What is LuminAID?
LuminAID is a business which sells solar powered lanterns (see the image below). These lanterns are collapsible, durable, light and waterproof. The business is also socially responsible in many ways (these will be discussed later).
My initial thoughts on LuminAID
At first I thought that this is a brilliant (pun intended) idea, and I still do. I was curious as to how they were socially responsible and if they have competitors. When I saw this product I realised that I know communities and people who would benefit from the LuminAID devices.
Since the products are solar powered, they are relying on the sun’s energy. This use of solar power helps reduce CO2 emissions and the usage of other sources of light like kerosene lanterns. It also reduces the use of single use batteries and batteries not charged from renewable energy. (Read more here.) In addition, LuminAID devices can be recycled and the packaging is very small and together this reduces their environmental impact.
How does LuminAID help people?
LuminAID is very active in the way that they try and help those in need. For example, most recently they sent 3,000 lanterns and phone chargers to help the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian. They sent some of the 3,000 lanterns through the Give Light, Get Light program where customers can purchase their own light and a light for those in need.
In addition, LuminAID has a subsidy program where non-profit organisations can purchase lights in bulk for a lower rate to distribute to the communities they are helping. This makes their lights more affordable for those who are trying to help others, making it easier to actually help those who need light.
Since we looked at two ways that LuminAID is being sustainable, I will rank each section out of 2. For the environmental factor, while they are helping minimise carbon emissions and providing cleaner alternatives for light, they do not have zero waste packaging nor biodegradable materials and so I will give them a 1/2. As for the people factor, I can’t find any faults in the way they are operating and so I will give them a 2/2 for that.
|Lumens||300 lumens||150||90 (highest setting)|
|100+ hours||50 hours||8 – 12 hours|
|Charge time||16 hours||14 hours||12 hours|
|Inflated Size||6″ x 6″ x 6″||5″ x 4.25″||4.3″ x 4.3″ x 4.3″|
|Misc.||Apparently there |
are some reports
of it not being
To summarise, LuminAIDs is the most expensive but the price is justified due to it’s battery performance, lumens and size. Due to this and because of MPowerd having reports of it not being as durable as advertised, LuminAID is the better option if you are not on a budget.
However, when comparing LuminAID to Solarpuff, it’s a bit trickier as LuminAID has a phone charging device while Solarpuff does not. To compare Solar puff to LuminAID here is a second table using LuminAID’s non phone charging product.
Pack Lite Nova USB
|Lumens||75 lumens||90 (highest setting)|
|24 hours||8 – 12 hours|
|Charge time||10 hours||12 hours|
|Inflated Size||4.75″ x 4.75″ x 4.75″||4.3″ x 4.3″ x 4.3″|
LuminAID is the cheaper, bigger and longer lasting option between the two. However the Solarpuff has a high lumens count. For a disaster situation the LuminAID seems more practical due to the time it can last for. Since it charges faster if there is an emergency in an area with less than 12 hours of sunlight, LuminAIDs would be more likely to charge fully.
Since I looked at 2 competitors, I will be scoring the section out of 4 (2 points for each competitor).
Score: 2+2 = 4/4
Score before my opinion: 7/8
Do I recommend using LuminAID?
Due to their very sustainable business model and the comparisons against their competitors, if I were to purchase my own solar powered lantern and introduce the communities I know to a lantern, I would pick LuminAID. Since I would use LuminAIDs, I would highly recommend it to others giving it a 2/2.
Final Score: 9/10
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- Link to Picture of LuminAID Packlite
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