Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The LuminAID

The play on words is multi-dimensional and pretty damned clever, if you ask me.  What it IS, may be even more clever, though.

I spend hardly any time on the interwebs these days, which are probably filled with gossip and reviews about this product, but I actually ran across it in [gasp!] the newspaper, under the outdoors section.  I'm glad to not know what I don't know about it, because I just think it's cool and have great hope that it's a great product.  I seriously want it to be, given the mission of the company that produces and sells it.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Please, read on.

What it is then, is this packaged bundled plasticy thing with a big window for catching rays and a plastic snap and an on/off switch. In technical terms.

Once you unsnap the snap, it unfolds into a larger plasticy, nonsensical bag-thing.  That has now become much bigger than a phone.

Leveraging 1960's air mattress know-how against modern day solar electricity generation, electrical energy storage and LED lighting technology is how this company apparently rolls.

Once "blown up", it becomes [much] bigger, as well as substantially thicker, than a phone.  (The master of the obvious is in the room.  Please give him some space.)

From there, the hard work is done and the only thing left to do is turn off all the lights in your house and turn your new LuminAID on.

Brandy is somewhat, but not *that* impressed.

I'm all in, though.  I'm excited about the bike camping potential of the product, of course.  But what make it so easy to throw dollars their way is that they really seem to have have a much higher calling than pleasing some douche in Spokane who nerds out on anything remotely bike and/or bike-camping related.  From their website:

The LuminAID solar light was designed to fulfill the basic need for light in post-natural disaster situations shortly after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  When thinking about what we could design to make a difference, we decided to focus on affordable, renewable light because it had the potential to greatly improve the comfort, safety, and survival of disaster victims.
While on a school trip to Japan, we unexpectedly found ourselves in the middle of the earthquake in March 2011. Having experienced first-hand how a disaster can negatively impact the lives of millions, we are motivated to make the LuminAID light a reality for those affected by disasters, crises, and conflict.
About the Founders: Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta met while studying architecture and design in graduate school. They shared an interest in solar lighting technology and a common belief that design and design thinking can be used to solve problems at a global scale, including improving access to basic resources such as lighting and power.

The purchase program involves an option to buy 2, of which you get one, and the other gets donated to women around the world in distress/disaster situations that need light.  For thirty freaking bucks!  And they handle it all.  Holy krap, even if they're something other than what they represent themselves to be (which I don't think is the case), how can you not just take a chance on "getting a light and giving a light"?

I just choose to think, until proven otherwise, that this whole enterprise is supremely rad.  The concept of siphoning my bike-douche-dollars as a means of doing something genuinely worthwhile is something I'm not letting go of without a fight.

I'll let you know how this product works, bike-camping-wise.  But that's really beside the point.  The way bigger and way better told story is here.


River City Red said...

That is dang impressive. I will be buying one (or actually one and one) of those for two-wheeled camping myself (although I use a four-stroke motor to facilitate mine).

mechBgon said...

Brandy says "that's great, but we really should play fetch with it OUTSIDE."

Anonymous said...

People need to free themselves from their dependence on solar energy. The sun isn't going to last forever. And sunlight itself is a known carcinogen.

Healthy, sustainable lighting alternatives include lamps powered with whale or coal oil, nuclear fission, and bottled flatulence.

Professor Ram N Udell, PhDD. said...

Hear, hear.

The continued reliance on solar energy can only be described as atavistic, animistic, churlishly alchemistic, or, one might even say, Elohistic.

Even as Hollywood starlets bravely turn from the sun--Kristin Stewart's skin glows the pale lunar hue of a nightcrawler-nibbling grubworm buried deep in a grave--our culture has not followed their example, their warning.

Indeed, many, if not most of us, consume energy calories reaped from archaic solar processes such as the (so-called) photosynthesis.

I'd suggest instead fungus and Twinkies, a diet for the blessedly dark era ahead.

Hey, does that pillow light float?

Pluto said...

What bothers me is the megalomania and egocentrism of the sun.

The sun is always like, look at ME, planets! I'm the motherfucking SUN!

I'm like, it's a solar SYSTEM.

Jupiter said...

Maybe little Mr. PlaneTOID needs to give a little respect to get a little respect.

Nobody's making a Pluto-powered pillow, just saying.

Pluto said...

Thanks for the advice, Jupiter. Remind us again about what a gaseous giant you are.

Hey, let me rub that spot off your face. Oh, it's permanent? Sorry, my bad.

Pat S said...

I've been cutting my teeth and developing rudimentary skills as a greenhorn manager, but I would just like to say that the intellectual and interplanetary energy that has been exhibited by the commenters herein is, well, kind of outside of the scope of my training. And frankly, quite intimidating.

My training does however, go on to further say that when confronted with this situation, the proper response is to throw all troublemakers into the "rubber room", and let 'em duke it out.

Okay, that's not true. Maybe in the 70's. Sorry. It was a panic response.

I wish I had never mentioned the sun. I'm here to help clean up the mess, though. Because that's what I do now.

Venus said...

omg i so totally feel ur pain mr.s. ive had 2 listen 2 these idiots for like a billion yrs now. and if its not these 2 its mars going paranoid hysterical about robot invasions from earth.