The new solar light, known as the SM100, was designed and developed by Yingli Europe, with some support coming from a UK industrial design agency. The design was based around critical price and performance specifications put together by SolarAid.
The new SM100 solar light retails for $5 in various parts of Africa, and meets “Lighting Africa” standards.
“When I first started at SolarAid 10 years ago the lights we sold in Africa were US$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,” stated Nick Sireau, CEO of SolarAid.
Here’s more: “In August 2016, 9,000 units of SM100s were distributed in Uganda, Malawi and Zambia through SolarAid’s social enterprise, Sunny Money, which sells lights via school networks and local enterprises. This first batch of lights will form a sales trial, allowing SolarAid to gather customer feedback to incorporate into further SM100 design and manufacturing iterations. The solar-powered SM100 provides more than 5 hours of constant bright light. It can be used as a traditional desk light or hung on the wall. Due to the SM100’s rectangular shape it can be also be used off the stand and additional slots in the casing can be used to attach a strap so that the lamp can be worn as a head torch for hands-free use.”
Within the UK, the SM100 will sell for £10 — which reportedly provides SolarAid with enough funds to distribute two SM100 lights in Africa.
“The SM100 will provide safe light to millions more families who live currently on less than US$1.25 per day. Not only will the lamp save lives but also support children’s’ education at home in the dark evenings and saving families money by avoiding the purchase of air polluting kerosene,” commented Darren Thompson, Managing Director of Yingli Europe.
As some background, SolarAid is a London-based international charity that was formed to “combat poverty and climate change.” It was founded in 2006.
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