Solar LEDs Light Up Nairobi Streets

Philips and the Kenyan Urban Roads Authority have embarked in a new pilot project – installing solar-powered LED street lighting in Nairobi with the potential for expansion across the country. The pilot, the first of its kind in East Africa, was launched on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) – whose headquarters is based in Nairobi – and the UN International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, 2012.
The En.lighten Initiative: a public-private partnership for energy efficient lighting

solar street lightThe en.lighten initiative is a public-private partnership led by UNEP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in collaboration with Philips Lighting, Osram AG, and the National Lighting Test Centre of China. The initiative aims to highlight the benefits of sustainable energy sources and alternatives to expensive, less efficient traditional lighting.

According to UNEP, solar-powered LED is an efficient lighting technology that could save up to 100 per cent of energy compared to conventional lighting solutions.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: “The past four decades have witnessed enormous innovation much of which is now commercial or becoming commercially cost-effective – energy efficient lighting systems being a case in point”.

“Governments and local authorities have significant purchasing power which can accelerate the evolution of markets in favour of low carbon, resource efficient goods and services – a key outcome of last month’s Rio+20 Summit in Brazil under the theme of sustainable procurement,” he added.

“UNEP is proud to be partnering with the government, the private sector and civil society to demonstrate that a transition to an inclusive Green Economy is happening and do-able in both developing to developed countries – from the public policies that are triggering a surge in renewable energy in Turkana and Naivasha; the energy efficient, solar-powered new offices of the UN at Gigiri to this piloting of LED lighting on UN Avenue, Kenya is indeed glimpsing a very different, more sustainable future for its citizens, the country and for Africa,” said Mr Steiner.

Lighting the Clear Revolution: the Rise of LED Street Lighting and implications for Cities in Africa

“A new generation of Solar powered LED road and area lighting has the potential to transform life throughout Africa at a social and economic level” says Andre Dehmel, Philips lighting General Manager Africa. “We are very proud to be supplying an example of this to the road outside the UNEP headquarters, today,” he said.

According to findings from a report by the Climate Group and Philips entitled, “Lighting the Clear Revolution, The Rise of LED Street Lighting and What it means for Cities“, “the potential benefits of LED scale-up are immense” – particularly when combined with smart lighting control systems. The report explores the global market status and potential for LED and smart control technology – providing practical guidance for policy makers and lighting managers keen to scale up and finance large-scale LED retrofits.

“We are looking to work with key partners to develop project solutions which are meaningful for communities throughout the continent” says Tamer Abolghar, General Manager, Philips Lighting Egypt and East Africa.

Sources: UNEP press releaseEn.lighten initiativePhilips Africa Roadshow 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses to “Solar LEDs Light Up Nairobi Streets”

  1. Synthia July 30, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Simply want to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity in your post is simply great and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  2. Led Street Lighting August 6, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Thanx for the effort, keep up the good work Great work.

  3. Solar Installer August 9, 2012 at 12:08 am #

    Solar LEDs Light Up Nairobi Streets | Green Africa Directory is a critical topic and newsworthy discussion. We have been making your your website part of our weekly “read list” to stay current. Just thought I’d comment and say it’s worth also mentioning – that Green Technology will also bring manufacturing back to the U.S. once again. The tides will turn since Small and Large Corporations alike have learned when we import it takes longer and the quality decreases significantly. There’s also time capitol decay invloved with educating foreign sources abroad. Manufacturing and green energy will create the jobs needed to turn unemployment figures around. Thank you – Solar Installer

  4. Chloe September 10, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Thank you for sharing.I think it a good lighting project.

  5. AstralENERGY October 16, 2017 at 2:07 am #


    We have been working on a project in Cameroon, Central Africa for the Government of Cameroon to build out 10,000 solar streetlights with integrated lighting, charge and communication controls, battery energy storage & back up, integrated camera, intercom, and long range RF ID systems for emergency assistive device systems to allow police, fire and ambulance a real time evaluation of an accident scene in order to dispatch the appropriate personnel and properly gauge the level of response – which in many places in the world can change in a moments notice.

    The lights themselves are proper high powered LED Streetlights with proper DOT Roadway Lighting Output with supplementary communication systems added on. We believe that we have developed one of the most significant lighting systems in the world with far ranging implications for safety, security, and enhanced information for all emergency situations.

    We welcome inquiries from all other nations and are working to build a brighter tomorrow for all of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe and someday perhaps the world.

    All inquiries should be directed to M. Levesque at

Leave a Reply