Kerosene VS Solar

The Problem: Kerosene

Over 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity. For lighting, their only choice is to rely on toxic kerosene, paraffin or candles. The billions being spent on improvements to extend the electricity grid don't make any difference to 91% of Africa’s rural population.


Around 15% of a family's income is spent on lighting: kerosene, candles or batteries for torches


Using a kerosene lamp for a year is estimated to be similar to inhaling the black carbon from smoking 298 cigarettes. One lamp is estimated to emit a tonne of carbon over five years.


Candles, kerosene and paraffin don't emit enough light to study, read or work without straining the eyes.

Prevents study

The smoke, smell, cost and dangers of fire make kerosene a problem for students who need to study at night.

The Solar Solution: Sunshine is Free

Saves Money

Families save $70 a year, on average, after they buy a solar light; around 10% of household income. The money saved is spent on better food, school fees and business development or farming inputs.

Improves Health

Solar lighting reduces the risk of fire, lung damage, eye strain and eliminates toxic, poisonous kerosene from the home.

More Study Time

SolarAid research shows that students study an hour more, per night, on average, and are more motivated to study without eye strain or smoke.

Cleaner Air

Reducing the use of the kerosene lamp reduces pollution in the home and saves up to an estimated 200kg of CO2 a year.



A bright, safe, portable solar light has a profound impact on a child's education and well being. In the communities where SunnyMoney conducts School Campaigns the lives of thousands of children are now brighter all thanks to a $10 solar light.

More on education

“The kerosene lamp used to hurt my children’s eyes, but nowadays, they study long hours with the solar light.”  

Joseph Karui - Head Teacher, Bomet County

"Some learners are now selected to good schools within the district, a thing that has created history at our school"

Patrick Nyerenda - Head Teacher, Malawi

“All my pupils can now finish their homework at home and their performance has also improved.” 

Josephine Kimutai - Teacher at Roret Primary Kericho, Kenya

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