Shining a Light on Lou

How to put solar in the hands of everyday people

Meet Lou

Lou is dapper. His mojo is undeniable. When Lou walks, um rolls, in people are instantly attracted to him. The questions follow quickly: So where are you from? What do you do? Are you always this quiet? Are you staying long? Why don’t you come over to my place later?

Lou is a Yeti. As in a Yeti 1250 portable power station from Goal Zero with a 1200Wh battery capacity. Basically, Lou is a generator. What makes him really special is that he’s fully solar powered. He’s one of the stars of our illuMia project, and he’s quickly becoming a local celebrity, complete with his own Google calendar.


An Easy Solution

One of the aspirations with the illuMia project is to quite literally put solar in the hands of everyday people. Rather than talk about rooftop solar panels or imagine solar farms in remote regions, we want people to see, touch, and play with a renewably-powered energy source that’s right in front of their eyes powering everyday activities.

Lou does that. He helps people see how an unassuming little device can provide solutions to everyday challenges like powering audio/visual equipment for an outdoor event, or providing gas and fume-free power during and after an emergency.

Everyone wants some Lou

Demand for Lou is growing quickly as people realize that portable, renewable power is easy and do-able. One example is Unconventional, our wonderful illuMia partners, who organize and execute large-scale art events where lots of people get to join in to create a mural.

In places like Downtown Miami, Wynwood, and Little Haiti, Unconventional pulls together 40–50 and sometimes more volunteers to work with a local artist and paint a full size mural in just a few hours.

Lou now joins the Unconventional team regularly to power the projector they use to outline the mural and any computers, stereos, and camera/video equipment they need for their event. Many of these murals stay up for months or longer and make the immediate area more beautiful and inviting.

Lou working with the Unconventional team on a mural by local artist, Luis Valle

Lou has helped Unconventional become more self-sufficient while also helping them stay true to their sustainability values. Rather than dragging yards of power extensions and hoping that the nearby power source is available and working, they can focus on doing the work they are passionate about.

The Adventures of Lou

We are building Lou’s fan club. We’ve set up a Medium Series on Lou’s adventures so anyone can follow his exploits around Miami and beyond.

Lou in Wynwood with Unconventional

We’ll continuously update the series with pictures of him, his fans, and what he’s doing. If you see him out and about in Miami, don’t be shy. Come right up, snap a picture, and use #HiLou to send him a shout-out. If you want to know more about using Lou, send us a note to @urbanimpactlab.

Lou and the entire illuMia project has been made possible through the generous support of ArtPlace America and committed local organizations.