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Little Sun Charge is a high-performance solar phone charger and light designed by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen.
Little Sun Charge is a high-performance solar phone charger and light designed by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen.
Little Sun Charge is a high-performance solar phone charger and light designed by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen.
2,080 backers pledged €265,448 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Little Sun Charge: a solar phone charger by Olafur Eliasson

€265,448

2,080

We are all connected by the sun

Our actions have consequences for the world. Little Sun is a wedge that opens up the urgent discussion about bringing sustainable energy to all from the perspective of art to raise awareness about energy access and the unequal distribution of energy today.                                                                            - Olafur Eliasson

Olafur's iconic work 'The weather project' for the Tate Modern 2003
Olafur's iconic work 'The weather project' for the Tate Modern 2003

What is Little Sun Charge?

A beautiful, high-performance handheld solar phone charger and light, designed by artist Olafur Eliasson.

A work of art that works in life, a great solar energy product and a social business in one.

Little Sun Charge prototype, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun
Little Sun Charge prototype, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun
Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun
Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun
  • Offers a full smartphone charge from 5 hours of sunshine
  • Works with all of your existing mobile devices and cables and uses a standard USB port.
  • Great for outdoor use. Hang it from your backpack and it will charge all day while you're out and about.
  • Phone charging and a solar light wherever you go, whenever you need it!

Greetings from Little Sun Charge creator, Olafur Eliasson:

Olafur with the Charge prototype in his Studio
Olafur with the Charge prototype in his Studio
 

Since we launched Little Sun, our global solar art project, three years ago, we have lived by the philosophy that we all share the sun.

The sun’s energy is powerful enough to be available to every single one of us on earth in the form of clean and sustainable energy.

Light is for everyone – it determines what we do and how we do it.

Light and life are inseparable. I have always considered light to be more than just something practical. Light touches our feelings.

In my artworks I use light to shape spaces and environments that make people wonder, make them question how they sense the world and engage with it.

I believe that art can change the world by making an issue as urgent as energy access not just understandable for the mind but also physically tangible. This experience can lead us to recognise our interconnectivity, what we have in common, and it moves us to act.

Beauty, Olafur Eliasson, 1993
Beauty, Olafur Eliasson, 1993

OUR VISION

So far, the Little Sun lamp has brought light to hundreds of thousands of people, including over 670,000 people living without access to the electrical grid. 

Doual'art Cameroon. Photo: Doual'art
Doual'art Cameroon. Photo: Doual'art

Now we're very excited to show you the next Little Sun that we have designed: a solar mobile phone charger called Little Sun Charge.

What is so great about solar technology is that it takes the sun – which is for all of us – and makes it available to each of us, no matter where in the world we are. The sun nourishes, it connects and empowers. Using sunlight, Little Sun Charge directly connects us with each other through our mobile phones.  

At Little Sun we are working tirelessly to make this solar technology available to as many people as possible, embedded in beautiful designs. 

Her first Little Sun. Photo: Merklit Mersha
Her first Little Sun. Photo: Merklit Mersha

Who is Little Sun Charge for?

It's for anyone who wants a smart, beautifully-designed and environmentally-sound way to charge their phone.

Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun
Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun

It's for all of us: for those of us who want a way to charge our mobile phones on the go. Also for those of us living off-grid with no reliable way to charge our phones.

For example, Little Sun Charge is perfect for:

  • Travellers and freelancers who need to charge their phone or mini camera wherever life takes them. 
  • Hikers, campers, cyclists or all those who love the outdoors. It's perfect if you're using battery-consuming GPS. 
  • Take it off-grid and it will double as a charger for your phone as well as a great nightlight
  • Or simply take it with you to your favourite cafe to charge while you chat with your friends or work. 
  • You can also use it to charge your mp3 player so your whole crew has music wherever you go.

Free yourself from the grid!

Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun
Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun

Why Kickstarter?

You have the power to make Little Sun Charge a reality here with us on Kickstarter. Be one of the first to own a beautiful, artist-designed solar phone charger - and become part of a global solar energy project.

