LuminAID: Harnessing the Power of the Sun

Harnessing the Power of the Sun

Originally designed to provide comfort and safety to emergency victims, LuminAID solar lights are popular with campers, hikers, kids and anyone who enjoys being outside at night. Inspired by stories of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the company’s co-founders tested field prototypes in India before launching the product on a 500-percent-funded IndieGoGo campaign in 2011.

What is a LuminAID solar light?

These solar powered lanterns provide a great source of light when light is hard to come by. They:
  • pack flat
  • charge on the go
  • are lightweight
  • remain waterproof
LuminAID currently offers four types of LED solar lights with varying size capacity. Available worldwide for use by everyone from emergency victims to campers to late-night swimmers, LuminAID products charge in 10 hours can last up to 50 hours when set to low. The PackLite 16, PackLite Nova, PackLite Spectra and PackLite Max USB are all products of two women’s ingenuity and passion for giving back.  

Where It All Began

LuminAID creators Andrea Sreeshta and Anna Stork


As students in Columbia University’s architecture program, Andrea Sreeshta and Anna Stork were asked to design a product to assist post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti; quickly, they considered the dangerous nighttime conditions and turned their attention to another critical need: light.

From building the first 50 solar emergency light prototypes by hand to supplying Doctors Without Borders with 20,000 lights and from receiving offers from all five sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank to getting a new product get fully funded on Kickstarter in just eight hours, these two MA-Architecture product developers have stopped at nothing from bringing light to the world.

“For me, light has always represented hope,” said Stork. “Light is the beginning of freedom to dream of the future.”

Luminaid solar lanterns

Give Light, Get Light

The 1.6 billion people worldwide who do not have access to electricity agree with Stork - light is a symbol of hope. More than 25,000 lights have been distributed to charities in more than 60 countries with the Give Light, Get Light program that Spark Energy offers its Prepare and Protect Plan members.

Be prepared for almost any storm with our Prepare & Protect plan.

Simply sign up online and we’ll send you a LuminAID solar-powered inflatable light that will help you and your family weather any storm by giving you a light source that you can recharge as often as necessary -- making sure you have light when you need it the most.  

Get Light.

Once you’re a customer, you’ll receive a LuminAID PackLite 12 solar light*. This lightweight, waterproof lantern provides 12 hours of light per charge and can be easily recharged in the sun. Put it in your family’s emergency kit or use it outdoors at night. You'll get 10,000+ lifetime hours of use from this light.

 The Kikulu Foundation in Uganda provides LuminAID lights to those in need

 

Give Light.

Nearly two billion people around the world lack proper access to electricity. For every light we send a new customer, we will donate a LuminAID PackLite 16 solar light to a child in need. Working with LuminAID and their relief efforts, these lights will go to one of the following charities:

Enter your zip and signup here to become part of something great!
 

*To be eligible, customer must enroll in the "Prepare and Protect 12 Plan." To receive LuminAID device, customer must maintain active Spark account in good standing (no past-due balance owed) for 45 days after beginning of service. May not be redeemed for cash.
 

 

FAQ

  • To be eligible, customer must enroll in the “Prepare and Protect 12 Plan.” To receive LuminAID light, customer must maintain an active Spark account in good standing (no past-due balance owed) for 45 days after beginning of service. It may not be redeemed for cash.

  • LuminAID lights vary in brightness and performance depending on which product you have. The standard unit of measurement for brightness is "lumens" and this is indicated on the individual product pages, or in the chart located on the How it Works page.

  • Yes, LuminAID lights are all waterproof and dustproof! They can be submerged up to 1 meter (FL 1 STANDARD IPX-67) and can float. With the PackLite Max, however, it is important to always ensure that USB charging input and the USB charging output ports are securely closed and covered when not in use. Do not expose the PackLite Max to water when it is charging via USB.

  • LuminAID lights all have a high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panel that recharges the built-in battery when exposed to direct sun. To recharge your light, place the light in direct, outdoor sun with the solar panel facing the sun. Windows block light and significantly slow down charging. For optimum charging, place the LuminAID light outside in an area away from shadows or shade. Charge times vary depending on time of year, location, and product. For detailed information, refer to the Charging section on the How it Works page.

  • All LuminAID lights use a lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery. Once fully charged, the battery will hold a majority of its charge and light up after over a year of being in storage. Like all rechargeable batteries, it does lose a small percentage of charge over time when it is in storage and not being used. In order to ensure the product is fully charged when you need it, we recommend that you recharge the light in direct sun every 6-8 months.

  • LuminAID lights are made of durable material called TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). This material is 100% PVC-free and phthalate-free. Each light contains a a high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panel, LED circuit, and a lithium-ion battery.

  • LuminAID lights vary in size. The best way to get a sense of the size is to look at the individual product images on the product pages or to watch the product videos. All LuminAID lights deflate to approximately 1" thick and inflate into different sized cube volumes.

  • Each solar lantern has a red power button below the solar panel. Press this button firmly to turn your light ON, cycle through brightness settings, and turn it OFF. This button is slightly inset to ensure that your light will not be turned on by accident and lose charge.

  • Lumens are a standard unit used for measuring brightness of lights, while watts are a unit for measuring the amount of electricity required to power an electrically-powered object. In lightbulbs, watts are used to signify how much energy is required to power the bulb. Therefore, more energy-efficient lightbulbs may use fewer watts to produce the same number of Lumens (brightness). As our LuminAID lights are solar-powered, and do not depend on an electrical grid, it is more relevant to provide the number of Lumens that our lights produce. That way, we may explain how bright the light they produce is, and how large of a space they can illuminate. The PackLite 16 is the highest-performing light, and can easily illuminate a 10 x 10 sq. ft. space at 65 lumens on its brightest setting. Many customers find it comparable with battery-powered lanterns, and easier to maintain.

  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a type of halogenated plastic that contains two known human carcinogens: vinyl chloride and dioxin. These carcinogens are not only emitted in large quantities during production but on the plastic itself. Vinyl chloride is an essential component of PVC that is not used in any other plastic. Dioxin is a bio accumulative substance that builds up over time in human bodies and emissions from PVC are higher than other plastics. As LuminAID lights are meant to be safe for the entire family and inflated with direct contact to the plastic valve, LuminAID Lab is happy to produce 100% PVC-free lights.

  • LuminAID lights have multiple brightness settings and each setting has a corresponding run time. If you are recharging on an overcast day, we recommend using the Low or Medium setting in order to maximize the run time. Some LuminAID lights have Turbo mode which is the brightest mode. This mode is perfect for those moments when you need the brightest lantern possible for things like task work or emergencies. Turbo mode has the shortest run time because the LEDs are extremely bright. If you press the power button once more to cycle to High mode, you will have roughly 2X the run time as the Turbo mode.

  • LuminAID lights vary in size. The best way to get a sense of the size is to look at the individual product images on the product pages or to watch the product videos. All LuminAID lights deflate to approximately 1" thick and inflate into different sized cube volumes.

  • There are a few possible reasons why it may not be turning on. The most likely reason is that it needs to be recharged. Below are a few steps to see if this may be the issue. 1. Hold the product outside in the sun with the solar panel facing the sun and check to see if the red LED on the front of the product shines red. This indicates that it is recharging. 2. If the red LED is turning on, find a sunny spot outside and leave the product outside in direct sun for a full 2 days (in order to top off the battery and completely recharge it). Windows block light, so it is important to put it outside and avoid shady areas.