Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Free Energy, the power of solar

I was lent a solar light/charger. And also given a couple of solar lights to review by The Solar Light Co.

After a few festivals over the summer (some of which had very few 'sunny' days!) I am ready to report back!

Little Sun Solar Light from the Solar Light Co
The first test was the cute and frankly adorable 'Little Sun'. A cute yellow sunflower shaped solar light, complete with lanyard. Perfect for children to wear during the day and use at night. Having the solar panel on one side meant ensuring it hung with that side on display in the daytime! And at night it's super bright LED light (there are 2 settings but the lower one was always bright enough for us!) was great for walking back to our tent and then had loads of light for getting ready for bead and even reading, and the best thing was you didn't have to worry about falling asleep and wasting the battery because you could charge it again as soon as it was light! The light worked brilliantly (quite literally) at every festival. I would give the Little Sun 10/10 and say it's perfect for kids.

Nokero Start solar light from The Solar Light Co
The second like was the wittily shaped (it looks like an old fashioned light bulb) Nokero Start. Suitable for outdoor use as it has a screw tight seal, it can be set to come on at dusk and then switch off and recharge at dawn. It's a great light. Enough light to see by, including to read. It hangs up nicely in the tent and gives a 'proper light' not a torch beam, so it's good for sharing. The handle can be used to rest it on a surface and angle it too - so it's pretty flexible. I don't love it as much as the Little Sun, but it's a nice light. 9/10



Last is the more expensive but excellent Sun Bell. It is a light and a charger. At home in the sunny conservatory it charged up fully in a day - used at a campsite it didn't fully charge in a day - but then I wasn't around to ensure it's solar panel was in full sun all day. The Sun Bell is fab though. The light is amazingly flexible, can be used on 3 brightness settings and can be used as a torch with a fine beam or when used in the 'bell' it creates a really bright ambient light. We didn't test the 'using the bell as an ipod speaker' but that looked like a fun (if slightly 'neighbour annoying') idea. Because the solar panel is attached by a long lead it's perfect for charging on the outside of the tent while the main light is inside. You can even hang the panel up
Sun Bell solar light from the Solar Light Co
outside if you have a bungee etc. As the panel spent half of each day in the shade it didn't fully charge, but I did manage to get about a 50% charge from it each day for my phone which meant I could tweet and check emails for the full 4 days of each festival. Even on a dull day I had some charge, and you all know I tweet for England!

I'm sure I've missed telling you some vital specification so do check it out on the website. I'll give this product 10/10 too and I have already been told by my camping parents that they want one for Christmas after they saw it in action. They were especially impressed with the quality and the bright light. There are three colours to choose from too - red, green and yellow.

Sun Bell solar light and charger from The Solar Light Co
I'm a sucker for free energy and really love solar when travelling/camping/festivalling. Up until now I've been using a few strings of solar fairy lights and a solar nightlight from the 99p stores! Reviewing these better quality products has made me see the light! (sorry) and I really think you do get what you pay for.

The Solar Light company has a great range of really nice products. The service is excellent, they even send you some seeds to plant to offset the carbon used in delivering the lights! How lovely and green!

Thanks to the Solar Light Company for the loan of the Sun Bell, and for the Nokero Start and the Little Sun.

If you choose to buy any of the products on the site - do say hello to Alan from me :-) 

Update - The Solar light Comapny no longer stock the Sun Bell - they have other new and exciting things though. So take a look