Little Sun – FAQs


Little Sun Original

How many hours should I charge Little Sun Original before using it?

Before using your Little Sun Original for the first time, charge it in direct sunlight for 8 hours to ensure maximum battery lifespan. Please note that for all subsequent charges, you only need to charge the device for 5 hours in the sun.

If I don’t charge Little Sun Original for the full 8 hours, will it still work?

Yes, but it will run out of charge faster.

How often do I need to charge my Little Sun Original?

To maintain battery life, charge your Little Sun Original at least once a month.

How will I know when it is fully charged? Is there an indicator on the Little Sun Original?

There is no charging indicator. Charging your Little Sun Original for 5 hours in direct sunlight produces 50 hours of soft light or 4.5 hours of bright light.

Will it charge in overcast weather?

Yes, though it will take longer to reach full charge.

Can I walk in the rain with my Little Sun Original?

Yes. If your Little Sun Original gets wet in light rain, it’s not a problem.

Can I go swimming with my Little Sun Original?

No. Little Sun Original is weather resistant, but not waterproof. It should not be submerged in water.

What if I drop my Little Sun Original? How sturdy is it?

Little Sun Original is extremely durable. It can handle the normal wear and tear of daily life.

How long will the batteries in the Little Sun Original last before needing to be replaced?

Little Sun Original contains a high-quality 14500 LiFePO4 3.2V rechargeable battery with 400mAh that will support 5 years of daily use before it needs to be replaced.

Should I replace the battery myself? If so, where can I get them?

Yes. Make sure to purchase 1 high-quality AA LiFePO4, 3.2V rechargeable battery with 500 mAh for the Little Sun Original. Dispose of your old batteries responsibly according to your country’s recycling regulations.

What is the flower design of the Little Sun based on?

Designed in close dialogue with users in Ethiopia, Little Sun Original is the first solar lamp to incorporate aesthetic and practical feedback from off-grid African regions. The lamp’s unique design was inspired by the Ethiopian meskel flower, a national symbol of positivity and beauty.


Little Sun Charge

Find out all the tips and handy info on how to get the most out of your Charge with our new manual: The Easy Guide to Little Sun Charge.

How many hours should I charge Little Sun Charge before using it?

Before using your Little Sun Charge for the first time, charge it for 10 hours to ensure maximum battery lifespan – either in direct sunlight or charge on the grid with a USB connection.

If I don’t charge Little Sun Charge for the full 10 hours, will it still work?

Yes, but it will run out of charge faster. Please note that for all subsequent charges, you only need to charge the device for 7.5 hours in the sun.

How often do I need to charge my Little Sun Charge?

To maintain battery life, charge your Little Sun Charge at least once a month.

How will I know when it is fully charged? Is there an indicator on the Little Sun Charge?

Yes, there is a charge indicator. When charging, the charge indicator shows the current battery level. All lights blinking: low charge. All lights steady: full charge.

Will it charge in overcast weather?

Yes, though it will take longer to reach full charge.

Can I go swimming with my Little Sun Charge?

No. Little Sun Charge is weather resistant, but not waterproof. It should not be submerged in water since there is also the risk of electric shock.

What if I drop my Little Sun Charge? How sturdy is it?

Little Sun Charge is durable, but might break if it drops and should be handled carefully.

How long will the batteries in the Little Sun Charge last before needing to be replaced?

Little Sun Charge contains two high-quality LiFePo4 rechargeable batteries that will support 5 years of daily use before they need to be replaced.

Should I replace the batteries myself? If so, where can I get them?

No, the batteries are custom-made for the Charge and need to be replaced by LittleSun GmbH.


Little Sun Diamond

How many hours should I charge Little Sun Diamond before using it?

Before using your Little Sun Diamond for the first time, charge it in direct sunlight for 8 hours to ensure maximum battery lifespan. Please note that for all subsequent charges, you only need to charge the device for 5 hours in the sun.

