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Sun King Pico — $8 Solar Light From Greenlight Planet

Originally published on Sustainnovate.

Greenlight Planet Introduces Sun King Pico—$8 Solar-Powered Light For The Developing World

The field of solar-powered lighting fixtures just got more interesting — following the launch of the $8 (retail price) Sun King Pico light by Greenlight Planet Inc.

When you consider that the kerosene lamps commonly used in many over the poorer parts of the world actually use a fair amount of fuel ($3 a week, or more) despite their relatively low upfront costs, the new $8 light could actually prove itself rather competitive in the right circumstances.

As the above-mentioned kerosene lamps are responsible for a great many health problems for those who use them, the switchover to relatively cheap solar lights could potentially do a lot to alleviate the health burden of the regions in question.

Going by current average costs in the targeted regions, the Sun King Pico can pay for itself is as little as 3 weeks time.

A recent press release provides more:

Cost savings are only one benefit of Sun King Pico: The solar-powered lantern provides six hours of constant bright white light, three times brighter than that of a kerosene lamp. When the battery runs low after six hours, the built-in digital microchip switches the lamp to its “low-power mode,” providing additional hours of backup light through the night. This is a truly life-changing product: Sun King Pico means that kids never have to squint through the dim and smoky light of kerosene to read their textbooks. It means families can feels secure all night long, leaving on a night-light to ward off the darkness.

Since kerosene fuel is a disproportionate contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, replacing kerosene lanterns with affordable solar-powered lights like the Sun King Pico benefits not only off-grid families, but the entire world at-large. The Sun King Pico launches during renewed world attention on the hazards of climate change, as the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, prepares to gather world leaders in Paris.

“For off-grid families, a solar light is a major household investment,” stated Greenlight Planet’s founder and CTO, Patrick Walsh. “With the Sun King Pico, we’ve introduced the world’s first and only fully digital, highly durable solar home light at this incredibly low price point. It is immediately affordable to hundreds of millions of off-grid families. For years after they buy this lamp, it spares the family from the cost and health risks of kerosene.”

The Pico should last fairly long as well, it should be noted — being constructed out of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) technology, rather than cheaper alternatives. The model reportedly provides more than 72 hours of light after a day of full-sun charging. A global 2-year warranty is included with purchase.

Greenlight Planet is a 2016 Zayed Future Energy Prize finalist.

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