One of our goals for 2012 is to switch to and rely more on solar power for our daily use of electricity, and we are starting with our phone charger and flashlight. A couple of months ago, San Diego had a blackout that lasted many hours. Both our phones ran out of battery early, and some of our flashlights did not work because the batteries were dead. Because of that experience we decided not to let a blackout effect us that much again.
I must have read a million online reviews to help me decide which phone charger to get for our IPhones. In the end I was happy to find that the cheapest was actually the one everyone recommended. The price was $27.99 on Amazon and the brand is Solar ReStore. I like it because it’s easy to use and small; however, I did find that fully charging the solar powered battery even here in sunny San Diego took much longer than the 6 hours it advertised. I’m willing to overlook this, though, since it was so cheap. The one thing I don’t like is that it does not charge my phone for more than one time and then I have to charge the battery once again. Since that takes a very long time I think this particular solar charger is better used for emergencies or while spending time outdoors without a regular charger. I will keep looking for one charger that can replace my electrical one.
The flashlight we got is the All American Light Solar LED flashlight which cost a whopping $6.95 on Amazon. It has a battery back up if the battery runs out of the 8 hours of solar power it’s able to store. It is super easy to charge and we did so in just one day with cloudy weather. It’s waterproof, which is ideal when you’re dealing with outdoor activities and kids, and it’s very light to carry. So far we’ve been super satisfied with it and hope to switch most of the battery operated items in our home to solar power soon.