Luci: An Inflatable, Low-Cost Solar Light
Designed to bring light to the 1.5 million people around the world who lack electricity—or for use in disasters like Superstorm Sandy—the solar-powered Luci can be used as a task light, flashlight, or a lantern. After six hours of charging in the sunlight, the device can provide up to 12 hours of LED light. It can also hold a charge for up to three months.
The light can be flattened for easy storage and shipping. By blowing into the top, a user can create an inflated lantern. Partially deflating it concentrates the light and makes it similar to a flashlight. The inflatable design is lightweight (just four ounces), and can be strapped to clothing when someone's outside to charge throughout the day. At night, it can be hung from the ceiling, illuminating 10 square feet of space.
MPOWERD, the company that designed the light, has begun distributing Luci in Haiti and over a dozen other countries. The product has numerous benefits. By avoiding the use of kerosene lanterns, families can save money, protect health, and prevent climate change emissions. Luci also provides a light source for studying and working at night, and helps prevent rape by better illuminating dark areas in slums.