In the last decade, the use of solar-powered devices has been touted promising and beneficial to Mother Nature. And with the influence of technology, several manufacturers have come up with various solar devices such as backpacks, lanterns and flashlights, among many others.
Some of you might wonder that most solar-powered devices are seemed designed for outdoor use or say, going camping. But these devices’ functionality and use are not only limited to outdoor activities.
Let’s take the solar flashlights as an example. Indeed, this device is a must-have tool when going outdoors but this is also a lifesaver during emergency and power outages! Do you agree with me?
That is why, this article aims to deliver the much-needed information about the various solar-powered flashlights available in the market today. We will also help you understand why solar flashlights are important and what are the top brands and why are they rated as such.
- 1 What is a Solar Flashlight?
- 2 The Best Solar Flashlights Of 2017
- 2.1 🔦 Rechargeable Batteries Hand Crank LED Solar Flashlight – High-Quality Portable Camping Light
- 2.2 🔦 3 LED Powerful Solar Hand Cranked Dynamo Flashlight
- 2.3 🔦 Solar Energy Charging LED Flashlight – Rechargeable Portable Torch Light
- 2.4 🔦 Solar LED Lantern 3 Mode Flashlight – Portable Outdoor Rechargeable LED Light Camping Hanging Lantern
- 2.5 🔦 3-In-1 Emergency Charger Hand Crank Generator With Radio – Wind Up Solar Dynamo Powered FM Flashlight
- 3 Need-To-Know Facts
- 4 Solar Flashlights Vs. Primary Battery Flashlights
- 5 Why are Solar Flashlights the Best Option?
- 6 BUYER’s GUIDE: Factors to Consider When Choosing or Buying Solar Flashlights
- 7 CONCLUSION
What is a Solar Flashlight?
Just like any other solar-powered devices, solar flashlights or torches are handheld lighting sources that have the ability to absorb the energy emitted by the sun and store it in its rechargeable batteries. These devices also use LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes) lamps that can give useful levels of illumination up to 50 meters.
At times, there are other models with extra features, just like some products added to this list. Typically, solar flashlights are designed to be waterproof, submersible and impact-resistant.
|Solar Flashlights||Price Check||Rating||Light Output||Advantages||Price|
|Rechargeable Batteries Hand Crank LED Solar Flashlight||Shop Here||4.9||3W LED Light Source/About 200 Lumens||BEST VALUE||$$$$$|
|3 Led Powerful Solar Hand Cranked Dynamo Flashlight||Shop Here||4.8||3W LED/300 Lumens||BRIGHTEST FLASHLIGHT||$$$$|
|Solar Energy Charging LED Flashlight Rechargeable Portable Torch Light||Shop Here||4.8||0.7W/1W (small/large); 160 Lumens||GREAT PRICE||$$$$|
|Solar LED Lantern 3 Mode Flashlight Portable Outdoor Rechargeable Light||Shop Here||4.7||1W LED/150 Lumens||HIGHLY RECOMMENDED||$$$|
|3-In-1 Emergency Charger Generator With Radio Solar Powered Flashlight||Shop Here||4.6||3W LED / 150 Lumens||Must Have||$$$|
The Best Solar Flashlights Of 2017
When choosing the best solar-powered flashlight, it is important to take note of its functionality, quality, and effectiveness in addressing your needs. To help you cut your reading time, we do the research for you. So, if you are looking for one of the best, then you will find it in our list below.
🔦 Rechargeable Batteries Hand Crank LED Solar Flashlight – High-Quality Portable Camping Light
Considered the top choice and a must-have, this solar flashlight is perfect for any outdoor activities.
It is very basic and does not brag any fancy features but it is equipped with a solar panel, making it easier for you to charge while staying outdoors.
The product even has the cranking feature, which help restore the power on its rechargeable batteries. It is also compact, durable and doesn’t need batteries as it is equipped with a solar panel on its backside.
This device is a mini flashlight with a quick-to-use carabiner clip design, which means it can be easily fastened to a backpack or a pocket and take it anywhere and anytime.
This is also classically designed to have a popular Fashion OutSports style with an Army Green vs. Dim Gray color. As for the product’s dimension, it measures 5.9 x 2 x 2.4 inches and weighs at 0.28 lbs.
One of the best solar-powered flashlights in the market, this perfectly tailored emergency device may have some very basic features yet it is extremely useful. Listed below are the product’s notable features.
