In 1997 when Dave Irvine-Halliday saw children in Nepal trying to read in near-dark classrooms he resolved to light up remote villages using low-cost renewable energy.
More than 1 billion people do not have access to electricity. The Light Up The World Foundation established by Dave Irvine-Halliday brings solar-generated electricity to families living off the grid. Using solar power and LED (light-emitting diode) systems, the foundation has provided about 1.2 million people with lighting – in homes, schools, clinics, libraries, community centres, refugee camps and temples – and at a cheaper cost than kerosene, candles and batteries.
A child could read by the light of a single diode.
Irvine-Halliday believes his landmark contribution was to prove homes in the developing world could be lit to an acceptable standard using white LED lighting and only two or three watts of renewably generated electrical power; the benefit of LEDs compared with incandescent lights is that they have lower energy consumption and last longer.
After seeing the foundation to fruition, Irvine-Halliday, in 2009, created Visionary Lighting & Energy India, which he describes as a “people before profit” social enterprise. This is his attempt to bring affordable, high-quality lighting and energy to millions more families than is generally possible by way of a non-governmental organization. Through this enterprise he has developed and manufactured, among other products, solar-LED home lighting systems and street lighting.
Countries where Light Up The World has been providing lighting
Percentage of total household income spent on lighting by the world’s most impoverished communities