Frequently Asked Questions
About My Light
LuminAID lights vary in size. The best way to get a sense of the size is to look at the individual product images on the product pages or to watch the product videos. All of our lights deflate to less than 1" thick and inflate into different sized cube volumes. The PackLite Hero 2-in-1 Supercharger is our largest lantern and inflates into a 6"x6"x6" cube.
How big is a LuminAID light?
How bright are LuminAID lights?
LuminAID lights are made of a durable material called TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). This material is 100% PVC-free and phthalate-free. Each light contains a a high-efficiency mono-crystalline solar panel, LED circuit, and a lithium-ion battery.
What is my light made of?
LuminAID lights vary in brightness and performance depending on which product you have. The standard unit of measurement for brightness is "lumens," and this is indicated on the individual product pages. We measure the lumens of our lanterns by 3rd party testing centers when the product is fully charged.
What is PVC? Why is it important that the LuminAID lights are PVC-free?
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a type of halogenated plastic that contains two known human carcinogens: vinyl chloride and dioxin. These carcinogens are not only emitted in large quantities during production, but also on the plastic itself. Vinyl chloride is an essential component of PVC that is not used in any other plastic. Dioxin is a bio-accumulative substance that builds up over time in human bodies, and emissions from PVC are higher than other plastics. As LuminAID lights are meant to be safe for the entire family and inflated with direct contact to the plastic valve, LuminAID Lab is happy to produce 100% PVC-free lights.
What is the difference between lumens and watts?
Lumens are a standard unit used for measuring brightness of lights, while watts are a unit for measuring the amount of electricity required to power an electrically-powered object. In lightbulbs, watts are used to signify how much energy is required to power the bulb. Therefore, more energy-efficient lightbulbs may use fewer watts to produce the same number of Lumens (brightness).
As LuminAID lights are solar-powered and do not depend on an electrical grid, it is more relevant to provide the number of Lumens that our lights produce. That way, we may explain how bright the light they produce is and how large of a space they can illuminate. Our PackLite Hero is our highest-performing light, and on it's brightest Turbo setting of 300 lumens, it is able to light up a 300 sq. ft. space! Many of our customers find it comparable with battery-powered lanterns and easier to maintain.
What is the color temperature and color rendering index of LuminAID lights?
Our lanterns have been independently tested and verified to have a CRI of 70. Color temperature varies by product. The PackLite Hero, Max, and Nova have a color temperature of about 5950K.
Can I personalize or custom print my light?
Yes! We offer custom printing of corporate logos, designs, or instructions on the all of our lanterns. This option is available for orders of 120+ units, and you can learn more on our Custom Print page for pricing and further details.
How long will the product last?
We design and build our lights for disaster relief first and expect them to last in even the harshest environments. The lights can be recharged and used every day for multiple years. The product has a lithium-ion battery which has 500+ recharge cycles at optimum efficiency, but can be recharged many times over 500. Similar to your cell phone, after a few years, you may see a slight decrease in battery life (run time of the lantern).
Are LuminAID products built with sustainability in mind?
Our lanterns are powered by the sun, so you don't have to rely on any non-renewable energy sources to light your adventure. LuminAID PackLite Series lanterns collapse to just 20% of their inflated size which greatly decreases the carbon emissions associated with shipping to our warehouses, retail partners, and online shoppers. Our products are designed to last! With an IP67 waterproof rating and constructed from durable TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), most of the lanterns sold 5+ years ago are still going strong. Unlike PVC (polyvinyl chloride), a similar plastic material, TPU does produce or contain lead, dioxin, phthalates, or any other poisons that are hard to pronounce. This means both our users and the fish near our factories are free from harm. Finally, our products can be responsibly recycled at any local electronics drop-off.
Is LuminAID's packaging sustainable?
All of our packaging is small, lightweight, and recyclable to reduce environmental impact from start to finish. Our PackLite Series products are packaged in plastic PE bags that can be responsibly recycled at any drop-off recycling center. Our Smart Solar Garden products are packaged in printed cardstock with a PET window and can be recycled curbside.
