PVC 'pillow' lantern is inexpensive Light source

It looks like a pillow with a cell phone glued on the side. Closer up, you see a solar panel and a tiny red light.

Odd products come across my desk every week. But the LuminAID, a solar-powered inflatable lamp, takes a prize.

LuminAID (inflated).jpg

Blow-up PVC “pillow” serves as a light source

It looks weird, no doubt. In use the PVC plastic light is a simple solution for campers in need of a lantern in a tent our outdoors at a site.

Sunlight and the solar panel charges an embedded lithium battery. Once full, the light can shine for 6 hours at about 35 lumens — bright enough to cook or read by.

It folds up and packs as small as an iPhone. Clip it on a backpack with its solar panel exposed to recharge the unit as you hike.

LuminAID (folded).jpg

Folded up

Then blow it up to convert the LuminAID to lantern mode — the translucent plastic “pillow” serves as a diffuser to spread light in an even cloud.

Though flimsy feeling in the hand, the company built the LuminAID to last for a couple years of use. The battery can be recharged up to 500 times.

LuminAID (clipped on backpack).jpg

Clipped on a pack, ready to soak in the sunlight to charge

Its original purpose was as a product for disaster relief aid in response to the Haiti earthquake.

Today, the Texas-based company supports various aid efforts. The plastic lantern is made to stand in for polluting kerosene lamps commonly used around the world.

LuminAID (in tent).jpg

In a tent

For campers, the LuminAID costs about $19. You get a unique light source for that price that weighs a feathery 110 grams.

It folds up small and is ready for planned illumination at a campsite or emergency use when you’re in need of extra light in the night.

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.GearJunkie.com.


Light seeps from the lantern to light up the ground

Posted by sherry - 02/25/2013 12:10 PM

perfect item for us living north of 60. banish the winter blues, use for camping and hunting trips,in an igloo or boat… I like it!

Posted by Ryan - 02/28/2013 07:35 PM

Oh, now this is a rather perfect solution. First, use it as a lantern, then pull it down and use it as a pillow when you hit the hay. Nice!

And they have a “buy one, send one” program. Happy to give them my business.

Posted by Alex George - 03/06/2013 12:52 AM

This is really a great product. Multipurpose idea..!!
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Posted by Heather Rose - 03/28/2013 11:51 PM

It’s useful when there is no light… “Just Artifacts”:http://www.justartifacts.net

Posted by Leonard - 04/17/2013 05:58 PM

I’d buy one if the “Gear Junkie Store” worked. Guess I’ll google and try to find one.

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