About Better Living Finalist: Richard Lomax

By philip
8 September 2014

LEDzShine – lighting the way towards proper illumination for poorer communities, is a Better Living finalist.

Using solar energy and LED lights, the LEDzShine lighting solution provides an accessible, affordable and sustainable alternative to conventional lighting systems while helping to create jobs, generate revenue and raise people’s quality of life.

Selected as one of the 23 finalists in the Better Living Challenge Showcase, Richard Lomax elaborates on the need for his breakthrough solution: “South Africa’s informal communities are vulnerable enough during the day. Inadequate lighting after dark means their security is further compromised, economic activity slows down and even education suffers because children have less time to spend on their homework.”

In response, Richard – whose lighting products are already used in the hotel, retail, industrial, home and agriculture sectors – has developed three basic options, as follows:

Option 1. an outside light plus internal lights for six shacks
Option 2. Lighting between shacks and around shared facilities such as toilets and water points, which are typically located far from homes in informal settlements.
Option 3. an external light and an internal light for shared buildings such as clinics, spaza shops, libraries etc.

These options combine three types of LED lights with a 100W solar panel, 50 amp-hour batteries, a GSM controller, day/night, dimming devices plus features that prevent theft and electrocution. Using simple mobile technology, each option also allows local authorities to monitor consumption and collect revenue for the energy used.

As Richard explains, the LEDzShine solution offers a number of unique benefits to low-income communities as well as their local authorities. For the first time, informal settlement dwellers will be able to access a lighting solution that uses diverse technology and an alternative energy source. This makes it far more affordable than conventional lighting systems and – importantly – local authorities can use the revenue it earns from selling this alternative energy to fund the installation, maintenance and assembly of additional lighting systems, services and infrastructure. In the process, the LEDzShine system will help to create more jobs and a better quality of life for all.

Looking ahead, Richard is confident that his bright idea can make a positive and sustainable difference to low-income communities throughout South Africa. “The figures certainly tell a compelling story,” he says. “For example, the daily cost of operating the first LEDzShine option is just R6 a day versus R40 for conventional lighting. The daily cost for option two is just R29 versus R70. Producing the new systems will create five new jobs while installing them will create 20 new jobs for every 100 lights.”

via Better Living Newsletter and Cape Town Green Map

Better Living Challenge Showcase  #WDC204
7-12 November  WHERE:  V&A Waterfront   INFO: visit