Assessing the Performance of LED-Based Flashlights Available in the Kenyan Off-Grid Lighting Market

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Low cost rechargeable flashlights that use LED technology are increasingly available in African markets. While LED technology holds promise to provide affordable, high quality lighting services, the widespread dissemination of low quality products may make it difficult to realize this potential. This study includes performance results for three brands of commonly available LED flashlights that were purchased in Kenya in 2009. The performance of the flashlights was evaluated by testing five units for each of the three brands. The tests included measurements of battery capacity, time required to charge the battery, maximum illuminance at one meter, operation time and lux-hours ... continued below

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Tracy, Jennifer; Jacobson, Arne & Mills, Evan March 2, 2010.

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Low cost rechargeable flashlights that use LED technology are increasingly available in African markets. While LED technology holds promise to provide affordable, high quality lighting services, the widespread dissemination of low quality products may make it difficult to realize this potential. This study includes performance results for three brands of commonly available LED flashlights that were purchased in Kenya in 2009. The performance of the flashlights was evaluated by testing five units for each of the three brands. The tests included measurements of battery capacity, time required to charge the battery, maximum illuminance at one meter, operation time and lux-hours from a fully charged battery, light distribution, and color rendering. All flashlights tested performed well below the manufacturers? rated specifications; the measured battery capacity was 30-50percent lower than the rated capacity and the time required to fully charge the battery was 6-25percent greater than the rated time requirement. Our analysis further shows that within each brand there is considerable variability in each performance indicator. The five samples within a single brand varied from each other by as much as 22percent for battery capacity measurements, 3.6percent for the number of hours required for a full charge, 23percent for maximum initial lux, 38percent for run time, 11percent for light distribution and by as much as 200percent for color rendering. Results obtained are useful for creating a framework for quality assurance of off-grid LED products and will be valuable for informing consumers, distributors and product manufacturers about product performance.

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  • Report No.: LBNL-3646E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.2172/985328 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 985328
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1013509

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • March 2, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 17, 2017, 6 p.m.

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Tracy, Jennifer; Jacobson, Arne & Mills, Evan. Assessing the Performance of LED-Based Flashlights Available in the Kenyan Off-Grid Lighting Market, report, March 2, 2010; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1013509/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.