Our Impact In Detail

Want to know more about how a solar light can transform lives in Africa? Then look no further. Here’s what customers tell us about the changes they’ve experienced since investing in a solar light.

The economic impact

With a solar light, families tell us they save money from reduced spending on lighting alternatives like kerosene, candles, and battery torches. An average solar light user will recoup the cost of their solar light in 10 weeks. After this, a family saves $70 a year – around 10% of their income. 40% of families then spend nothing on lighting at all which means they’re able to spend their precious money on other things.

Nine in ten SunnyMoney customers live below the poverty line of $1.25 per day. The proportion of income they spend on lighting is significant and so having access to a solar light is life-changing. Solar light users tell us they spend their savings on food, school costs, and investment in livelihoods – starting a virtuous cycle of development and progress.

mother and children - Zambia, Patrick Bentley

The impact on education

Families tell us that solar lights are predominantly used by children to do their homework after dark. With access to this bright, safe, clean and free light, children are doing an extra hour of homework each day.

Headteachers at the schools SunnyMoney works with reportimprovements in performance, attendance, concentration and motivation of their pupils as a result.

When children do well at school, they are likely to stay there longer and gain a higher level of education benefiting themselves, their families and their communities.

“Initially my children had poor performance but now it has increased as one of my children has been selected for secondary school.”

Biswick Mwaipinga in Malawi.

The impact on health

Each solar light bought by a household in rural Africa results in the elimination of the regular use of one kerosene lamp and this means there is less indoor air pollution. Happily, over half of families notice an improvement in health as a result; including a reduction in coughing, chest problems, eye irritation and illness.

Improved health links back to income, education and well-being, enabling people to be more productive, miss fewer hours of work or school, and be happier!


“My family members are not coughing anymore because they are not inhaling the toxic flames produced by the kerosene lights.”

— Mr Kibeneu in Kenya

The impact on well-being and safety

If your home felt safer and brighter, your children were studying more after school, and you had more income, you would probably feel a little happier about today and the future. Well, that’s one of the things that our solar light customers tell us – thanks to the reliable solar lights they have a better quality of life.

Families talk about having more opportunity to spend time together, to eat together and to spend time chatting – time they didn’t have before when light ran out, either due to limited income to buy fuel or its scarcity.

“[With the solar light] we gather at night to listen to folktales from grandfather.”
Filisa Likatu in Malawi

This information has been collected by our research teams working across Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya, Zambia and Senegal. They have conducted over 16,000 research interactions since we set up our research department in October 2012, and continue to talk to solar light users on a daily basis to learn about the impact of our work.