Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Need for Reliable and Durable Solar Lanterns in Third World Countries


Solar lanterns are gaining wide popularity especially in the third world countries. Un-energized rural areas are finding solar light a very efficient substitute to kerosene lamps. Solar energy provides adequate home lighting for children to study well and parents to pursue some money making ventures after sundown.

The durability and reliability of solar lanterns come into focus now because rural people are convinced of its benefits and advantages and are seriously thinking of acquiring one.

Brief description, uses and how solar lantern works

Solar lanterns are the portable source of light powered by energy of the sun. These are environmental friendly lamps producing light at no cost and specially designed for household use in remote rural areas and far villages not reached by grid electricity.

People use solar lanterns when travelling at night similar to battery operated flashlight. They are also used to provide street lighting in rural areas.

Solar lanterns work by converting sunlight to energy. It uses a solar panel that collects the solar energy during daytime to charge up a cell battery. The stored energy powers the lantern at night. A whole day of battery charging can sustain 4 to 5 hours of light at night.

Batteries are designed to withstand many charges and discharge cycles. In the conventional lanterns the battery is charged by the domestic electricity point, but in solar lanterns the battery is charged by solar energy

Stored power can be recharged every day. Solar lantern does not require any wiring and are weather proof which makes them a highly versatile, reliable and dynamic source of light in all the conditions.

Desirable product features of solar lanterns

1. It must be durable and reliable and can withstand years of use. Kenya, one of the proponents, had produced solar lanterns since 2004 and had gained wide acceptance.
2. The lamp should be versatile. It can be placed on the floor, hang from a peg on a wall, and be carried like a flashlight or worn around the neck.
3. It can withstand drops to the floor.
4. It is designed simply so that it is easily taken apart to be fixed if something goes wrong.
5. It must have LED (light emitting diode) as the source of light. LED lamps consume very small amount of power. This increases the duration of time the lamp burns from the power stored in the battery throughout the day. The LED lamps also have long life extending well beyond 50,000 hours. LEDs are durable and reliable of surviving extremes of temperature, weather, vibration and Ultra Violet (UV).

Other features to consider

1. It must be priced right. To the rural folks, the right price is one that is affordable to them. It must be within their reach.
2. It must have a built-in micro financing component to help rural people acquire the lantern.
3. The lantern manufacturer must have a well organized and reliable after sales service.
4. Solar lanterns must be available when people want to buy a unit including the spare parts that may be needed for repairs.

We invite you to visit our Informative Solar Article page for more practical tips, simplified application guide and established solar benefits.

Author’s Box
Jacinto Demonteverde, Jr., the owner, is a strong advocate of solar power adoption. He writes practical articles to keep established and prospective solar users well informed. Visit him at: You are welcome to republish or reprint this article free of charge provided the content remains unchanged including the Author’s Box. No permission is needed


  1. Very informative have rightly mentioned the benefits of suing solar lamps. there should be more awareness about solar lighting systems, especially in the rural areas whether there is no electricity. I am using a solar lantern which i bought from NIMH Technolinks( and i find it to be highly convenient since i am an avid camper. Apart from providing radiant light, it also comes handy when charging my cell phone.
    I strongly feel that the government should take certain initiatives to create more awareness about solar lamps and lanterns.

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