LuminAID Solar Light – Why You Need One (Review & Comp)

The LuminAID inflatable, solar light is due to hit the shops in the UK and Ireland these coming weeks – it’s exactly what it says it is; an inflatable, solar light, but its simplicity and ingenuity make it one of the best gadgets we’ve ever featured on Gadgets.ie. The LuminAID was designed to fulfill the basic need for light in post-natural  disaster situations such as the Haiti Earthquake of 2010 yet it has so many more applications. We love it and we’ve got one to giveaway! Read on to find out more about the LuminAID and how you can win one in another Gadgets.ie exclusive competition.

luminaid-folded

I’m a big fan of renewable power sources and when free energy is combined with well-designed gadgetry I get a little bit excited. Usually, these types of gadgets will be slightly bulky or heavier than their conventionally powered counterparts but this isn’t the case with the LuminAID, it’s super lightweight, weighing in at just 85 grams. The LuminAID folds down into a pack-friendly size of 12.5″ by 8.5″. Its pack-size, weight and practicality make it a must-have piece of kit for any lightweight camping or outdoors enthusiast  (it’s also useful to have about the house in case of power cuts, as a bedside light or for taking with you on night-time trips to the ‘teach an asal’ – I’m guilty of using it for both of the latter on a regular basis).

luminaid-inflated

In Brief

[checklist]

  • Weight: 85 grams / 3 ounces
  • Dimensions: 12.5″x 8.5″ – When deflated
  • Battery Life: Up to 16 hours per charge
  • Charge Time: 7 hours in direct sunlight
  • Price: £22 / €25
  • Extra info: waterproof and inflatable
  • Available From: June 2013

[/checklist]

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“Two Bright Designers”

[one_half last=”no”]

luminAID-Founders

Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta (LuminAID designers & co-founders of LuminAID Lab)

[/one_half][one_half last=”yes”]Even thought the LuminAID has been getting great reviews and coverage in the press it still managed to exceed my expectations. The design of the LuminAID coupled with its superb practicality can be attributed to its two bright designers – Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta, two architecture and design graduates whose passion for renewable energies and their shared goal of helping those in need brought them together to develop the LuminAID. Both have since graduated from Columbia University and are now focusing on bringing the LuminAID light to those most in need.[/one_half]

“A fantastically simple design”

The LuminAID light boasts a fantastically simple design. It has one button and three light settings; Off, Low and High. Pressing the button once turns on the light at the Low setting, pressing it twice puts it on the high setting and pressing it a third time switches it off. At its brightest setting the LuminAID emits light at 30 Lumens – more than enough for reading or to light up a large tent. The low setting emits 15 lumens – ideal for use as a safety light or for use as a night light.

luminaid-instructions

  1. Leave in direct sunlight to charge. 7 hours will fully charge the LuminAID allowing for up to 16 hours of use.
  2. Inflate the LuminAID so that it can diffuse light like a lantern, inflation also helps to protects eyes from the bright LEDs.
  3. Switch on the LuminAID by pressing the power button (press once for low setting and twice for high setting)

The LuminAID has been upgraded since the video below was made – the larger battery and larger solar panel allow the LuminAID to work for up to 16 hours per charge. A Full charge takes just 7 Hours in direct sunlight. This also coincides with what we’ve experienced in our gadget field testing.

[youtube id=”A6we11VhyZI” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Give Light, Get Light

LuminAID Labs offers you the opportunity to ‘Give Light, Get Light’ – through this program you can buy a LuminAID light for yourself and one for a person or family in need of basic lighting somewhere else in the world. It is estimated that there are 1.6 Billion people in the world without access to electricity – a LuminAid light can really help make a difference in someone’s life – click here for more info on the Give Light, Get Light program.

[vimeo id=”31208357″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

A Lightweight Light

One of the great things about the LuminAID is that it packs small and weighs only 85 grams, whilst this makes it great for camping and outdoor pursuits it makes a real difference when it comes to getting the LuminAID to areas where it’s most needed – disaster zones. 50 LuminAID lights can be packed into the same space needed to transport 8 regular solar powered torches. The ease of transportation and the ingenious design is making the LuminAID light highly sought after by NGO’s throughout the world. If you represent an NGO and wish to become a a partner simply get in touch with LuminAID directly.

LuminAID-packed

Where to Buy the LuminAID

LuminAID will be available to buy from Millets, Tiso, Firebox, IWOOT, The Fowndry, Scout Stores. EskimoAgency.com, the UK distributor for LuminAID Labs, are currently negotiating with stockists in the Republic of Ireland so if you want to see it in a store near you just let us know in the comments below.

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AND Finally, it’s Competition Time!

As always, we try our best to give our lovely fans as much as possible and today is no exception – We’ve got one LuminAID Solar-powered light to give to one lucky Gadgets.ie fan courtesy of the kind folk at EskimoAgency.com – The UK Distributor. To enter all you have to do is add your comment below telling us what you think of the LuminAID and also let us know where you would like to see it stocked – which shops in Ireland (online or offline) do you think  should be selling the LuminAID. We’ll announce the winner on 1st August 2013 so hurry up and get commenting, liking, sharing and posting!

Any questions, thoughts or comments? Let us know in the comments below and you might just end up with one in the post!

