About illumination

The sun sets. You flip a switch. Lights come on. You carry on with your evening.

But for 1.2 billion people living without power, after sunset there is no light. Unless you use kerosene, which costs a third of your income, is a health and fire hazard, and is harmful to the environment. Poor lighting impacts things we take for granted, like children being able to do homework, personal security at night and a healthy home environment.

illumination is a social enterprise born from Shane Thatcher’s dream to make the biggest impact possible on energy poverty. Today, his passion and determination has evolved into a dedicated team, a range of quality environmentally friendly solar products and our international Give Power program. Since 2011, we’re proud to have distributed over 500,000 Mandarin solar lights with life-changing benefits for more than 2 million people in over 20 countries – and counting.

Our Vision at illumination is to help improve the health, wealth and education of people who live without power

The Give Power program is born

While we were busy setting up illumination, a funny thing happened. A few lights disappeared here, a few chargers there. Turns out everyone was “borrowing” samples to go camping, take on caravan trips or keep under the sink in case of emergency.

It seems we all experience energy poverty now and then, although for us it’s usually a conscious choice. And the solutions to permanent and temporary energy poverty are exactly the same – personal solar products. We saw an opportunity to make everyone happy … and the Give Power Program was born.

It means when you buy our one of our great solar products for yourself, we give power to someone in need. You’ll be inspired at the enormous difference you can make through our Give Power projects. See who you’ve been helping here.

  • business 3000
  • Premier
  • Social traders
  • Social enterprise awards
  • Startup Business
  • times living
  • outback
  • go_camping
  • jetstar
  • australian_geographic
  • sevennews
  • ninenews
  • heraldsun
  • mx
  • surfcoasttimes
  • theheraldsun

What you need to know  

Energy poverty is a lack of access to energy services like electricity. Just think back to the last time you had a power outage at your place. Well, that’s what life is like all the time for the 1.2 billion people who suffer from energy poverty. To function after dark, they burn kerosene to light their homes. And that’s causing problems for their health, their finances, their education, their safety and the environment.

The good

The good news is that at illumination we are doing something about it. We’ve conducted three separate studies looking into the benefits of replacing kerosene lamps with our solar lights. And those benefits are mega. If you’d like to read more about what we discovered, get in touch for copies of the studies.

The bad

Kerosene is just plain bad. It’s a drain on finances, costing families who earn less than a dollar a day between $1.00 and $1.50 per week. It’s not effective – the light given off by kerosene lamps is less than 16 lumens (an energy-saving 40W bulb gives you 450 lumens). And poor light means that study time is limited for school kids, impacting on their education.

The ugly

Death and destruction are also by-products of kerosene. An estimated 96% of fire-related fatalities in developing countries are caused by accidents involving kerosene lamps. It’s also a major health risk. The odds of developing tuberculosis are 9 times higher for women using fossil fuel based lights, and breathing the fumes is the equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. Environmentally, kerosene is a major pollutant which contributes to global warming through CO2 emissions.

Your solar product purchase will Give Power to someone who needs it.