Little did LuminAid founders Andrea Sreshta and Anna Stork know they would have such a profound impact on a country so far removed from their own; South Africa.
Andrea and Anna, after watching the consequences of Haiti’s earthquake in 2010, decided that one of the most important human needs is having a source of light. The duo first launched LuminAID, a renewable source of light, in 2011 and in February 2015, pitched the idea to the "Sharks" on ABC's Shark Tank. To their surprise, they received offers from all 5 Sharks, and walked out of the tank with an investment deal from billionaire Mark Cuban, who became LuminAID's first investor. Fast forward some five years and the product has been brought to South African shores.
South Africans have been battling the dark, literally, for more than a decade now when load shedding first began in 2007. Load Shedding was a surprise for nearly everyone but many South Africans were able to placate themselves in the hope that things would improve. Some 13 years down the line and South Africans are having to search for alternative solutions.
Its for this reason that we were so passionate about bringing LuminAid to South Africa!
LuminAid offers a solar charged and powered light that not only serves as a light but depending on the product purchased includes a phone charger too.
The sun charges the battery and the lantern, which after being inflated is ready to be used. If needed the lantern can float as well. Made from sustainable materials, with no batteries needed and tested for harsh conditions, the product is perfect for South Africans from all walks of life.
Whilst the initial desire was to make this basic technology more accessible to those in need after natural disasters, the products are useful in everyday life. Outside of the obvious application during load shedding LuminAid can be used in communities that don’t have electricity but also for leisure activities such as camping, 4x4ing and even just around the braai.
It’s just plain impossible not to love the product and inspiration behind it. Stork, one of the founders believes that sustainability is key for the design of all products for the future.
"Since lighting is a universal need in all of these situations, we felt that sustainable solar lighting was the ideal choice compared to non-renewable alternatives. Our lanterns are powered by the sun, so you don’t have to rely on any non-renewable energy sources. LuminAID PackLite Series lanterns collapse to just 20% of their inflated size which also greatly decreases the carbon emissions associated with shipping to our warehouses, retail partners, and online shoppers"
The product was released onto the South African market during lockdown and has been receiving rave reviews by consumers but don’t take our word for it, check out our store and let us know for yourself.