From the founders of LuminAid, Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta. The two share an interest in solar lighting technology and a common belief that design and design thinking can be used to solve problems at a global scale, including improving access to basic resources such as lighting and power.
The LuminAID solar light was designed to fulfill the basic need for light in post-natural disaster situations shortly after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. When thinking about what we could design to make a difference, we decided to focus on affordable, renewable light because it had the potential to greatly improve the comfort, safety, and survival of disaster victims.
While on a school trip to Japan, we unexpectedly found ourselves in the middle of the earthquake in March 2011. Having experienced first-hand how a disaster can negatively impact the lives of millions, we are motivated to make the LuminAID light a reality for those affected by disasters, crises, and conflict.
Our Patent Pending Solar-Inflatable Technology
The solar-inflatable technology developed by LuminAID Lab is patent pending both in the US and internationally through multiple filings that cover a broad range of applications and uses. The LuminAID light is our first application of this technology. The product packs flat and inflates to diffuse the light like a lantern and reduce the glare of the extra bright LEDs. For every 8 small conventional flashlights by volume, you can pack and ship approximately 50 LuminAID Lights. The inflatable material is also printable with patterns and logos.
The LuminAID and Humanitarian Relief Aid
LuminAID’s goal is to make portable lighting a part of the supplies commonly sent as part of disaster relief aid. In addition to food, water, and shelter, light can greatly add to the well-being of victims of a natural disaster or crisis. Renewable lighting can aid those in situations where batteries are scarce and the electricity grid is disabled both immediately after a disaster and over an extended period of time. Over the past year, our company has put lights on the ground in the wake of disasters such as Hurricane Isaac in Haiti and Hurricane Sandy.
Popularity Among Outdoor Enthusiasts
While designed for disaster relief, our product has quickly grown in popularity among outdoor enthusiasts for its innovative design (it even made National Geographic’s 2013 Gear of the Year list). After being charged in the sun for six hours, the LED light provides up to 16 hours of light — a feature that not only makes it more eco-friendly but essential in emergency situations when batteries are hard to find. Due to its inflatable design, it also provides diffused light like a lantern so it can be used to illuminate a room or tent. Moreover, since disasters often involve water, it is waterproof and able to float – a great feature for paddlers!