My Angel Falls Hike on 4/8/17 – 4/10/17 was my first chance to try out my new MPOWERD Luci Outdoor – Inflatable Solar Light I hadn’t used this light up to this point so this would be a great trip to give it a try and see how it worked. When I first saw this light I thought hey that’s a great concept and knew I would buy one sometime in the near future. What I liked about it was the weight; that it’s solar powered; has charge indicator and its’ compactness. It has 3 settings – bright – super bright – 1 second flashing.
Well, it was fully charged to begin with so I was ready to see what this thing could do. First step is inflate the unit. Okay, so this wasn’t difficult at all – just a little finessing to get the vinyl material (think super thick tough beach ball material) to separate from itself a little because it tends to adhere to itself. No big deal – took care of it in a few seconds. Next step, inflate via the standard mouth nozzle just like a beach ball. Now this was pretty simple as well just blow it up – takes anywhere from about 4 -6 good exhales and you’re there. Next, just hang it via the built in strap and you’re ready for the dark.
So, when I first received this light I gave it a good looking over to see if I wanted to include it on a hike and overall was impressed with the quality. There are a few things that I wasn’t sure about but turned out to be non-issues so far. The strap is flat and made of the same vinyl material as the light itself and one of my concerns is that it might not hold up to being tied or lashed or looped over a small limb or etc. But after handling it and looping it over a small branch I determined that this strap is much tougher than I realized. Another concern was the possibility of the light puncturing and this was also put to rest because this vinyl material is super thick and you can tell it’s tough. I don’t think it would get punctured by normal wear and tear and it dawned on me that if it did a patch or piece of tape or silicone seam grip would probably be enough to seal the hole.
Someone had left a tripod(made from tree limbs) at the campsite so we hung our Luci from the tripod and it worked great.
Now, as for actual usage – it was great! Everything comes together in this light to make it pretty nice. It’s durable, bright, lightweight and very handy. I was really surprised by a few of these features especially! One thing you don’t realize is that once inflated the durability ramps up tenfold because it basically bounces if you drop it – yes I dropped it several times and each time it bounced! The other thing that I was surprised by is the fact that I had intentionally left it on all night and it stayed lit all night – yes a good 10 hours (the specs say 12 so I’m a believer). I left it on the bright setting which isn’t much different than the super bright setting – both being very bright. Very impressive – all solar – sustainability!
Full solar always makes me a little nervous because what if you’re stuck with no sun or extreme cloudiness over an extended hike. But this is where I’d like to see how well the solar panel on the Luci actually functions. I’ll have to see.
I was trying to come up with something I’d like to see improved but I just don’t know if I’d change anything. Okay, maybe a longer inflation nozzle; sturdier strap and a few red LED’s (next generation Luci’s have red LED’s).
This is an excellent piece of gear and it will accompany me on my next long distance hike. A light like this is generally a luxury item to a backpacker because they typically weigh quite a bit. But this light is light enough at a whopping 4.4 ounces, that it allows this luxury. Good stuff!
I will be purchasing some of the other Luci models in the near future because in my opinion they are on the right track.
Here are some specs from the MPOWERD website….
- Dimensions: 10.8 cm height, 12.7 cm diameter
- Compact: 2.5 cm collapsed
- 3 modes: bright, super bright, 1 sec flashing
- 10 ultra bright LEDs/50 lumens
- High efficiency solar panel
- Charge level indicator
- Lightweight: 4.4 oz (125 g)
- No batteries needed – just the sun
- Charges in 7 hours in direct sunlight
- Lasts up to 12 hours on bright setting
- Bottom carry strap
- Waterproof: IP67 rating
- Operating temp: 15°F – 122°F (-10°C – 50°C)
- Lithium-ion rechargeable battery
- Functions as a flashlight
- 1 year warranty