The quality and performance of solar cells has improved hugely in the last couple of years which has made a huge difference to their performance. At the same time, new developments in the use of LED technology has reduced the power required by the light to operate. Together this has made it possible to charge solar lights in the UK even in the depths of winter.
The performance is obviously better in the full sun of summer but most of the lights on this site can even charge indoors using the light from the overhead lights. It just takes longer.
Alternatively if you want to charge them in the middle of the night some can be charged using the mains, for example the d.light S300.
We're sure that you can find other uses but here are some of ours...
- As a reading light at night in bed
- In a tent while camping or in the garden
- To cook in the dark while camping
- As a backup light for expeditions in UK e.g. Ten Tors, DofE
- To light a shed
- As a gift
- To take on a walk at night
- In case of a power cut
- For playing in the woods
- For looking under the bonnet of the car
- For looking under the bed
- Making shadows
- As a night light for toddlers
- To light the way to the loos at festivals
- To light up the horsebox at hometime
- Or just for fun
All of the lights will be rated in lumens. A lumen is a measurement of how much light the LED generates. Here is a general rough guide comparison to the different levels.
5-10 lumens - fine for reading in bed or to act as a nightlight
10-40 lumens - this is good for going out at night to the garage or shed or for lighting the steps in the dark
40-80 lumens - bright enough to light up a small room with a reasonable level of light
80-160 lumens - bright and close to 40W incandescent bulb light output
It's a good time to go solar!