LEDSafari is a Switzerland-based NGO that helps train people to create low-cost, Do-It-Yourself solar lanterns. By partnering with local organizations in developing countries, LEDSafari enables trainees to become entrepreneurs that manufacture and sell solar lanterns within their communities.
Using a baseline set of electrical components that are sourced from China, LED solar lanterns can be created by using locally-sourced materials, including recycled materials such as plastic bottles. Incorporating locally-available materials allows for lanterns to also be repaired locally. While the cost of baseline electrical components varies by country due to tariffs and taxes, the average cost is around USD $5-$6 per lantern.
LEDSafari provides standard design plans so that local organizations can build a variety of solar-lighting styles (e.g. lantern, torch/flashlight, study lamp, etc). Builders are encouraged to design solar lanterns that match the needs of users by incorporating principles of human centered design.
LEDSafari and its products were developed as part of a master's thesis in 2012. The model is currently only implemented by partners in India, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, but expansion is anticipated as LEDSafari plans to transform from a nonprofit organization into a social enterprise.
Publicly available: no
Countries where available: Rwanda, Uganda, India, Kenya
Offered or can be licensed for local manufacture: Yes
Countries where spare parts can be purchased: Worldwide
If you are aware of any updates to the LEDsafari project please complete the form or send an email to [email protected]