Solar powered flashlights
Posted by Solar energy guru | Filed under Solar powered products
As our usage of solar power continues to grow, we are continuing to find new ways to apply it to our everyday lives. Solar powered flashlights are just one of ways in which we’ve learned to use solar power productively. Solar flashlights are a good alternative to a regular flashlight, especially if you use a flashlight fairly often, and they don’t present any major disadvantages compared to their battery powered units. However, there are a lot of alternatives to batteries when it comes to flashlights, so are solar powered flashlights worth buying? We’ll explore that question in this article.
As with any solar energy system, solar powered flashlights work by using their solar panels to absorb energy from sunlight. These solar panels are what give any solar powered appliance its cost/benefit ratio. Because solar panels are harder to make than, for example, a rechargeable battery, and because solar powered flashlights usually also have rechargeable batteries, solar panels make flashlights more expensive than they would be otherwise. On the other hand, solar energy is completely free, and solar panels are very durable, so you’ll be saving money on power every time you use the flashlight.
Solar powered flashlights work the same as just about every other flashlight; the only difference is in the power source. Typically, the solar panel will be located on the handle of the flashlight, although in some cases it may be detachable or it might flip out away from the flashlight itself. The panel usually doesn’t stand out much, and it doesn’t need to be very big to power the light or to charge the battery, if the light has one, and it probably does. Usually, solar powered lights are just rechargeable lights with a solar power source; there are almost none that just draw solar power directly.
The idea of a light that only operates with power from light seems oxymoronic, but solar powered flashlights actually do work pretty well. They’ll maintain a charge for a couple of weeks, which means that as long as you leave them near a window, you won’t have any problems with power. The life of the flashlight depends on the battery, but usually, you’ll be able to use it for a couple hours at the very least, so you shouldn’t have a problem with the light losing power in the middle of the night, and not being able to recharge it.
On the other hand, there are a couple of good alternatives to solar powered flashlights available on the marketplace. The most popular of these is the wind-up flashlight, where you can power it by just turning a handle a few times. This type of flashlight has all of the positives of a solar powered flashlight without the negatives. They provide a free, rechargeable energy source that is environmentally friendly, and you’ll never have to worry about them losing power. But with these, you’ll have to wind them up every few minutes. Solar powered flashlights are more convenient, as long as you remember to leave them in the sunlight, they’ll have hours of power that you’ll be able to use without any without having to care for it every few minutes.
Whether solar powered flashlights are actually worth it depends on what you’re using them for. If you just need a flashlight for emergencies, solar powered flashlights are a very low maintenance way to be secure. They might cost a little more than battery-powered flashlights, but as long as you leave it near a window, you won’t ever have to worry about running out of power for it. They’re also good with cars, where you can leave them near the back window and forget they even exist until you need them. They’re not always the most practical form of flashlight, but they do get the job done well and cheaply enough to be worth considering, especially if you’re already a fan of solar energy to begin with.