Where does Unite to Light distribute (send) lights? Over 38,000 lights have been sent to 60 countries on four continents. As an example, we have partners in Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and 2000 lights were sent to Japan (after the earthquake) and several more to Haiti for disaster relief.
What type of battery should I buy when I need to replace the battery? The size of the battery is AA rechargeable. The type of battery is Nickel-Metal Hydride – commonly called NiMH. The battery should be 1300 milliamp hours (mAh) or greater.
Where are the lights made? The lights are currently being manufactured in Taiwan and China. Our manufacturers comply with international standards for working conditions and wages.
Do I need to charge the light before use? Be certain the switch is turned off (the side of the switch that does not have the dot is pushed down) and place the light in the sun and charge it during the day.
What are the basic parts of the UTL-1 light? The light bulb is a Light Emitting Diode (LED) and is the state of art in lighting because of its high performance and low current consumption. The light housing is connected to the light base by a flexible neck. In the base which contains a single battery, electronics which assure optimum performance of the light and a solar panel which absorbs energy from the sun and converts it into electricity which is then stored in the battery. There is an on/off switch on the right side of the light.
Where is Unite to Light located? Unite to Light is a Non-Profit, 501(c)(3) organization located in Santa Barbara, California and created in 2009. The Co-founder and Chairman, Dr. John Bowers is Director of the Institute of Energy Efficiency at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), and Co-founder, Claude Dorais is an attorney in private practice in Santa Barbara.
How long will my light work? The battery will work for over 500 cycles and typically two years or more. With proper care, the light will last quite a bit longer.
_How did Unite to Light get started? There is a great need in the world for a low cost, high performance light to replace kerosene and candles for people who are not on the electrical grid in their countries (or where the grid is unreliable) – which represents some 1.5 billion people or around one fourth of the world’s population. Unite to Light set out to determine if such a light already existed. Working with the UCSB chapter of Engineers without Borders and volunteers from the private sector and at UCSB, it was determined that although there were solar lights available, there was a need for a lower cost alternative. Unite to Light’s simple design and large order volume combine to make high quality, low-cost production possible.
Will an Alkaline battery work? Yes – BUT Alkaline batteries will not recharge and thus defeats the purpose of the solar cell. This really is a sustainable lighting solution that will last longer and cost less in the long run when AA NiMH batteries are used. In rare instances an Alkaline battery may even damage the light.
Is the light waterproof? Technically no, however, the light is extremely water resistant. The light will typically withstand water, it is best to keep the light indoors if it is raining to increase its total lifetime.