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This inflatable light is based on a product called LuminAid that was created as a compact solar light with an inflatable diffuser that also allows it to float on water.
I'm not sure what the original light has inside it, but this clone has a decent solar panel, very "recycled" lithium cell and a very minimalist PCB with a 1W Luxeon-style LED on it.
With a fully charged cell the light should be quite bright. Maybe actually pushing the LED too hard given its lack of a heatsink and foam surround.
I like the idea of autonomous floating solar lights. In a way it would be nice if the solar panel pointed into the diffuser so that it could charge while floating, but that might cause issues with the very minimalist dusk sensing feature.
The lithium cell in this unit clearly has a history, but still managed to muster about 700mAh. It also has protection, which is important in this case as the PCB doesn't have overcharge protection circuitry. There's always that issue of charging solar lights in direct sunlight too, as the high temperature can cause issues. In this case the cell is at least under a reflective white surface.
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A while ago, i took a look at an inflatable solar powered light, and it was interesting that particular one had absolutely zero battery protection. It could overcharge the lithium cells inside it, which wasn't that great. This one is one i bought round about the same time, but i hadn't made a video about yet so it's a few years ago, and it is a coffee. This is a copy of a product called the lemonade, and the lemonade is a light that you.

Basically, it's for countries where they have less of an established power system, uh, but lots of sunshine and it's a light that folds out and then you inflate it and it just provides solar powered lighting. You know it charges during the day and then it you can use it at night and they operate in that principle of uh. If you buy one, they donate one to a suitable country, and i got this one. Well, they typically charge between 20 to 30 pounds.

I bought this one a while ago, it's completely different logo, uh for 7.25, canadian dollars and they're still selling them on ebay for something like 5 pounds 50. So these are absolutely a clone of the original product. They don't even have the same logo on them. So i'm going to inflate this one up and you can see what it looks like one moment please it is inflated, took a bit of effort to inflate.

You can see all the hazy breath inside as well, which isn't too joyous uh. It's not super bright uh. Having said that, i don't know what the level of charge the battery's at and keep in mind. This is just a clone.

Interestingly, if i shine a light on it, it goes out. So it's got a solar uh function, this such a garden light function i'll, warn you in advance, there's gon na be a little bit of strobing uh, because this it turns out is using a bike style chip combined with the solar power power panel chip that it's A garden light chip, so it's got the dim setting. It's got the strobe setting off and if you press and hold for a long at the time it switches into its sos mode of those modes uh this one's about the nicest it's not mag bright, but it's all right. I think this would look really nice just floating the sea of co, though having said that, the solar panel would always be always be pointing down if it was floating in the sea, but it does float and when it does float, you basically end up the little Bag of light, which could be quite nice for visual effects, right, tell you what i'm going to bring the light back and then we'll open this up.

Opening this up is going to involve complete destruction, as normally happens in this channel. I suppose that, technically speaking, i could leave the pillow intact now, let's just cut it off we're in in like flynn, there's david eev blog would say so, let's cut this out, let's see if the circuitry is any better than the last attempt keep in mind the Circuitry in this will absolutely not resemble what's in the original product. It's a ripoff from you. Just don't really know what uh the original circuitry would be without actually opening one, but i'd guess it would be designed sensibly with charge, control and stuff like that, although this may well have that inside is a little vac formed dish.

That's quite nice! I shall put this bag down out the way it's got a plastic layer over the front. The solar panel looks a lot cleaner outside the casing. It looks a nice enough. Solar panel looks like the little circuit board based one.

This is a really gone to town on double-sided tape. Ah, this is where i try not to break the solar panel, because i will salvage the solar panel. I've just snapped a wire off, that's okay! I have no regrets i'll work out. What that was here is the circuit board with what looks like a luxian star style.

The little luxon led emitter, um right. Tell you what i shall get this out. That's where that pad came from that that ripped the actual copper off, but that doesn't matter. I shall improvise right.