Little Sun has always worked by the belief that we are stronger together.

Our ideals of compassionate global togetherness and energy access for all resonate with the community spirit of Kickstarter.

Because the Charge is based on cutting-edge technology, it makes sense to launch it via a digital and social platform

This Kickstarter campaign will help Little Sun bring a beautiful solar phone charger to you. At the same time it will also further Little Sun’s mission of bringing sustainable energy to all.

Little Sun Charge prototype testing in Zimbabwe, July 2015
Little Sun Charge prototype testing in Zimbabwe, July 2015

Where are we now?

Olafur and our team have designed and engineered this beautiful prototype. Now we need YOU to join us on Kickstarter to take us from prototype to production.

If you back us on Kickstarter, your contribution will enable us to produce our first batch, ready for market by March 2016.

The Little Sun Charge prototype is designed and ready to order.

To get us to this point, the prototype has gone through many design iterations. 

We have:

  • researched and found the best solar cells.
  • found the perfect battery.
  • spent days (and nights) with our design team at the factory.
  • tested the prototypes in Europe and in Africa. 

We are now ready to present the perfect Charge to you.

With your funding we will:

  • finalise the production preparation 
  • go through the necessary certification processes 
  • source all components and parts 
  • make the final tools 
  • begin making our specially laminated solar panels 
  • set up the production line

All units for our wonderful Kickstarter backers will be delivered to you as our top priority, as soon as they are ready at the factory! We are excited!

Become a solar ambassador and be one of the first to own a Little Sun Charge. Let’s bring this life-changing Little Sun Charge to YOU and to the people who live without access to energy through Kickstarter.

I hope you're just as excited as I am about our mission!! - Olafur

Early Little Sun Charge sketch
Early Little Sun Charge sketch
Little Sun Charge 3D render, August 2015
Little Sun Charge 3D render, August 2015

Your rewards

Your rewards!
Your rewards!

When you back us on Kickstarter, you also become a crucial part in bringing Olafur's next 'work of art that works in life' to the world. We'll thank you for your involvement and generosity with rewards such as:

  • The very special opportunity to own an original hand sketch by Olafur Eliasson.
  • The chance to be one of the first to own a Little Sun Charge at a great price
  • The option to supply Little Sun solar lamps and chargers to our partner Alight Zimbabwe, so you can play a part in sharing the sun with the world.
  • Plus many more!

All rewards are accompanied by a heartfelt squawk of gratefulness from our parrot!

OUR DESIGN AND ENGINEERING

The story of Little Sun Charge began when we saw how many solar phone chargers there are out there that take 20 hours to charge, and we wanted to radically change that - for everyone with phones that are always running out of battery - and for those living off-grid with no reliable way to charge.

A few words from co-creator, engineer Frederik Ottesen:

Olafur and Frederik in Berlin, July 2015
Olafur and Frederik in Berlin, July 2015

Our solar solution is Little Sun Charge: a top-quality, portable, high-performance solar phone charger. 

Olafur insisted that it had to be beautiful and resonate with a vibrant energy, reflecting the core value of Little Sun to share happiness and light. 

Little Sun Charge 3D render
Little Sun Charge 3D render

And from an engineering perspective, I made sure that Little Sun Charge:

  • contains real power 
  • uses a fantastic solar panel that is large enough to fully charge a smart phone after only 5 hours in the sun, but is still small enough to be portable
  • uses solar cells are from US company SunPower - in my opinion the best on the market
  • uses specially laminated solar cells for our strongest Little Sun solar panel yet
  • has a strong in-built light 
  • contains an intelligent charge monitor that allows you to always get the most out of the sunlight. 
  • uses best components to make the most efficient and powerful combination of lamp and charger that you can easily carry.

It's perfectly calibrated solar technology that we are very proud of. It puts the power of the sun in your hand - freeing you from the grid!

