Solar lighting: Mandarin 2 adds style to practicality

The Victorian Premier’s Design Awards are currently being judged. Not your usual port of call for this correspondent I hear you say but bear with me readers! That’s because one of the many excellent designs under consideration is the Mandarin 2 solar-charged light which is flying the flag for solar lighting under the category “product design”.

Described on the Design Awards site as a “simple” design that “works” under the toughest of conditions, the Mandarin 2, as its name implies, offers a robust solar lighting alternative to more expensive and polluting energy sources such as kerosene. The handheld solar charged light is described as durable and reliable and ticks that important box for SQ readers — powered by renewable source — solar.

Designed by Toolbox for Illumination Australia, the Mandarin 2 does appear to be a marvel of simplicity and style and we believe the judges at the Design Awards will be attracted to this. However here at SQHQ we are more impressed with the practicality of the product.

The Mandarin 2 will offer solar lighting not just to off road or places in Australia where electricity is difficult to access, but also to poorer communities around the world. As we pointed out in our Jan 12 article Kenya’s micro solar lamp revolution lights up the nation, solar lighting has many hidden benefits for communities where electricity supply is unavailable or unreliable.

This may well be the case in many rural areas of countries, places where polluting energy sources such as kerosene are used. If this is replaced by cheap and non-health destroying energy such as that supplied by solar lighting, children are able to study longer and with no health problems from inhaling kerosene fumes as they study into the night.

The Mandarin 2 solar lighting offers this alternative to these communities proving that solar power is not only the future of solar lighting in advanced but is also powering the future for developing nations. To return to the original point in the article (neat eh?) the Mandarin 2 is superbly designed for the wear and tear needed for the job at hand. However its design and accessible price tag also makes it well adapted to helping to change the lives of people without access to reliable energy.

Solar lighting as design winner? Why not? We’d be interested to hear your views either here or over at our spectacularly-designed Facebook Page. Want a quick look at the Mandarin 2? Go to the video here.


  1. Yes Minister says

    Dunno about anyone else, but personally I wouldn’t ascribe ANY credibility to a politician. What would a failed lawyer or union heavy turned bloodsucking parasite politician know about anything except how to siphon ever more benefits for their avaricious selves out of a system they have intently plundered for yonks.

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