Rob Katz

D.Light’s $10 Kerosene Killer

On Tuesday, D.Light Design released its newest product, the Kiran. Dubbed by its staff the “$10 Kerosene Killer” the Kiran is the world’s most affordable quality solar lamp. According to the company’s web site, “It is a safer and brighter alternative to the kerosene lantern, and is designed to provide 360-degree lighting for the home or workplace.”

Quite frankly, this little lamp is a big deal. There are more than 1 million deaths every year attributed to kerosene lamps; 62% of the people who die are under the age of fourteen, according to the World Health Organization. If that weren’t enough, kerosene lamps are responsible for at least 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Every D.Light sold – every non-kerosene lamp sold, for that matter – eliminates one or more kerosene lamp, fighting the scourge of kerosene.

The Kiran is not just a kerosene killer; it is also a livelihood-enhancer. According to the UNDP, the ability to engage in nighttime activities increases the average poor family’s income by up to 30 percent.

Of course, solar-powered LED lamps have not been the most affordable products in the past. D.Light’s other products sell for between $15 and $30 dollars, depending on features (a little more or a little less, depending on exchange rates). Cosmos Ignite’s MightyLight costs around $20; ToughStuff costs around $15.

A cost reduction to $10 is a big deal. Lower-income customers can buy the light, with financing (and more often, without).

The Kiran is not just lower-cost – it is designed to be extremely user-friendly and flexible. It has no detachable parts, including an integrated solar panel that makes recharging simple and easy. The product shape, portability, and handle with 9 different settings give the customer many options for use. The Kiran can be carried, hung from the wall or ceiling, or placed on any surface to effectively illuminate the surrounding area.

The health, environmental and economic impacts of improved lighting are known. With that in mind, D.Light has just raised the game again. They have put the kerosene lamp on notice – sometime soon, these solar power LEDs, along with grid extensions, micro grids and other electrification schemes – are going to put dirty, inefficient kerosene out of business. Watch out, kerosene – a killer’s on the loose.