Little Sun Charge, early 3D print
Little Sun Charge, early 3D print

PRODUCT FEATURES: SUMMARY

  • Little Sun's second product in a suite of artist-designed, premium solar energy products. 
  • Offers a full smartphone charge from 5 hours of sunshine.
  • Doubles as a beautiful solar light with multiple brightness levels.
  • Boasts an intelligent charge monitor which allows you to always get the most out of the sun. 
  • Works with all of your existing mobile devices and cables and uses a standard USB port.  
  • Great for outdoor use. Featuring a rugged casing that is weather proof, water resistant, heat resistant and UV protected plus a handy light for when you're off the electrical grid.
  • Features a 2W solar panel and LiFePO4 rechargeable battery
  • Comes with a two year warranty 

ABOUT LITTLE SUN

Little Sun is a social business and global project founded by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen to get clean, reliable, affordable light to the 1.1 billion people in the world living in off-grid areas without electricity. The project’s first product, the Little Sun solar LED lamp, is sold all over the world. Purchasing Little Suns in areas of the world with electricity makes the lamps available in off-grid areas at reduced, locally affordable prices, where they provide a clean alternative to toxic and expensive fuel-based lighting such as kerosene lanterns.

Little Sun addresses the need for light in a sustainable way that benefits off-grid communities by working with local entrepreneurs, creating local jobs, and generating local profits. The Little Sun project was officially launched in July 2012 at London’s Tate Modern. Since then, more than 300,000 Little Sun lamps have been distributed worldwide, with almost half going to off-grid areas. For more information: www.littlesun.com

Our partnership with Alight Zimbabwe

(n.b: video shows the Little Sun Charge prototype: proposed batch will feature a blue 'sunburst').

In all our Little Sun travels, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, we meet so many people living without access to energy and they tell us again and again that they depend on their mobile phones for their livelihoods. They also tell us they have no reliable way to charge their phones - and we all know the feeling of having a dead phone.

One of Little Sun's oldest and most trusted partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa is with Alight Zimbabwe - a community-based trust formed by young entrepreneurs who were sponsored by the NGO Plan International as children, and now work as the distributors of Little Suns in Zimbabwe. 

Alight has told us directly how urgent the need is for people in their communities to have access to solar phone chargers. Little Sun is answering that need with Little Sun Charge.

By backing Little Sun Charge on Kickstarter, you will directly impact the lives of people living without access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly through the rewards we are offering in our campaign that will allow Alight Zimbabwe to scale their local distribution.

For more of Olafur in his Studio, watch Olafur's pre-campaign video:

 (Video shows the Little Sun Charge prototype: proposed batch will feature a blue 'sunburst').

Risks and challenges

Here at Little Sun, we believe that everybody shares the sun. Which is why, with our great team in place, our solar expertise, and with the participation of our partners and backers since 2012, we have delivered over 300,000 Little Sun lamps across the world.

Bringing solar energy to all comes with logistical challenges, namely of working from Denmark and Germany with a manufacturer in China, and shipping to around 65 countries across the world. We continue to rise to these challenges daily by nurturing our close working relationships with all our logistics and distribution partners and our rigorous quality control system.

Our learning process has evolved rapidly through the design, mass production and delivery of our first product. We had to move our thinking from making one-off art pieces into moving hundreds of thousands of lamps. Many problems we initially faced with the Little Sun lamp have now been solved through the expertise of our team; these specialised capabilities move us forward into the future with our second product, Little Sun Charge.

Join us in producing the first batch!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €2 or more About $2.25

    CONNECT WITH LITTLE SUN

    Our parrot will send you his undying love!

    + We'll thank you by name on our site and social media for being a part of our Little Sun world.

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    Pledge €5 or more About $6

    LITTLE SUN TREATS

    We'll send you Little Sun treats to express our gratitude! Welcome to our Little world.

    + Our parrot will send you his heartfelt thanks!

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    Pledge €10 or more About $11

    LITTLE SUN COMMUNITY

    To thank you for becoming part of Olafur's next 'work of art that works in life', you'll be included in Olafur’s Thinking Doing Making online community for 1 year.

