SM100 $5 Solar Light

Lead DesignerBryn Morgan Henry James
DesignerLee Ashton Jeremy Ireland
PrizeSilver in Design For Society / Design for Sustainability

The SM100 is the world's most affordable, quality solar-powered light. It has been designed to provide safe, renewable lighting for families in developing regions. In particular, sub-Saharan Africa, where light is the key to better education opportunities and a route out of poverty. The SM100 is manufactured by Yingli Solar, a global leader in solar production. It benefits from over a decade of insight by UK charity SolarAid who have sold and distributed over one million solar lights in Africa. With a $5 retail price the SM100 is a major step forward in making affordable light available to everyone. It is helping to eradicate kerosene lamps, which are dim, expensive to run and cause respiratory diseases and house fires for families around the world. Popular solar lights currently retail in Africa for between $8 and $10, a price that is out of reach for families at the bottom of the economic pyramid. The SM100 offers affordability as well as functional advantages. The pocket-size light uniquely features strap holes - making it useful as a head torch or bike light - and flat sides to support use off the metal stand as a directional task light. The SM100 has a rectangular form, which effectively doubles the number of units per container when compared to competitor products. Designed for easy maintenance and upgrade by local operatives, the SM100 also features a tough, weather-resistant casing. It means the SM100 will provide reliable utility for a long time to many millions of people living in challenging conditions. The little solar light is already lighting up homes in a number of African countries and the longterm ambition is to spread its impact at a global scale. The SM100 challenges the idea that people living in poverty can not benefit from quality products and considerate design.