Innovations

UN Sustainable Development Goal

7
Affordable and Clean Energy

Business

United States

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  • Whitney Kear
    Whitney Kear I appreciate this story for all the new innovations that will be invented because this business makes it possible for millions more people to work and study at night.
    March 29, 2016
  • George Dionne
    George Dionne This is a fascinating story - a great example of innovation and creating a business that contributes to the prosperity of villages without access to electricity.
    March 29, 2016

Light for Everyone

Date published: 6 Dec 2015
Africa     1 like   2

Overview

d.Light Company was developed as a commercial enterprise aimed at producing affordable and safe alternative sources of energy. The company was founded in 2006 by Sam Goldman as the founder and Ned Tozun as the co‐founder. D.Light was founded Stanford and today operates under its numerous offices located in United States, Africa, India, and China. The innovation behind the project relates to the production of solar energy harnessing devices that can be used to provide light at night for households and small businesses.

innovation photo

Innovation

The driving force for the company is their mission that seeks to empower people across all walks of life through quality and affordable off‐grid light and power. D.Light is a global social enterprise that was developed with the aim of improving the lives of people from disadvantaged regions across the world. The innovation in D.Light Company deals with the production of affordable solar lighting and equipment that are provided to areas without access to reliable energy. It provides solar energy equipment for households and small businesses thereby transforming the lives of the locals.

Using the latest low cost LED, solar panel and battery technology the D.light A1 model can be purchased under ten dollars U. S. It provides 4 hours of light, is twice as bright as kerosene, and is warranted for two years of operation. d.light also has larger solar home system solutions that are financed over time for as low as a $20 deposit and $0.40 a day for a year.

Overall impact

D.Light has positively impacted the world through its affordable solar energy equipment enabling people from developing countries to access light at night. The innovation has improved the lives of locals through lighting up homes therefore aiding learners to undertake their studies after dark. The innovation has also revolutionized commerce, as people are able to carry on with their business activities at night. For example, using inexpensive solar lighting allows midwifes to deliver babies more safely at night, small businesses to sell their goods after dark, and farmers to increase the productivity of their hens.

D.Lights have impacted 65 million lives, helped 17 million school aged children study, saved 5.2 billion dollars U. S. in energy related expenses, offset 23 million tons of CO2, and generated 34 billion evening hours of productivity.

[Note: Metrics are updated  on a regular basis here - http://www.dlight.com/social-impact/]

Inspiration

The idea of affordable and quality solar lighting was driven by the need to help disadvantaged people access light that could eventually improve their lives. Sam Goldman, the founder, was inspired and challenged by his experience when he saw a young boy suffer from burns from a kerosene accident. Sam was challenged to seek a solution to the global problem of providing light where there was little or no access to electricity. He felt that the issue could be tackled through innovation and this motivated him to join an entrepreneurship class where he would gather ideas to launch this innovation.

Business benefit

D. Light has sold more than 16 million power and light products through ten field offices located in the Africa, China, South Asia and the United States.

D.Light has impacted the economies of these areas positively. The company also provides mobile charging equipment thus facilitating communication and coordination of businesses (Esper, London & Kanchwala, 2013). The LED lanterns light up markets in underdeveloped regions allowing business to stay open after dark.

Social and environmental benefit

The company has been able to impact lives positively as it enables people from disadvantaged places to access affordable and safe lighting. For example, millions of children from Africa can access solar energy that assists them in their studies at night. Also, it helps light up households’ thus enabling mothers to undertake their evening chores such as cooking and cleaning. D.Light has also allowed people to make progress in life as they can tackle various tasks both during the day and at night. Health has also been improved as health centers can run during the night with the solar lighting from the company.

The well-being of the society has been improved due to safe and affordable solar lighting. D.Light takes pride in being one of the environmental friendly enterprises providing safe energy alternatives to millions on people globally. The solar energy equipment sold by the company is environmentally friendly, as they do not cause pollution. The company can help people access energy that is safe for their health and the environment.  

Interview(s)

Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun, Founder and Co-founder

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2 comments
  • George Dionne likes this
  • Whitney Kear
    Whitney Kear I appreciate this story for all the new innovations that will be invented because this business makes it possible for millions more people to work and study at night.
    March 29, 2016
  • George Dionne
    George Dionne This is a fascinating story - a great example of innovation and creating a business that contributes to the prosperity of villages without access to electricity.
    March 29, 2016