying them off with the money they save from buying kerosene and candles.

      I do like the design of what Panasonic has produced. The panel is separate from the lamp. That means that systems can involve and the original panel can be linked with others to build capacity.

      I’d like to see them develop an expandable system.

      • eject

        Don’t worry. If they get out to African countries they will be turned into a lot of useful stuff way beyond light. Just look at their improvised welding machines or how they keep cars going. This really proves to me that an engineering degree is just a piece of paper (yeah there are certain things today that simply need the math and science background) but a real engineer is born as an engineer. It is what got us out of the caves.

      • JamesWimberley

        The phone charger feature is a big deal in Africa, with a rocketing number of users (, Some microlenders are supporting solar phone charging as a small business. I agree with eject that African entrepreneurs will rapidly find other uses. I hope the USB port will support the new Power USB standard (

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

  • Search the IM Network