I have to admit that I’m somewhat of a solar skeptic. I understand that it’s free power as long as the sun continues to shine. Still, I question whether solar power can replace external power or whether it can do nothing more than supplement an external power source, like an AC adapter. To see for myself, I gathered together 8 cool and innovative solar gadgets to see if they could fit into my business and personal life without the need to plug them in.
To put them to the test, I tried them each out over a month during the late spring and early summer. I wanted to make sure that they actually did what they were supposed to do: run without the aid of an electrical plug or disposable batteries.
I started by charging them in the sun and then gave each a tough work out by using them the way you would. I talked on the speaker-phone, typed on the keyboard, listened to music on the boom box, read by the desk light and even partied next to the solar lantern.
While they vary in what they do and how well they work, they all pass my test for working without external power, although several include an AC adapter – just in case. Some are better than others, but in their own way, each device is useful and requires nothing other than the power of the sun.
In other words, these devices are all sun gods. They not only do a job well, but do it without plugging a power cord in, cutting your carbon footprint back without impinging on your digital lifestyle.