Sun without Soot

Sun24 is a nonprofit that helps the poorest of poor in developing countries with solar lights, cookstoves and eyeglasses.

Rock Bed Exhibit

Cookstoves Project Overview

Eyeglasses Project Overview.

The Problem

1.2 billion people in developing countries live without electricity. Most use crude kerosene lamps for light.

  • In 2 years (the minimum lifespan of a solar light), one crude kerosene lamp damages the climate as much as driving 4,250 miles in a typical American passenger vehicle.  Black carbon emissions from kerosene lamps have recently been found to be a HUGE contributor to climate change.  (Article on kerosene lamps)
  • Inhaling the indoor toxic black smoke is roughly equivalent to each family member smoking a cigarette a day, causing lung and eye problems. (Article on the health impacts of kerosene lamps)
  • Fires related to fuel lamps kill 1 million people each year.
  • Accidental ingestion of kerosene is the leading cause of child poisoning in the developing world.
  • These families live in extreme poverty and can easily spend 20% of their income on fuel for lighting.
  • Students with kerosene lamps have only half the study time as those with solar lamps.

“The Catholic Diocese of Kiyinda-Mityana is partnering with Sun24 to distribute thousands of solar lights to Ugandans without electricity.  The solar lights allow families to extinguish their filthy, dangerous and expensive kerosene lamps.  These solar lights have been a blessing to Ugandans of all faiths.  The program has mostly been piloted so far in Kiyinda-Mityana diocese with the expectations that it will be rolled out throughout Uganda.”

Bishop Joseph Zziwa

Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese, Uganda

The Solution

A simple $4 solar light can replace a family’s dependence on unhealthy, dangerous and costly kerosene lamps. Charging the lamp during the day gives over 4 hours of clean, bright, high-quality light at night.

Sun24 works with Catholic parishes in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya to distribute solar lights to both Catholic and non-Catholic families without electricity.

Photo: d.light A1

Results So Far

Sun24, working in Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Guatemala, has distributed over 248,000* solar lights to families without electricity.

We are developing a distribution model using the vast Catholic Church infrastructure to distribute solar lights worldwide to all families without electricity, regardless of religious affiliation.  Need, not creed.

“In our twin parish in Nalweyo, Uganda, very few households have electricity.  Working with Sun 24, my parish plans to give a solar lamp to every family in our twin parish.  Since the cost per lamp is so low, our goal is for Blessed Trinity to provide 10,000 solar lamps.”

Father Pat Sheedy

Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, Ocala, Florida

Impact Table

248,240*Solar lights distributed to-dateImpact of One $4 Solar Light
1,092,256People using our lights4.4 people
446,832Tonnes of emissions averted (CO2 equivalent)**1.8 tonnes (metric tons)
1,055,020,000Averted miles driven by a typical American car (equivalent)**4,250 miles
24,824,000Dollars saved by poor African families (cost of kerosene)100 USD
521,304People experiencing better health (lungs and eyes)2.1 people
129,084,800Extra hours of study time520 hours
Most calculations are from GOGLA.  Calculations are for the lifespan of a solar light.

*   Includes lights ordered but not yet distributed.
** For climate change impacts, we multiplied GOGLA standards by 2.5 because GOGLA assumes that about ⅔ of the displaced kerosene lamps are hurricane style lamps.  We distribute in the poorest, most remote areas where crude simple-wick lamps (open flame) are used almost exclusively.  Simple-wick lamps are over ten times more polluting than hurricane lamps.






“There are no magic bullets that will solve all of our greenhouse gas problems, but replacing kerosene lamps is low-hanging fruit, and we don’t have many examples of that in the climate world.”

Kirk R. Smith

Dr. Smith was a member of IPCC team that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He earned the 2009 Heinz Award and 2012 Tyler Prize for achievements in environmental research.

Contact Us!

If you’d like to be involved in our work, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Or, send your check to:
Sun24, Inc., 1815 W. Jetton Ave., Tampa, FL  33606