Luci Light


I first heard about the Luci light at the 2015 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR).

Someone brought one to the gadgets workshop, a kind of show and tell of devices helpful to van dwellers. I didn’t attend that workshop, but someone (maybe Miss M) who was there told me about a really cool, inflatable solar light that had been shared with the group. Later during the RTR, I met a  couple of women who had Luci lights and raved about them. The lights  sounded great, and I wanted one for sure, but I didn’t get around to buying one until I was just about on my way out of the city.

I’ve been living at a campground with no electricity for nearly a week, and I love my Luci light.

When I bought my Luci, it was flat, like in this photo I took. (It was a little bit neater when I bought it; the edges were lined up.)

When I bought my Luci, it was flat, like in this photo I took. (It was a little bit neater when I bought it; the edges were lined up.)

The Luci starts out flat, and is easily inflated by blowing into the valve.

Inflating Luci. (Self portrait)

Inflating Luci. (Self portrait)

Luci's almost full of air. (Another self portrait.)

Luci’s almost full of air. (Another self portrait.)

Here's Luci fully inflated.

Here’s Luci fully inflated. (I took this photo too.)

Because Luci is full of air, it is very lightweight and easy to carry. There is a loop for hanging on each end, and the Luci light floats. (I haven’t tested the floating part.) It’s also waterproof and designed to withstand extreme temperatures and wind.

If I am sitting outside reading after dark, I use a clothespin to attach Luci (with LEDs up) to my shirt near my shoulder, and I have plenty of light to see the words in my book.

The other night Luci was pinned to my shirt while I was reading. I got up to do a few little chores around the campsite and simply left Luci attached. I had plenty of light to see what I needed to see to do what I needed to do. I probably didn’t have enough light to do brain surgery (not that I’d do brain surgery anywhere, much less in the woods in the dark), but to lock my doors and fold up my chair, it worked great!

This photo I took shows Luci lighting up my van.

This photo I took shows Luci lighting up my van.

It’s difficult to tell in the above photo, but Luci lights up the van well. It works as well as either of the two battery operated lanterns I have. Actually compared to how those lanterns work after the batteries have been used for a few hours, Luci works much better to light up the van. The battery operated lights fade after just a few hours of use.

Luci illuminates the whole van enough for me to see to dress, undress, put things away, or cook a meal. If I want to read or do any kind of close-up work, I have position Luci so it shines directly onto what I want to see. It generates plenty of light for reading, although I usually have to move it around to find a good  position so shadows don’t block what I’m trying to see.

Because Luci is powered by the sun, I don’t need batteries for it. That saves me money and saves resources used to produce batteries, as well as keeping dead batteries out of the landfill.

These are the Luci's solar panels. (Yes, yes, I took this photo too.)

These are the Luci’s solar panels. (Yes, yes, I took this photo too.) The orange dot in the middle is the on/off switch.

The company that makes Luci says that 8 hours of solar charging (in direct sunlight) will produce 12 hours of light from Luci. (According to the FAQs at, “[w]hen Luci is set on Bright [lowest light setting] she provides light for up to 12 hours after a full charge.”) I’ve read reviews where people have shared different experiences with how long Luci’s light lasts. I usually use my Luci less than four hours a night, so I can’t really speak to whether or not it shines for 12 hours at a time. In other reviews I’ve read, people have said that they have multiple Luci lights and some hold a charge and provide light better than others do. Again, I can’t speak to that issue.

Luci has three settings: bright, brighter, and flashing. So far, I’ve only used the bright setting, which has been adequate for my needs, although maybe I wouldn’t have to have the lantern so close to my book if I used the brighter setting. I guess the flashing setting would be helpful in an emergency (including an emergency dance party).

My friend suggested that I get two Luci lights so I could be sure to always have one charged and ready to go. When I left the city, I really didn’t have the money for that, so I just bought one. So far I’ve been good about putting it out in the sun to charge every couple of days, and so far, Luci has shined for as long as I’ve needed light. If I do find myself in a position where Luci is not fully charged when I need light, I have my two battery powered lanterns as backup.

One woman I met at the RTR told me that she’s had two Luci lights, the switch in both of which broke after repeated use. Both times she contacted the company that makes the lights, and they sent her a new one. This information has motivated me to be very careful with the switch on my Luci. The switch works with a push. One push turns it on. To turn it off, I have to push it again, which takes it to the brighter setting. I then have to push it another time, which takes it to the flashing setting. I push it one final time to turn it off. I could see how doing this multiple times each night could wear out the switch.

The company’s FAQ (at says,

Luci has 300-500 cycles of full charge, so the length of time she lasts depends on frequency of use. If you fully charge and fully discharge every single day, Luci lasts approximately 2 years. If used less frequently, she will last for many years.

The Luci light is made by MPOWERD. You can find out more about the company at (I took this kind of crappy picture.)

The Luci light is made by MPOWERD. You can find out more about the company at (I’m not sure why this photo turned out kind of crappy.)

This is what MPOWERD says about itself on the website (

We Stand for Solar Justice

MPOWERD aspires to empower people everywhere with innovative and affordable personal clean energy products. Inspired by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that left millions without power, MPOWERD was founded by a group of like-minded individuals in 2012 who wanted to “do good by doing well.”

Headquartered in New York City, MPOWERD is a fast growing consumer products company that develops and manufactures brilliant, transformative clean energy products and solutions for people living and playing on and off the grid.

There are several styles of Luci Lights available. They can all be ordered directly from the MPOWERD website ( also has some varieties available. If you live in or visit a city, Luci lights are also available at Big 5 Sporting Goods stores.

I recommend Luci lights for folks who ever find themselves in the dark and wanting light, even if that’s during a power outage. They store in such a small space, and according to the MPOWERD website (, “When not in use, Luci holds a full charge for about three months. After that, she retains up to 50% of her charge for two years.”

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About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

9 Responses »

    • Nelda, you crack me up! I don’t know about the hot air part, but you certainly do light up a room!

      I hope you and Jerry can make it for a summer visit where I am. And if that doesn’t work out, I especially hope I can see y’all at the next RTR.

  1. Thanks for sharing this info. I was able to pick up two Luci lights at local Walmart yesterday. I had seen them in a utube video of a female vandweller and they lite it up wonderfully. They add hardly any weight which is so helpful when trying to keep overall weight down in a camper/van. Also I love that I can turn them on and off.

    • Kat, I’m glad you are all set up with your Luci lights. I like them for the reasons you mentioned and also because using them means I don’t have to buy so many batteries. The only trouble I run into is that when I am in the forest, I have to chase the sunlight around to get my light charged. I think that’s a small price to pay to use solar energy.

      Feel free to post in the future about how your Luci lights work out.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

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