About Us

Lighting Pakistan is a program by IFC – a member of the World Bank Group, and the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. The program aims at helping address the lighting needs of Pakistani consumers by helping them gain access to low-cost, high-quality, safe, reliable, and cleaner lighting products.

In the last decade, IFC has developed Lighting Africa and Lighting Asia, a series of country-level projects wherein IFC supports companies in entering the market, scaling up distribution models, accessing financing, and addressing policy and regulatory constraints.

In Pakistan, the program aims to increase access to lighting and associated services for 1.5 million people. Lighting Pakistan is part of the World Bank Group’s contribution to the Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

IMG_0400The Energy Crisis

According to Lighting Pakistan’s Off-Grid Lighting Consumer Perceptions Study 2015, around 144 million Pakistanis out of a total of 197 million, are without adequate provision of electricity. They can be grouped into (a) Off-grid, un-served: About 69 million rural Pakistanis who are not connected to the national grid, and (b) On-grid, underserved: About 75 million urban and rural Pakistanis who are connected to the national grid, but experience daily load-shedding in excess of 12 hours on average.

Combined, they amount to almost 22 million Pakistani households facing a serious energy crisis.

Most of the off-grid, un-served households rely on kerosene lanterns and candles. Though widely perceived to be inexpensive, fuel-based lighting devices in reality are costly in the long run, inferior in terms of the quality of light they provide, dangerous both for general safety and health, and harsh on the environment.

Most of the on-grid, underserved households use battery powered torches or rechargeable lights and candles for their lighting needs. Many of the devices in their use, though more diverse and expensive, offer no assurance of quality and fail miserably on the promises of durability and effectiveness.

IMG_0066The Pakistani Market

The lighting market in Pakistan offers tremendous potential. Collectively, Pakistani households are already spending an exorbitant amount on alternatives lighting products. The solar space is ripe with opportunity and poised for a breakthrough.

However, awareness, quality, distribution and financing issues must be resolved.


The Lighting Pakistan Framework is designed to catalyze the adoption of better quality-assured, off-grid lighting solutions, by offering:

  • Quality Assurance: IFC arranges product testing and quality verification for manufacturers who are interested in joining the Lighting Pakistan program. This quality assurance makes it easier for distributors and consumers to differentiate between poor-quality and high-quality products. The QA framework and test methods have been institutionalized through, and are now based on, IEC/TS 62257-9-5, Edition 2.0, a technical specification published by the International Electrotechnical Commission. Lighting Global maintains a set of minimum quality standards which off-grid lighting products must meet in order to access program services.
  • Market Intelligence: Throughout the life of the program, IFC will offers market intelligence reports regarding solar devices. One such report, called Pakistan Off-Grid Lighting Consumer Perceptions Study 2015, involving 6,000 households has already been released. The study provides insights about local market size and segmentation, consumer awareness, attitudes towards off-grid lighting, and price points.
  • Business-to-Business Connections: IFC makes direct connections between quality-verified manufacturers and local distributors, as well as microfinance institutions. The purpose of these direct connections is to lower market entry costs for manufacturers and assist distributors in developing a viable off-grid lighting sector. Currently, several such connections have been formalized.
  • Consumer Awareness: Lighting Pakistan works to develop confidence in the benefits of off-grid solar products by showing consumers how to identify and buy quality-verified products. An extensive consumer awareness campaign to that end is being designed.


More About Us

About Lighting Asia

Lighting Asia is an IFC market transformation program working to increase access to clean energy services in the rural areas of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The Lighting Asia program works with the private sector and development organizations to catalyze markets for modern, solar lighting products and systems.


About Lighting Asia – Pakistan

Lighting Asia – Pakistan is an IFC market catalysis program aimed at increasing access to clean, affordable energy in households underserved by the electricity grid in Pakistan. The program works with the private sector to remove market entry barriers, provide market intelligence, foster B2B linkages and raise consumer awareness on modern solar lighting products and systems. The program aims to reach 1.5 million people, and avert 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide by 2018.


About Lighting Global

Lighting Global is the World Bank Group’s platform to support development of commercial markets for modern energy services for the more than 1.2 billion people in the world without access to electricity. Through Lighting Global, IFC and the World Bank collaborate with the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA), the solar energy services industry and development partners to spur growth of markets for clean, affordable, modern energy services.

The Lighting Global product quality assurance program sets the global standard for quality off-grid solar devices and kits. The program presently lists over fifty quality-verified solar products from more than 25 manufacturers. The Lighting Global platform provides support to a broad portfolio of country-based regional market development programs – Lighting Africa, Lighting Asia and Lighting Pacific, which work along the supply chain to reduce market entry barriers and first mover risks in key off-grid solar markets.

Lighting Global is a key element of the Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP), an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM). The World Bank Group implements Lighting Global with support from the Africa Renewable Energy and Access (AFREA) grants program, Denmark, the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Italy, The Netherlands, and the United States of America. For more information, visit www.lightingglobal.org.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.


About the World Bank

The World Bank, a member of the World Bank Group, is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Our mission is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting results and to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors. For more information, visit www.worldbank.org.



In partnership with