Built-In Rechargeable Battery – This emergency flashlight is equipped with a built-in nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable battery that stores energy for a long time. Even though the light levels differs with the times of the day, the flashlight can be placed directly under the sun or any artificial light and it will absorb and store energy for hours even under low solar radiation conditions, noting a one minute solar charge may give off 5 to 15 minutes of light (Just take note, it doesn’t yield consistent results).
Tight and High Conversion Efficiency Cranking System – If you think about the battery running out of power at night, worry no more as the device is just a crank away and tada! — The power is restored. With its highly efficient utilization of Kinetic energy (the energy of the object while in motion), a minute of cranking can provide 10 minutes of light (>2rps).
Light Source Type – The device’s light source type is LED (Light-Emitting Diode), which can be more efficient, durable, versatile and long lasting compared to incandescent and compact fluorescent lights. Hence, this flashlight is an excellent solution for extended power outages, as well as in situations where light or power will be stored for a long period of time. Its light also produces about 200 lumens.
🔦 3 LED Powerful Solar Hand Cranked Dynamo Flashlight
If you are looking for a top-rated outdoor light, then this 3 Led Powerful Solar Hand Cranked Dynamo Flashlight is the perfect device for you! It exemplifies the value of being multifunctional. The only drawback of this device is its price.
But despite being one of the most expensive solar flashlights, its value is all worth it! The reason? Purchasing this device is like getting an all-inclusive survival kit as it comes with a flashlight, a warning light, a compass, magnet, cutting knife, an attack hammer and a rechargeable light source.
With the inclusion of the aforementioned accessories, it’s safe to assume this solar-powered flashlight is designed for those who love staying outdoors compared to using it for emergency power outages at home.
Made with quality aluminum alloy and stainless steel, this flashlight is designed for durability. To prevent from slipping, the device boasts its skid-proof design and to endure the harsh outdoor conditions, it was made from a water-resistant level of IP65 materials.
As for its dimensions, it has a size of 6.33 x 4.33 x 4.33 in. For its weight, it’s 0.33 lbs.
Since this solar flashlight is an all-in-one gadget, it serves with multi-functions. And its functionality comes with a series of impressive features that makes it unique from the rest of solar-powered flashlights in the market. So, let’s check out its features below and see why it’s really one of the most top-rated devices in the market.
Light and Flashlight Modes – This device has five light modes that consist of three brightness level, strobe and an SOS function. For its three flashlight modes, it can be adjusted full bright, semi-bright and strobe lights. It can also be zoomable and its irradiation distance is 50-100 meters courtesy of its 3-Watt LED lights with an output of 300 lumens.
Power and Illumination Time – As for the device’s power or luminous flux, its front light has an output of 300 lumens (LM) with 150 LM (SMD2835 LED – 10 side white LEDs) plus a wavelength of 620-625 nanometers (SMD2835 LED – 10 side red LEDs).
As for its illumination time, its front light delivers 100 percent brightness for 3 to 4 hours, 50 percent brightness for 5 to 6 hours and strobe light is 5 to 6 hours as well. As for its side white LED light, it gives 100 percent brightness for 3 to 4hours and 50 percent for brightness 6 to 7 hours. When it comes to its side red LED light, it gives off 6 to 7 hours quick flash and slow flash.
Rechargeable Battery – It comes with a 2000 mAh18650 battery (18 millimeters by 65 millimeters and refers to the size classification of lithium-ion batteries) that can be recharged either through solar power or micro USB cable.
Bottom USB Port – Aside from the aforementioned features, it also has a bottom USB output port, which can give you the opportunity to charge your phone and other digital devices in cases of emergency.
Work Light Mode, Emergency Light Mode – This device also brags its work light mode that comes in handy when you will put into a situation that you need to repair your car. The emergency light mode, on the other hand, can be useful as a warning sign when you had a car break down.
🔦 Solar Energy Charging LED Flashlight – Rechargeable Portable Torch Light
If you think you already had the best choice from the aforementioned products, you had it all wrong because there’s more.
In fact, this Solar Energy Charging LED Flashlight is heating up the competition for being one of the best solar flashlights in the market.
This is lightweight, compact and portable, and perfect to use indoors or outdoors, in the house, in vehicles and in outdoor activities such as camping and hiking, among many others.
This device is eco-friendly and has the most powerful light to brag. It is an ideal lighting product for living, traveling, camping, driving and outdoor use. Learn more below.
The Solar Rechargeable Portable Torch Light boasts its ergonomic design, which focuses on providing comfort. It has a sleek and lean design for easy handling, solid build for durability.
For comfort and stability, the handle is made of anti-slip textured aluminum alloy. Additionally, it is waterproof, portable and very durable, thanks to its all-weather cast metal design. With its durable Stainless Steel material, it protects the flashlight from moist, outside intrusion and dust etc.
