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This week: The LuminAid
You are packed and ready to go in an adventure! Volunteering abroad is a great opportunity to give to others, to the environment and to communities in need all around the world. So, we want you to give your very best! That’s why we have managed to discover some of the world’s greatest Travel Gadgets, and we want to recommend those we think you could really use.
If you are thinking to do tourism in any country –apart from your volunteer work-, you might be a little more at ease, if you have tools that will enhance your trip. We think that these products can aid you during your volunteer travel, and will help you give your best, wherever you are.
This week, we want to introduce you to the LuminAid.
It is a solar-rechargeable light that’s waterproof, lightweight, and inflates to diffuse light, like a lantern would do. It consists of a solar panel, a rechargeable battery and a multi-chip LED light. After a full charge it can deliver up to 16 hours of light!! The best part: the battery of the LuminAid can be recharged over 500 times; this allows for years of use.
The developers of LuminAid, two women architects from Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, developed this technology while they were still students. They invented this technology in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. And they also experienced firsthand the damage caused by large-scale disasters while on a school trip during the March 2011 earthquake in Japan.
They noticed that there was virtually no lighting product that was shipped in volume to these parts of the world, in spite of the catastrophes occurred. So they decided to make a change. They realized about the importance of having a lighting product around, which could bring the victims of these kinds of disasters a lot more security and comfort.
Why do we think LuminAID is great for your volunteer trip?
- Normal flashlights require batteries, and kerosene lanterns constitute a fire-hazard, while the LuminAid is a cleaner alternative to that.
- The LuminAid is made of TPU, which is a safe and sustainable material that is 100% PVC-free and phthalate-free; as well as a high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panel, and a lithium-ion battery.
- LuminAid is safe to carry on planes.
- LuminAID is super lightweight.
- LuminAid lights are solar-powered. This means that they do not depend on an electrical grid to produce light.
- Once fully charged, the battery will hold a majority of its charge and light up after over a year of being in storage.
- You can buy one LuminAID for yourself and give one to another person, that could need it.
Why couldn’t LuminAid work for you?
- If you don’t have too much space in your bag for extras.
- If you don’t think it is something that would benefit another person.
- If you have found a better lighting alternative than the LuminAID.
- If you don’t believe in lights -which, you know, it’s ok! We are all different, and have different opinions.
- Not all types of LuminAID illuminate at a wide range, but all of them work perfectly indoors.
- It might be difficult to fully charge the battery, if you are volunteering in very cold weathers, with little sunlight.
We actually used the LuminAID ourselves and it really didn’t disappoint! It is not only marketed as an aid tool, but also as a product for campers and travellers.
My personal opinion
I thought this product was THE absolute bomb! Not only it provides a safe energy alternative, but it is something people don’t usually think about, when they think about “useful travel gadgets”. Some might argue that this isn’t really a necessity. But, in my opinion, having a reliable source of energy, allows people to feel safer, have more flexibility during their days, and it fills a necessity-gap that is highly underestimated.
I could have used a light when I was volunteering in the Mexican Rainforest and couldn’t see where I was going. Or when we didn’t know what was in front of us in the darkness, when my group and I walked back to our camping site. An ol’ heavy battery-lantern wasn’t too reliable, and I didn’t really like carrying the extra weight.
Additionally to that, this company has a great purchase/donate scheme that I love! They offer a Give Light, Get Light package that allows customers to buy one light and sponsor a light to be donated to one of their partner charities. Currently, the only light to which this concept applies is the PackLite 16 light.
Also, if you don’t wish to purchase a LuminAID for yourself, you could click on their Donate A Light option and simply sponsor a light for somebody else. The reason I like this concept so much is because it is a great way to support a person or an entire community.
This is how you use it:
- Charge the LuminAID outside in direct sun for around 7 hours. You’ll notice when it is fully charged, when the charge indicator turns green.
- Gently inflate the LuminAID light through the valve.
We hope this little introduction to this awesome product can be helpful to you! We know volunteering is a great thing to do! That’s why we want to recommend you products that you can use; products that will only enhance your trip. So, you can now focus on what you reaaaally want to do: either if this is helping another person, or campaigning to save the environment, or aiding a community! You are already making the world a better place. Focus on that!
Visit LuminAID’s website and see if this product is something you could use!