5 Trendiest Inflatable Solar Lights in 2017 – Buyer’s Guide

Are you tired of using dirty kerosene lamps or do you need a better lighting option when going outdoors? If yes, then you may want to consider the inflatable solar lights.

But these inflatable lights are not only perfect for camping and hiking because if you have limited space and have concerns about weight capacity, these can also be perfect illumination options.

What are the Trendiest Inflatable Solar Lights in 2017?

For a brief overview, solar lights are spot-on inventions that absorb energy from the sunlight and then store it in such a way that whenever you might need that power for illumination, it will be available for you.

And you should also remember, solar lights are not only created compact and long lasting but they are also inexpensive as well.

So, below are the best inflatable solar lights available in the market that might suit your needs.

INFLATABLE SOLAR LIGHTSPRICE CHECKRATINGLIGHT OUTPUTPRICE
LuminAID PackLite 16 Solar Inflatable LightPrice Check445 Lumens$$
MPOWERED Luci EMRG 3-in-1 Emergency Solar Inflatable LightPrice Check425 Lumens (4 LEDs)$
Terra Friendly Floating Solar LED Pool Party LightPrice Check4.590 Lumens$$
OldShark Inflatable Solar Lantern Outdoor Waterproof Emergency LED Camping Light Solar ChargerPrice Check480 Lumens$$$
Solight Solarpuff Portable Compact LED Solar LanternPrice Check4.5100 Lumens$$$

1. LuminAID PackLite 16 Solar Inflatable Light

Source: Amazon

Known to have the power to keep you safe and sound through the night, the LuminAID PackLite 16 Solar Inflatable Light is the updated version of the original LuminAID Solar Light that was invented shortly after the Haiti Earthquake in 2010.

This solar-powered, inflatable lantern packs flat for easy storage and charging and inflates to create a lightweight, waterproof lantern.

This all-weather device is made from ultra-durable TPU plastic material that has been tested in sub-zero and tropical temperatures.

It’s also 100 percent PVC-free and is equipped with 19 percent high-efficiency solar panel, which charges the built-in Lithium-polymer ion battery in 7-10 hours of sunlight.

It also has a dual red/green LED charge indicator that shows when the device has been fully charged. The device is also waterproof up to 1 meter deep and has the ability to float.

Additionally, it can illuminate a 125 square feet area and has two years of storage life plus a 1-year full warranty.

📌 Even in overcast conditions, the device remains efficient and offers up to 30 hours of consistent LED lighting. It also brags it’s 4 brightness settings (Extra-bright, High, Low and Flashing modes) and more than 10,000 hours of rechargeable battery lifetime hours.

For portability and convenience, the PackLite 16 can fold into a compact size that is easy to clip on your bag or backpack to charge on-the-go. You may also store it in your emergency kit.

Despite its impressive quality and features, the LuminAID PackLite 16 has one major flaw – the device is not very UV resistant.

Even though the clear plastic that covers the front of the light when it’s folded up is UV resistant, the rest of the device that is made up of the opaque plastic is not.

And since this model is already the updated or second version of the original, the manufacturer should have paid more attention to this issue. It also does not have the brightness of an incandescent or fluorescent light.

Among the solar inflatable lanterns in the market, this device is probably the most impressive when it comes to quality and affordability. As a matter of fact, the Packlite 16 lives up to what the manufacturer vowed its customers.

In comparison to the next inflatable solar light we’ll be discussing – the MPOWERED Luci EMRG 3-in-1 Emergency Solar Inflatable Light  – the LuminAID Packlite is considerable of higher quality as its inflatable frame is crafted from a much higher quality vinyl that has a more rubbery feel similar to a high-grade medical vinyl and less like plastic.

The Luci EMRG’s vinyl, on the other hand, is relatively firm and cut-rate. Since LuminAID’s vinyl is very pliable, it’s less susceptible to cracking or splitting over the long term of use.

In addition, the LuminAID uses a single bright LED with a much better battery while Luci EMRG has three smaller LEDs and pairs it with a much better battery.

