The d.Light S2 was a solar-powered, personal-use LED lantern; it has now been discontinued and succeeded by the d.Light S3.
The d.light S2 was a personal-use LED lantern with an integrated solar panel. It had a metal stand for carrying, hanging or supporting the lantern that allowed it to be directed at any angle from an elevated position. The d.Light S2 was designed by d.Light Design.
In 2019, this product was discontinued, and has been succeeded by the d.Light S3.
From an original primary market of India, this product has been marketed globally. d.Light have offices and operations in China, United States, and East Africa and partner retailers in over 65 countries.
The product was sold by online retailers and locally through d.Light’s 25,000 retail outlets across 70 countries worldwide.
7.21 USD (549 INR)Converted on June 16 2020
This product has now been replaced by d.Light’s own S3 lantern, and other somewhat comparable A2, S30 and S200. Many other solar lanterns exist from various manufacturers including: the Sun King Eco, the Tough Stuff desk lamp kit, the Enviro SL36 and the Nokero N233. A broad selection of solar lanterns can be found in Engineering for Change’s solutions library.
Other competition comes from kerosene lanterns and candles, which this solar lantern and others are intended to replace.
Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy
People living on less than $5 a day in emerging markets (especially rural India, Africa and China), who use candles or kerosene oil lamps for home lighting.
The d.Light S2 was mass-produced in China.
IP Protected (Patent Unknown)
Users can purchase the product from one of d.Light’s 25,000 retail outlets across 70 countries or online. Local distribution was previously done through social enterprises such as M-Kopa in Kenya, who now market their own solar products.
Between all of their solar lighting and power products, d.Light has sold over 20 million units worldwide.
Type of light bulb
Number of light points
A measurement of the brightness level of the lantern
Can the brightness level be adjusted?
Duration of lighting after a full charge
Can the user easily replace the light bulb if needed?
Type of energy used to power the lantern
Type of battery used
Peak power rating of the solar panel in standardized sunlight conditions, provided by the manufacturer
Manufacturer-specified battery capacity
Manufacturer-specified battery voltage
Can the user easily replace the battery if needed?
Can the user easily replace the light bulb if needed?
The S2 has an ultra bright LED (60,000-hour life) an integrated solar panel and battery and a metal stand. In cloudy conditions, it can be charged using a standard Nokia AC charger (not included). It only has one brightness setting, but also features a dual solar / AC battery charge level indicator and a glow-in-the-dark on/off button. It is dust and impact resistant and lightweight (120 g). The package dimensions upon purchase are (WxDxH): 4.0 x 7.0 x 5.8 in
Products within the 2 year warranty period (from the date of purchase) can be returned to the retailer at a user’s point of purchase for replacement free of charge. Beyond that, d.Light provide customer support (contact details available here). d.Light stated that the product is ‘maintenance-free‘ on it’s page, implying very little technical support is required.
Replacement products are available under warranty. No replacements parts are available.
According to d.light, the average product lifetime is well over 5 years. Free 2 year replacement warranty. No information available on disposal.
4 Hours of light per full charge, 3x brighter than kerosene and portable (with an adjustable handle and stand). Free 2-Year Replacement Warranty from date of purchase.
Meets Lighting Global Recommended Performance Targets & Lighting Africa Minimum Quality Standards. From the Lighting Global Standardized Specifications Sheet its total light output is 33 lumens, it illuminates an area of 0.09 m2 with > 50 lux, it provides 130 lumen-hours / solar-day, the full battery run time is 5.3 hours and the rune time per day of solar charging is 3.9 hours.
The Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE) at MIT evaluated personal-use solar lanterns available on the market in Uganda and published the results in January 2015. The d.Light S2 received a score of 43/100. Full findings are available in their report and as a snapshot synopsis is available in the image included here.
Tested independently by Lighting Global (see verification of product quality) and the Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE) at MIT.
No listed hazards.
Because the system is solar powered, gains in efficiency can only be made in improving the efficiency of solar energy collection or reducing the energy used by the product, although it serves as a complement to many other products.
Stanford School of Design is where d.light started and the school still offers courses but it is unclear how much they are still involved with the product.
Several pieces of academic research discuss the impacts of solar lanterns:
Kinoti, M., 2018, Socio-Economic Impact of Solar Lamp Lighting in Kibera Slum, Kenya. International Journal of Professional Practice, 6(4), pp. 30-36.
2019, Short-Term Impacts of Solar Lanterns on Child Health: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh. The Journal of Development Studies, 55(11), 2329-2346.
Lemaire, X., 2018, Solar home systems and solar lanterns in rural areas of the Global South: What impact? WIREs Energy Environ, 7(5), e301.
Shepherd, C., 2018, Misreading the night: The shadows and light of a solar technology. The Promise of Prosperity: Visions of the Future in Timor-Leste. J. M. Bovensiepen, ed., ANU Press, pp. 205-221.
IEC Technical Specification 62257-9-5 which is informed by Lighting Global’s three complementary sets of test methods —the Quality Test Method (QTM), the Initial Screening Method (ISM), and the Market Check Method (MCM)
CE certification; IEC 60598-1, IEC 60598-2-4, EN 55015, EN 61547 compliance. Country certifications for East & West Africa (SONCAP, PVoC)
The Quality Test Method (QTM) is the full test method used to verify comprehensive product performance. Results from QTM testing are used to determine if a product has met the Lighting Global Minimum Quality Standards. Lighting Global Durability tests passed: Drop test, switch cycling, physical ingress protection test, and protection from frequent rain.
The Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE) at MIT evaluated personal-use solar lanterns according to comparative framework for evaluation of products, similar to the model used by the U.S. nonprofit organization Consumer Reports along the dimensions of Suitability, Scalability, and Sustainability. Students and faculty collected data on 11 solar lantern models from both field and laboratory tests, as well as through interviews, surveys, and participant observation of product users and Solar Sister distribution agents.
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