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Summary:

Designing sustainable products for the consumer that spends just $2 a day can be a dual challenge: The goods have to be cheap and eco-friendly. That’s the hurdle facing D.Light, a startup that is officially announcing its products this morning. The company, which is in the […]

Designing sustainable products for the consumer that spends just $2 a day can be a dual challenge: The goods have to be cheap and eco-friendly. That’s the hurdle facing D.Light, a startup that is officially announcing its products this morning. The company, which is in the process of moving its offices to Shenzhen, China, from Mountain View, Calif., is making three LED and solar-based lighting products that cost just $10 to $30 and are meant to replace kerosene lanterns.

Starting as early as July, D.Light will start selling its first solar-charging LED light called the Nova for around $12 to $25 (pictured to the left). One hour of solar charge can provide one hour of LED light on the medium setting. There are four settings: low, medium and high — and the ultra-low “nightlight.” The company will also soon sell the Comet (the second photo after the jump), which is a solar-powered desklight, priced $12 to $16. Then there’s the Vega (first photo after the jump), a fast-charging LED light meant for users that have a daily but sporadic connection to the power grid; the Vega costs around $15.

In many regions of India and Africa that are not connected to the power grid, kerosene lanterns provide much of the lighting. Problem is, kerosene lanterns can be unsafe and cause respiratory problems; they’re also generally pretty dim and are a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. D.Light President Ned Tozun tells us that, while no one would argue replacing kerosene lanterns is a bad idea, technologies such as LEDs and solar panels have just started to become cost-effective replacements. And D.Light is a trying to make a real dent in the kerosene lantern problem.

We’ve written about D.Light before; the startup is a local do-gooder founded by Tozun and his business partners down at Stanford. And the company has already gotten backing from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Garage Technology Ventures, Mahindra & Mahindra, Nexus India Capital, Acumen Fund, Gray Matters Capital and Michael Marks (the Chairman of Flextronics).

What’s up next for the company? Scale, scale and mass production. This is a business centered around driving down the costs of the product, and that means streamlining production and finding the lowest cost manufacturers around. Tozen won’t go into much detail about its parts suppliers — only that the company is working with Seoul Semiconductor for its LEDs and plans to produce in “the millions of units.”

Stateside, you’re probably asking: How can I buy one of these, and will they ever be at REI? Not anytime soon, says Tozun; the company is strongly focused on getting its goods to the developing world first. We asked if there was some kind of buying plan like the one proposed for other goods like the One Laptop for Child, where a customer in a developed world could pay many times the price and have one or more delivered to developing markets on the consumer’s behalf. Tozun says the company is considering all options and still formulating its market plan.

Images courtesy of D.Light.

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By Katie Fehrenbacher

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    [...] global team and the prospect of getting substantial volumes of affordable lights into the market. This article shows the company’s product range as they gear up for sales, and we encourage you to read this [...]

  2. Also see Bogo Light, buy one/give one solar powered flashlight: http://www.bogolight.com/ I’m not associated with the company, just a fan.

    1. hımms thanks

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    [...] web is buzzing about D.Light, a venture-capitalist-sweetheart-startup founded by two Stanford MBA graduates. [...]

  4. manoj singh Friday, June 27, 2008

    India is improving and still lot of work need to be done..

    We have a great forum dedicated to discussions about India. Discuss, review and comment on latest news & stories from india.

    Please visit our forums for more information. http://www.indiavoice.info/forum

  5. tomaž jelenko Tuesday, July 22, 2008

    Please send me catalogue with prices.

    1. The items from the catalog will be shipped to Liberia for church and community activities, and probably extend to diocesan cost reduction.

      VERY INTERESTED. Especially, for perimeter lighting and cell phone charging in the hinterland.

      Please, send catalogue and prices to:P.O.B. 672
      Glenside,Pa.19038.

      Keep up the GOOD WORK!

  6. I am a manufacuter of LED LIGHTS in HK.(ELECOSN INC.)

    I have ideas about LED light:

    LED light will be the future of lighting , turely
    It is with advantages:
    1. Low power consumption, saving up 80% evergy than traditional halogen bulbs
    2. Green, no pollution. It is solid state lighting
    3. Long use life. Up to 100,000 hours
    it is means that for years, there will be no any addtional maintenance cost

    For the heating problem, there are many solution so solve it. The powe of LED light is enough to light home, office, even street, it is no problem

    The only problem now is the cost. Its cost is still high. For example, our 4.5W LED Bulb (its lum equal to 24W halogen bulb), the cost will be about USD20 including freight charge form Hong Kong to the wolrd. How about this price? Can afford? I hope LED COST could be down soon, so the world will use LED lighting, that will make our earth more green and clean.

    I have a report about LED LIght Vs Halogen bulb at website, http://www.elecosn-led-display-screen.com/about/news_detail.asp?newsid=45

    if you are interested in it, please read it, and hope it useful to you

  7. I am a manufacuter of LED LIGHTS in HK.(ELECOSN INC.)

    I have ideas about LED light:

    LED light will be the future of lighting , turely
    It is with advantages:
    1. Low power consumption, saving up 80% evergy than traditional halogen bulbs
    2. Green, no pollution. It is solid state lighting
    3. Long use life. Up to 100,000 hours
    it is means that for years, there will be no any addtional maintenance cost

    For the heating problem, there are many solution so solve it. The powe of LED light is enough to light home, office,

    even street, it is no problem

    The only problem now is the cost. Its cost is still high. For example, our 4.5W LED Bulb (its lum equal to 24W

    halogen bulb), the cost will be about USD20 including freight charge form Hong Kong to the wolrd. How about this

    price? Can afford? I hope LED COST could be down soon, so the world will use LED lighting, that will make our earth

    more green and clean.

    I have a report about LED LIght Vs Halogen bulb at website,
    http://www.elecosn-led-display-screen.com/about/news_detail.asp?newsid=45

    if you are interested in it, please read it, and hope it useful to you

  8. Tne nova of D.light company is rubbish, made in Chia, using the poisoned and cheapest material from China rubbish illegal small factory.
    the similar productS made in China to the Nova MADE BY D.LIGHT in china, the price is about $3, and the quality is better than tne NOVA. So d.light company led products haven’t been in competition with China factories for simple cheap products depending on lower much labors. D.light company lives only by the narration of how poor people of India and Africa lives without light, and gets donation from American investors. Can it survive from donate long time?

  9. Tne nova of D.light company is rubbish, made in Chia, using the poisoned and cheapest material from China rubbish illegal small factory.
    the similar productS made in China to the Nova MADE BY D.LIGHT in china, the price is about $3, and the quality is better than tne NOVA. So d.light company led products haven’t been in competition with China factories for simple cheap products depending on lower much labors. D.light company lives only by the narration of how poor people of India and Africa lives without light, and gets donation from American investors. Can it survive from donate long time?

  10. Private Krankenversicherung Monday, September 22, 2008

    Realy excelent blog and comments. Thanks and best regards from Private Krankenversicherung

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