Affordable solar lighting systems for South African conditions.


Affordable solar lighting systems for South African conditions.

A breakthrough in more affordable solar lighting systems has been made by Pretoria-based company BettaLights. Using leading edge renewable energy technology and compact component design, they have developed practical and reliable systems expressly for our tough South African conditions.

Solar lighting for low-cost housing

Specially designed for houses that are not connected to the national grid or for back-up lighting when Eskom power fails, this system uses solar energy to illuminate a small dwelling of about 50 m². It consists of four ceiling lights and a desk-light for reading or study – as well as a mobile-phone charger with adaptors fitting most cellphone brands.

The lights and charger are powered by an exterior solar photovoltaic PVC panel (with an expected lifespan of 25 years). Each light contains 22 LEDs. When fully charged, the system will work for up to 15 hours, even with all five lights on simultaneously.

The compact units are also designed for easy DIY plug-n-play installation. High-tech skills or a registered electrician are not required.

A unique feature is that batteries made with lead crystal – not acid –are used. This break-through vastly improves storage life, maintenance and safety. No topping up is required, nor is there corrosion or chance of dangerous spillages. They also require 20% less time for charging. . Each battery unit comes with a 30 month factory guarantee and average expected lifespan is 7-10 years.

The whole system, at a recommended retail price of R3 400 (ex-VAT), is valued reasonably to provide consistent, decent lighting for off-grid housing, including workers accommodation.

Powerful night exterior security lights powered by solar energy

BettaLights also provides a tall mast lighting system for illuminating equipment yards, sheds, perimeters and outside areas needing security lighting at night.

This systems come with a large LED floodlight powered by its own solar PVC cell and battery set. It is fixed high on a mast or pole – with no ground cables to get cut or damaged. Each light has an illumination range of 250 sq metres.

Components are attached to the pole using anti-theft bolts. Dual lighting sets can be affixed to the same mast for 360º illumination. They can also be set to sense light changes and go on and off automatically at dawn and dusk.

Endorsed by the Central Energy Fund and nominated by 702

Because of their usefulness, reliability and energy-saving features, Betta Light solar systems carry the endorsement of the Department of Energy’s Central Energy Fund. Betta Lights were also selected as a finalist in the 702 Small Business Awards for providing free solar lighting to a township student to enable him to pass matric. 

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