Shedding light in Madagascar

Client: ToughStuff International Ltd

Consultant: Dr David Howey, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Expertise: Durability and efficiency of LED circuits used in solar powered lighting

Our consultants shared their expertise in electronics to help ToughStuff International Ltd confirm the durability and efficiency of LED circuits used in their solar powered lighting, which is designed to withstand challenging conditions.


The Challenge

ToughStuff International manufacture solar panels, LED rechargeable lamps and rechargeable battery packs, and have a strong social and environmental ethos.

Nearly a quarter of the world’s population live without electricity and those affected are traditionally under-served by the commercial sector and can be forced to pay above the odds for environmentally damaging energy alternatives, such as batteries and kerosene lamps.


By way of providing a sustainable solution to this problem, ToughStuff improved an existing LED driver circuit design to be able to sustain the challening weather conditions in Madagascar and needed an independent review of the comparative performance of their circuits in order to assure durability and high efficiency.


The Solution

Dr Howey’s specialist knowledge in energy conversion and storage, including electronics and instrumentation carried out the independent review and concluded:

ToughStuff have developed robust, well engineered and low cost solar powered LED lights which are [able to sustain the weather conditions] in Madagascar and a number of African countries

Dr David Howey
Research Associate – Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London


The Impact

People living on low-incomes in developing countries rely on long-lasting products that can withstand harsh climates as well as significant wear and tear. Efficiency and durability are key and Dr Howey, working together with colleague Dr Paul Mitcheson, was able to confirm that ToughStuff’s LED light electronics met their comprehensive specification.


Dr. Howey comments:

Our work will enable ToughStuff to move forward with their latest circuit design with confidence

Dr David Howey
Research Associate – Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London


Adriaan Mol, Operations Director at ToughStuff comments:

Without much bureaucracy we got down to business quickly and they produced great results rapidly

Adriaan Mol
Operations Director – ToughStuff


Since the project’s completion, ToughStuff have enlisted the help of Dr Howey, through Imperial Consultants, for future work.

Share post:


Related case studies


Virtual worlds for real-life problems

Virtual worlds for real-life problems

Our consultants shared their expertise in new media applications in healthcare to help introduce the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center chemotherapy clinic staff and patients to a virtual world equivalent using the open source Second Life application. read more

Structures under extreme loading

Structures under extreme loading

The consultants shared their expertise in seismic assessment and design to support the development of EN1998, also known as Eurocode 8. read more

Imperial COVID-19 testing facilities

Imperial COVID-19 testing facilities

Imperial's facility, comprising the UKAS accredited Molecular Diagnostic Unit (MDU) and high-throughput robotic platform for RNA extraction, forms part of the Department of Health and Social Care's partnership with the London Testing Alliance, set-up by MedCity. read more