    Once a week, you'll be offered an inspiring or motivating thought from Olafur, exclusive to Kickstarter backers, with insight into his practice and what drives him.

    + You'll also be on the invitation list for any upcoming exhibitions and Little Sun events for 1 year

    + Our parrot will send you his love!

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    Pledge €20 or more About $23

    LITTLE SUN & OLAFUR ELIASSON TOTE BAG

    Thanks for going solar! As a token of our gratitude, you'll receive our specially designed tote bag, acknowledging you as a being part of Olafur's next 'work of art that works in life', with a quote by Olafur.

    + Our parrot and our planet will thank you!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €40 or more About $45

    LITTLE SUN SOLAR LAMP

    You just brought a smile to our faces! We'll thank you with a Little Sun solar lamp or, if you already have one, you can always give one as a gift instead!

    + Our parrot will also send you his solar love. Thanks for spreading the solar glow!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €40 or more About $45

    LITTLE SUN CHARGES FOR BURKINA FASO

    Due to popular demand, we've created a reward that offers you a chance to supply Little Sun Charges to another of our wonderful off-grid partners: BETA Sarl in Burkina Faso.

    Pledge €40 to supply one. Or opt to pledge a greater amount under this reward and we will be able to supply an even more generous number to BETA Sarl who very much needs them.

    + BETA Sarl will send you a personalised thank you

    + Our parrot will have a permanent smile on his beak, thanks to you

    Thank you for supporting the #EnergyRevolution!

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    Pledge €55 or more About $62

    LITTLE SUN CHARGE: EARLY BIRD

    Now here's where the campaign really gets going: be one of the first to get your hands on the new Little Sun Charge - and for less than half the regular price (€120)!

    + Our parrot will squawk with joy!

    Thank you for becoming a big part of making Little Sun Charge happen with us.

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    Pledge €60 or more About $68

    LITTLE SUN CHARGE: EARLY BIRD ROUND 2

    For €60, you’ll be one of the first in the world to get your hands on a Little Sun Charge and you’ll also get it for a very special price.

    + Our parrot will send you parrot kisses!

    Thank you for becoming a big part of making Little Sun Charge happen with us.

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    Pledge €63 or more About $71

    LITTLE SUN CHARGE: EARLY BIRD ROUND 3

    At the special price of €63, you’ll be one of the first in the world to get your hands on a Little Sun Charge.

    + Lots of love from our parrot!

    Thank you for your wonderful support in making Little Sun Charge happen with us.

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    Pledge €65 or more About $73

    LITTLE SUN CHARGE: EARLY BIRD FINAL ROUND

    At the final round early-bird price of €65, this is the last chance to get your hands on a Little Sun Charge for around half of what it will retail at.

    + So much love from our parrot!

    Thank you for your wonderful support in making Little Sun Charge happen with us.

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    Pledge €75 or more About $85

    EARLY BIRD CHARGE + WIRED MAGAZINE SIGNED BY OLAFUR

    Your generosity will get you special Kickstarter price on Little Sun Charge (regular price: €120)!

    + One of 100 copies of WIRED magazine, featuring Olafur, and signed by him in his best handwriting.

    + Heartfelt thanks from our parrot too for your support!

    (Please note: the magazine will be shipped to you by the end of October 2015 and the Charge when it is complete in early 2016).

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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    Pledge €85 or more About $96

    1 EARLY BIRD CHARGE FOR YOU + 1 FOR ALIGHT ZIMBABWE

    You will be one of the first in the world to get a Little Sun Charge! (regular price €120)

    + We will also supply one on your behalf to our partner Alight Zimbabwe which will assist them in scaling their local distribution.

    + Alight will send you a personalised thank you

    + Our parrot will love you forever!

    Thank you for supporting the #EnergyRevolution!

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    Pledge €110 or more About $124

    EARLY BIRD CHARGE: BUNDLE OF TWO

    You’ll be one of the first in the world to get your hands on 2x Little Sun Charges at a very special price.

    + Save on shipping costs by getting two at once!

