Currently, about 1.32 billion people are without access to electricity worldwide, and many homes in the regions use kerosene lamps for lighting, but the fire and smoke from these lamps pose serious fire and health risks. Unable to get sufficient light, there are also significant restrictions as to what people can do at night. The lack of electric lighting in the regions means significant challenges in the areas of health, education, and the economy. However, solar lanterns enable users to charge electricity during the daytime, save it in the secondary battery, and use the electricity for lighting at night, thus helping to solve social issues in non-electrified regions by curbing fire and health risks, and emission of CO2 by kerosene lamps.
The "Cut Out the Darkness" project website offers its own unique application that enables users to design a cutout and see a virtual shade image on-screen while working on the design. When finishing the design, the design can be submitted online, and displayed in the "Design Archives." Based on a popularity poll by site visitors, the best 100 shade designs are chosen and fabricated by laser cutter into lantern shades true to the original cutout designs. Moreover, original designs contributed by eleven globally acclaimed paper-cut artists, who are supporting the project, are also showcased on the site and made into lantern shades. Solar lanterns and shades, including those made from selected designs by a popularity poll and from designs contributed by paper-cut artists, are delivered to homes and schools in non-electrified regions.
- Introduction Video of Cut Out the Darkness Project
The "Cut Out the Darkness" project allows people around the world to participate easily, because the entire process from design to submission is completed online. We cordially hope people around the world recognize the challenges in non-electrified regions, and show favor and support to Panasonic's "100 Thousand Solar Lantern Project" by participating in the "Cut Out the Darkness" project.
The progress of the project will be reported and updated regularly on the project website, and the "100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project" Facebook page.
[Schedule](Provisional) December 20, 2013 to the end of March, 2014
*Time/dates in JST
[Timeline of Events]
- December 20, 2013: The project website launched and the promotional introduction movie released.
- December 20, 2013, to late January, 2014 (provisional): The project website will start to accept shade design contributions and a popularity poll.
※In some circumstances the duration of the popularity poll may be extended.
- From the middle to the end of February, 2014: The best 100 designs will be selected based upon the popularity poll and fabricated as shades for solar lanterns.
- From the end of February to the middle of March, 2014: A total of 100 fabricated shades and solar lanterns will be transported from Japan and donated to people at locations in non-electrified regions.
(Donation recipients are being selected and will be announced on the project website and the "100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project" Facebook page as soon as they are determined.)
- From the middle to the end of March, 2014: A promotional documentary movie, summarizing the process and progress of the project, will be released after donation of the shades and lanterns.
*The progress of the project will be reported on the "100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project" Facebook page.
Contact (regarding the project)
COTD Project Office (Ozma PR Kasai Branch):
Phone: +81-6-6205-9800 (Japanese only)
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Japanese and English only)
Open: December 20, 2013 to January 31, 2014 on weekdays from 10 am to 18 pm (Not available on Saturdays and holidays including the period from December 28, 2013 to January 5, 2014)