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Feature Post: Panasonic invites you to “Cut Out the Darkness” for people living without electricity

We are pretty fortunate. If you’re reading this post, it probably means that you have a computer, access to internet… and electricity. I think we Singaporeans never really thought about how electricity and light is so easily available – just flip a switch and there is light – and perhaps you have never even experienced a blackout in your life before!

I know how it is like to have no light and water during my younger days when my parents did not have enough to pay electricity and water bills, and the authorities cut our supply for a few days… but my plight is by no means comparable to the  >1.3 billion people live without access to electricity, day after day, night after night.

Panasonic cut out the darkness campaignI guess less fortunate people don’t cross our minds very often because we are more concerned about our work, health, children, bills, bills, and bills. =C

But what if you could help to brighten up their lives – literally? I was made aware of this interesting initiative by Panasonic, and jumped right into it.

To raise awareness of the daily challenges faced in these areas and bring light to these parts of the world, Panasonic has launched “Cut Out the Darkness” – asking you to help and create your very own solar lantern shade!

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Using the website, your job is to design a cut-out solar lantern lamp shade. I found it really fun, and similar to those ‘design-a-snow-flake’ websites where you fold a piece of paper many times and cut random shapes out.

Panasonic cut out the darkness campaignHere’s my design, inspired by fields of tiny flowers in bloom. And then I drew peace signs representing ladybugs or other small creatures that flitter amongst the tiny flowers. And not surprising, my design is named ‘Mypeaceofheaven’. Lol. Go here to see it spinning :)

And when translated into a lamp shade, it looks something like this below! I realised that my design is probably not very ideal because it lets so little light out.. :X

Panasonic cut out the darkness campaignQuick, try to design your own lampshade here at http://cotd.panasonic.net! The top 100 designs voted will be laser-cut and delivered to non-electrified schools and homes worldwide!

Since 2006, Panasonic has donated solar lanterns to those in need, aiming to donate a total of 100,000 lanterns by the company’s centenary in 2018. These solar lanterns enable users to charge electricity during the daytime, save it in the secondary battery, and use the electricity for lighting at night, helping to solve the social issues found in areas without electricity.

And this year, eleven globally acclaimed paper-cut artists have taken part in the project, including:

Hina Aoyama (Yokohama, JPN)
Anna Howarth (Manchester, GBR)
Bovey Lee (Pennsylvania, USA)
Elaine Penwell (California, USA)
Elod Beregszaszi (Budapest, HUN)
Julene Harrison (Sussex, GBR)
Kako Ueda (Tokyo, JPN)
Mayuko Fujino (New York, USA)
Jonathan Chapman – Mr Yen Designs (Leeds, GBR)
Sarah Dennis (Sussex, GBR)
Xin Song (New York, USA)

Here are some of the lamp shades that I voted for!

Panasonic cut out the darkness campaign Panasonic cut out the darkness campaign Panasonic cut out the darkness campaign(1, 23)

Okay… Now my design isn’t looking like much when compared to others’.. Haha! But you should have a go at it! If you’re worried about not having a good design, don’t worry, go cotd.panasonic.net/entry/weekly/1 to check out and vote for your favourite lamp shades. Hurry cuz the deadline for submission and voting is ending in early Feb. :) xx

Please visit www.panasonic.net | www.facebook.com/PanasonicSolarLantern | cotd.panasonic.net | www.panasonic.net/sustainability/en/lantern/ for more information.

This post is brought to you by Panasonic Global.

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