The SociaLite lighting system currently consists of a centralized charging station comprising a 68W, flexible amorphous silicon Unisolar PV panel; a locally sourced lead-acid car battery with a capacity of at least 66Ah; a charge controller; an electrical distribution board with fourteen outlets for the connection of up to fourteen portable lanterns per day.

Each lantern comprises a locally sourced 6V lead-acid battery with a nominal capacity of 4.5 Ah; a 100 lumen white LED; circuitry designed to drive the LED and charge the battery with optimum efficiency – all within a housing fabricated from locally sourced materials. With a fully charged battery, the lantern will run for approximately 40 hours at full power and well in excess of 200 hours on the low power setting. In Northern Ghana, the charging station described will support approximately 80 lanterns – each lantern being charged once per week for approximately four hours.

The cost of the components for the eighty-lantern system described is approximately 2400USD – or 30USD/lantern. A lot of thought has gone into component lifetime – we currently estimate that the lead-acid batteries in the lantern and charging station should last at least four years. The lifetime of all other components in the lantern and charging station is, for all intents and purposes, infinite.


Lighting System in a Suitcase

Designed for local assembly, installation, operation and maintenance

Designed for the middle of nowhere, beyond the end of the dirt road

Self-Assembled Solar Lighting Systems

Everything required for a SociaLite lighting system will fit into a suitcase with the exception of lantern housings and batteries.

Complete lantern kit: circuit board, LED, 6V battery, 3 bicycle spokes, empty tub of hair relaxer and empty container of cooking oil.