Sunlite Solar started in Kenya in 2008 as a hobby business for founder Derek Steel. He began by importing solar torches from China to provide an environmental alternative to lead acid battery torches used extensively in rural Africa. When he learnt about children in Western Kenya using these solar torches to study by, Derek started designing a cost effective solar solution that would light an entire room for a rural family.

The key objectives in designing the Sunlite were -

  1. Affordable
  2. Self installed
  3. Maintenance free
  4. Easily Light a room of 3 x 3 meters
  5. Last for at least 4 hours every night
  6. Must be able to charge a mobile phone
  7. Be a ceiling light rather than a table lantern
  8. The light must not dim as battery power drops

“What started as a desire to make a difference, is now changing lives across Africa for many rural families.”

Working with his factory in China, Derek designed the Sunlite Solar Light to meet these criteria.

The Light is now changing lives where ever it is used. Children can now study at night; parents can save money every month on kerosene, batteries and candles.

In August 2011, the Sunlite passed the Quality Standards and Performance Targets of Lighting Africa - a joint program of The World Bank and The IFC.