PicoPV Types

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Meanwhile a huge amount of different solar lamps is introduced to the market. Number of new models increases almost daily. Therefore, it is difficult to find an adequate solar lamp regarding type and quality.

Lamp Types

Today, there is no common typology of lamps yet, but few insititutions refer to the following definitions:

Mini Reading Lamps / Task Lamps

They exist in a variety of size and light output intensity. Mainly they are used for special tasks, such as reading or weaving. Solar Energy Foundation estimates, that most of these lamps available, are not able to replace kerosene lamps due to their minimal brighness.

Flashlights / Torches


Torches have directional, focused light. They are portable and often have an integrated solar module. Solar Energy Foundation deny a replacement of kerosene lamps for torches as well because of minimal brightness and construction: Furthermore, they do not recommend integrated solar modules, because the module is not large enough to gain enough capacity and the battery is likely to be damaged, when placed outside by the sun, dust or rain. Additionally theft may be encouraged.


Lanterns give light in various directions. They are portable or stationary.

Mulitfunctional Devices

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As well portable or stationary available multifunctional devices can be distinguished from other lamps by their additional features, such as a mobile charger. They provide either one directional or multi-directional light.

Micro- Solar Home Systems

Micro SHS are only limited portable. They can supply one to three lamps and other applications, such as mobile phones, radios, and in the future probably TVs as well.

Further Information