Care & Usage
Yes, all LuminAID products are allowed on both carry-on and checked luggage. The restrictions regarding lithium-ion batteries apply to batteries larger than those contained in LuminAID lights. Our lanterns are frequently flown around the world by humanitarian partners, as well as by the LuminAID team.
Can I take my LuminAID lights on a plane?
Is my LuminAID light waterproof?
LuminAID solar lights contain lithium-ion polymer batteries, similar to the battery inside most cell phones. The LuminAID light has two temperature ranges:
Temperatures lower or higher than that can damage the battery and reduce overall battery life. To increase longevity of the battery, it is best to avoid recharging your light in temperatures below freezing for extended period of time. If you do need to use your product in sub-zero temperatures, we recommend recharging it when it is warmer and using the Medium or Low setting when in sub-zero temperatures to get the most run time hours out of your light before needing to recharge it again. If you need to recharge it and only have sub-zero temperatures, we recommend placing it in a sunny window or for a few hours each day during peak sun hours outside. It will take a few days longer to fully charge.
What temperatures can my light operate under?
Yes, LuminAID lights are all waterproof and dustproof! They can be submerged up to 1 meter (FL 1 STANDARD IP67) and can float. However, it is important to always ensure that USB charging input and the USB charging output ports are securely closed and covered when not in use. Do not expose the lanterns to water when they are charging via USB.
Can I recycle my LuminAID light?
LuminAID lights are made out of completely recyclable parts. You can recycle a LuminAID anywhere that cell phones, digital cameras, or iPods are accepted for recycling (ex: Home Depot).
Why is my light not lasting very long?
LuminAID lights have multiple brightness settings, and each setting has a corresponding run time. The low and flashing settings have the longest run times. If you are recharging on an overcast day or did not have enough sun to fully recharge the battery, we recommend using the Low or Medium setting in order to maximize the run time. For more details on run times for each setting, the individual product pages list the run times in hours. Some LuminAID lights have Turbo mode which is the brightest mode. This mode is perfect for those moments when you need the brightest lantern possible for things like task work or emergencies. Turbo mode has the shortest run time because the LEDs are extremely bright. If you press the power button once more to cycle to High mode, you will have roughly 2X the run time as the Turbo mode.
Please visit our Troubleshooting page for more information on charging your light.
Why is my light not turning on?
There are a few possible reasons why it may not be turning on. The most likely reason is that it needs to be recharged. This video explains common ways to ensure you're charging your lights properly. Below are a few steps to see if this may be the issue. After going through these steps, if it still isn't working after recharging, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out this form here.
If the red LED is not turning on in the sun or the product still does not turn on after recharging, please email email@example.com. We have a worry-free 1-Year warranty and want to make sure all our customers are happy with their lights.
How do I adjust settings or turn my light on/off?
Each of our lights has a red power button. Press this button firmly to turn your light ON, cycle through brightness settings, and turn it OFF. This button is slightly inset to ensure that your light will not be turned on by accident and lose charge.
I have an old light that I got a tear in, is there any way I can repair it so I can keep using it?
We expect our products to be able to hold up to significant use, so we are proud to stand behind a 1-year warranty on all of our lights that includes any rips or tears in the seam. However, accidents happen and we want to make sure you can get the best use out of a light even if it was purchased five years ago.
Since our products are made with TPU, any waterproof, flexible adhesive or epoxy advertised as working on both plastic and rubber will be able to repair small holes or rips in your lantern. For larger damages, a patch used to repair rain jackets or air mattresses can be used.
Solar charging your lantern while charging your phone is a great way to stay powered on the go. However, it is not recommended to USB charge your lantern while using it to charge your phone, as it puts undue stress on the battery and will reduce the overall lifespan of your lantern.
Can I charge my light and my phone at the same time?
Can I charge my phone with a PackLite Nova USB, PackLite Spectra USB, or PackLite Firefly USB?
