Inflatable Solar-Powered Lamp Brings Light To Dark Places

Close to one-fifth of the world has no access to a power grid, and for many others, access is spotty and inconsistent. A New York startup now offers an affordable, lightweight solution.

What's the Latest Development?

Now available for $15.99 at New York-based startup MPowerd's Web site is Luci, a four-ounce lamp that consists of a solar panel, a lithium-ion battery, and a ring of LED lights all encased in a flexible container. After the battery is charged, the lamp can be turned on simply by blowing into a valve at the top. When Luci is fully inflated, the light that's created is equivalent to that produced by a 60-watt bulb. Squishing the container concentrates the light so that the lamp works more like a flashlight. It's quite tough, and can even withstand rain.

What's the Big Idea?

Although MPowerd hopes that Luci will be popular in the US and other developed nations, it created its lamp primarily to address the needs of the less fortunate: According to the International Energy Agency, 1.3 billion people on Earth have no access to a power grid. The company is currently in talks with various international aid organizations, but for the average customer they also offer a buy one/give one program, allowing them to send lamps to areas in need. Future versions of Luci may have cell phone chargers and even wi-fi hotspots.

Photo Credit:

Related Articles

How schizophrenia is linked to common personality type

Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.

Mind & Brain
  • A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
  • This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
Keep reading Show less

Human skeletal stem cells isolated in breakthrough discovery

It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.

Image: Nissim Benvenisty
Surprising Science
  • Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
  • These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
  • The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Keep reading Show less

How exercise helps your gut bacteria

Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.

National Institutes of Health
Surprising Science
  • Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
  • Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
  • Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
Keep reading Show less