Little Sun + Wolff Olins Case Study
Artist Olafur Eliasson (well known for his installation The weather project at Tate Modern in 2003) and engineer Frederik Ottesen created the Little Sun solar-powered lamp and global project to get clean, affordable light to the 1.6 billion people worldwide without access to electricity.
Wolff Olins was one of Little Sun's development partners who helped take Little Sun from an idea and prototype to a fully established brand out in the world. We worked very closely with Studio Olafur Eliasson in articulating the fundamental concept of Little Sun, what it offers, and the uniqueness of what Little Sun is: "A work of art that works in life."
We also created the brand and a simple iconic brand identity for Little Sun, which led us to produce the designs for the website, packaging, point of sale, posters and the Tate exhibition. Lastly, we developed an innovative business model with Little Sun that addresses the need for light in a sustainable way that benefits off-grid communities. Little Sun supplies off-grid distributors with Little Sun lamps at low prices and creates jobs for local Little Sun sales agents which generate local profits. Little Sun is a social business that aims to spread light, safe energy, and profits everywhere they work.
Little Sun launched at Tate Modern as part of Festival 2012, trending on Twitter on the day it launched. Since then, the Little Sun lamp has not only received official certification from Lighting Africa, a joint IFC and World Bank program, but it has also reignited possibilities for entrepreneurs all over the world. To date, over 165,000 Little Sun lamps have been distributed worldwide. Little Sun currently has distribution in seven African countries: Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Senegal, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, as well as in the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan.
The lamp is making a big impact in off-grid communities, where it is allowing people to extend their daily activities into the night without using unsafe and toxic fuel-based lighting like kerosene lanterns. Using Little Sun lamps at night means children can study, families can cook together, businesses can remain open, and people can socialise safely.