Some 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to electricity. SunBell solar lamps from BRIGHT Products provide off-grid communities with lighting and mobile phone charging.
No or unreliable access to a national electric grid can have wide-ranging negative effects on health, education, family economy and women’s safety.
The list of health and safety risks alone is long. For example, according to the World Health Organization, use of kerosene lamps exposes households to very high levels of fine particulate matter, with an estimated 1.5 million people a year dying from toxic kerosene fumes. Meanwhile, burning firewood for lighting can lead to household fires and smoke.
All of BRIGHT’s lighting solutions are based on user needs. The company visits off-grid communities around the world to gain first-hand experience and identify needs, which then form the basis for a stringent design and production process.
The SunBell solar lamp has come in different versions. The newest one, called SunBell Smart, has eight functions and can, for example, be used as a task light, ceiling lamp or flashlight. The lamp is rugged and attractive. It can charge basic mobile phones as well as smart phones up to 70 per cent and still have more than two hours of medium-level light remaining.
BRIGHT is a member of the Norwegian Emergency Preparedness System (NOREPS) and a supplier to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The company is working to extend its product range in collaboration with the humanitarian sector as well as commercial distributors.
Some of the many benefits of solar lamps include improving indoor safety and air quality, enabling children to study at night, allowing small business owners and craftspeople to keep their businesses going, and keeping women and girls safe at night.
Solar lamps can replace polluting kerosene lamps, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They can also replace the use of firewood for lighting, which is a leading contributor to deforestation according to the World Wildlife Fund.
According to the Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report 2018, the potential market for off-grid energy appliances is vast, at an estimated 434 million households.
Emergency relief for refugees and displaced persons also comprises a large market. The United Nations has global responsibility for responding to humanitarian crises and has made expanding sustainable energy solutions a priority.