SOLAR PUFF : Inflatable Solar Lamp

SOLAR PUFF : Inflatable Solar Lamp

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Design Team: 

Alice Min Soo Chun
Eri Yamagata
Irene Brisson
Joan Kim
Danya Noaman


Material Intelligence Project, Inc.
Dymension Polyant

Location:  Global
Year:  2009

This is the first low-cost inflatable and foldable solar lamp in the world.
Solight Design is now making the Solar Puff available for purchase please visit.

The Solar Puff is a patent pending solar light product that was invented by Alice Min Soo Chun the Co- Founder of FAARM

1.6 billion people in the world, a quarter of humanity live with out electricity. The Solar Puff folds and is easily inflatable with one puff of air, hence the name Solar Puff. Designed to provide safe and high-quality lighting options for outdoor and in-door use. It is bright enough to read by and work by. Having light is vital to safety for women and children in areas with out a grid. "In the tent camps, when there is a power outage, the occurrence of rape goes up by 20%, having a light is like having 20 police." -Alison Thompson, Author of THE THIRD WAVE.

The Solar Puff provides light for 8-10 hours after 4-5 hours of charging in direct sunlight. It has a built-in light sensor for an automatic “ON” and “OFF” function and manual shut off. It is lightweight and easily transported in a purse or pocket, and can be easily packed by the hundreds for emergency relief situations.

Economic Development: Materials Intelligence Project, Inc.
FAARM realizes the best weapon for change to occur in the world is education and economic development. In order to sell the solar puff to areas that need it the most, we are partnering with local distribution and manufacturing centers in local regions to create jobs and vocational training.


  • Flexibility. It provides more light than a kerosene lamp for task lighting (e.g., for reading, cooking). Unlike flashlights, it allows the user to have both hands free. It also can be used for ambient lighting, lighting a room of up to 100 square feet or for simply walking around.
    In regions without a grid people spend up to $20-30 a month on Kerosene, which in some cases it adds up to 30% of a households income.
  • Cost. Provides considerable savings over the continuous purchase of kerosene and batteries for flashlights. After the initial purchase of the Solar Puff, lighting is free for a whole year. The Solar Puff comes with a one year warranty.
  • Health and Safety. Kerosene-based lamps can contribute to lung disease, respiratory problems, and eye-related issues. Separate reports by the Intermediate Technology Development Group and the World Health Organization also indicate that indoor air pollution from kerosene and similar fuels used for indoor lighting and cooking cause more than 1.5 million deaths annually.
  • Energy Efficiency. Kerosene lamps only produce a small amount of yellowish light. Flashlights are the least efficient of all electric lights, converting as much as 95% of supplied energy into wasted heat.
  • Convenience. The Solar Puff is compact and easily foldable for travel. It is also durable and reliable in extreme weather conditions (e.g., will not blow out).

Despite low-income levels, many families willingly spend a significant portion of their income on kerosene fuel and other lighting devices. Solar Puff users are able to completely replace kerosene lamps and flashlights with this solar light. In the typical home, the Solar Puff can be used in the early morning for chores such as cooking and tending to farm animals. At night, it can be used for homework and for visiting and socializing with neighbors.

For small businesses, the Solar Puff is a better source of lighting for vendors selling goods in the evening. It can also float and is waterproof, making it ideal for fishermen.

Materials Intelligence Project is working in Haiti and Nigeria for the Pilot
While governments are working to increase access to electricity, the global population is growing faster than the rate of electrification. It is expensive, and sometimes technically infeasible to provide electrification to many areas.

Even when electricity does reach a village or town, potential customers may be asked to pay steep fees in order to establish service. For many households, this makes grid connection an impossible dream.