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Together with nonprofit Empowered by Light, SF's Lemnis Lighting is bringing clean, renewable energy efficient solar LED lighting to rural villagers in Zambia who lack access to electricity. Lemnis is running an innovative "buy one, give one" promotion throughout December in which it matches every Pharox Solar Kit purchase with a donation to Empowered by Light's Solar: Zambia program.

Clean Power

Lemnis Lighting’s “Buy One, Give One” Holiday Promotion Brings Solar LED Lighting to Rural Zambians

Together with nonprofit Empowered by Light, SF’s Lemnis Lighting is bringing clean, renewable energy efficient solar LED lighting to rural villagers in Zambia who lack access to electricity. Lemnis is running an innovative “buy one, give one” promotion throughout December in which it matches every Pharox Solar Kit purchase with a donation to Empowered by Light’s Solar: Zambia program.

Photo courtesy Lemnis Lighting

For profit and non-profit companies from around the world have zeroed in on Africa, taking advantage of innovative renewable energy and digital light-emitting diode (LED) lighting technology to better the lives of locals while also helping reduce carbon dioxide emissions and deforestation.

San Francisco’s Lemnis Lighting is one socially and environmentally focused LED lighting technology company doing just that. All this month, Lemnis is offering a charitable holiday season twist on traditional “buy one, get one” promotions. Dubbed “buy one, give one,” Lemnis is matching every US purchase of its Pharox Solar Kits with a donation to Empowered by Light, a new nonprofit foundation that is delivering renewable energy lighting to schools in rural communities in Africa that do not have access to electricity.

Pharox Solar Kits normally sell at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $39.95 each. For the holiday season “buy one, give one” promotion, two can be purchased for $49.95, with Lemnis shipping the second directly to Powered by Light for use in its Solar: Zambia program, according to a Dec. 20 news release.

Pharox Solar Kit Delivers Energy Efficient, Sustainable Lighting to Rural Africans

Pharox Solar Kits come with a 1.5-watt solar panel, a spherical LED lamp with a built-in USB port and charger. The solar panel can be repositioned easily and is able to fully charge the kit’s battery within eight hours. The LED lamp can then provide lighting for anywhere between eight and 45 hours depending on which of three settings is used. At its highest setting, it can light up a 30-square foot area.

Lacking access to grid power, Empowered by Light and other organizations working in Africa have zeroed in on locals’ heavy reliance on charcoal and kerosene fuel for cooking and lighting, inefficient practices that lead to deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions, as well as threats to health and safety.

A recent UN report stated that a rural African family burns around 60 liters of kerosene a year to light their homes, Lemnis points out. “The average kerosene lamp in Africa spews a ton of CO2 in less than 10 years. Solar lighting can replace kerosene and wood, and improve the health of the people and the environment,” according to the report.

Its holiday season promotion in support of Empowered by Light’s Solar: Zambia program dovetails with Lemnis’s core focus on developing sustainable lighting solutions that are affordable for as many people as possible. “Since its it was founded, Lemnis Lighting has been committed to making creatively designed sustainable lighting solutions for all,” said Warner Philips, Lemnis Lighting Co-Founder.

Socially & Environmentally Conscious Solutions

“With this ‘buy one, give one’ gift from our customers though our partnership with Empowered by Light, we are able to extend our solutions to communities that can benefit most from them. It is truly an honor to be able to put our products to their best and highest use where they save money, save energy, reduce toxic emissions and offer more safety and get it to those who need it most.”

Lemnis has supplied more than 1,000 Pharox Solar Kits to schools in Zambian villages through the Empowered by Light program. The nonprofit aims to donate 5,000 solar-powered lights across rural Zambian communities.

The effects bringing light to people in these communities are far-reaching, they cost relatively little compared to massive infrastructure projects, and result in far less environmental destruction.

“Our hope is that the educational benefits of our project will ultimately gain the attention of elected officials and encourage them to provide the same service to their own people,” said Marco Krapels, Empowered by Light co-founder.

Inspired by an Elisabeth Rosenthal article in the New York Times reporting how the school grades of children in rural Africa improved when they were given access to solar-powered lights, Rabobank executive Marco Krapels and fellow executives Moira Hanes and Gianluca Signorelli got together and formed Empowered by Light. The nonprofit’s first project, Solar: Zambia, was launched when Lemnis Lighting’s Warner Philips shared their Pharox Solar Kit.

World: Power Off the Grid – nytimes.com/video from The New York Times on Vimeo.


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I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.

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