Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, whose body of work is mostly based on light installations, last week presented a small solar powered light during the World Economic Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Olafur collaborated with engineer Frederik Ottesen to create Little Sun, which they hope can help bring indoor lighting to those people who lack access in developing countries.

The flower-shaped Little Sun uses LED technology and captures sunlight through a 6 x 6 cm (2.4 x 2.4 inch) mono-crystalline solar module. After four hours of charging, the unit will provide light for five hours. The design makes it very versatile. It can be hung, used as a table lamp, or it can be taken out to be used as a lantern or bicycle accessory. It is fairly resilient and can be expected to work for three years.

Last year saw a massive growth in solar panel installations in countries such as the United and States and Germany. Centralized solar power is also striding forward with the opening of massive solar farms. Meanwhile, scientists work on increasing solar cell efficiency.

The reality, however, is that a huge chunk of the world’s population still lack access to grid electricity. It is there where the distributed solar power revolution can take place, and sustainably raise the standards of living for the more than 1.6 billion people living in this state of exclusion.

As we have seen previously, there are several initiatives such as the Solar Pebble and LuminAID that innovate both on the technological front, as well as their socially responsible applications.

Olafur said he considers his new project to be a piece of art for a large audience. It will be launched at the Tate Modern museum in London during the festival that precedes the upcoming Olympics in the English capital.

Below is a video featuring Eliasson talking about Little Sun.

Source: Little Sun