Launchpad

A Solar Lantern for All

This affordable solar light is adding hours of daylight to millions of lives every day

Launched in July 2015, the d.light A1 is bringing solar light to hundreds of millions of people living without access to electricity. The d.light A1 is the first quality solar lantern of its kind, and it costs just $5 USD.

In 2014, d.light partnered with IDEO.org to support the design of the d.light A1. For years, d.light had dreamed of a high quality solar light that would be flexible, durable, and most importantly, affordable to all. With the addition of the A1 to their product line, d.light’s reach will extend from 50 to 100 million. The A1 features an adjustable handle and stand for complete portability, and a clean contemporary design with integrated solar panel. 

It’s also revolutionizing the power source. Many solar lights at the A1’s price point still feature NiCad batteries. And though they’re inexpensive, they’re heavy and contain poisonous substances like cadmium or mercury. The lithium ion battery powering the A1 is lighter, lasts longer, charges faster, and, most importantly, is non-toxic.

Since its launch in 2015, the d.light A1 has empowered over 3.3 million lives.

A critical piece of the design research phase was to understand how people would actually use a small solar lantern in their homes.

Thanks to the A1, tens of millions of families will gain extra hours of light to work, study, and play, while simultaneously reducing the harmful health effects and slow-burn cost of kerosene lamps. Not only does the dim light of kerosene come at a persistent financial cost—as much as 25 cents per day for families who live on $1.25—but it also causes serious respiratory problems and is a significant fire risk due to gas lamp exposure. For many consumers, solar lanterns are the obvious answer. But until the A1, most were simply out of reach. 

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