It has a galvanized reflective light shade. It also has a compact size of 140mm*50mm(small) and 180mm*55mm(large), while it weighs 0.28 lbs.
If you are in search of a solar-powered flashlight that has the brightest light, then the Solar Charging LED Flashlight Portable is the perfect gear for you! But aside from having the most powerful and the best light in class, this product also boasts several notable features.
Built-In Solar Panel – This high-powered flashlight can be charged by its built-in 5V solar panel, providing you with free reign of unlimited power for your daytime and night-time adventures. In sunny days, you can utilize the clean and natural energy from the sun to power your flashlight. It could also be charged when put the product in the area with enough natural light.
Through the use of its 2V/80 mAh solar panels, it can be fully charged in 8 hours under the sun while 4 to 5 hours via its USB cable. A full charge equals 3 to 4 hours of power and it holds a charge over 3 years. The flashlight could work for about 4 hours of straight or continuous use.
High Bright LED Light – With its super bright and eco-friendly 1-Watt LED that consumes less power and emit a brighter light, it provides 160 lumens of light that reach a distance of 100-200 meters.
With internal rechargeable battery – Solar Powered LED Silver Flashlight with 400mAh/800mAh (small/large) Rechargeable Battery Backup Inside and Includes a US. It comes with a high capacity rechargeable battery (600mAH) that can store sufficient power for longer duration. It is also rechargeable via USB cable. If it is cloudy or night time and you need to charge the device, do not worry as you can charge it by AC charger.
Internal 500mAh Lithium Ion Battery – This flashlight has a high capacity rechargeable battery pack that can store sufficient power to give the device the needed energy for longer duration. It can be recharged in two modes — outdoor charging with the built-in solar panel or indoor charging by an AC charger or USB cable. It also provide a wrist lanyard.
🔦 Solar LED Lantern 3 Mode Flashlight – Portable Outdoor Rechargeable LED Light Camping Hanging Lantern
We have already tackled three of the best solar-powered flashlight but there’s still one device that has always been included in the list of several review sites.
I’m talking about the LED Flashlight Solar-Powered Lantern, which is one of the devices that have earned great reviews.
This very durable flashlight is ideal for those who are looking for an all-around solid option for a solar-powered lighting device. Read more on how this device gains such positive feedbacks from its users.
The product delivers excellent performance with a Mission-Style design and made of IPX6-rated plastic materials. It is waterproof and weatherproof. It has a size dimension of 7.87 x 3.15 x 3.15 inches and weighs 0.8 lbs.
Unlike other solar flashlights with fancy features, the Solar LED Lantern 3 Mode Flashlight Portable Outdoor Rechargeable does not have any of those yet it promises to perform well. With that said, I’m sure you are getting curious about its special features. So without giving some padding, listed below are its noteworthy features.
Solar Panel – The device is equipped with a 5.5V/20mA solar panel that allows it to collect and store hours of energy from the sun or any artificial light to generate power when you needed it most. It can be used for 4 hours continuously. After an hour exposure to direct sunlight, it can produce 120 minutes of light and 140 minutes of flashing.
Battery Pack – Even though the device can provide a timely illumination without the necessity of external batteries, it has an internal 80 mAh/3.6V NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) battery. It boasts high conversion efficiency.
Lighting Modes and Charging Methods – The device has two lighting models — 1 LED/3 LEDs or Strobe. As for its charging methods, it can either be through solar power and USB cable.
🔦 3-In-1 Emergency Charger Hand Crank Generator With Radio – Wind Up Solar Dynamo Powered FM Flashlight
This is an environment-friendly, lightweight, low-maintenance and reliable device with multifunction features. It is equipped with 10,000-12,000 MCD (Millicandela) LED lights that are bright enough to light a path about 15 to 20 feet.
Ideal for roadside emergencies of power outages, this all-in-one survival tool can be charged in three ways — under direct sunlight, built-in hand crank or upgraded USB port.
Apart from the LED Flashlight, it is also equipped with an AM/FM radio that has great reception and strong signal. Additionally, its medium-sized 500 mAh battery also comes in handy in times of emergencies. It also has a siren and blinking features.
This Portable Solar Powered Flashlight Rechargeable Radio gives you what you need to be always ready. The easy to carry and lightweight 3-in-1 AM/FM/NOAA radio is your worry-free method to know the news and weather updates in times of power failures in your area. You just need to store this in your trunk, bag, toolbox, or easy to reach cabinet in your home. You can carry this by hand and has the option to attach a lanyard.
