And then there was light

    A LuminAID solar light. Photo by: LuminAID

    When disaster strikes, a portable, solar-charged light may be a victim’s best hope to find relief.

    This is what Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta had in mind when they developed the LuminAID solar light in the aftermath of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Haiti in 2010. They were worried of the conditions at night of earthquake victims forced to live in makeshift tents in the country’s capital—Port-au-Prince—and outlying towns.

    How it works

    LuminAID is a solar-powered lantern that takes the shape of a pillow when expanded. It is composed of a thin-film solar panel wrapped in a waterproof plastic printed with dot matrix pattern that makes it possible to diffuse light once switched on.

    As with any other solar-powered product, the LuminAID also requires some charging time (four to six hours). It can be used for a maximum of six hours under a low setting, and four hours under a high setting — enough time to finish household chores, homework or other business. It even gives enough room for doctors to wrap up simple operations done at night.

    Selling point

    LuminAID is lightweight, compact, waterproof and potentially low-cost – perfect for relief operations and in developing countries where electricity is not always available.

    But perhaps LuminAID’s biggest selling point is in its portability.

    In relief efforts, a total of 50 LuminAID solar lights can fit into an 8 × 8 box that, usually, fits only eight mini solar-powered flashlights. It not only saves space and shipping costs, but also reaches more people in time.

    “Give light, get light”

    When Stork and Sreshta started the “Give Light, Get Light” campaign this November, they only wanted to reach their goal of raising $10,000 to be able to launch the solar light in January next year. But just a few weeks in the campaign, the two has already raised $24,069 — and counting.

    It’s a down payment on LuminAID’s goal to provide “affordable, sustainable and available for everyone.”

    Read our previous #innov8aid blog post.

    About the author

    • Ravelo jennylei

      Jenny Lei Ravelo

      Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.