Luci: Lighting the World

Luci

Luci is an inflatable solar power light. It runs on lithium-ion batteries. Luci can be charged in 4–6 hours and will give you 6–12 hours of light. It will maintain a single charge for up to 3 months. You can even set Luci to two brightness levels to help maintain a charge. The enclosure is made of PVC and is waterproof. Luci weights only 4.5 ounces and is 5″ in diameter. It collapses down to the size of a small dinner plate. It is easy to store and carry, making it great for camping, hiking or emergency situations. Luci is also being developed to be used in the developing world, where over 3 billion people either live in areas where the grid is unavailable, unaffordable or unreliable. A simple light can aid in education, increase productivity and lower crime.

Luci is a product of M-Powered which is a benefit corporation. Luci is available thru the website and they hope to have it available in retail stores. They have a buy one give one program. When you buy a Luci for yourself another will go to someone in a developing country. Luci is currently an indiegogo project and they are looking for contributions.

Interview by Nick DiMeo of F5 Live.

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Interview by Nick DiMeo of F5 Live.

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PlayPlay

Ebook Light and iPad Stand Reviews

Over the Memorial weekend, I purchased a couple of accessories for both my Kindle and my iPad. Neither are complicated enough for a full post, so I thought I would review both within a single post. The first is a eBook light from Belkin, the second is the Mini-Stand for the iPad from Targus.

I was looking for an e-book light that wouldn’t cost me an arm and leg but was fairly sturdy. I finally decided on the eBook light from Belkin. It works, but I am not sure it is going to be the last e-book light I purchase.

Ebook Light

I was a little annoyed when I realized that it required three AAA batteries and none were provided. This is a pet peeve of mine, if you sell a product that requires batteries, either provide the batteries or clearly state no batteries provided. According to the Target site the package should have included batteries, so I double checked the box and there were no batteries. So I spent 10 minutes try to find batteries to test the light. The second more long-term problem is that when you clip the light to the Kindle it is not tight at the bottom of the clip. Because of the arm it is a little top-heavy, so the bottom pulls away slightly, this is something I may or may not get use to. I do like that the arm is adjustable in all directions. The light is bright enough even at the lower level that reading on the Kindle even with the room light off is quite enjoyable.

Mini-stand for the iPad

The second accessory was a stand for my iPad. I was again looking for something simple, not too expensive and easy to carry. I found the Targus mini-stand at Walmart and so far I am very happy with it. It is a simple clear block of hard plastic. There are spaces at both end where you can place the iPad. The angle of the iPad will depend on which end you choose. You can place the iPad in either portrait or landscape mode in the stand. It does not work if you have a cover on the iPad. The stand is about as thick as two original iPads, but not too heavy. I like that it is really simple with no parts that can break and easy to carry. Also at less than $15.00 the price was right. If you are looking for something fairly inexpensive that works, the Mini-stand from Targus is a good choice. An added bonus is it works well with the iPhone too.

Giant Shift Key LED Lamp

If you are look for a cool geeky gift for the holiday season, then you might want to check out this Giant Shift Key LED lamp.  Yes, it’s exactly what it says.

Powered either via USB or three AA batteries, you simply press down on the key to turn it on and off.  (Actually, what would be exceptional cool is if it actually worked as a Shift key when plugged in by USB…but it doesn’t.)

At the moment you have to order them in quantities of 10 or more, but no doubt this will be hitting the likes of IWOOT, Firebox and ebay soon enough.  Wow! I just checked ebay and someone already is selling them at 10x markup.  Maybe I should order a batch….

When Green Doesn’t work – LED Lights in Green Bay

So we had this pretty big snowstorm pass through the Midwest. Over a foot of snow, added to a  plethora of horrible conditions. But one forseen issue happened that simply came from making the planet greener.

Light Emitting Diodes.

Green Bay WI put in some high – efficiency LED traffic lights throughout the town. The idea was straightforward. Save on electricity, save on bulb replacement and use the money in other places. Great plan… except for the unforseen snow….

What happened was the LED bulbs did not produce enough heat to melt the snow and ice off. The snow blew up into the light and the protective cover did just that – protected the snow and blocked drivers from seeing the lights.

West Bend, WI had the same problem. However, this was the first time in 7 years that it caused concern and an accident. The city created a special scraper to clean the lens. There is a special cover that heats up in cold weather to melt ice, but it’s simply too expensive.

Since this is the first time since installation, there is not a big concern over it. City officials simply tell people to be careful if the light is covered in snow.

I Can’t See You Anymore

Light travels at 186,000 miles (300 million meters) per second in a vacuum but physicists in the United States and Russia are just a little bit faster, actually capturing the light photons and
stopping them in their tracks. The newly-developed technique offers opportunities to improve optical communication, manage quantum data, a boon to the future of both communication and digital security.

Reported in this week’s edition of Nature, Harvard University’s Mikhail Lukin and colleagues at the Lebedev Institute in Moscow have been able to capture and store individual photons of light using signal laser pulses. The photons are then illuminated by two opposing control beams, creating a mirror effect which stops the light dead in its tracks.

Dave’s Opinion
The ability to control the transition of light photons is a major step toward the development of quantum computers. I suggest following this technology closely.

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments below.

References
Nature