Your LuminAID lights have arrived, and now it’s time to put them to work!
1. Check the Charge
When you first receive your lights, check the charge level on them. To do this, you’ll need to press the battery indicator button. The 4 green LEDs will run up to 4 and then flash at the level of charge. If the green LEDs don’t light up, not to worry! This just means you’ll need to recharge your lights.
2. Charge Your Light
Charge LuminAID lights outside on a flat and open space on clear, sunny days. Ensure that the solar panel on your light is not obstructed (packaging, trees, shadows, etc.) Keep in mind that nearby buildings and trees might shade your light for part of the day, and light shining through windows is partially filtered and indirect. Although the charging indicator may turn on, the light will not be receiving enough power to charge. For charging in suboptimal conditions, such as on cloudy days or at higher latitudes, please allow for an additional 1-2 days of charging time.
If your light has a USB charging option, you can use the included cable to charge the lantern from any USB port: your computer, battery bank, or the USB wall adapter that charges your phone. Our lanterns have a 5V, micro USB input port that can be used to recharge your lantern in 1-4 hours, depending on the model you have. When you plug your light in, the red charging indicator light will be very bright. Even if your light is completely discharged, the battery indicator LEDs will light.
All LuminAID lanterns are equipped with a specially-designed lantern that allows air to flow into and out of the light without the need to pinch or bite the valve. This allows for an easier inflation process, especially for children and the elderly. To inflate your light, unfasten the strap and open the air valve. Untwist and pull on each end of the lantern to begin inflating. Blow into the valve to ensure the lantern is fully inflated. Plug the valve with your thumb and quickly close it. You can pop the valve back in, so the lantern sits flat on a table.
4. Turn On the Light
To turn on your LuminAID light, press the power button. By continuing to press the power button, you can cycle through the lighting settings and turn the lantern off.
5. Check the Charge Every 3 Months
If you are storing the lanterns without using them, we recommend checking the charge every 3 months and recharging as necessary.
For this Notes from the Field blog post, we're featuring a longtime humanitarian partner, the Poyeho Project. We've been working with this organization since 2013 to bring lights to entrepreneurs in Southern Africa.
Hand-carrying LuminAID lights in their luggage is very popular with our nonprofit partners, because our lights are lightweight and space-efficient due to their inflatable pack-flat design. We encourage you to prepare for your trip in advance by looking into the baggage, battery, and import rules for your airline and destination country, so that you can know what to expect.
Happy National Inventors' Day! To celebrate, we're sharing LuminAID’s recent segment on The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca. Our founders, Anna and Andrea, were featured on the show and discussed the innovation behind LuminAID's solar inflatable lanterns.