Philips targets education in Africa to market with LED-based lights

Royal Philips Electronics announces that it will launch a new solar-powered reading light in autumn 2009. The company says the LED light enables people to both read and write after dark. It’s disclosed that Philips’s “My Reading Light” was developed specifically for the education sector in Africa and will allow school children to continue with their homework after sunset.

    Philips' reading light

For the estimated 500 million Africans who live without electricity, nightfall means either darkness or the flickering light of a candle or kerosene lamp. Since kerosene lanterns pose health and safety risks, are expensive, and have a low light output, LED-based lamps may be a solution. Rudy Provoost, executive VP and CEO of Philips Lighting, pointed out that offering LED lights leads to a triple-win: the lives of people in Africa will be generally improved, LEDs result in a very low carbon footprint, and companies offering the right solutions stand to gain.

The reading light is extremely lightweight and can be hand-held or placed over the page of a book, allowing the user to read or write. There is a choice of high/middle/low dimming settings. It has a built-in rechargeable battery providing between 3.5 and 9 hours of light depending on the light level selected.

The reading light will be available in two versions: a standard light and a slimmed down, low-cost version with a target consumer price of < $15.
This new development is part of Philips commitment both to developing sustainable lighting solutions for Africa and to its partnership with the Dutch government on the Sustainable Energy Solutions for Africa (SESA) project, which aims to provide 10 million people with affordable, appropriate and sustainable energy services across ten sub-Saharan African countries by 2015. SESA links with the existing UN Millennium Development Goals project.

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