Published June 28, 2016 by d.light
For families with no or limited access to electricity, switching from kerosene lanterns to solar-powered LED lights dramatically improves their quality of life. We at d.light have seen this over and over again as we’ve talked with customers in the field; a recent study, conducted in partnership with the Lighting Asia/India Program of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), quantifies this social impact.
In 2015, IFC surveyed 200 individuals who had purchased d.light’s multifunction S300 lantern and charger through a leading microfinance institution. S300 lantern has met the Lighting Global Quality Standards following rigorous testing according to methods specified in International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Specification 62257-9-5.
People were interviewed three months after their purchase, and again six months later. The customers were spread across four districts in the state of Uttar Pradesh: Basti, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, and Maharajganj. Many of the wage earners were farmers or laborers who earned less than $75 per month, putting them significantly below the poverty line.
Only 51 percent of the customers had access to grid electricity at the time of purchase; however, these households still experienced power outages of an average of fourteen hours per day. Of those surveyed, 95 percent relied on kerosene for their lighting needs.
After nine months of using the d.light S300, the energy access and the bright, reliable lighting it provided became central to these households’ daily lives. Both the adults and the children reported greater productivity and mobility as a result. Specifically, the survey found that:
The solar lantern had become the primary, most important source of lighting for 94% of the respondents, replacing kerosene lanterns or other grid-powered products.
94% were satisfied with the product, and nearly as many said they would recommend the d.light S300 to others.
Every household used the solar lantern for general household lighting, and 85% used it specifically for their children’s studies.
Almost half of the customers relied on the product for charging their mobile phones
Other common uses included lighting for moving from one place to another and lighting for safety.
Customers chose the product for its solar and AC charging capabilities, the brightness of the light, and the long battery life; the majority found the medium brightness setting sufficient for their needs.
At d.light, we have been committed to serving off-grid families in the developing world for a decade, applying the best design principles to the development of our products. With financing assistance, even extremely low income households can afford to transform their lives through solar power. We celebrate each family that has placed their trust in our products and experienced positive, empowering changes in their daily lives.
Perhaps most significant of all, the S300 was just as useful and impactful for families that had access to an unreliable electrical grid as for those families with no electricity access at all.