Solar Energy From the Palm of Your Hand

June 24, 2015 by


Here’s a small bit of action you can take toward using more sustainable and renewable energy: the Little Sun solar LED light harnesses the power of the sun right in the palm of your hand. Let there be sustainable light wherever you go.


Little Sun is an LED lamp powered by one of the world’s most efficient solar cells. One can wear the lamp with an attached lanyard, attach it to a base for tabletop use, mount it on a bicycle, or hang it on a wall or ceiling.



There’s a handful of energy packed into this little lamp. It offers two light levels: five hours of charging in the sun produces ten hours of soft light or four hours of bright light. It’s small but durable, and even with daily use has an approximate lifespan of two years.

Cause-Driven Solar Energy Project
Shedding light on renewable energy is only part of the story. Little Sun is also about harnessing the power of social consciousness and eco-investment: as the company’s mission statement expresses, “it’s a social business and global project addressing the need for light in a sustainable way that benefits communities without electricity, creates local jobs, and generates local profits.”


The company contributes a portion of every purchase toward bringing light to some of the developing world’s 1.6 billion people living off-grid. Bloomberg Philanthropies believes in the mission–in April 2014 they made a $5 million impact investment in Little Sun. (Read here how Little Sun is impacting off-grid communities.)




Empowering Rural Off-the-Grid Communities
In addition to reducing the environmental impact and costs associated with using kerosene lamps, Little Sun is thinking on the local level where environmental efforts have the most impact.


The company delivers business starter kits and micro-entrepreneurial training to local off-grid entrepreneurs. In doing so, the company builds up sustainable structures which deliver affordable solar lamps to people without electricity, while also generating local profits and creating local jobs.


Turning Art Into Solar Energy
But social consciousness and eco-consciousness are not all this little lamp boasts. Little Sun was recently introduced into Paris’s Centre Pompidou’s permanent design collection and nominated for the museum’s 2013 Design of the Year Award.

roppongi-little-sun-garden-at-nightLittle Sun Garden at night in Roppongi, Japan

In conjunction with the solar entrepreneur Frederik Ottesen, Little Sun was designed by Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson, who you’d sooner associate with sculpture, painting, photography, film, and public art installations than with industrial design. But it’s not so different as Eliasson says he “strives to make the concerns of art relevant to society at large.” Art, for him, says Eliasson  “is a crucial means for turning thinking into doing in the world.”

That’s a whole lot of positive impact from the palm of your hand.

$30.10 with free shipping at Amazon.

Photos from Little Sun.

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