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– One of the best and worst things
about the nighttime
is darkness.
It can bring us peace and help us sleep,
but darkness is also responsible
for things like bruises and stubbed toes
as you wake up and stumble to the kitchen
for that midnight snack of ravioli.
Now there are two women who are coming
to the aid of those in the dark
by using the sun to accumulate
a new way to illuminate.
Here’s Alie Ward to explain.
(upbeat music)
– This cube of light was designed
in the aftermath of the devastating
2010 earthquake in Haiti that threw
the Caribbean country into darkness.
Then architecture students
at Columbia University in New York,
co-inventors Anna Stoke
and Andrea Sreshta,
were tasked with developing something
for disaster relief, and
their minds immediately switched to light.
What they came up with has now illuminated
living quarters and lifted spirits,
in more than 100 countries worldwide.
Their environmentally friendly lanterns
are also used for recreation, for camping,
hiking and backyard parties.
– The LuminAID light is
a portable, rechargeable solar light
that packs flat, and
then you can inflate it,
and it becomes a lantern
and an extra-bright light that’s
also waterproof and floats.
– I visited the
inventors in Chicago
to learn more about this innovation
and the intention behind it.
Where did you guys come up with
the name luminAID?
Because it’s a brilliant,
brilliant name.
– We actually asked some
friends for feedback
when we were brainstorming names,
and so LuminAID came from
a play on “illuminate,” and it’s
also lumens is the measurement
of brightness for a lantern.
– With purpose
as their driving force,
they moved quickly to come up
with designs and prototypes.
Where did you start with the design?
What was the first thing that kind
of popped into your head
that you iterated from there?
– We were thinking about what types
of designs could pack flat,
– could be cost-effectively shipped
in large quantities
and also have the
ability to diffuse light.
We zeroed in on inflatable
really early on.
And so that was really kind of
the first part of the innovation.
– So deconstruct this a
little bit for me here.
– This is the
electronic assembly within
the inflatable light.
So there’s a solar panel here,
there are LEDs on the back
and then there’s a battery underneath
the circuit board there.
So this is seamed within the inflatable,
and it’s totally waterproof;
it’s totally dustproof.
And then in some of our lanterns we have
a port that is also waterproof.
So this is a micro USB port,
so you can charge it solar
or micro USB.
And then we also have
a phone charger lantern here.
– Wow!
– Now they make
cubes in varying sizes
with different lighting options and looks,
including more decorative versions shaped
like gems and stars.
I’d love to see how they
expand or get blown up, can you show me?
– So they kind of expand out like this.
Then you just blow them up.
– It’s already half inflated for me.
(laughter)
I barely have to work.
(blowing)
– Oh look at that!
– So we’re
– I have a LuminAID.
(laughter)
Today they work with a host
of different nongovernmental
organizations.
They’ve distributed more
than 250,000 lanterns
for humanitarian aid purposes alone.
Designed for multiple years
of daily, continuous use,
the lanterns are lighting the today
and many tomorrows of families worldwide.
(upbeat music)

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Survival Gear Military Surplus Where Can One Order