Banish darkness, light a lamp in Nepal

Mar 10, 2011

As darkness spreads, so do the SunLights

1 watt SunLight
1 watt SunLight

Nepal's people consume less that 1% of the energy per capita used in the United States. And nearly all of their electric power comes from 'renewable' hydroelectric sources.

But there the 'good news' ends. In the winter, today, the rivers have so little water that electricity is rationed--those lucky enough to be on the grid get only about 8 hours per day. Those beyond the grid cannot work, read, or study after dark unless they burn expensive kerosene, invest in some solar device, or rely on hearthlight--from the vanishing forests.

There's no Nepalese 'Consumer Reports'  comparing the value of various lighting products. Most products are simple, cheap, and lack critical components--especially what is called a 'charge controller'-- built-in electronics that protect the storage battery from damage.

The SunLight systems have a robust charge controller. And there's another advantage. Each system comes with wires, switches and lamps so that the homeowner can install permanent lighting in at least four locations. Light in each location can be controlled independently.

As the rivers shrink and the darkness expands, the SunLights are coming on!

Our partner VillageSolutions is now producing two versions--the most affordable is 1 watt, the other is 10 watt. The boxes holding the charge controller and battery are shown below.

10 watt SunLight
10 watt SunLight

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Project Leader

David Sowerwine

Managing Director
Menlo Park, California United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Banish darkness, light a lamp in Nepal