About six months ago, I noticed these cool new inflatable solar-powered lanterns sold on Gossamer Gear’s website. They weigh only 3 ounces and when deflated, they fold down to the size of a large smart phone. According to the information on found on the manufacturer’s website (www.luminaid.com) they take just 6-7 hours to charge and will shine for up to 16 hours. I was pretty impressed, so I ordered four of them.
Specifications (from Luminaid.com)
- Weight:3 ounces / 85 grams
- Dimensions:12.5″ L x 8.5″ W (when deflated)
- Storage and Battery Function:The LuminAID has a Lithium-Polymer Ion battery (similar to your cell phone) that was specifically chosen for its energy storage capacity and quality. The LuminAID can hold a full charge for over 4 months. Before storing for an extended period of time, it is best to make sure the battery is fully charged. We also recommend charging every 1-2 months to keep the battery at optimum condition.
Testing my LuminAid Solar Lanterns
However excited I was when I purchased them, I didn’t get around to using the cool little lights until my recent trip to the Adirondacks, where they proved extremely valuable. I hung the lights from lines around our campsite, and they provided the perfect amount of light for walking around or performing simple tasks, like opening a beer. Light from the white LEDs shines through a translucent inflatable diffuser, so illumination is very even and there is none of the glare associated with normal electric or propane lanterns.
We turned these lights on each evening about 30 minutes after sunset and left them on until sometime after midnight. That is about 4-5 hours of use each night. During the day, I left the lights hanging around to charge in the sun, and they were ready to go again each night at dark. My friends were all very impressed with these little lights which proved a huge improvement to our camping experience.
Donate Light through LuminAid
These lights, produced by LuminAID, were designed shortly after the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti. Their purpose was to provide for basic renewable lighting needs in post natural-disaster regions. LuminAid sells the lights on their website for $19.95 and allows you to buy one to donate for $10.00. They have a third option that allows you to donate one light and receive one for yourself for $27.95, which is essentially a $2.00 savings. As useful as these lights proved on our camping trip, I could only imagine how valuable they would be in an area that has been devastated by a storm or earthquake. Check out the deal at www.luminaid.com.
Benefits of the LuminAid Inflatable Lantern
- Difused Light
- They Float
- Can be used as a pillow
- Solar Powered
What is your favorite lantern to use while camping, hiking or backpacking?