Only our "2-in-1" lights have the ability to charge external devices. However, all of the lights we currently carry are able to receive power through USB. The micro-USB port on the PackLite Nova USB, PackLite Spectra USB, and PackLite Firefly USB can only accept power and cannot be used to charge a phone.
How do I charge my phone with my LuminAID?
Our PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger and PackLite Hero 2-in-1 Supercharger have a USB-A output port that can charge your mobile device. If you have an iPhone, the cable that came with it can be used to charge it from the light. Many Android phones can charged using their included cables or the red micro-USB cable included with your light. If your device uses USB-C, you'll need a USB-C to USB-A cable, or the proper adapter, to recharge your phone our with our light.
What is the difference between the PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger and the PackLite Hero 2-in-1 Supercharger?
The Hero is different from the Max in the following ways:
Inflating My Light
LuminAID lights have inflatable air valves. Simply open the valve, untwist the lantern by pulling the two sides apart, and then blow into the valve to complete inflation. We recommend plugging the valve with your finger as you close the valve to make sure air doesn't escape. You can also then push the valve into the lantern. To deflate, open the valve and twist the lantern flat.
Check out this video for more tips and tricks.
How do I inflate and deflate my LuminAID light?
Why do my lights inflate?
LuminAID's patented inflatable LED technology was designed to create a lightweight, portable lantern that could pack down flat for easy storage and charging, and then inflate to diffuse the bright the LEDs. The diffuse, glare-free lighting is great for lighting up a tent, reading at night, or taking on a walk to light up your path. The inflatable component of the LuminAID invention also responds to the distribution challenges of humanitarian aid organizations.
Charging My Light
All LuminAID lights have a red LED on the front of the product that is the solar indicator. The solar indicator shines red when the solar panel is exposed to light and keeps shining red even when the battery is fully charged. It only stops shining red when the solar panel is no longer exposed to light. You can test this by covering the solar panel and you will see the solar indicator LED stop shining red. The solar indicator is extremely sensitive because of the high quality solar panel on all LuminAID lights, and you may see it glowing red even when the solar panel is not in direct sun. For example, you may see that the solar indicator shines red when you hold the LuminAID light near a window or an ambient light source. Even though the solar indicator may be red, this does not mean the solar panel is picking up enough sunlight to fully recharge the battery. To ensure the solar panel is recharging the battery, place your LuminAID light outside in direct, outdoor sun away from shaded areas. If your light has a battery indicator button and four green LEDs, you can press this button while your light is recharging to determine how charged the product is.
For more tips and tricks, check out our Troubleshooting page.
How do I know if my light is charging?
How do I charge my light?
LuminAID lights all have a high-efficiency mono-crystalline solar panel that recharges the built-in battery when exposed to direct sun. To recharge your light, place the light in direct, outdoor sun with the solar panel facing the sun. Windows block light and significantly slow down charging. For optimum charging, place the light outside in an area away from shadows or shade. Charge times vary depending on time of year, location, and product. If your product has a micro USB input port, you can also recharge your lantern quickly by using the 5V micro USB input.
For more tips and tricks, check out our Troubleshooting page.
Can I recharge my light in a window or on cloudy days? What about the winter?
LuminAID lights will charge on overcast or cloudy days, but you'll see the most efficient charging times with direct sun. Windows block light and slow down charging. For optimum charging, place the light outside in an area away from shadows or shade. Charge times vary depending on time of year, location, and product. In the winter, you will see slower run times because the sun is not as strong and there are fewer hours available for direct sun.
For more information, check out our Troubleshooting page.
Is the battery replaceable?
The battery does not need to be replaced as it is easily recharged by the solar panel on the front of the light. The lithium-ion polymer battery is built to be long-lasting and is high-performing for 1000+ recharges. It performs at 100% for 500+ recharges and at 90% performance for another 500+ recharges for a total of 1,000+ recharges at high performance. Our worry-free warranty lasts for one year after purchase but our lights are made to last for 5+ years of use.
How long will a full charge last when my light is in storage?
