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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Solid-State Lighting on a Shoestring Budget: The Economics of Off-Grid Lighting for Small Businesses in Kenya

  • Author(s): Radecsky, Kristen
  • et al.

superior lighting services to low income people in off-grid areas of developing countries, many of whom currently rely on fuel based lighting sources such as kerosene. If this potential is to be achieved in the near term, however, manufacturers must produce off-grid lighting products that are inexpensive, perform well, and meet the needs of potential end users. At present, relatively few products meet all three of these goals. In this article, we report results from a detailed study of lighting use by micro-enterprises in two small towns in Kenya's Rift Valley Province. The work included a survey about lighting use by 50 small businesses, careful measurements of kerosene lighting use patterns and associated costs for 23 of these businesses, and a subsequent field trial in which 14 of the 23 businesses purchased and used low cost LED lamps over a number of months.

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