A ray of sun illuminates the globe

Around 1.6bn people worldwide live without access to electricity, with many relying on kerosene lanterns for lighting. This motivated artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen to develop Little Sun – an adaptable solar-powered lamp – that can be used hand-held or as a table or pendant lamp inside and outdoors.
“The lantern can save a family living off-grid 90% of what it usually spends on kerosene for lighting, while providing 10 times more and better light as well as improved air quality because it produces no pollutants,” says Eliasson. “Little Sun’s energy-efficient design guarantees high-quality light for at least three years. Charging the lamp in the sun during the day yields a full evening of light. Four hours of natural light is converted into five hours of Little Sun light for cooking, eating, reading, writing, and extended commerce hours.”
Eliasson adds that Little Sun provides superior, more consistent lighting for businesses than kerosene lanterns,
allowing work to be conducted after dark and stores to remain open during evenings. “According to the International Finance Corporation, there is an established positive correlation between the quality of the lighting in commercial enterprises and retail sales.”
He describes Little Sun GmbH as a for-profit company that supplies a versatile, competitively-priced alternative
to kerosene lighting, with a potential consumer market of 600m customers in Africa and 1.6bn people worldwide.
“Art responds to the times in which it is produced, and to the values and world views cultivated by society; Little Sun responds to the situation we face today, where natural resources no longer abound. Energy shortages and unequal energy distribution makes it necessary to reconsider how our life-sustaining
systems function. I see Little Sun asthe wedge that opens up this urgent discussion from the perspective of art,
as it emphasizes design while offering a functional and beautiful product,” explains Eliasson.
“Little Sun brings the different strands of my work together in a new, meaningful context. One part of the artwork is the lamp itself and the activities enabled by its light; the other is the successful integration of Little Sun into off-grid communities – its journey from production to usage.
The distribution of Little Sun relies on local entrepreneurs, thereby creating sustainable trade routes and a robust local micro-economic infrastructure.”
Little Sun: www.littlesun.com; www.olafureliasson.net; www.facebook.com/ilovelittlesun

“Little Sun is a low-carbon alternative to fuel-based lanterns for off-grid lighting. Kerosene lamps burn
470m barrels of oil per year worldwide, releasing 190m tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually, the equivalent of 30m cars.” – Olafur Eliasson, lead artist of Little Sun