All LuminAID lights use a lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery, similar to the battery in most cell phones. Once fully charged, the battery will hold a majority of its charge and light up after over a year of being in storage. Like all rechargeable batteries, it does lose a small percentage of charge over time when it is in storage and not being used. In order to ensure the product is fully charged when you need it, we recommend that you recharge the light in direct sun every 4-6 months.
How do the green charging indicator LEDs work?
LuminAID lanterns have a battery charge indicator button that allows you to see the percent charge of the battery. The battery charge indicator LEDs are programmed to light up when the battery is within a specified voltage range. The voltage ranges are divided into four segments that correspond to approximately 20-25% charge increments. Because it is a voltage range of approximately 20-25%, run times may vary even if two units indicate the same battery level. The battery has built-in overcharge protection so it cannot overcharge. The product can continue to charge even when all 4 green LEDs light up.
My product has a micro-USB input. What should I use to recharge it?
Some versions of LuminAID lights have a 5V micro-USB input port. This port is waterproof and is located near the solar panel on the front of the product under a white cap. We include a red micro-USB to USB charging cord that you can use to recharge your light. Simply plug in the micro-USB end into the port on the LuminAID light and plug the USB end of the cord into your computer or a 5V USB wall outlet adapter. You can use the same wall adapter that came with your phone.
For more tips and tricks for USB charging, check out our Troubleshooting page.
Making an Impact
When you purchase the Give Light, Get Light Package, your order will include one LuminAID PackLite Nova USB light for you and one LuminAID light donated in your name to a person in need. You will be able to choose which cause you would like your sponsored light to go to. When you receive your order in the mail, it will contain your LuminAID light and a confirmation card with the name of the cause that received your sponsored light.
If you would like to purchase a light other than the PackLite Nova USB and would still like to contribute to out Give Light mission, you can add a Give A Light purchase for $10. You would then receive the lights you ordered in the mail, and would sponsor one LuminAID light for a family in need. A digital confirmation card would be sent to you following this purchase.
What comes in a Give Light, Get Light Package?
Do you have a special program for Peace Corps volunteers?
Yes! We love working with the dedicated individuals who bring change through the Peace Corps. We offer special discounts for Peace Corps volunteers and are always looking for volunteers to distribute lights in the field. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
How can I support LuminAID's Give Light, Get Light Mission?
Sharing safe light for all is what drives LuminAID forward. Our Give Light, Get Light Program allows you to join our mission and get involved by helping sponsor safe, solar rechargeable lanterns for those in need. By purchasing a Give Light, Get Light Package, you not only receive one PackLite Nova USB in the mail, but also sponsor a LuminAID lantern for a family without safe and dependable access to light. On the Give Light, Get Light purchasing page, you can choose to send the sponsored light to one of our featured charitable causes, or "Allocate As Needed." The Allocate As Needed stock allows us to work with smaller organizations and causes with pressing need but limited resources. This way, we are able to partner with a range of impactful causes and broaden our positive global impact. A little light goes a long way: children can study after dark, improving their long-term educational prospects; communities reduce harmful fumes, high costs, and fire risk associated with kerosene lamps; families left vulnerable by natural disasters report increased feelings of safety and security; and medical teams are able to shine a light on much-needed care in remote areas.
Does LuminAID offer discounts for nonprofits?
Yes! If you are a nonprofit looking for discounted prices, please visit nonprofit.luminaid.com to learn more about our Nonprofit Subsidy Program.
Does LuminAID offer discounts for personal humanitarian projects?
Yes! If you have a project or trip coming up, please fill out the form here, and a member of our team will be in touch.
If I've received a nonprofit discount in the past, does it ever expire?
Our nonprofit discounts typically don't expire as long as your organization is still active. However, if you have any questions, you can contact us at email@example.com.
I have a limited budget, how can I request a product donation?
Please fill out our humanitarian use form here. However, please be aware that due to the high volume of requests we receive, we are not able to fulfill all in-kind donation requests from worthy organizations.