Jul 18, 2016 | By Benedict

Suli Labs, a tech startup based in Chile, is taking preorders for Suli, a versatile, solar-powered light which can be 3D printed or bought ready-made. The startup has also designed a range of 3D printed accessories for the light, including a bicycle attachment and garden stake.

Camping, exploring, power outages: just some of the times you might need a portable, compact light. And while nowadays most people can use their smartphone as an emergency torch, draining phone battery in the middle of a dark forest is on no sensible camper’s agenda. The solution? An efficient, affordable, standalone light source, of course. Suli Labs, a Chilean startup consisting of Matias Casanova, Maca Pola, Cristián O’Ryan, and Ximena Muñoz, has spent the last few years perfecting Suli, a compact, solar-powered light designed for those scary times when the lights go out. After a successful Indiegogo campaign last year, the light is now available to the general public.

Portable lights—even solar-powered ones—are nothing new, but Suli Labs, creator of the newest lamp on the block, has a few tricks up its sleeve for convincing customers of the benefits of its handy gadget. Don’t believe us? Put that fizzy drink down for a moment and consider this: Suli comes with a threaded bottle mount which allows users to turn an ordinary plastic bottle into a fantastically upcycled lantern. Just swap your Coke lid for Suli, and a boring plastic bottle becomes a beacon of thirst-quenching brightness.

The bottle attachment, novel as it may seem, is just the tip of the iceberg. A big part of Suli’s appeal can be found in the range of 3D printable accessories designed for the portable light source. With a number of plastic attachments, users can put Suli in a variety of positions, making it far more versatile than your run-of-the-mill torch. A bike attachment lets the light double up as a cyclist’s headlamp, a suction mount turns it into a window lamp, a plastic stake turns it into an illuminated garden pole, and a basic ring attachment lets users strap Suli to their backpack—and there’s more to come.

Additive manufacturing plays a big role at Suli Labs HQ, where those handy accessories aren’t the only things being 3D printed. As well as selling the light as a readymade device, the team have also made Suli open source, enabling users to download the design files and 3D print their own portable lights. For those who would rather leave it to the experts, however, the complete light is available to preorder for $31.49 (regular price $36.99). Accessories are each available for less than $15.

As well as being fun and versatile, the Suli light has been engineered to be efficient and long-lasting, providing up to 25 lumens and 60 hours of running time across five modes. Three AAA batteries are needed to power the light, but these can be recharged through the solar panel on the back of the device. A full charge can be obtained with 6 to 12 hours of exposure to the sun.

Last year, Suli Labs ran an Indiegogo campaign which drew to a close in July 2015. After delivering its first batch of products to backers earlier this year, the startup is now producing the lights on a mass scale. Keen an eye out for new color options, new accessories, and further applications for this nifty little accessory.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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