General

Question 

What is so unique about WakaWaka?

Answer

It’s the chip. Made by Dutch Intivation, this chip ensures that no other solar lamp in the world can match the efficiency of WakaWaka. In low light conditions, the efficiency can be up to 200% of that of an ‘ordinary solar lamp’. In practice it means, that no matter where you are in the world, WakaWaka will work.

Question 

Where can I buy WakaWaka?

Answer

Please visit our webshop!

Question 

How long is the delivery time?

Answer

If you buy online it should take no more than a few days unless we´re out of stock.
We are trying to forecast the best way we can in order to prevent longer delivery times. Should it take more than a few days, we will let you know immediately.

Question 

What’s up with import duties & VAT?

Answer

US and Netherlands are shipped locally currently. As WakaWaka grows we will open up distribution centers elsewhere. Until that time you will be invoiced for import duties and VAT by the courier company, or your local customs office.

Question 

What can I use WakaWaka for?

Answer

Ah, nice question. So many purposes! Use it for bedtime reading, when going hiking, when struck by a hurricane, or during your usual black/brown-out. You can use WakaWaka when you´re camping, or sailing. Leave one in your car, under the back window, always in the sun, always charged when you need it.

Question 

When will you have accessories?

Answer

We will be introducing different accessories like lanyards, small locks, sticker sheets (to personalize your WakaWaka) and more. Keep track of our site to stay up to date.

Technical

Question 

How does it work?

Answer

The sun hits the solar panel and the energy is stored in a battery. When it gets dark and you need light, you switch it on. Thanks to the super efficient Sunboost chip WakaWaka sucks the maximum amount of power out of every sunray.

Question 

How much light do I get?

 Answer

You will get more than enough light to read, in fact a whole table full of people can read with just one WakaWaka. You will have enough light to do some cooking, have a conversation with a group of people, or light up a small room. WakaWaka provides app. 7 lux ambient light and around 30 lux task light. (60 lumen)

Question 

What is the life expectancy?

Answer

The LED´s will run for at least 50,000 hrs (based on 4 hrs per day = 30 years)
The solar panel will work fine for at least 10 years.
We expect that in an extreme environment with heat & dust, WakaWaka should last for some 7 years at least, though this needs to be proven still.

Question 

How long does the battery hold Power without using?

Answer

Approximately 4 months.

Question 

How long do the batteries last?

Answer

The battery needs to be replaced after 3 years if you use it every day. If you only use it once a week, you don´t need to replace the batteries for some 10 years.
If you don´t charge WakaWaka for a whole year, the capacity of the battery will be damaged. You can loose app. 20% battery capacity. In practice it means you´ll have juice for 12, 13 hrs of reading light instead of 16.

Question 

How do I change the batteries?

Answer

The manual shows you how to do this. Unscrew 4 screws at the corners (below the silicon covers), unplug the battery pack and insert new one. We are working on creating a neat battery holder so you don´t need to find a sealed battery pack.

Question 

What type of batteries do I need?

Answer

Type : NiMh – rechargeable
Size : 3 x AA sealed

Question 

Is WakaWaka Light waterproof? 

Answer

No, but it is water resistant. I can withstand a decent tropical shower when the solar cell faces the sky. The side of the button and the LED´s is less resistant to water, but tests have shown it can take reasonable rain shower on either side.

Question 

Is the WakakWaka Power waterproof? 

Answer

No. Because of the USB ports it is not. it can withstand some drops for sure, but don't leave it in the rain.

Question 

Which mobile phones can connect to the WakaWaka Power?

Answer

 All. You just need a USB charger cable. We personally tested the iPhone 3,4,4s and 5, Blackberry, Samsung Galaxy IIIs, iPad 2,3 and they all worked.

Question 

How long can the LED light shine after I charged my phone?

Answer

It depends on the device you are charging. For example, after charging an iPhone, with a relatively small battery size, you'll have approximately 10 hours light left in the battery. Obviously, the more power an electrical device needs, the less power is left for lightning

Question 

Does your WakaWakaPower not show more then 2 green LED lights?

Answer

The WakaWaka Power has been specified to charge at least 74% in approx 6 hours at a New York Latitude, which is 40 degrees North. There is a significant difference with 52 degrees (Amsterdam), when you look at solar intensity at that latitude. That is why most solar products hardly work at all at higher latitudes. With lower light intensity of course it takes longer for the battery to charge, and as the battery gets fuller (past 50%) more charge current is required to charge the remaining capacity. So it is not uncommon that it takes quite some time to get passed 2 LED´s at higher latitudes.

Question 

 How much is my WakaWakaPower charged?

