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Bloomberg invests $5M in solar-powered lamp

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 22, 2014 at 11:42 am •  Published: April 22, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation on Tuesday announced a $5 million investment in an artsy-looking solar-powered lamp designed for use in off-grid populations in Africa.

The lamp, called Little Sun, provides clear, affordable energy to places dependent on costly and toxic kerosene lighting in sub-Saharan Africa, said Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charity of the billionaire businessman and former mayor.

The foundation said it will provide a low-interest rate loan to help the business grow.

"Too many families are forced to breathe in toxic kerosene fumes because they don't have access to electricity," Bloomberg said in a statement. "Little Sun is bringing clean, safe, affordable light to people who don't have it today."

The portable lamp created by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen lasts two to three years before needing a new battery.

The Little Sun company said it can save households as much as 90 percent over three years compared to what they spend on kerosene.

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