If I don’t charge Little Sun Diamond for the full 5 hours, will it still work?

Yes, but it will run out of charge faster.

How often do I need to charge my Little Sun Diamond?

To maintain battery life, it is best to charge your Little Sun Diamond at least once a month.

How will I know when it is fully charged? Is there an indicator on the Little Sun Diamond?

There is no charging indicator but charging your Little Sun Diamond for 5 hours in direct sunlight produces 5 hours of bright light (22lm), which then fades to long-lasting soft light.

Will it charge in overcast weather?

Yes! However it will take longer to reach full charge.

Can I walk in the rain with my Little Sun Diamond?

Yes. If your Little Sun Diamond gets wet in light rain, it’s not a problem.

Can I go swimming with my Little Sun Diamond?

No. Little Sun Diamond is weather resistant, but not waterproof. It should not be submerged in water.

What if I drop my Little Sun Diamond? How sturdy is it?

Little Sun Diamond is extremely durable. It can handle the normal wear and tear of daily life, so it’s fine if you drop it.

How long will the batteries in the Little Sun Diamond last before needing to be replaced?

Little Sun Diamond contains a rechargeable 3.2V LiFePO4 battery with 300mAh that will last for up to 5 years when used daily.

How do I replace the batteries when they stop working?

The battery should be replaced by the LittleSun GmbH. If your battery stops working during the 2 years warranty time, you get it replaced for free. After the 2 years have passed, we are still happy to exchange the battery for you for the price of the battery + shipping.

For further info, please get in touch with support@littlesun.com. Shipping address for
exchange: LittleSun GmbH, Haus 4. Christinenstr. 18/19, 10119 Berlin

Can I replace the batteries myself?

We do not advise customers to exchange the batteries as those who are not trained in switching solar batteries risk breaking the lamp or hurting themselves. However, for those who feel up to it, here is a detailed Battery Replacement Guide: English version. Deutsche Version.

Please dispose of the old battery in accordance with the recycling standards of your country.

Why are there no screws in my Little Sun Diamond like in the Little Sun Original?

The difference between Little Sun Original and Little Sun Diamond is that the screws holding together Little Sun Diamond are placed behind the solar panel. The solar panel is glued on the lamp. We decided to do this because it makes the sealing easier and the production more cost-efficient, as we use less material. This means the Diamond is sturdier. Although this makes it more difficult for users to exchange the batteries, this ensures that the batteries will actually last longer.  For our customers in Sub-Saharan Africa, this is a valuable change, as batteries are often less affordable and accessible than solar lamps, which means they have to buy a new product when the old one stops working. Thus, our goal is to produce the most long-lasting, but still affordable solar lamps.

Social business and global impact

What makes Little Sun a social business?

Read all about the Little Sun social business here.

I live in an area with electricity. What impact am I making by purchasing a Little Sun for myself?

You are making a global impact by using sustainable solar energy. And you are helping bring solar power to those without electricity – every Little Sun sold delivers one Little Sun to an off-grid African community at a locally affordable price.

How much do Little Sun products cost in off-grid areas? Can people afford it?

Little Sun Original costs between 10-15 USD. Little Sun Charge costs 25-35 USD. And though it is an initial investment for some, in the long term, Little Sun products actually save users money. Most people in off-grid areas use kerosene lanterns or flashlights for light after sunset. Kerosene fuel and the batteries used in flashlights are costly weekly expenses. In the course of two years, Little Sun will save users 90% compared to what they would spend on kerosene lanterns, flashlights or phone charging stations. Switching to solar power means off-grid users’ monthly energy costs are reduced to zero, as energy from the sun is both sustainable and free.

In some off-grid areas, Little Sun distributors work with users to set up flexible payment plans, allowing them to pay for their solar lamps in small monthly installments.

Why don’t you just give the Little Sun products away for free to people in off-grid areas?

