We are very happy to announce that our little solar light, the SM100, has now been fully tested by Lighting Global and is now certified as meeting their quality standards.

Lighting Global is the World Bank Group’s platform to support sustainable growth of the international off-grid solar market as a means of rapidly increasing energy access to the 1.2 billion people without grid electricity. Part of their work includes running the Lighting Global Quality Assurance Program. Lighting Global uses rigorous product testing procedures to determine if a product meets the Quality Standards, so the SM100 was tested for Lumen Maintenance, Battery Composition, Battery Protection, Battery Durability, Physical Ingress Protection, Water Ingress Protection, Drop Test, Soldering and Electronics Workmanship, Mechanical Durability, Warranty Terms and Performance Reporting and passed in every category.

Since its launch we have been distributing the SM100 in a controlled manner while it was going through its pilot phase so we could collect feedback to make any necessary changes to the product. In Feb 2017, thanks to much customer feedback, we began the Lighting Global application process and we are now very pleased to confirm that the SM100 meets the Lighting Global Quality Standards.

Retailing at $5 in rural Africa (prices vary dues to the crazy import duties some African countries place on solar products) the SM100 is the world’s most affordable solar lights and is designed to help people at the very base of the energy ladder switch to solar in place of kerosene and other non-renewable energy sources.

Having established our model of ‘trade not aid’ over the course of 10 years working in Africa – through which we sell solar lights to people in Africa on a non-profit basis, so they can resell them on a for-profit basis – we know what a huge difference these little lights can make to people’s lives and how instrumental they are in helping establish solar markets, so meeting the Lighting Global Quality Standards in great news for the SM100, SolarAid and our African retail arm SunnyMoney.

Our focus now shifts to distributing more SM100s to rural locations in our three target countries; Malawi, Uganda and Zambia and our primary issue is now being able to afford to buy and transport enough stock to meet demand. If you can help with a regular donation to help get more SM100 solar lights to Africa it will make a huge impact and we’d really value your support.

Many thanks to Yingli Green Energy Europe GmbH for making this possible.