During Graduate School at Columbia University, students Anna Stork and Andrea Shresta set out to design a light that could make a difference to disaster relief efforts around the globe. Troubled with the unsafe conditions in tent cities brought about by the use of kerosene lamps, the two students came up with the idea for an inflatable solar light that would be both easy to transport, as well as distribute to masses of people.
The LuminAID is a solar-rechargeable, inflatable camp light that can be used not only for disaster relief, but for outdoor adventures as well. The inflatable solar light packs down completely flat into a package about the size of your hand. Simply unfold the LuminAID and inflate to diffuse the LED light, then use as a camp light or lantern.
A set of super bright LEDs can be set to a high or low setting and turned off through a simple three button interface. On the high setting, 35 lumens of light will last for up to 4 hours. On the low setting, the camp light provides 20 lumens of light for around 6 hours.
The inflatable design means the solar light is both waterproof and can float. To recharge the LuminAID, simply attach the camp light to the back of your pack, where 5-6 hours of sunlight will fully recharge the battery. At only 90 grams, the camp light is lighter than most lanterns and weighs around the same as a headlamp.
LuminAID is currently running a fundraising campaign where you can pledge varying levels of support to receive your own personal inflatable solar light, while sending lights to various communities at the same time. In India, for example, LuminAID has partnered with Root Alliance to distribute lights to rural schools, homes, and small business owners.
You can check out the LuminAID blog to see the progress of community programs, as well as submit pictures of yourself using your LuminAID in the outdoors. So head on over to the LuminAID campaign site and pre-order yours today.