Melbourne-based LED company Brightgreen has launched an innovative
charity initiative to tackle the issue of light poverty in the off-grid areas
The Brightgreen Light Up Kenya Project is a solar-powered charity
initiative that aims to ensure Kenyans in the impoverished rural areas of the
country have access to high quality lighting.
The project will have Brightgreen donating a solar LED kit for every
$2000 worth of purchase made through a Brightgreen retailer. The solar LED kit will
include a solar panel, two bulbs, a power storage system and mobile phone
charging dock. The $2000 amount is the average expenditure to light a home in
Following the purchase, the customer will be given an 8-digit code,
which allows them to activate their very own solar LED kit in a home in Kenya. This
code enables Brightgreen to track each kit individually, ensuring that it is
deployed effectively and providing a means for customers to access information
about the home that they have helped light up.
Kenya has been selected for the project because Brightgreen currently
distributes high-quality LED lighting to Kenyan customers via their partner in Mombasa
but these products rely on permanent access to electricity, which is something not
available to 35 million or 80 per cent of the country’s inhabitants.
People residing in off-grid areas typically use paraffin lamps instead
of electrical lighting. Paraffin lamps are expensive to fuel, costing up to 25%
of a typical family income, and produce toxic fumes that are responsible for increasingly
dangerous health and respiratory issues, leading to up to 12,000 deaths per year.
Each solar LED kit includes two low-energy LED bulbs to provide four
hours of light each when fully charged; 3W solar panel - lightweight,
ceiling-mountable or portable; universal phone charging dock; and replaceable
battery power storage unit.
Brightgreen has partnered with the Nairobi based lighting provider
Sunlite Solar to ensure the responsible distribution and management of each
Light Up Kenya donation. Sunlite Solar is the brainchild of Derek Steel, a
Kenyan with Australian roots who lived and studied for a decade in Perth before
returning to his birthplace in Nairobi.
Brightgreen CEO and Head of Design David O’Driscoll explains that access
to sustainable lighting is not only important for social and financial
development, but also serves as the gateway to improved education and independent
business endeavours, empowering off-grid Kenyan communities to build their own
futures as well as a better quality of life.