The Natural Light International Design Competition challenged students to push boundaries, share dreams and imagine future solutions for providing people all over the world with sustainable energy and light. Design students were in 2014 challenged to come up with a design for the Natural Light solar lamp which could bring clean, reliable, affordable light to some of the 1.2 billion people worldwide living without electricity.
The Natural Light solar lamps should also help preserve fresh air by reducing the widespread use of toxic carbon-emitting kerosene lanterns, and instead, harnessing the sustainable energy of the sun.
Through working with solar power, the design students got a greater understanding of the power and potential of this technique. An understanding, which hopefully will spur and drive innovation in the field for years to come.
Distribution of solar lamps enabled by Plan International
The Natural Light project partnered up with the NGO, Plan International, to facilitate the distribution of the solar lamps and training of young entrepreneurs selling the lamps. In this way, the Natural Light project will create employment opportunities, grow communities and thereby improve livelihood in off-grid African regions.
Using an entrepreneurial distribution model, the Natural Light project donated an initial supply of 14,500 solar lamps, which will be sold by the young entrepreneurs at locally affordable prices in off-grid communities without electricity in Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Zambia.