This is compact in size, so just bring this flashlight charger radio in case of eventualities. You can also attached the sturdy clip somewhere in your jeans or bag, in case you have to walk.
This Solar Flashlight provides not just a charged light during times when there’s no power, but also help charge your phones so you make that important calls and also send messages. It also has radio capability which allow you to tune in to AM, FM, and even NOAA frequencies.
Nobody wants to experience natural disasters like storms, hurricanes, cyclones, earthquakes, tornadoes. The 3 in 1 Emergency Weather Radio Flashlight is an essential device that should be in your home, camper, family vehicle at all times.
You don’t want your family lost in darkness, since the dark can leave you and your love ones vulnerable and afraid. You should always have an emergency light and charger stored in your house or vehicle.
Here are the notable features of Solar LED Lantern 3 Mode Flashlight:
- USB, Solar, Manual Charging
- Made for Extreme Weather
- Portable Radio On the Go
- Polymer Li-ion Battery
- Charge Back The Electronics
- Super Bright Flashlight
- Compact Portable design
- Solar, Cranking, USB Charging
- Power bank functionality
- Radio Frequencies AM, FM, NOAA
However, remember, that frequencies on NOAA, AM, or FM only let you receives channels and broadcast available on your area. What does that mean? Using your radio’s antenna, it will can and gather the availability of station broadcasts based on frequency strength and time. So, if station has no broadcast, then the radio does not get the signals.
As this article discussed the most highly recommended solar flashlights, I think most of us can relate to the experience of running out of a battery power and having no access to a light source while on a camping trip or any outdoor adventure.
Perhaps you have also experienced power outages or a car breakdown in the middle of the night. In these incidents, you’ll probably agree that a self-sufficient light source or a solar-powered flashlight can be a total lifesaver! So, what exactly are solar flashlights?
How Solar Flashlights Work?
Deemed as innovative inventions, solar flashlights are similar to regular flashlights, which have various designs. But instead of batteries or being dependent on charging through a wall outlet, there is a small solar array of photovoltaic cells embedded in the handle, through which the flashlight is easily charged. These devices also use LED bulb.
Significance and Benefits
It is a given fact that not all people in the world have access to electricity. As a matter of fact, one major reason solar-powered flashlights were invented was to deliver a stable source of light in areas where there’s erratic or no power supply. These devices were not only useful to outdoor adventures but also emergency situations. That is why they are also considered essential survival tools.
As for its benefits, one of the most important is its shelf-life or its ability to not need replacement batteries for years. In addition, it is always usable, lightweight and eco-friendly.
If there are benefits, there are also some disadvantages in using solar flashlights. Perhaps the biggest challenge in using these devices is its need to be consistently recharged. Another is having an unreliable power source as we don’t always get to experience bright and sunny days, noting the fact we could get some cloudy or rainy days as well. And the last but not the least, it has a shorter run time, which the average is only at almost 15 hours.
Solar Flashlights Vs. Primary Battery Flashlights
One major difference between solar flashlights and the conventional battery-operated flashlights is perhaps seen in its effect on the environment. Solar ones need not be manually recharged. Pollution from discarded batteries is also reduced as solar flashlights do not need them as compared to normal flashlights. But the solar-powered ones have limited light output and run time as it depends on the amount of solar energy that can be absorbed in a day.
Why are Solar Flashlights the Best Option?
If you are in the middle of nowhere or out to explore the wilderness, solar-powered flashlights are the best option for survival tools. The reason? Darkness could pose great risks and threats. It can also be used in power outages and emergency situations. Unfortunately, these devices may not be ideal or recommended in areas where poor weather conditions are the norm.
BUYER’s GUIDE: Factors to Consider When Choosing or Buying Solar Flashlights
Choosing solar flashlights or any devices, for instance, is indeed a challenging task and will never be a walk in the park. But I think the best thing to remember is to get to know the product, its specifications and features and if they suit your needs. So, of course, the first thing to do is identify your flashlight needs. Do you need it for your next outdoor trip or during power outages? Do you need it underwater or just in the dry land? After identifying your needs, it’s time to consider some important factors and they are listed below.
Run Time/Battery Life
The run time, which is measured in hours, is one of the most important factors to consider in choosing the best solar-powered flashlight that suits your needs. It is usually given for each light setting and sometimes, manufacturers provide a runtime graph to illustrate the performance of the light over time.
The average runtime for most solar flashlight is around 15 hours but there are also some models that only have 10 hours or below. So to get most for your money, it is better to look for or choose flashlights that run for as long as possible.