Answer

The  LEDs are tuned at 25 - 50 - 75 - 100% so with 2 LEDs on, you will have between 50% and 74% capacity. And with 3 LEDs on, you may have between 75% and 99% capacity. Since the last few percent need to be squeezed into the battery it can be very hard get to 4 LED's. The 4th charring LED only lights up when the batteries are exactly 100% charged. However, as soon as the batteries are 100% full, the drip charge mechanism kicks in and assures the batteries are not over charged, so capacity fluctuates between 98% and 100%. And the 4th light turns off again.

Question 

 My solar panel has different colors, is there something wrong?

Answer

Solar panels are a product of nature. They are ultra thin slices of crystals, which have some color deviation. We try to put the same colors together on one panel but every now and than a different color cell slips through. It has no effect in the efficiency though but it is a 'limited edition'. Therefore it might seem the cells are separated from the others.

Question 

 How warm can my Power get?

Answer

A solar powered device should be able to withstand the sun! Our Power can resist a temperature up to 60°C without problems. Hence, we never expected there to be any trouble with dashboard usage, and on some occasions even advised you to do so. We have underestimated how hot it can get inside a car and a car acts like a greenhouse so the internal temperature can rocket to over 100 °C (210 °F). These conditions will still don’t harm the internal hardware, but the battery will automatically switch of and the plastic cover could become deformed. 

 

Question 

Will you introduce more colors?

Answer

Yes, once more colors are being ordered by our distributors, we will stock some as well.

 Question 

 Is WakaWaka patented? Or registered?

 Answer

Yes, the heart of WakaWaka is well patented. The Intivation Sunboost IC has a worldwide patent. WakaWaka is also a registered trademark and the design is globally protected by copyright under the Berne Convention. 

 Question 

 What quality certificates does WakaWaka have?

 Answer

 WakaWaka has an RoHs certificate, ensuring it has no hazardous substances. Also it is CE certified. WakaWaka is currently tested by DEKRA (formerly known as KEMA) for compliance with their certification. We already know WakaWaka will pass the test, but it’s not official yet.

U.L. certification will follow later this year.

Social

Question 

How do I support an off-grid family with a WakaWaka?

Answer

Go to the WakaWaka Foundation website and there you can donate a WakaWaka to a family living in a UNHCR refugee camp.

Question 

How does WakaWaka contribute to alleviating poverty? 

Answer

WakaWaka is being distributed to off-grid families who live at the ‘Base of the Pyramid’ off less than $2 a day. WakaWaka brightens their lives in so many ways, both directly and indirectly.
Direct poverty alleviation

 

  • Saves up to 20% of family expenses on lighting fuels
  • Parents can now work longer in the evening
  • Women don’t have to walk miles and miles to get kerosene, time can be spent more productively

Indirect poverty alleviation

  • WakaWaka contributes to significantly better school results, which leads to higher educated people, who have better chances at getting a job and better paid.
  • WakaWaka doesn’t pollute the indoor air. Less sickness results in better productivity
  • WakaWaka prevents injuries from kerosene burns. 16,000 a day are severely burned which results in life as an outcast, no job, no marriage. WakaWaka puts an end to this.

Question 

How can I help? 

Answer

You already are by reading this and telling others about it. But if you want and share our enthusiasm, there’s lots more you can do:

 

  • Find schools in your area who would love to adopt a school in Africa, India, Indonesia or elsewhere. They can raise funds for the Climate Hero Education Program and get wiser and more aware while doing it. Check out the Foundation website for more info.
  • Think about companies who could be willing to use WakaWaka as an ´end-of-year-gift´ in the dark period before Christmas for example. But they don´t need to wait of course…
  • Talk to press, or send them a tip about WakaWaka
  • Tweet, FacebookPin or blog about WakaWaka

Environment

Question 

What is WakaWaka made of?

Answer

Recyled ABS, which is a tough kind of plastic. We have consulted various companies among which experts from DSM chemicals (´greenest´ company on Dow Jones) and it seems recycled ABS is one of the best possible options for the extreme conditions WakaWaka needs to operate in. We keep looking for improvements though.

Question 

What is the packaging box made of?

Answer

FSC paper. This is certified paper which comes from ´paper plantations´ where more trees are planted than are chopped down for paper. More info: www.fsc.org At the moment we are looking into using bio inks as well. As soon as we found and tested the right ink, we´ll update the FAQ about this.

Question 

What happens at the end of the life cycle? 

Answer

We wish recycling is a mature business in developing markets as well by that time. Until we can recycle locally, we will collect the old WakaWaka´s and ship them to Holland where they will be recycled by the WeCycle Foundation. People who want to buy a new WakaWaka will receive a discount if they give back their old one. More info about our recycling partner:www.wecycle.eu

Question 

Is the WakaWaka Light manufactured in an environmentally friendly way? 

