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November 8, 2017

Light up your life (and someone else’s) with LuminAID’s smart solar lanterns

by John_A

LuminAID is a company that was founded on one simple idea: Provide cheap, durable, and bright lights for use in the outdoors. That philosophy led to the company’s line of inflatable lanterns, which are popular for use in remote campsites, developing countries, and disaster zones. Most recently, that has included folks affected by recent Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The company has already sent more than 100,000 solar lights to folks in need, and now to continue its Good Samaritan habits, LuminAID is donating a solar lantern to folks in need across Puerto Rico and the Caribbean for every Kickstarter pledge to its latest campaign.

The concept behind those lights came about after company founders Andrea Sreshta and Anna Stork came up with a plan that offered earthquake victims of a source of light. That simple, yet ingenious, idea has turned into a successful business, and LuminAID lanterns are now in operation in 70 countries. Those lights even earned the two a spot on ABC’s Shark Tank.

Now, LuminAID is preparing to launch its next product, and has turned once again to Kickstarter to help. The Smart Solar Garden “unites green technology and intelligent design to empower sustainable living beyond the grid.” These Bluetooth-enabled solar lanterns can be controlled by your smartphone, and can be programmed to turn on and off at certain times. Their brightness and color can all be manipulated remotely, and of course, charge using the power of the sun. With these waterproof Smart Solar Garden lamps, you ought to be able to bring some light to just about any environment, even if there’s no outlet in sight.

Modular in design, these lights are customizable, and can provide a glow to your pool (yes, they’ll float) or to your party. Each of these new lights can be preordered from Kickstarter for $49, with an estimated delivery date of June 2018.

Given LuminAID’s previous success on Kickstarter,  it’s no wonder the company is relying on crowdfunding to bring its newest product to market. It previously launched the PackLite Max Phone Charger, an inflatable lantern capable of putting out up to 150 lumens of light, on the site. That lantern — which can also be charged via USB — folds down to a one-inch thickness when not in use and weighs 8.5 ounces. It is also waterproof to the point that it can be fully submerged in water.

Unlike the previous generations of LuminAID lanterns, the PackLite Max also has an embedded 2,000mAh lithium-ion battery, which not only can power the light for up to 150 hours but also provides a charge for a smartphone, tablet, or other devices. That is because the lantern is also equipped with a standard 5V, 2.4 amp USB port — a first for any LuminAID product. This combination of features makes the PackLite Max a potentially game-changing product not only for outdoor enthusiasts but people living in developing parts of the world as well, which is all part of the company’s mission to provide economical sources of light in poor parts of the world.

Update: LuminAID launches the Smart Solar Garden. 

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