Peter loves all sorts of gadgets, from tin openers to jet fueled micro lights. He particularly likes any outdoor related gadgets, eco-friendly gadgets and anything photography related.When he's not reviewing gadgets you can find him out walking the hills with his pet tamagotchis

22 Comments

  1. Gadgets.ie

    June 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Add your comment for your chance to win one!

    • RC

      February 19, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      This is the very gagdet i carried from the North East of England on my working trip though London, then on to Doha and then to Nepal. Kathmandu is a wonderful place with a myriad of different attractions and cultures.

      my trip was based around working as mountain guide, and on this occasion i was taking 35 students and teachers up to the most dangerous airport in the world (Lukla) and then up to a summit height of 5545 metres before visiting Everest Base Camp.

      one of the biggest issues in Kathmandu, let alone on the Everest trail is the ever present problem of unreliable electricity.

      the first couple of days i thought were going to be a problem because just as we successfully landed into Lukla, the heavens opened. Bringing with it the worst weather in nearly 20 years. 5 foot of snow was dropped at base camp and we were not sure of getting though. (See BBC the highest classroom for a trek that was two days ahead of use youtube). The problem, I feared was charging this unit in this sort of weather was going to be impossible. The lumiaid is charged by sunlight but thankfully i was able to charge it up in Doha where there was plenty of reliable and good sunshine.

      Not only was it a very useful in Kathmandu (power cuts) but more important on the trail it became invaluable, where i used it in the teahouses for myself and here is the best bit. The Sherpas used it in the kitchens to light their work when all they normally had were candles.

      Honestly this is a great bit of kit which is light, powerful and bloody good at what its designed to do.stick one in your car for emergencies, in your suit case or rucksack for trips or in a cupboard for home use when the great floods come again to this land of ours (UK), just make sure you charge it first and then its ready for you whenever you need it.

      RC

  2. Lorraine Ni Bhealatuin

    June 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    This would be fantastic for my partner for night time fishing! A great stockist would be Heatons stores.

  3. Gadgets.ie

    June 20, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Heatons! Of Course – great suggestion. Keep them coming everyone, I’m sure there’s more places where this could be stocked

    • Lorraine Ni Bhealatuin

      July 6, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      Another good place would be fishing tackle shops. Anglers would love this for night fishing & would be very handy for their boats. Super Valu would be another good place as a stockist they carry some camping supplies already.

  4. Adrienne Martin

    June 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Really clever idea,fantastic invention would love this for our camping trips,having to have fresh batteries all the time before nightfall is a real pain…I think a good place to see these stocked would be Petrol Stations…id be sure to pick one up whilst in the que.

  5. Laura Creane

    June 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    I would suggest Woodies and also Penny’s. They are a brilliant idea, cant wait to pick some up for the camping & fishing 🙂

  6. Kevin Cassidy

    June 25, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Very cool gadget. Hopefully gets picked up for some foreign aid programs.

  7. garrett mccord

    June 28, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Great idea – would love to see it in Heatons and DIY and garden centres like B&Q and Woodies

  8. Anne Macaulay

    July 4, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    What a great handy pack. compact and very handy

    • Anne Macaulay

      July 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      Should be stocked in any eco shop like purchase.ie

  9. Annesophie schorsij

    July 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Would be great for walking the dogs, or in the garden as decoration

  10. Mary-Anne Barry

    July 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I love this would make an excellent nightlight for the kids. I would love to see it stocked in a Tesco/Dunnes or an Aldi etc as they are everywhere in Ireland now and if people saw these while shopping they would be bound to pick one up with their normal shop.

  11. Anthony Brogan

    July 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Supervalu would be an ideal spot,as plenty of stores about and never empty.

  12. Richard Farrell

    July 5, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Very cool, it would save me a lot of hassle searching for extensions leads and lamps when I venture into the attic.

    Makeshop on Lincoln place Dublin would be perfect retail outlet for luminaid – lots of very cool gadgets 🙂

  13. damien beatty

    July 5, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    what a bright idea

  14. Anne

    July 6, 2013 at 10:33 am

    This would be great for camping/festivals. I’d like to see them stocked in B&Q/Woodies, and maybe also Dunnes as a festival product.

  15. Alan Rossiter

    July 6, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Brilliant idea!! Ideally Heitons as they’re countrywide but as it’s one of those “essentials” maybe post offices?

  16. filup76

    July 7, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Really Good one, very handy in times of blackouts or camping out!

  17. Francis Carragher

    July 15, 2013 at 12:24 am

    A great idea and would be an ideal addition to any car boot in addition to a breakdown kit. Is not bulky and won’t roll around when travelling. Could provide much needed light in a breakdown situation on the side of a road. To help aid the driver if changing a wheel or provide light to check under the bonnet etc. Also could be left infront or behind vehicle so oncoming cars can see. Could be stocked in petrol stations

  18. Mirjam Bauer

    August 1, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    This is one fantastic gadget! It’s simple, it works and you can use it anywhere. I personally would use it for camping trips and as an extra light source in the attic. I would definitely like to see this in camping/outdoor shops. And to get it even more exposure, have it added to the Argos stock.

  19. martina c

    October 17, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    What can I say. Something so simple with a multitude of uses, Great for emergency.

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