    + Never-ending love from our parrot!

    Thank you for your huge role in making Little Sun Charge happen with us.

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    Reward no longer available 300 backers
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    Pledge €120 or more About $135

    A LITTLE SUN CHARGE SIGNED BY OLAFUR

    Thanks for being such an important part of Little Sun Charge! To show our gratitude, we'll give you 1 of 100 Little Sun Charges signed and scribbled on by Olafur!

    + Olafur will post a thank you video on your Facebook wall which will probably involve his parrot squawking in your honour!

    (Please note: your video will be posted on your wall asap and your Charge when it is complete in early 2016).

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge €237 or more About $267

    OLAFUR'S ANSWERS + LITTLE SUN CHARGE

    You may wonder why this is such a unique pledge amount...well, it's a bit of a unique reward...

    Olafur will answer any question asked from the first 50 people who pledge €237, no matter how odd, awkward or strange your question...

    He will post the answer to your Facebook wall or email you privately (your choice).

    + You will also receive an early-bird Little Sun Charge (regular price: €120)

    + Little Sun and the parrot will thank you endlessly for being a big part in making Little Sun Charge happen (and for sharing your most burning questions)!

    (Please note: your answer will be posted asap and your Charge when it is complete in early 2016).

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    Pledge €550 or more About $620

    EARLY BIRD CHARGE: BUNDLE OF TEN

    Wow, huge thanks for your generosity in making Little Sun Charge happen with us!

    You’ll be one of the first in the world to get your hands on a bundle of 10x Little Sun Charges at a very special price.

    + Save on shipping costs by getting a whole bundle at once!

    + You’ll always be dearest to our parrot’s heart!

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    Pledge €800 or more About $902

    OLAFUR'S SOLAR SKETCH
    + EARLY-BIRD CHARGE

    Our warmest and most heartfelt thanks for your generosity in making Little Sun Charge happen with us!

    Kickstarter supporters are offered a very rare chance, exclusive to Kickstarter, to own an original sketch by Olafur Eliasson (hand sketch, black ink on A3 paper). A truly special chance to own a work by one of the world's most respected contemporary artists.

    + You will also receive an early-bird charger (regular price €120)

    + And of course we’ll thank you warmly for your hugest help in making Little Sun Charge a reality!

    (Please note: your artwork will be posted to you asap and your Charge when it is complete in early 2016).

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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    Pledge €1,600 or more About $1,803

    OLAFUR'S 'CHARGED BY LIGHT' DRAWINGS

    + EARLY-BIRD CHARGE

    "I feel so energised by the resonance that the Kickstarter campaign has created so far, by all of you who want to share light and energy with the world as much as I do. The Solar Sketches I offered are now sold out, so I would like to offer a new group of original 'Charged by light’ drawings inspired by the sun – inspired by this global solar movement we are creating together." - Olafur.

    Kickstarter supporters are offered a very rare chance, exclusive to Kickstarter, to own an original 'Charged by light' drawing by Olafur Eliasson (hand drawing, ink on A2 paper). A truly special chance to own a work by one of the world's most respected contemporary artists.

    + You will also receive an early-bird charger (regular price €120)

    + And of course we’ll thank you warmly for your hugest help in making Little Sun Charge a reality!

    (Please note: your artwork will be posted to you asap and your Charge when it is complete in early 2016).

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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge €7,000 or more About $7,888

    SOLAR AMBASSADOR

    Why €7000, you may ask? Because this is the highest sum we can ask for on Kickstarter...we know it's a long shot but we wholeheartedly believe in sharing the sun and we (and our planet) hope you do too.

    We will open our arms to those who would like to be involved in something bigger with us: become a solar ambassador and travel to Ethiopia, Zimbabwe or Ghana, for example, and help us spread the solar glow with our partners in off-grid communities.

    We would love to hear your ideas on how you would like to share the sun with us.

    And if you're in Berlin, come visit us at Olafur's studio for lunch so we can chat face to face.

    And most of all: thank you.

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Funding period

- (33 days)