February 26, 2017

Review of the MPOWERD Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern

Review of the MPOWERD Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern

Every once in a while I get to review an item that, because of features, potential and its price, is an item that I am happy to tell you about! LUCI is one of these! Created by MPOWERED, LUCI is an inflatable solar lantern with a diameter of 5”. It’s about 4” tall when inflated and 1” tall when collapsed.

LUCI is waterproof and shatterproof. It is very lightweight and affordable; the Luci Solar Lantern I was sent retails for only $15! Other models can run up to $25.
 
 
Features

LUCI Dimensions

LUCI is made up of 10 LED lights, a solar panel and a rechargeable battery.

It is rated for 500-2000 cycles, meaning full battery cycles from full to empty. If you use it every day for twelve hours, it is expected that it’ll work for about two years! If you use LUCI occasionally you can expect many years of use.

The LED bulbs have a lifespan of 25,000 hours, and the manufacturer states that they will not burn out during the life of LUCI.

LUCI solar panel

LUCI will hold a full charge for about three months. After that it will retain half a charge for up to two years!

There are three power settings; low, high and a slow flashing.

LUCI produces enough light to illuminate up to an 8-10’ square foot room.

LUCI is rated to run in temperatures from 15-122 degrees.

There is a plastic strap on the top and bottom. A carbineer would be needed to hang it from something to cast light or hang upside down to charge.

LUCI can be charged from with sunlight or incandescent light and takes 8 hours for a full charge.
 
 
Potential

LUCI is being marketed as offering “solar justice” to the 3 billion people in the world who either live without electricity or can’t afford it. They even have a program where you can MPOWERED for a LUCI to be given to someone in need!

LUCI will effectively lengthen the ability to get things done after the sun goes down. That is the case for those living without electricity now, and for anyone who owns one if the power goes out!

LUCI in colorLuci doesn’t act like a flashlight. To be fair, flashlights don’t serve the same purpose as LUCI in my book either. A flashlight is a great tool for casting light at length or lighting a specific area for a short time. LUCI is geared toward lighting a general area for a length of time.
 
 
LUCI roadside
Just some of the uses I can see are: In the BOB, lights out/blackout kit, glove box or trunk for use during roadside emergencies, lighting an outdoor area for night gatherings, floating in the pool for evening swims (did I mention it’s waterproof?!?!?). I think LUCI will give a scared child much more comfort in a blackout than a flashlight, as it lights up a bigger area.
 
 
Price

As stated above, the Luci Solar Lantern that was sent to me costs $15. You can visit the MPOWERED site to find all four versions, including the ones in various colors! They range in price from $15 – $25.

At these prices, I think they make a great addition to anyone’s preparations! They would also make great gifts for those who may not be preparedness minded!

 
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Comments

  1. I don’t mean to be critical of your “review” but most of your article was sales points found on the manufacturers website. Can you give more of your opinion?

    – does it seem durable inflated and deflated (how easy can I poke holes through the material?)
    – Can it be patched? With what type of patch materials?
    – Can my kid sit on it or play baseball with it and will it survive?
    – How did it perform in cold weather (below 32, below 15, etc)?
    – Did you measure footcandles at x-feet and compare them to other lanterns or light sources so as to get a comparative against other light sources?
    – Did you try reading by it, cooking by it, etc? Was it comfortable or too dim?
    – How small can you make it, totally collapsed?
    – Can you damage the LEDs or charge panels by over-collapsing it?
    – Do you have any impression on how durable the LEDs and charge panel are?
    – What else caught your eye? What else has you wondering about it and its usefulness?

    I’m not picky or critical… I’m just an engineer.

    • You’re right, most of the article is sales points. The reason for this is I have only had it for a short time, though I will answer your questions as best I can.

      -the plastic on the top and bottom is hard, and wouldn’t easily be punctured. I wouldn’t say the same for the sides.
      -You’d need to contact the manufacture as to whether it can be patched. I would say it depends on where and how big the hole is.
      -No your kids can’t sit on it or play baseball with it. But then again its not a toy. It would however light a room so they could play with their toys in a blackout.
      -It worked fine in cold weather.
      I was able to read my it well enough, and I imagine the longer one would, the more their eyes would adjust and the easier it would be.
      – they say it is 1″ flat, but you can easily go smaller than that everywhere except where the air valve is.
      -I’m sure the solar panels could be damaged, probably by the pressure being used on them, but as they are on the opposite side of the inflatable area, I think they are safe from being over-collapsed. I think the LEDs are also probably safe as they are in placed below the surface.
      – I recently took it into the unfinished attic to replace a bathroom fan assembly. It was a handy item to have for ambient light, I could easily see all around me without a flashlight. I did need direct light from a headlamp in a couple areas that were to dark. I think it would have managed if I would have been on solid ground, and not needing to support myself, position LUCI and use my hands as well.

      I like LUCI enough that I plan to buy one for each BOB.

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