Updated Mar 05, 2020

SunBell multifunctional solar lantern and mobile charger

SunBell is a smart solar lamp with mobile charging capabilities. More than 2.4 million SunBells have been distributed worldwide since 2014.

https://bright-products.com/story/unhcr-core-relief/

Ida Solem

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Stage 6: Sustained Scale

After being a core relief item since 2014, SunBell has been distributed in more than 2.4 million units worldwide. Going forward we are scaling up the distribution in East Africa for consumers and people without access to clean energy.

Focus Areas:

Environment, Solar, Public-Private Partnerships and 1 MoreSEE ALL

Environment, Solar, Public-Private Partnerships and LightingSEE LESS

10,000,000
Lives Impacted to Date
3
Key Partners
12
Employees

Problem

There are nearly 1 billion people in the world that live without access to electricity. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), half of those without electricity today will never be on the grid. Absence of basic energy access is a nearly unsurmountable barrier to progress for the very poorest people on Earth. High expenditures on kerosene for lighting prevents economic activity, while reducing life expectancy and quality through toxic fumes and hazardous fires. The absence of light means fewer hours available to do homework, run a business or socialize. Furthermore, the inability to communicate with others by use of mobile phones or radio means higher degrees of isolation and inefficiency. Fortunately, the sun provides an infinite source of energy, while advancements in technology have made photovoltaics a cost-efficient way to provide electricity in remote areas.

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Solution

BRIGHT’s solar products, in particular the SunBell, are tools to cover basic human needs and have the potential to improve or even rebuild lives. In 2014, the SunBell was selected as the first solar core relief item for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Since then, over 2.4 million SunBell have been distributed by UNHCR to refugees and displaced people across 40 countries. They provide protection, empowerment, equality and dignity for people forced to flee their homes and in need of international aid assistance. A key factor in the classification of SunBell as a core relief item by UNHCR was its ability to create safe environments for women and children. Solar lanterns are known to reduce gender-based violence (GBV) in refugee camps. Furthermore, energy access empowers women to engage in economic activity without having to leave their home and children behind.

Target Beneficiaries

Through BRIGHT's Long-Term Agreement with the UNHCR, we aim to empower the over 70 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. According to the UNHCR, children below 18 years of age constituted about half of the refugee population in 2018. Meanwhile, BRIGHT has built a commercial presence in sub-Saharan Africa in order to reach the nearly 600 million people without access to the energy grid. Our business model is built on local partnerships offering a growing range of solar products, made available to those in abject poverty through innovative microfinancing solutions.

Innovation Description

The SunBell is a solar lantern that offers a multitude of functions in one product, making it the most high-performing and multi-functional product in its class. With simple adjustments, it can be used as a reading lamp, a ceiling lamp, a portable light, a hands-free light and as a mobile charger. Since 2014, Bright Products, in partnership with W. Giertsen Energy Solutions, has been delivering the SunBell to the UNHCR who, in turn, has distributed the lanterns to refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) across the globe. Bright has accumulated capital by catering to the humanitarian market, providing millions of refugees and IDPs with access to light and mobile charging. Meanwhile, this has enabled us to develop a wider product range and to build strong partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa, where a commercial presence will allow BRIGHT to provide millions more with energy access.

Milestone

Jul 2018
Lives Impacted
10,000,000
Mar 2017
New Product Or Service
Lighting Global quality verified
Jun 2015
Key Partnership
Implementation
ORGANIZATIONUNDP
Dec 2014
Key Partnership
Implementation
Oct 2014
Created