Little Sun is not a charity, but a social business that believes in the power of young African entrepreneurs to shape the future of Africa. Rather than a short-term fix of donating our products to areas without electricity (which distorts local markets), we focus on the longer-term goal of building profitable local businesses that distribute Little Sun light and energy. We work with Little Sun sales agents in off-grid areas, providing business starter kits and micro-entrepreneurial training. Little Sun addresses the need for light in a sustainable way that benefits off-grid communities, by spreading light as well as livelihoods.

Occasionally Little Sun will donate products to people outside the reach of markets, such as those in disaster relief situations or refugee camps.

Can I donate Little Sun products to off-grid regions?

Because Little Sun is not a charity, we do not currently accept donations. However, stay in touch to find out about the launch of our Foundation this summer.


Distribution and ordering

Can I order Little Sun products online?

Yes. Click here to order Little Sun products through our website (Europe and USA only), or browse through our selection of sales locations around the world (some of which have their own web shops where it’s possible to order Little Sun products online).

In which countries are Little Sun products available?

Currently Little Sun products are available in over 10 African countries, including in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, and Ghana – as well as in Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the United States.

Click here to order Little Sun products through our website (Europe and USA only), or browse through our selection of retail shops and partners around the world.

Will you expand into other countries?

Definitely. Be the first to know when we become available in additional countries by following us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or by signing up for the quarterly Little Sun Newsletter on our website.

I would like to work with you to spread solar light. How do I become a Little Sun distributor?

If you are in country where we are already operating please contact our distributor in the country in which you are located. See the contact information for our African partners here.

If you are in any other part of the world, please write to us at business@littlesun.com.

Can I buy Little Sun products in bulk/very large amounts?

Yes. For information about larger contributions, company packages, or bulk orders, please contact us at business@littlesun.com, and we’ll be happy to help you.

Can I get Little Sun products customised for a special event?

Yes. For company presents, weddings, and other special events, it is possible for you to place a bulk order of Little Suns and customise the lamp or lanyard accordingly. Contact us at business@littlesun.com for details.


Production

Does Little Sun make other products?

Other solar-powered products with additional features are currently in development and will be available soon.

Where are the factories producing Little Sun products located?

Mainly in Shenzhen, China.

How are the conditions for workers who produce Little Sun products?

As a social business and global project, we are extremely concerned with ensuring impeccable quality management and working conditions in every part of our supply chain. This involves working only with production partners (in China, Europe, and elsewhere), who can prove their compliance with international quality and security standards as well as with social directives such as ISO 9001 (quality management), the BSCI Code of Conduct (working conditions, including child labour regulations) and GSV (safety procedures throughout the supply chain). The compliance to these standards is monitored and verified on a continuous basis.

Why are Little Sun products made with plastic? Wouldn’t another material be more sustainable?

While it is true that another material might be more sustainable, the cost of employing such a material is currently prohibitive. It is important to us to make products that are easily affordable and can also deliver clean, sustainable energy to as many people as possible. Plastic is the only material that has the appropriate cost/durability ratio that allows us to make a high-quality product for the most affordable price.

We feel the ethical choice of materials is to choose a plastic that will last as long as possible, so those with limited financial resources will not need to replace their lamps often. For Little Sun products, we chose a recyclable ABS plastic – a durable, highly weather and UV-resistant plastic that will last for years.

We are keeping up-to-date with current research on sustainable materials, and we hope to be able to implement new solutions if and when they become viable in the future.

What kind of plastic and other materials are Little Sun products made from?

Little Sun products are made of ABS plastic. In general the granulate material used is at least partially composed of recycled materials. Our manufacturer sells leftover material and faulty parts back to their vendor to be reused.

What are the technical specifications for the Little Sun products?

Please see our complete technical specifications for Little Sun Original here and Little Sun Charge here.

What should be taken into consideration when disposing of Little Sun products?

Electrical devices and electronics must be separated from household waste after their lifespan and disposed of separately.