Updated on January 27, 2024


Created on September 10, 2020


Upcoming Update

The M-KOPA 5 is a solar lighting system that is manufactured and distributed in Kenya.

Developed By
  1. M-KOPA
Tested By
  • Lighting Global
Content Partners


Product Description

The M-KOPA 5 provides a technology platform that combines embedded GSM + mobile payments to enable solar home system financing. The M-KOPA 5 is a combined solar home system with PAYG functionality and end-use appliances including lights, a torch, radio, TV, fan, and USB ports for device use. The product was designed by M-KOPA and is manufactured and distributed by dealers in Kenya and Uganda.

Target SDGs

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Household, Community, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, NGOs

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

This product has been distributed through hundreds of M-KOPA dealers in Kenya and Uganda.

Manufacturing/Building Method

M-KOPA products are mass-produced and assembled in Kenya. The solar lightning components are manufactured by D-light Solar. M-KOPA Solar also refurbishes products recovered from the market. They clean them, replace damaged components, and then they re-introduce them into the market at lower costs.

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Users can obtain the product from M-KOPA retail locations. M-KOPA relies on direct sales representatives, or agents of each retail location to manage sales. There are over 100 retail locations across the three M-KOPA target markets (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania).

Distributions to Date Status

As of 2019, more than 750,000 off-grid solar systems had been sold, reaching over 3 million people.

Description of power outputs

1 AC outlet and 1 USB

Description of light points

4 LEDs, 1 torch

Total lighting service (lumen-hours per solar-day)

1600 lumen-hours per solar-day

Peak power rating (Wp)

7.9 Wp

Battery capacity (kWh; mAh)

Main Unit: 3400 mAh

Torch: 1800 mAh

Radio: 1700 mAh

Nominal battery voltage (V)

Main Unit: 6.4 V

Torch: 3.2 V

Battery type

Lithium Iron Phosphate (Main Unit), Lithium Ion (Radio and Torch)

User replaceable battery (yes/no)


Remote system diagnostics (yes/no)


Payment structure


Mobile service required (yes/no)


Design Specifications

The system includes an 8 W solar panel and an M-KOPA 5 control unit with Lithium-Ion battery. For lighting, there are  4 x 1.2 W LED  bulbs with cables and switches and 1 LED portable and rechargeable torch. Additional plugins included are a phone charging USB with 5 standard connections, 1 custom charge cable, and 1 rechargeable FM/USB radio.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Technical support is provided by M-KOPA. If technical questions are within the warranty period, M-KOPA will cover the repair costs. Outside of the warranty, M-KOPA can repair the system at a prescribed cost.

Replacement Components

Customers can contact M-KOPA to purchase system components individually to replace parts of their original system or to upgrade their system.


2-year warranty covering manufacturing defects on the solar panel, control unit and light points, and a 1-year warranty for the torch, radio, and charging cables.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Manufacturer specified performance targets include affordable, mobile, and reliable.

Vetted Performance Status

This product meets the Lighting Global Quality Standards. According to the tests conducted on this product, the full battery run time of the M-KOPA 5 Solar Home System varies from 3.2 to 23 hours depending on the brightness setting used (main lights/torch, high/low brightness, radio on). The total lighting service is 1600 lumen-hour/solar-day. The lumen maintenance corresponds to 100% the original output along 2,000 hours run time.


Potential hazards related to the operation of this product include water coming into contact with the electrical components.

Complementary Technical Systems

Complimentary systems include the M-KOPA Phone and the M-KOPA Solar Home Set.

Academic Research and References

Rastogi C., 2018, M-Kopa Solar: Lightning Up the Dark Continent, South Asian Journal of Business and Management Cases, 7(2), pp. 93-103

Wiche S., Chidziwizano G., Uwimbabazi F., Simiyu N., 2018, “Defamiliarizing the Domestic: Exploring “M-Kopa Solar” and Sustainable Practices in Rural Kenyan Households,” ACM COMPASS 2018, California, USA.

Alstone, P., Gershenson, D., Kammen, D.M., 2015, “Decentralized energy systems for clean electricity access,” Nature Climate Change, Mar 25(5), pp. 305-314.

Harper, M., 2013, “Review of strategies and technologies for demand-side management on isolated mini-grids,” Arcata (CA): Humboldt State University.

Rever, W.B., Mints, P.J., 2014, “Remote markets 2.0: the next wave of PV expansion,” PVSC, 13(40), pp. 2556-3561.

M-KOPA. n.d. Contact Us. M-KOPA.

M-KOPA. n.d. Products. M-KOPA.

M-KOPA. n.d. Press. M-KOPA.

Previously Certified Products. n.d. VeraSol.

GSMA Mobile for Development Intelligence. 2013. M-KOPA Solar. www.gsma.com. London, U.K. : GSMA.

IEC TS 62257-9-5:2018 | IEC Webstore. n.d. webstore.iec.ch.

Keith, Jesse, Barton Moore, and Nicholas Hughes. 2013. Transaction Processing and Remote Activation, issued July 16, 2013.

Quality Standards. n.d. VeraSol.

M-KOPA. 2019. Impact Report 2019: Upgrading Lives. events.developments.asia. M-KOPA.


Compliance with regulations

Until August 2020, this product meets the Lightning Global Quality Standards, based on the IEC Technical Specification 62257-9-5:2018: Recommendations for renewable energy and hybrid systems for rural electrification.

Evaluation methods

Lightning Global verified the product following the Lightning Global Quality Standards in the following aspects: truth in advertising, lumen maintenance, durability, system quality and warranty. For the Quality Test Method, products are evaluated for peak power ratings, durability tests, lumen-hours, battery capacity, run time, and more. The results of these tests are valid until August 2020.

Other Information

Video showcasing M-KOPA distribution system and customer support.

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