Luci, a light powered by the sun.

Luci by Mpowerd
By George Harding, Treasurer, Tucson Computer Society, AZ
March 2019

Luci is a light powered by the sun. It has a solar cell on top that accumulates charge sufficient to power the light.

When you first get the Luci unit, it needs to be inflated. It’s pretty much flat and although the solar cell will still charge, the light does not have any space to shine. Inflation is mouth-powered. You blow up the unit until it is a cylinder.

Then you can set the unit on a window sill or outside to charge. It doesn’t take long. There is a recessed button on the top which turns the light on. There are three levels: normal, bright and flash.

There is enough light to brighten a small room or allow you to read a book. It lasts for 24 hours or so, depending on the illumination level chosen.

The original goal for developing Luci, according to its founders, is:

With Luci, we were aiming for something much bigger than convenience. We want to empower the three billion people around the world who still live without reliable access to electricity. So we made a light that’s clean and safe – pretty much the opposite of the toxic and expensive kerosene lamps so many depend on – because life doesn’t stop after the sun goes down.

Mpowerd has several Luci models, varying by the range of colors that can be displayed and length of battery life. They are all modestly priced, easy to use and very helpful when you don’t have electricity available. Some versions are not only charged by sunlight, but also alternatively by using a cable.

The company has a program of giving Luci units to those for whom electricity is unavailable. You donate $10, which sends a Luci unit to Africa or other similar location.

I received two Luci units for review. The first is the original Luci, which only has white light, but works to illuminate your room for reading or doing homework. The second is a more complex unit with external charging capability and multiple colors available. Both do the job of giving you light when you need it and don’t have it.

Luci by Mpowerd

Prices vary by unit from $15 to $65