There's no point in keeping a stash of emergency flashlights around your home if the batteries inside them just end up getting stolen for TV remotes and the kids' toys. So the folks who created the original LUCI, a dirt-cheap inflatable solar-powered rechargeable lantern, have tweaked its design for the new Luci EMRG so that it produces a more intense focused beam and can now double as an emergency flashlight.
The previous versions of the Luci provided a soft diffuse glow from a set of multi-color LEDs in the lantern's base, but sometimes you need to be able to shine a light farther than just a few feet past where you're standing. So the Luci EMRG uses four new LEDs that shine extra bright to project a flashlight-like beam. To maximize battery life there's also a mode where the LEDs glow softer and more like the original Luci, but it's nice to know you can turn things up a notch when needed.
The Luci EMRG's rechargeable batteries remain trapped within the waterproof inflatable flashlight, however, they can be powered up using a solar cell built into the bottom and have a runtime of about seven hours on a full charge. But that's not the best part. The Luci EMRG costs just $10, so keeping one in every room of your house for emergencies isn't going to cost a small fortune—but you will need to look elsewhere for batteries when your remotes die. [MPOWERD]