Another important factor to ponder is the product’s bulb type. Even though most solar-powered flashlights are equipped with LED bulbs, incandescent lights such as krypton bulbs still do exist. But always remember, a LED flashlight always have a longer runtime, more energy efficient, impact resistance and brightness options. With the advancements in LED technology, other bulb types have been considered almost superseded.
Recharge Time and Charge Life
In addition to the first two factors, recharge time and charge life are also important things to consider. Recharge time refers to the time that a flashlight takes to be fully charged and the average recharge time for a solar flashlight is around 6 hours of direct sunlight exposure. But one important thing to remember is NEVER sacrifice run time over recharge time. A flashlight with a lesser or longer recharge time but have a good run time is still a good option.
Charge life, on the other hand, refers to the time the device start to lose their charge after long periods of time in storage or without use. As for average charge life for a solar flashlight, it is around two years or more.
Size, Weight, Shape and Materials
Aside from the technical specs, it is also important to put the physical aspects of a flashlight into consideration. For the size, smaller flashlights are more practical for emergencies while a heavier one does not ensure to shine brighter.
As for its materials and shape, most flashlights are made from either plastic or aluminum alloy. Some types may be made of stainless steel for added impact resistance but take note, those that are thinner are lighter while thicker ones are much tougher. For the shape, most flashlights are cylindrical in shape but they tend to roll around when laid on a surface. Fortunately, there are some models that are designed to resist rolling, to reduce slipping or provide grip.
If you think bigger flashlights are better, think again as it’s not always the case. For a flashlight’s light output, an efficient LED torch should be able to provide an output of over 60 lumens. With that said, the solar flashlight models range from 60 to 300, but a few powerful ones can provide up to 700 lumens. But take note, the higher the light output means the device consumes more power.
As for its brightness, the amount or the size of bulbs do not necessarily mean they are brighter than the others. So, I suggest to carefully read and check several reviews as it suggests that more bulbs aren’t necessarily bigger and brighter.
Power Source and Battery Type
When looking for a reliable and efficient flashlight, another important factor to consider is its power source. Flashlights are usually powered by either disposable or rechargeable batteries. But since we are looking for a survival type of flashlights, it is very important to ensure if the devices have an alternative power source aside from an electrical outlet or alkaline batteries. Hence, the best types are those with solar panel and hand crank features.
As for the battery type, the availability and the type of the replacement batteries are equally important factors to consider in selecting a solar flashlight. It can either be disposable, rechargeable or renewable.
For disposable, CR123A is the most common choice but it is expensive and much harder to find. As for the readily available ones, AAA or AA are also common. For rechargeable ones, the most common are the built-in lithium-ion batteries, which can be recharged through a USB connection or through an AC/DC outlet or solar panel and for the renewable types, those are flashlights with an internal battery pack that can be energized by a hand crank or solar panels.
Beam Type and Distance
As for the beam type and distance, it is essential to know or determine if the product has several beam settings such as a focused beam, which can assist you in hunting or looking for an object in the dark. The flood option, on the other hand, will light up the surrounding area while the strobe function comes handy for self-defense and the SOS distress is for emergency purposes.
As for the beam distance, which is measured in meters, this will determine how far the light will shine before the illumination weakens to the equivalent of the light from a full moon. For safe and careful outdoor use, full moon brightness is preferred.
Durability and Resistance
You may probably agree that a good survival solar-powered flashlight must be highly resistant to damage and waterproof. The device could also be made of top-notched quality materials that are tested under extreme duress. Remember, the impact resistance is measured in meters while the flashlight’s water resistance can be rated using the IPX system.
Aside from the aforementioned factors, it is also not a bad idea to consider the added features or accessories when choosing a solar flashlight but take note to never sacrifice the much-needed feature or specs. Handy extras may include a built-in compass, stun gun, cutter, lanyards, belt clip or holsters, lens filter and diffusers, which may provide added lighting options.
To sum it up, each and every one of us need a reliable and durable survival flashlight and the best choice is a solar-powered flashlight. Choosing may be a very daunting task but as a modern-day survivalist, we should never settle for less.
So, choose carefully and wisely but aside from considering the extra features, it is also a must to ponder on the pros and cons of the device. In finding a solar-powered flashlight, you should also focus on its good specification, quality, effectiveness and most especially, if it really suits your needs.
With all the aforementioned information, have you chosen the solar flashlight that suits your needs? Or do you own any of the aforementioned solar flashlights on the list? If you do, please share your experiences below to help other readers decide which product is best for them.