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Collapsible Light Brings Hope in the Darkness

Collapsible Light Brings Hope in the Darkness

How One Woman’s Invention Is Making a Difference

Alice Min Soo Chun, an inventor, mathematician and origami expertMeet Alice Min Soo Chun, an inventor, mathematician and origami expert as well as co-founder and CEO of Solight Design. Alice’s company creates a product that’s shining light in areas where it isn’t always easy to come by—especially after the sun goes down. Her product casts a warm evening glow in backyards, beaches and even in homes in places ravaged by weather and wars, like Puerto Rico, Haiti and Syria.

We Can Solve This: The SolarPuff


Designer Alice Min Soo Chun was inspired by origami to create a solar lantern that could be folded flat. So far, they’ve delivered 14,000 lights to Puerto Rico, and plan to deliver more thanks to some help from a crowdfunding campaign. You can give light here: https://solight-design.com/products/donatelight

Posted by The Years Project on Monday, January 15, 2018

Alice’s invention is called the Solarpuff™. It’s a solar-powered, collapsible, light source designed using the principles of origami. Costing just under $30, it’s waterproof, floatable, and it can illuminate a 10 x 10 room for 8 to 12 hours. And because it’s collapsible and lightweight (only 2.6 ounces), it’s also very easy to ship, making it easier to get into the hands of people who have no access to electricity.

Perhaps best of all, for each Solarpuff that’s purchased through its 10 Million Rays of Light campaign, Solight Design contributes to a non-profit partner which delivers lights to regions impacted by natural disaster, war and extreme poverty.

When Alice’s son was born with asthma, she learned that the disease is triggered largely by irritants in air pollution. She also learned that 1.6 billion people, roughly one-quarter of the world’s population, have no access to electricity. Instead, many rely on smoky, soot-emitting kerosene lamps to light their homes at night. Not only is kerosene a major contributor to deadly indoor air pollution, it’s also to blame for about 30,000 house fires a year in India alone.

comment_2We love the idea of helping others through purchases you make. Can you think of other companies that support charities in this way? We’d love to learn about them! Just leave us a comment below.


Have you ever been without electricity for more than 24 hours?

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Leigh-Ann Ross
Leigh-Ann Ross(@leighannross)
4 years ago

Amazing idea!!

Amy Hepfner
Amy Hepfner(@amylmh)
4 years ago

I love this innovation!! What a terrific idea, and like Norwex, her company is giving back. What a great, uplifting and dare I say, en-“light”-ening article.

Vicky Mitchem
Vicky Mitchem(@vickymitchem)
4 years ago

Incredible! What a cool, giving company! My family goes camping in the wilderness often and are always looking for easy light sources that isn’t dependent on batteries or fire. These lanterns would be a great solution! Also, we live on the OR Coast in an earthquake zone so we also like to have emergency supplies and kits on hand just in case we need to survive without power for a long period of time. I can see how these lanterns could be so beneficial for our family but even more importantly for all of the people around the world who live daily without power or in cases of natural disasters.

4 years ago
Reply to  Vicky Mitchem

Thanks, Vicky. We agree: The SolarPuff is a great idea and extremely practical for people in all kinds of situations. It’s awesome to see this company donating these lights to people in need worldwide.

Carrie Minturn
Carrie Minturn(@lattegirl89)
4 years ago

I love seeing smart people come up with solutions like this!

Patty Burns
Patty Burns(@pattyburns)
4 years ago

I love everything about this !

Tanya Aoyagi
Tanya Aoyagi(@spokanegreenclean)
4 years ago

This is incredible! I love the many uses, and especially the partnership to get these lights to people in need!

Stephanie Sweeney
Stephanie Sweeney
4 years ago

Love this idea!!! We love camping and this would be great for backpacking rather than having to bring a bulky lantern. When will they be available?!

4 years ago

Thanks Stephanie! We thought it was a great idea, too. And they are available now. You can click on the third link in “Resources” above and then click on the “Shop” button in the So-Light website. Let us know what you think!

Lia Thompson
Lia Thompson(@liashine)
4 years ago

These are so brilliant. Also an eye opener that so many people live without electricity.

Tina Peterson
Tina Peterson(@tiinaj1)
3 years ago

This would make a great Christmas gift for kids or guys!! It would be easy to tuck into the car for road trips and for use if you get stranded somewhere overnight