LuminAID. An inflatable solar light.

November 8, 2011 in Appropriate Technology, Solar

Incubated at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, the LuminAID solar lamp is an ultra-portable, water-proof, solar-powered lamp.


The LuminAID lamp’s solar system is designed for people without regular access to electricity and for victims of a natural disaster.  In other words, the lamp is designed to be robust, portable, waterproof, and … a safer and more cost-effective alternative to kerosene lamps — very similar to the NOKERO lamps that I wrote about last week.

What I find especially awesome about the design of the LuminAID lamp is its ultra-compactness.  You can pack and ship up to 50 LuminAID inflatable lamps for every 8 equivalent solar lightbulbs.

(You then inflate the lamp into a pillow-shape to help diffuse the light)

After my experience in Haiti last month and starting to understand the absurd complexity associated with supply chain and distribution systems, I really appreciate the value of this compact shipping advantage.  To give you an idea, for the NOKERO lamps that we were distributing in Haiti, the cost of distribution was higher than the cost of manufacturing.  I don’t know about you, but I thought that was nuts.  Making a solar bulb?  Easy as cake.  Getting it from China to Haiti – yea see ya in six months.

Anyway, just goes to show you that Anna and Andrea (the two brains behind LuminAID) really thought about every aspect of an appropriate design.

Right on!