Tell you what i'm going to reverse engineer this one moment please, the reverse engineering is complete. Let's explore the entire battery charge circuit is the solar panel and this m7 diode, which is just basically pumping as much current as can get to the battery it turns out. The battery is protected, we'll unwrap this afterwards. I have a sneaky feeling that it's probably a nokia type battery in here it does have protection.

I have tested that this mosfet. The a19t, is a very simple dusk sensor. The 2819, which is powered from the battery. All the time is a flashlight control chip.

There's a 2.2 ohm resistor in series with a 1 watt style led the battery was really low and i tested that early in the video um. I could have put out the sunshine we have at sunshine, which is quite rare if it had been charged to a higher level. This would have been a lot brighter and there is a completely superfluous 2k resistor and red led. That shows when the sun is shining and there's a push button for selecting the modes.

Let me show you the schematic. It's very straightforward: we have the solar panel charging the protected lithium cell. It's important! It is protected via this diode. What that means is that the over voltage protection will kick in once that's reached a full charge of having said that, if this light is in normal use, the solar panel is probably about 50 milliamps, given the size of the panels.

It's got one two, three, four. Five: six, seven, eight nine ten sections so that'll be about five volts at the 50 milliamps and i checked this battery capacity. It came in around about 500 to 600 milliamp hour, so that would be even enough so fairly bright day, it's potentially just going to manage. Barely to charge that up to full capacity, and certainly the led, is going to be bright enough and draw enough current that it's going to pretty much fully discharge that at night, the there's, the completely useless red, resistor and red led that lights.

When, when the sun is shining, here's the mosfet that is being used as the dusk sensor, basically speaking, is a p-channel mosfet. So if the uh, the gate here, there's a source there's the drain, there's the gate. If the gate with the p channel is pulled negative, then that turns a mosfet on. So while it's charging it's actually slightly higher than the source by at one diode junction.

So it keeps it off, but at night time when it gets darker current flows, uh the voltage will drop across the uh solar panel and they've got inherent leakage and the voltage of the gate will gradually get pulled down. That's where this resistor and uh led would actually help, and that will effectively assist in the pooling of that negative and as it does, it will actually turn that on that's the disk sensor, so that switches, the positive of the led, the led, has its 2.2 ohm Resistor and the negative switch is switched by the fm2819 chip which all it has uh four connections, it's a little six pin chip for used and it's got a a little push button uh that pulls the ground to actually swap those modes and to select. You know high low strobing and sos so now, we've seen the circuitry. Let's take a look at that cell and see if it is uh nokia.

So how can i slide this open? This is a heat shrink. This is quite good. I think it's heat shrink, not just tape yeah. It feels like heat shrink.

I shall rip into it. Is it going to be a bare metal cell, or is it going to be the type with actual logo on it and everything? Oh, it's a standard one, and that means it'll have the little gold contacts. Then it would normally press into the phone contacts, but they'll have sold directly onto them as they do it's looking very scruffy and they've soldered and it says nokia. Oh, this is a scruffy battery.

This is a scavenged battery, so it did pretty well 820 milliamp hour. It was that you know i stopped at 666. 666 milliamp hour. It turns out that it could actually have gone further i'll.

Do that later. On. Here's how i tested to see if it's protected, i did something despicable. I put an led in a color changing led and then i normally recommend a one, ohm resistor or something like this.

I shorted it and when you short it the protection kicks in and it goes off a little bit of current trickles through, but the only way to actually get this back into action again is to put it in charge and then it will actually reactivate it's good To see these batteries being used on an ongoing basis, that is good. I'm going to pop this back in charge now and uh see just what it does actually take at the end because uh, that is pretty impressive. It also says 6.7 volt six. Oh sorry, 3.7 volt, that's more like i was thinking what the heck is that it's the fact it's all scuffed and scraped this really.

It almost looks like and there's sort of glue in it. It's been stuck into something this. This has seen lots and lots of use. This is good.

The solar panel is not too bad. Uh 60 by 55, it said, says: zl zl uh puts out a decent amount of air current uh holding it up to light. It was about 50 milliamps which isn't too bad, so there we go. That is it.

