Off-Grid Lighting & Electricity Products

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We analyzed the different products used to provide lighting and electricity to off-grid communities, comparing them by type and within categories.  The 4 major types of off-grid power product are Self-Sufficient Portables (small lanterns which operate on their own), Rechargeables (Lanterns or batteries which users need to keep paying to top up), Solar Home Systems (larger fixed home panels), and Community-based Power Products.

This chart compares the individual and household level off-grid lighting and power products covered in this section based on their 5-year cost of ownership, including maintenance, and the amount of lumen-hours produced in that time period, based on a usage of 4 hours per day.  There is some danger in making value judgments from the comparison, as many of the systems have different wattages, and some include non-lighting functions for the power they generate (mobile charging etc.), but there is a general trend, with solar home systems trending towards the higher power, higher cost range, and kerosene being much more expensive per lumen than any of the renewable products.