LuminAID’s battery charges faster for 7 hours under direct sunlight while the Luci EMRG charges for 8 to 9 hours. PackLite 16 also lasts longer and go for at least 5 hours and 45 minutes on its brightest setting (similar as Luci EMRG).

But the Luci can only go for 50 minutes before it begins to dim and eventually dies before it reaches the 90-minute mark. At times, the Luci does not dim noticeably at any or remains bright but when the power has been exhausted, it just shuts off.

Pros
  • Markedly better in quality and innovative
  • Simple and practical designed
  • Waterproof and versatile
  • Lightweight and reliable
  • Provides light that can illuminate an entire room
  • Perfect emergency light
  • Inexpensive
  • Has great concept
  • Utilitarian and eco-friendly
Cons
  • They keep losing their air and need a few puffs from your lungs
  • Don’t last really long

2. MPOWERD Luci EMRG 3-in-1 Emergency Solar Inflatable Light

A perfect and reliable alternative lighting source option during power outages, natural disasters and roadside troubles.

MPOWERD’s Luci EMRG is a 3-in-1 emergency lighting device that functions as a lantern, a flashlight and an emergency light in one. It’s waterproof with the IP67 rating, lightweight and extremely durable.

This device charges in 8 hours but with no batteries needed. It gets its power solely from the sun. it’s equipped with a high-efficiency solar panel and 4 LED lights that provide a light output of 25 lumens.

It also has 4 light settings – super bright, bright, 1-second flashing and S.O.S. (Red and White morse code) modes. A fully charged device can illuminate an area for up to 7 hours on bright setting.

📌 The Luci EMRG is completely collapsible but can help you prepare for any emergency situations. With its fully waterproof IP67 rating design, you can drop it, dunk it or float it, and will continue to shine brightly. Due to its versatility, it can function as a great utility light at home or outdoors.

Even though it earned several positive reviews, testing its endurance has proven the inferior build and poor performance of the product.

It also does not work as promised and with its cheap cost and relatively simple concept or design, the product is far less innovative compared to what the manufacturer suggests.

Since LuminAID and Luci EMRG have similar concept and design, let’s compare the one from the other. As aforementioned above, the LuminAID inflatable solar-powered lamp is much better than MPOWERD’s Luci EMRG.

Another point to consider is the product’s inflation valve that is very cheap. Although it looks the same, EMRG’s valve is stiffer and smoother compared to LuminAID’s.

As a result, Luci EMRG’s little valve cap frequently pops out on its own instead of staying in place as it should. LuminAID’s valve, on the other hand, shuts securely and the cap is actually a little stiff to remove.

LuminAID’s solar panel is larger and better in quality than the Luci EMRG and other similar knock-off products’ panel.

Speaking of the solar panels, the Luci EMRG lantern is crafted from a small and low-cost solar panel that is framed by a cardboard base and sealed in the same plastic-like clear vinyl that is used to make very cheap pool toys for infants.

With a very cheap inflation valve and a poor battery that cannot hold a charge longer than 100 minutes even on its lowest brightness setting, this product makes a not-so worthy investment.

Pros
  • Ultra-light, collapsible and compact
  • Reliable, durable and waterproof
  • Bright and versatile
  • Solar-recharge feature saves the weight of spare batteries
Cons
  • Does not give off as much light
  • Does not have the reflector
  • Not as bright as other products of the same type
  • Opaque sides are not as nice as the clear sides
  • Has only two steady-on settings
  • Poor quality and performance
  • Flawed quality controls
  • Plastic handles wear out quickly

3. Terra Friendly Floating Solar LED Pool Party Light

Considered a versatile inflatable solar light with endless of uses, the Terra Friendly Floating Solar LED Pool Party Light is a must-have backpacking or camping lantern that can also be used as the following:

  • Outdoor lanterns
  • Picnic lighting
  • Bug-out bag
  • Survival kit light
  • Hot tub light
  • Backyard pool light
  • Boat light
  • Emergency flare, flashlight alternative

This solar kit is bright and long lasting, and can illuminate a 15 square feet area. It has three light settings – low, high and flashing modes. Also, it includes a one-of-a-kind feature, which is its battery-level indicator LED.

