LuminAID - Solar-Powered Inflatable Light

By: on January 30, 2013
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LuminAID creators Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta spent a lot of time catching fireflies and moonbeams in glass jars as children. Also, they were born with whatever genes make people interested in and capable of helping others on a global scale. Also, their moms used hundreds and hundreds of Ziploc bags over the years to pack their PB&Js and summer camp supplies. Such precursors--or maybe some completely different ones, I'm just speculating on the basis of my keen intuition--drove the ladies to the development of the LuminAID solar-powered, inflatable lantern.

The LuminAID housing folds and packs completely flat for easy storage and portability. When inflated to small, lightweight pillow form, its solar-driven LEDs burn bright for 6 to 10 hours, illuminating anything from the interior of a tent to the deck of a sailboat to entire post-disaster communities, such as those hit by Haiti's 2010 earthquake, where the LuminAID debuted. Both those adventuring to areas removed from electricity, and those who unexpectedly lose it now have a simple and dependable source of light at hand.

LuminAID LEDs recharge up to 500 times in 4 to 5 hours of direct sunlight. The lanterns' push-button switch has High and Low settings, the former emitting 6 to 8 hours and the latter 8 to 10 hours of light. Inflated, they will float, and are waterproof up to 1 meter. When not inflated, LuminAID dimensions are 8-1/4" wide x 12" long. They weigh 3 ounces.

In addition to purchasing single LuminAIDs for personal use, the company offers donation and Give Light, Get Light options. For $10, benefactors can donate a LuminAID to the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), both organizations working towards ending violence against women in conflict regions. For $26.95, the Give Light, Get Light option will send one light to the effort, and one to the donator.

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