SM100 solar light
The SM100 solar light retails for $5 in African countries Inventid

Manchester-based design consultancy Inventid has teamed up with a Chinese manufacturer to produce what is said to be the world's first $5 (£3.85) solar light.

Retailing in African countries, the SM100 solar lamp has been developed in collaboration with China's leading solar panel manufacturer Yingli and charity SolarAid.

The lamp stays up to eight hours when fully charged. It features strap slots so that it can be used as a head torch or strapped to a bike. Also, its flat base allows the light to be used without the stand.

Inventid co-founder Henry James told the BBC: "Kerosene keeps families locked in a cycle of extreme poverty with almost one quarter of their monthly income spent burning the fuel. To break this cycle we worked with SolarAid, the UK's leading solar charity to design a light that the poorest families could afford. This meant designing a light that could retail for five dollars in Africa."

"Working closely with charities in Africa we gathered local insights into family routines, the layout of dwellings and environmental conditions. We listened to the aspirations and ideas of people whose personal experiences have shaped a product that is co-created in Africa," added James.

Currently, kerosene lamps are the only source of light for as many as 600 million people in Africa, who are without electricity.

The solar lamp was trialled with 9,000 families in countries such as Malawi, Uganda and Zambia in Africa.

"We are talking about parts of the world where people live on $350 a year," said James.

"We have never heard of a sales trial this so far-reaching. It had to be totally right if people were going to adopt the light, and introduce it into their lives and their daily routines," he said.

SM100 solar light
The solar lamp was trialled with 9,000 families in countries such as Malawi, Uganda and Zambia in Africa Inventid