By Anne-Sophie Garrigou
Little Sun (also partner of The Solar Panel Art Series by The Beam and CleanTechnica), was founded 5 years ago with the mission to provide ‘energy access for all’ and raise awareness about energy equality and renewable energy solutions across the world. And what better way to celebrate than by releasing a new solar lamp, the Little Sun Diamond, the third in a line of solar-powered lamps by Olafur Eliasson.
The Little Sun Diamond is a beautiful, featherweight lamp — the smallest Little Sun lamp to date, but with all the energy of the classic Little Sun Original.
“Light supports study and work, but it also creates an atmosphere for meeting your friends and having fun. The Little Sun Diamond illuminates what we all have in common — we all want to be successful and we all want to be happy. Both practical and emotional, Little Sun Diamond adds a sparkle to your life,” says Little Sun Founder and artist Olafur Eliasson.
A bit of background and context
The Little Sun project was launched in 2012 by internationally renowned artist Olafur Eliasson and solar engineer Frederik Ottesen with the mission of bringing solar light to the 1.1 billion people in the world living without electricity. In five years, the social business has already distributed 500,000 solar lamps in sub-Saharan Africa, changing the lives of more than one million people through clean and affordable light.
In sub-Saharan Africa, expensive and dangerous kerosene lamps are one of the most common lighting sources. In South Africa alone, more than 200,000 people are injured or lose property each year due to kerosene-related fires. An even more significant problem is the unhealthy smoke. One night of light is the equivalent of smoking 40 cigarettes a day. Over 4 million people die prematurely from illnesses attributed to household air pollution caused by lighting or cooking with smoke-emitting sources — a problem that affects women and children disproportionately. As large parts of sub-Saharan Africa are not connected to the electrical grid, there are often no other lighting sources for people to use in studying, working, cooking, or socializing after sunset.
Solar light is a healthy, reliable alternative to toxic light sources and dramatically improves health and education levels as well as the socio-economic situation of off-grid communities. In addition to its line of solar products, Little Sun works with more than 600 entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa, giving them micro-entrepreneurial training and funding to help them set up their own small solar businesses. By selling the Little Sun products, they bring light and income to their communities.
Besides making life after dark easier for rural communities in Africa, the robust and weather-resistant power packs are available in Europe and North America, where they can be valuable for teaching children about solar energy, or used as reading lights when camping. The sales in areas with access to electricity subsidize the distribution of solar lamps in sub-Saharan Africa, where the company brings them to people living without electricity as a clean alternative to kerosene lamps and at reduced, locally affordable prices.
A little piece of sunshine wherever you go, the Little Sun Diamond is the best friend for anyone who needs a light to read or cook by, as well as for backpackers, campers, and travelers. Five hours of charging in the sun gives you five hours of bright light, fading to long-lasting soft light.
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