This is an utter visual clone of that real lemonade light. This is just a generic copy. Some of them may not have protected cells these, in which case they could do nasty things, but it's nice that this one did actually have a protected cell. A previous solar light didn't have one and did basically overcharge that cell, but there we go interesting little light.

It's not too bad the way it folds up and packs away. Well, due credit to the two lady inventors of the luminaid in america and the way it folds up and packs away is very, very nice and when it inflates, it does provide a good, even diffused. Illumination, it's pretty good.

8 thoughts on “Inflatable floating solar light (copy) with schematic”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars luderick wong says:

    what is the purpose of this thing?

    is it a emergency lighting? you can have the same light effect if you have a plastic bag on any light source, a torch may be? and the plastic bag still can be used to carry things in the day time.

    well, this kind of "building a house inside a house" idea is… yea, we all know where it comes from. it is the buyer's fault, no brainer buy useless products …

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Polite Cat says:

    Lumenaid sounds like a sports drink or something. Sounds like lemonaid. Was the previous light that didnt have the battery protection the brand name one? If so, the chinese clone actually has it beat in that regard. It's interesting that these reclaimed batteries still have a good charge..I would have thought if they were thrown out then they'd be dead, although I suppose there are plenty of good phones that good thrown away with the battery still in decent condition. I wonder.. is it more or less expensive to go through the vetting process for all those batteries and use them in your product vs. a new battery? They would need to test them for capacity, bloating, circuit problems, etc.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Allan MacMillan says:

    I had a genuine luminaid light, different from this one, it was cube shaped (solar lantern). The panel was directly connected to a lithium cell, with no protection. Thankfully it simply stopped working rather than busting into flames, I had it apart and found the cell puffed up.
    The genuine unit also has the pointless red LED light that shows when the panel is exposed to light.
    I plan on remediating the unit, so I've 3d printed a battery holder for a few NiMh cells, and I'm going to add a zener diode to limit the peak voltage that those cells are exposed to.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Arlen Moulton says:

    Employee: "Right we've copied this inflatable light we saw on the internet a few years ago"

    Manager: "What extra features does our version have?"

    Employee: "Ours is suited to all seasons with a strobe mode for summer music festivals and a firework mode for bonfire night"

    Manager: "I still feel like it's missing something, any suggestions?"

    Employee: "I know! It needs a light to show when the sun is shining!"

    Manager: "Genius! That'll help the halfwits understand the concept of solar power!"

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars morelenmir says:

    Groan… Don't bring the discontented spectre of EEVBlog into the video Clive–I had forgotten about that guy! What is Dave advertising this week I wonder? At a guess I would say it is something insanely expensive that has twenty much cheaper alternatives he dismisses as 'wun hung low' that in reality are perfectly good and priced at a point a normal person might be able to buy one without remortgaging their home. That was the usual MO of his content.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars SeanBZA says:

    Resistor and red LED across the solar panel is there to provide a pull down for the mosfet, as otherwise the solar panel would generate 4V or so across it, from starlight or moonlight, and the LED would never be turned on. Even though the current provision would be tiny, certainly enough to just not forward bias the charge diode. The resistor provides a small current draw so the charge can be removed, and thus the light turned on. The LED could be replaced by a resistor, though I would bet both the LED and the resistor are, like the battery, recovered components as well.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ryan Roberts says:

    Very interesting. I don't think I've ever seen "used" parts in something chinese before. Every corner is always cut, but it's usually fresh. Not a bad idea, some non profit should make things like this using recycled cells from the various drop off points for those for old power tool batteries and such.

    Kind of a shame how many things like laptops and phones have the batteries built in now, the chance of them having any second life is very small.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars 50 shades of the dominator says:

    It's silly, if the idea is to supply some country with actual cheap light sources for night time, then all that is needed is a system similar to the solar garden light, but with just a lithium cell and around 4x more solar panel size than on a typical solar garden light, then enclosed in a water tight design, this could all be made for easily around 4 dollars each. So the company that is making the things like in this video, is essentially charging way more and taking the profit for itself, it's just a money making scheme pretending to be humanitarian, which sadly there are a lot of.

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