LuminAID: A Bright Idea From Anna Stork & Andrea Sreshta

LuminAID co-founders Andrea and Anna with an early, homemade prototype
Consumer GoodsEntrepreneurshipGood CausesInnovationSTEM 4 Comments

When women put their heads together, incredible things can happen. Such was the case when architecture grad students – Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta – met, and were asked to design a product to assist the 2010 post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. They turned their attention to the critical need for light. The result was the LuminAID, a super cool, solar-powered light that inflates to create a lightweight, waterproof “lantern”, proven to be as useful in global crises and natural disasters as during a camping trip.

Designed, in part, for ease of shipability to populations of people in need as well as grab-and-go portability for individuals, Anna and Andrea’s LuminAID light starts as a flat, compact rectangle that’s not much larger than most smart phones and weighs only 3 ounces. It simply unfolds to become an inflatable, waterproof bladder outfitted with a solar-panel and rechargeable battery that power its heart and soul… an extra bright LED light.

At first glance, we noticed that the LuminAID light’s embedded hardware pack bears a striking resemblance to a first generation iPod. Coincidence or intention? Either way, we love products that blend substance and purpose with smart design.

LuminAID_inflatable_light_foldedAnd get this… the LuminAID light can also FLOAT when fully inflated. They really thought of EVERYTHING!

How It Works

LuminAID How It WorksWant to see the LuminAID in action? Here’s a great video that demonstrates the simplicity of its genius.

Must Have & Thank You

Having just lived though the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, those of us in her destructive path were quickly reminded how critical and comforting light is to our lives and well-being. As batteries can go scarce, candles can be dangerous, and the power grid can be disabled over an extended period of time, we think this safe and portable source of renewable light is a MUST HAVE for home, car, boat, first-aid kit, disaster preparedness backpack, etc. At $18.95, it’s also a no brainer purchase.

We felt particularly grateful after learning that through one of their partners – – LuminAID recently distributed their lights on the ground in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Being based in and all around New York City and knowing, first-hand, how great our area’s needs were, the WYSK Team would like to thank Anna and Andrea for their generous gesture of relief to our Tri-State friends and neighbors.

LuminAID Floating

Give Light, Get Light

You might be shocked to know that 1.6 billion people around the world lack proper access to electricity. Many of these people are forced to rely upon dangerous, toxic, and expensive kerosene lanterns as their primary source of light.

Through their Give Light, Get Light program, LuminAID partners with NGOs and non-profits all over the world to distribute LuminAID Lights to individuals who will greatly benefit from a safe, rechargeable light source. Through this program, they have distributed thousands of lights in more than a dozen countries to individuals in need of a better, safer, and cleaner source of light.

You can join LuminAID’s mission to make light more accessible and sustainable for all by purchasing a light for yourself and sponsoring one through their Give Light, Get Light program. Each Give Light, Get Light purchased, sends a matching light to someone who will greatly benefit from a safe, rechargeable light source.

LuminAID lights donated to students in a village in Vanuatu

  • Tara

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – It never ceases to amaze me how clever women can be. This is an ingenious product. I love the compactness and portability of it. My only concern is that it must be charged for 5 hours in the sun. That means that any storm must be long past, and the sun must again be shining, before this can be put to good use. So those in need will have to wait a little longer to get some light. But it’s an incredible idea.

    • WYSK

      Hi Tara – We love it too!

      One thing we didn’t mention above that is explained on the LuminAID site that addresses your concern is “The LuminAID can hold a full charge for 4 months. Before storing for an extended period of time, it is best to make sure the battery is fully charged. We also recommend charging every 1-2 months to keep the battery at optimum condition.”

      So, by its design, you can be prepped in advance and ready for any storm. – The WYSK Team

      • Tara

        WYSK, thanks for the clarification. Now, let’s hope that those people that have one, think ahead and charge it, and then activate it so they can turn it on as soon as the lights go out.

  • Nanette