Artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederick Ottesen co-founded the Little Sun company to provide solar-powered lamps to "off-grid communities" in parts of Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Senegal, Ethiopia, and South Africa. So far, they have sold over 126,000 lamps and thanks to a $5 million dollar impact investment by Bloomberg Philanthropies, many more families will be given the power of light.
The lights the Little Sun produces feature the "world's most efficient solar cell" and provide ten hours of soft light or four hours of bright light on a single five-hour charge. They're designed to resemble little suns (like the company's name), and the batteries are rechargeable. The lights are very important when you consider that, by Little Sun's estimates, there are 1.6 billion people in the world who live without electricity. But you don't have to be one of those people to own a Little Sun lamp. Purchasing a lamp in a place where there is electricity for a higher price allows the company to sell them to those who need them for less, so it really is a win-win situation.
For more information, head to the Little Sun website now.