It is equipped with a highly efficient built-in solar panel board, a rechargeable lithium polymer battery back, ten white LED lights with 4,000 mcd (millicandela) light source and an inflating nozzle. For all weather conditions, the device is enclosed with a waterproof PVC.

📌 This cube-shaped inflatable and the waterproof solar lantern is designed to be used in and around water. It’s also weatherproof, compact and easy to use. Just like other inflatable lights, the Terra Friendly does not require any batteries.

It can be recharged in two ways – either sunlight or ambient (inside) light. Under direct sunlight, it can be full charged in 6 to 8 hours and will be able to provide 6 to 12 hours of illumination. In addition, the device emits 90 bright lumens and recharges up to 500 times.

The Terra Friendly Solar Light aims to bring visible light in areas where electricity and lighting options are scarce or unavailable.

But even though the product is inflatable and waterproof, it’s not intended for prolonged (months-long) exposure to extreme weather conditions such as high heat (100 degrees and higher).

It’s also not designed to withstand prolonged submergence underwater (more than 20 seconds on an occasional basis). However, it’s not constructed for extreme pressure, sharp objects, and water in the interior of the PVC air chamber. Lastly, its PVC shell is not puncture-proof.

Unlike the other aforementioned inflatable solar lights, the Terra Friendly has a design flaw. Even though it’s designed to be an inflatable one, many costumers noticed that the product has some balance issue and it would not stay upright when fully inflated.

Unlike any other pool light in the market, the Terra Friendly charges in the sun but it’s not solar-activated. Despite being a pool light, it’s more ideal for dry use as it will not remain waterproof for too long.

Pros
  • Small and easy to use
  • Bright lighting
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Charges quickly
  • Kid-friendly
Cons
  • It won’t stay upright so it needs weighting
  • Need a photocell to turn on or off automatically
  • Not worth the price
  • Not stable when inflated

4. OldShark Inflatable Solar Lantern Outdoor Waterproof Emergency LED Camping Light Solar Charge

The OldShark Inflatable Solar Lantern Outdoor Waterproof Emergency LED Camping Light Solar Charge is a reliable and bright alternative source of light that never requires maintenance, fuel or batteries.

This product also brags its lightweight and ultra-compact design that makes it a perfect fit in any drawer, pocket or toolboxes.

Ideal for outdoor activities such as camping, tents, backyard/barbecue, and pool parties, and emergency purposes like roadside assistance and power outages

The OldShark lantern is equipped with 10 LED lights with 4,000 mcd (millicandela) that provide 90 lumens of illumination output. The LED lights are assisted by a frosted light diffusing shell.

📌 It also boasts its three light settings – super bright, bright and the emergency S.O.S. flash modes.

This has a high-efficient built-in solar panel board. it’s bright and resilient and can illuminate a 15 square feet of space. It’s enclosed with waterproof PVC material that can withstand even the most rugged conditions.

Moreover, the product is crafted with a rechargeable lithium polymer battery power (300-500 cycle life). It also has two charge options – under direct sunlight or under an ambient or incandescent light.

It has a charge time of 8 hours, which can provide a minimum of 6 to 12 hours of illumination.

In spite of the mostly positive reviews, the OldShark Inflatable Solar Lantern has some minor issues when it comes to its charging mechanism. The product should also not be over-inflated.

The OldShark light has a lot of similarities to the Terra Friendly one. Both almost have the same specifications and features.

But while Terra Friendly has a design flaw, which is on the balancing of the device, the OldShark is criticized for its poor charging mechanism. It also didn’t have any problems when it comes to staying upright as long as it’s not over-inflated.

Pros
  • Super compact and bright
  • High quality and durability
  • Reliable and good value
Cons
  • It takes long to charge

5. Solight Solarpuff Portable Compact LED Solar Lantern

Invented by Alice Min Soo Chun, the Solight Solarpuff Portable Compact LED Solar Lantern is a patented solar flatpack and an origami expandable lantern.

