LED products: For African villages without electricity

Chicago (IL) – In a project currently being introduced in Ghana, Phillips has entered into a partnership with KITE, a non-profit organization from Ghana, in an attempt to bring artificial light to villages lacking in electricity.

Phillips has developed three products, a reading light, a wind up flashlight, and a solar-powered lantern to be used by villagers. These products are able to produce light because they utilize LEDs. This means that a lantern left charging during the day will provide light for seven hours at night. The bulb in the flashlight will never burn out. Additionally, and the low power consumption by the reading light will reduce a need to change batteries frequently.

These products are cheap by conventional standards, though the lantern costs $50 — the equivalent of two months’ salary for many individuals. Tax relief from the government could aid in reducing the price of the devices by up to forty percent.

As reported by The New York Times, Harriette Amissah-Arthur, director of KITE, has stated that only 19 percent of rural areas have electricity. The remaining individuals utilize kerosene lamps for the lighting of their huts. These lamps do not provide much light, and low light makes it nearly impossible for citizens to see snakes and scorpions that could enter into their homes at night. These lamps also pose environmental and fire hazards.

Working past sunset in Africa is nearly impossible, and children are forced to work during the day, meaning studying and learning is also nearly impossible.

KITE is not alone in their quest to deliver light to Africa. Lighting Africa, an initiative by the World Bank, is also working hard to provide Africa with low cost lighting.