Thursday, July 25, 2024
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REVIEWED: LuminAID inflatable light

It’s a hit in the off-grid world, but this solar-powered inflatable light is great for camping anywhere on Earth

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Solar power

Who wants to constantly think about batteries and recharging gadgets while they’re on the road?  Solar-powered everything is what travellers are really after, but until recently such gadgets have been expensive, bulky, and thoroughly disappointing. However, that’s all changing with the development of small and efficient solar panels and the  spread through society of the low-power LED.

Credit card-sized

LuminAID is about the size of a credit card. Pocket-sized ideal for stashing in the side of a rucksack or even a trouser pocket, the 85g, waterproof (to one metre) LuminAID effectively replaces the need for a torch or lamp while camping  by charging-up solely through solar power. The recharge time is about seven hours.

Eight hours of light

The LuminAID is so easy to work. Folded up behind the tiny solar panel is a semitransparent, puncture resistant plastic balloon that, once inflated – something that takes about five seconds – is about the size of a small travel pillow. Switch on the LuminAID  in one of two strengths, and it glows for about eight hours in full brightness mode (lighting-up the entire tent enough to read a book if you’re within a couple of metres of the source), and up to 14 hours on the low power mode. That should be enough for a week camping, or even more.  It can be recharged up to 500 times, and once inflated, it also floats.


Although it’s a handy, convenient light for travellers heading off into the wild, LuminAID is a life changer for many; there are now over 8,000 LuminAIDs in the hands of villagers in in off-grid rural areas of 15 countries thanks to the company’s Give Light, Get Light program. Ideal for hooking onto a backpack, using while camping, at festivals or for putting in a first aid kit while hiking, the LuminAID  is a bright idea indeed.

Price at time of review: £20

Buy the LuminAID inflatable light