Answer

Yes, as much as possible. This means we make a considerable effort to find out what happens in the production chain. It´s virtually close to impossible to document and investigate the entire production chain up to the mines where the find the gallium for the LED´s, but step by step we´re getting further. The assembly plant is completely solar powered and checks its own wastewater on regular basis. They can loose their export license if they exceed government limits. The factory has decent sanitation, working hours, salaries and air-conditioning as well as lighting. Should you have any further questions about this, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Question 

How sustainable is the WakaWaka Power production process 

Answer

WakaWaka Power is produced at a factory which also produces for Philips, Panasonic, Hayer and many other famous brands. They are under strict government control regarding environmental regulations and they hardly produce any waste water. We have personally checked out the production plant ourselves and found it to be among the best we have seen in China so far.

Question 

How do you know no child labour is involved in the production of WakaWaka Power?

Answer

The factory can loose it´s export license if it does and a trusted local partner and close friend visits the factory location every now and then unannounced.

Question 

What do you do to make the shipping carbon neutral?

Answer

Carbon emissions will be off-set by using WakaWaka. On top of this we are working on doing a carbon footprint analysis. Once this is ready we will publish this and inform you of how this will be compensated completely. 

Question 

Where are you guys based? 

Answer

Off-Grid Solutions USA LLC is registrered in Delaware and located in Discovery Bay, CA. It's where Eric & Victor live, our US Team. Our HQ is in The Netherlands though.

Distribution

Question 

Where do I find a distributor?

Answer

That´s easy: check out the site here
We will be updating this page continuously, so if you don´t find a distributor here in your country, we may likely be in touch with someone already we can connect you with. 

Question 

How do I become an authorized distributor? 

Answer

We ask a few things of our distribution partners:

 

  • Enthusiasm
  • Pro activity
  • Spreading the word
  • Considerable impact

If you have a positive attitude towards this distributor profile, please contact us.
When you send your email, please introduce yourself, let us know what kind of company you have, what your experiences are with regard to distribution and how you intend to distribute WakaWaka in your territory, through what type of channels? We will surely have some additional questions for you as well.

We only allow for a few distributors per country, depending on the size of the population.

Question 

How do I become an authorized agent?

Answer

Please see ´how do I become an authorized distributor´. We only allow for a few agents per country, depending on the size of the population and the typical networks of the agents.

Question 

Do you offer exclusive distributorships?

Answer

No. We have yet to find the first company who can singlehandedly cover a nations entire population. It is possible though to become a Master Distributor. 

Question 

How do I become a Master Distributor?

Answer

A Master Distributor is the sole importing partner for a country or region. All other distributors in this territory get their product from the Master Distributor. Typically a Master Distributor is a company with a proven track record and a distribution network which covers most parts of the territory. To become a Master Distributor we ask for a commitment in impact, expressed in a considerable number of families which will be reached in the Territory with safe, affordable WakaWaka solar lights. A Master Distributor is entitled to charge a small administrative fee to other distributors in return for importing, handling and warehousing.

Question 

How do you protect your distribution partners and agents?

Answer

Where we work with multiple agents and/or distributors, we ask them to share with us the names of their prospects. We will promise three things:

 

  1. We will not contact these prospects ourselves, if they contact us, we will revert to our partner
  2. We will inform our partner immediately should we hear of other partners with the intention to contact their prospects.
  3. Once we learn about a ‘conflict of interest’ we will ask the 2nd partner not to take further action for at least 3 months, giving the 1st partner the time to develop the relationship and book progress or orders.

This method is based on mutual trust.

Question 

What if WakaWaka will be copied? What can you do? 

Answer

Firstly the Sunboost IC cannot be copied. It is patented worldwide. Any copy of WakaWaka can never have the same performance without the chip.
Secondly, WakaWaka is a registered trademark. Counterfeiters and their distributors will be sued in the interest of our partners.
Thirdly WakaWaka has worldwide copyright and is protected under the Berne Convention. Finally and most importantly, Off-Grid Solutions works with very small profit margins for emerging markets. Since we buy straight from the manufacturer and have considerable experience in this field, it will be near to impossible to manufacture WakaWaka at a better price than we do ourselves. It will be very difficult for any counterfeiter to try to sell under our price level. In Western markets, where WakaWaka is more expensive, we have more legal tools to deal with copycats in court.

Question 

How do I order WakaWaka´s in large quantities? 

Answer

Now these are the right questions to ask. It’s simple, you mail us at info@waka-waka.com let us know where you’re from, tell us a bit of background info about yourself, what quantity you need, how often you need this and when you need it. We will respond with a fact sheet with preliminary pricing info and later you will get a specified quotation.