Bloomberg invests $5M in solar-powered lamp

Apr 22, 2014

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation has announced a $5 million investment in an artsy-looking solar-powered lamp designed for use in off-grid populations in Africa.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

It says the lamp, called Little Sun, will provide clear, affordable energy to places dependent on costly and toxic kerosene lighting in sub-Saharan Africa.

The foundation will provide a low-interest rate loan to help the business grow.

The portable is created by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen. It lasts two to three years before needing a new battery.

The Little Sun project was launched in 2012 at the Tate Modern museum in London.

Consumers in the U.S. and Europe also can buy Little Sun at some museums and stores.

Explore further: A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

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Lex Talonis
not rated yet Apr 23, 2014
Good - I'd like to see the lamps made to have a minimum service life of 10 years of nightly usage, before the switch or the batteries wore out....

That would be FAR better....
1 / 5 (1) Apr 23, 2014
This is the real deal. Maybe it will upset some capitalistic leeches because its not intended for profit and as the article mentions has acquired philanthropic finance. It's not a bunch of greedy swiss students seeking fame and holiday money.

Eikka, tell us if these tech specs satisfy you.


It's less than five bucks. It's not masquerading as educational. It's a good attempt to address the prime problem of the environmental and health concerns associated with burning kerosene in a closed environment.

Do you see the light now?
1 / 5 (1) Apr 23, 2014
Lex, the warranty is one year, so it's a bit sad. As I mentioned in another thread there are similar products with at least a three year warranty.

Nevertheless this type of complete professional product allows more disposable income for the underprivileged when compared to buying kerosene. ( as per your calculations in another thread).

Consider though that big petrochemical would rather give kerosene for free to stymie alternative technologies. They want to keep people hooked, like big tobacco and drug cartels.

Without the big petrochemical companies approval, alternatives struggle to succeed.

Michael Bloomberg would be proud that his foundation enables the Little Sun project. Outstanding benevolence that deserves a nobel peace prize.

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