Growing up in the rural setting, the main mode of lighting was the kerosene tin lamps or rather ‘koroboi’. Those who’ve had the luxury of using these tin lamps can attest to how uncomfortable it was when the smoke got into your eyes and nose but you still had to struggle amidst that to finish your homework. The rural electrification program by the national government has seen more homes connected though it’s still an expensive affair for some rural dwellers. Currently, there are about 2.3 billion people in the developing world living without reliable electricity and no individual or one company can address the challenge alone.
Equal access to the power grid by every Kenyan is enshrined in the vision 2030. Universal access to electricity and the transition from expensive, polluting diesel generators to cleaner, solar powered grids is mandatory for every citizen. Africans who live too far from the power grid or cannot afford a power connection now have a cheaper option to access a fully powered home entertainment system. d.light, a global solar kit maker has launched a flagship solar home system that will enable users to not only light their homes and charge their phones, but also watch digital TV channels from the comfort of their homes.
The solar X850, which was launched globally today at d.light Africa headquarters in Nairobi, is the company’s first foray into a platform-based solar home system for its customers.
This means that customers can buy the basic home solar kit and then upgrade it without needing to buy an entirely new system.
“Our customers will now dare to dream as the new product has the capacity to power more than just the basic home appliances like bulbs and mobile phones,” said Sam Goldman, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of d.light.
d.light is also planning a major upgrade across its entire solar lantern products in the next few weeks, in line with its mission of moving its customers up the energy access ladder.
Mr Goldman said that mainstream affordable solar energy solutions have often received a bad rap for being unable to power more than the most necessary appliances in a typical home.
Notable in the package is a d.light 19” LED High Definition digital TV which recently won the Global LEAP award for “the world’s most efficient TV in its class.”
“The X850 is not only innovative, but we have ensured that it is easy on the pocket, and comes with a world of accessories that may be obtained at the same price as what you’re paying for kerosene today,” he said.
The company has all but perfected the PayGo model whereby customers pay for the solar lighting products in installments using various mobile payment options.
To date, the company holds a strong track record of innovation and catalyzing new markets in off-grid solar with products that give more value for less cost to the consumer compared to its closest competitors.
A standard X850 bundle comes with 5 lights, radio, torch, battery and a panel. It is upgradable to 8 lights and TV, and in the future other 12V appliances that can be powered by its three 12V ports.
The d.light X-series is bundled with patented bulbs and is the first company to offer a tube light with “fully customizable” brightness.
d.light, the global market leader in distributed solar power in the developing world, is leading the way into a future in where millions of people can readily enter and rise up the energy access ladder with clean, affordable solar energy solutions.
At 75 million lives already impacted, d.light is well on track to surpassing its goal of empowering 100 million people by 2020.