Philips SMILE
A lighting program that combines modern lighting technologies with renewable energy to change the lives of the many people worldwide who have no access to electricity

Nearly one fourth of the planet has no access to electricity. People often use dangerous, health-hazardous, and increasingly expensive fuel kerosene to light their homes. Once it becomes dark, vendors have to shut their stores, children stop studying, and farmers cannot work anymore. Life, in fact, comes to a halt.

SMILE stands for Sustainable Model In Lighting Everywhere and constitutes a framework for providing sustainable off-grid lighting solutions for people without access to electricity. An example is a portable and multi-functional solar lantern that features both compact fluorescent and LED lights providing either a dimmable or a strong light.

For Royal Philips Electronics, SMILE is a great opportunity to improve people’s lives while accessing new consumers. The team started developing and testing solutions and business models in India before extending the program to Africa. The portfolio will include a complete range of renewable energy lighting solutions, mainly using solar power.

“Benefits of solar lighting include cost savings, no fire risk, no direct carbon footprint, and using sunlight, a sustainable natural commodity to generate electricity. Moreover, there are economic and social benefits in being able to undertake work activities or study after dark”.

Numerous partners have supported the design. The users themselves has been involved via Philips partner NGO’s to help the designers understand needs better, test solutions, and find alternative ways of reaching out to people.

“We have taken up the challenge to use state-of-the-art lighting technologies, renewable energy, and innovative business approaches to bring durable, affordable light to those who need it the most.”

Designed by
Royal Philips Electronics, China & India