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.

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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).

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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”

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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.

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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.

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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!