ByChase Ezell

May 26, 2015

Light is critical in satisfying our sense of sight. In its absence all our other senses – sound, touch, smell and taste – are negatively affected.  Without it, we’d be in the dark.  Simply put, light helps us survive.

So when graduate students Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta set out to design a solution to assist post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti in January 2010, they turned their attention from food, water and shelter to light.

A Bright Idea (Literally)

Stork and Sreshta considered the dangerous conditions at night in the tent cities. They considered lack of infrastructure.  They considered available resources or lack there of.  Their end-solution would have to be waterproof, affordable, lightweight and easy to use. Above all else, it needed to be capable of fully functioning on its own. In most cases it would be used in environments where there would be no guarantees of other resources.

And with that, the LuminAID solar inflatable latern was taken from concept to solution. Perfect for a first-aid kit or outdoor adventure, the LuminAID is a solar-powered, inflatable light that packs flat and inflates to create a lightweight, 100% waterproof lantern.  Its brilliance is in its simplicity – and socially responsible design.

The LuminAID solar inflatable latern is available for purchase at our Earth911 store today.

Safe, sustainable and ultra-portable, the LuminAID solar inflatable latern uses solar circuit technology to provide up to 15 hours of LED light.  Easily recharged in the sun, the LuminAID solar inflatable latern is ideal for recreational use outdoors at home as an extra light source or in the event of an emergency.

Haiti to Toyko 

Just one year later and in a stroke of fate (or luck depending on your outlook) LuminAID’s creators found themselves – this time firsthand – in one of the worst earthquakes ever recorded. Prepared with LuminAIDs this time, Sreshta and Storkwere were ready for whatever darkness came their way.

“Our [Sreshta and Stork] experience in Tokyo was a catalyst for us to bring this technology to market—it showed us that lighting is not something being distributed in emergencies, and even in very developed countries, it is still lacking after emergencies.”

In 2013 LuminAID, in partnership with ShelterBox, distributed over 20,000 lights to victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

The LuminAID solar inflatable latern is available for purchase at our Earth911 store today.

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By Chase Ezell

Chase has served in various public relations, communications and sustainability roles. He is a former managing editor for