Dubbed as a superior and lightest solar light, it’s perfect to be used in homes, gardens, and pools, as well as in outdoor activities such as camping and hiking.

Even though most inflatable solar lights need a few puffs from your lungs, the Solarpuff auto inflates without using a mouth or pump.

It’s also designed with high technology and high-performance fabric material that creates an enchanting dispersion of light through its prism-like light spectrum.

Furthermore, the product’s fabric is specifically engineered for durability, flexibility, waterproof and structured for adaptability and recyclability. it’s also designed to fit in any back pocket.

The device takes pride in providing 100 lumens of illumination and can fully charge under direct sunlight in 8 hours, providing approximately 8-12 hours of lighting and illuminating a room of 100 square feet.

In cases when you only charge your device for 5 hours, you don’t have to worry as it can provide 5 to 8 hours of illumination.

Crafted from water-resistant and recyclable PET (polyethylene terephthalate), the Solarpuff has three lighting modes – low, high and flash settings.

📌 As for its photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, it can recharge 80 percent discharged batteries in 4.1 hours of direct sunlight. It’s also designed to withstand extreme temperatures, the wind, rain salt water and chlorinated pool water.

The SolarPuff is designed to float but should be kept at 32-82° Fahrenheit for extended periods of time. But it should not get too hot or above 90° Fahrenheit.

It can be charged under direct sunlight or an incandescent light (but will take longer than 5 hours to charge).

This product is also recognized by various award-giving bodies and the media. Perhaps the only minor issue with the Solarpuff is the fact that it’s more expensive compared to its other rivals.

Unlike most solar-powered lights mentioned above that are made from PVC, the SolarPuff is built with PET, which a non-toxic and recyclable material. In the list, it’s also the inflatable solar light with the highest light output of 100 lumens.

Pros
  • Sustainable and renewable
  • Recyclable, efficient, affordable and economical
  • Versatile and lightweight
  • Very useful and well-designed
  • Powerful light
  • Highly portable
  • Easy storage
Cons
  • Not good quality
  • Doesn’t work as advertised
  • Barely holds a charge

What Are Inflatable Solar Lights?

Designed to replace the kerosene lamps, this is commonly used in places where there is no electrical infrastructure.

These inflatable solar-powered light are practical and economical option for small-scale emergency situations. So, why not buy these alternative light source for daily and not just for your outdoor adventure needs?

These are not only helpful in emergency situations but can also improve the aesthetics of your outdoor spaces in your home or simply for daily use. Such compact and long-lasting solar lights are also produced inexpensively.

However, many of them would require a huge amount of time to charge starting from 6 hours to 12 hours but then it will be able to give an almost same duration of light back to you.

Following the statements and reviews above, you might be contemplating on the benefits and uses of choosing and purchasing inflatable solar lights.

📌 Summary of uses:

  • Brighten a room during a power outage
  • Light up the electrical box when the breaker flips
  • Illuminate the inside of a tent
  • Used as a campground lighting
  • Used as an accessory light in your vehicle when stranded at night
  • Save power from the car battery
  • Light up the trail by strapping it to the bags
  • Used as a signal for help (using the strobe/emergency flasher)
  • Use it as a spotlight when changing a tire in the dark.

These innovations, however, do not only provide light. They also minimize pollution and health issues linked with kerosene emissions such as lung diseases, burns, and eye deterioration.

It’s without a doubt that solar power is being common with everything in our life. The sun is a powerful and free source that is responsible for lots of things that happens on Earth.

Thanks to the great inventions of modern technology, inflatable solar lights are the chic and efficient devices that used to light up any space and harnessed the free and renewable energy from the sun.

Conclusion

Lighting is important for so many things, not the least of which is finding your way in the darkness during a power outage or while stumbling around outdoors on a moon-less night.

Hence, it’s really not surprising that emergency lighting is one of the top ten items on every man’s must-have list.

So, have you chosen the best inflatable solar light that suits your needs? Or perhaps we have missed some details that you wish we covered? If yes, feel free to express your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.

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