Solar Powered Flashlight
Infinite Light from the Sun.
A solar powered flashlight works
by converting sunlight into energy using a photovoltaic
cell. These are normally silicon semiconductors which free
electrons as they absorb some of the collected
sunlight. Those electrons are then channelled
into an electric current, which is used to charge
a battery cell or set of rechargeable batteries in the
flashlight. With recent advances in LED technology, the solar
lighting of today is brighter and more affordable than ever, making
it practical for many uses, including survival & emergency
lighting, camping, hiking etc...
The advantages of a
solar powered flashlight are fairly obvious:
the biggest disadvantage of any solar powered equipment is the fact
that you cant always count on the sun to shine. If you
discharge your solar powered flashlight one night, and then have
rainy cloudy weather the next day, you will find yourself with a
poorly charged flashlight the next night. For this
reason, you should always have a backup light source if you choose
to incorporate solar lights into your survival gear or camping
gear. I actually bring a solar landscape light with me when I
go camping. (I think it was a one of those "Bell & Howell"
solar lights from an infomercial) It works great for lighting up an
area, and lasts nearly all night.
- Endless free power supply.
- No need to keep or carry extra batteries.
- No pollution from discarded batteries.
- Well suited
to remote areas, off the power grid.
- LED diodes
are extremely durable.
A lot of the solar powered flashlights
available today are cheaply made junk. There are some however
that actually deliver a quality flashlight. Here are some of
your better choices:
Brinkmann Solar rechargeable
Brinkmann has been in the flashlight
business for over 30 years, so they have that going for them
right off the bat. This Solar Brinkmann model is Shock
Resistant and weatherproof, qualities not common
in most solar powered flashlights. With 10 hours
runtime per charge, you should be able to make it through the
night on a full charge. A 120v charger is also provided
for AC charging. I own several brinkmann products,
and I have been very happy with the quality. I will
probably buy this flashlight the next time I run across
LED life: 100,000 hours.
Weight: 4.2 oz Length 6.75 inches
Everlite solar powered LED
Solar and LED technology combined with a
hands free adjustable head band make the everlite EL8 solar
headlamp a unique and useful tool. If you have ever
done any night hiking or backpacking, you
appreciate the freedom of having both hands
free. Another cool feature on the EL8 is the
ability to charge electronic devices such as cell
phones, GPS recievers etc via the power pack. (Note:
These adapters are sold separately and do not come with the
unit.) The 5 white LEDs will burn for 12
hours on a 6 hour charge, or 24 hours in power save
mode. There is also a strobe function,
and a charge indicator light. the lith-ion battery
is provided with the unit, and an optional 12V AC power
adapter can be purchased separately.
SL-1 and SL-2 Bogo lights
from SunNight Solar are quality, field tested flashlights.
They utilize Nickel Metal Hydride batteries, which
are much more environmentally safe than NiCad and other types
of batteries. The really cool thing about the bogo light is
when you buy one, they will donate another one to a family in
need, or village in Africa with no power, or a charity of your
choosing. SunNight solar founder Mark Bent and his organization
have given thousands of solar powered flashlights to people in
dark areas of the world, and to our troops to give to Iraqi
and Afghan Families where power is scarce. The new bogo light
(SL-2) set to arrive this summer has 3 power settings with 6
LEDs, and an additional 3 LEDs in "Room illumination"
mode. A six hour exposure to sunlight gives 5 to 10
hours of light, depending of course on the power
setting used. The SL-1 costs $25, and
the SL-2 costs $30.
From Hybrid Lite LC, the the hybrid solar lite is an
impressive value for several reasons. First, it floats
and is waterproof up to 80 feet deep, that is always a plus if
you are outdoors. Second, the hybrid lite comes with a
lifetime guarantee against defects, so you get peace of mind
with it. The hybrid lite delivers 16 hours of bright
light on a full charge and comes with a fully charged backup
lithium battery good for 50 hours. Colors available are
Camo / black / white. For a solar flashlight, this
light has impressive 3 year charge life, so you can charge it
and put it away in a drawer and just use it like a regular
flashlight. It does not need to be kept in a
sunny spot like a houseplant every day.