Super solar-powered gadgets

Published: Saturday 13th June 2015 by The News Editor

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It’s the summer solstice on June 21, so make the most of the longest day of the year with these gadgets that are all charged with solar power…

Twinkle twinkle – Solar String Light, £1, Poundland

There is no shortage of solar-powered garden light products on the market with many options available for different budgets. But if you’re keen to light up your outside space with a minimal spend, this string of solar lights will do the trick. Priced at just £1, they will charge up with the summer sun during the day before coming on at dusk. It goes without saying that to make them as powerful as possible, make sure the solar panel is in a sun-filled spot.

Listen up – SolarDAB 2, £80,

A lovely portable radio, this makes a great accompaniment to a spot of gardening on a sunny day. Use rechargeable AA batteries, then when the solar panel on top of the device absorbs sunlight, it will charge them up and power the radio (indoors you can use the mains adaptor). You can keep an eye on the radio’s charge with LED lights for both the solar and battery levels. As for the quality of the radio, despite the small size, it comes with a great sound and is easy to navigate. In addition to playing both DAB and FM stations, it also comes with a USB slot and Aux In socket.

Over the rainbow – Rainbow Maker, £24.95,

Whether you’re buying a gift for a child that will provide entertainment all-year-round or you are a grown-up who just wants to add a touch of colour to their interiors, stick this to your (inside) window using the sucker on the back of and when sunshine falls on it, the solar-powered motor will whirl into action. As the cogs turn, so will the attached Swarovski crystal which hangs below, giving the effect of small little rainbows dashing around your room. It provides a surprisingly peaceful effect and at just 15.1cm long it doesn’t take up too much space. For the price, you’ll not fail to be impressed.

A lot of drive – Solar Go Go Car, £20,

Keep your children amused with this toy car. To begin with they will be busy constructing the four-wheeler, but once built, take it somewhere sunny and with the solar panel sticking up in the middle, it will move backwards and forwards, using the sun’s rays to motor along. However if the sun isn’t shining the fun doesn’t have to end there; simply attach the handle generator to it and by turning it, the toy car will keep on moving. Suitable for ages 8+.

Pump it – Solar Fairy Fountain, £99.99,

Water fountains go hand-in-hand with creating a garden that doubles up as a calming retreat. What makes this gadget even more relaxing is knowing you’re not adding to your energy bills to power it! Simply stick the solar panel (it comes on a stake) in the path of direct light and then the cable that connects it to the back of the fountain will take the sun’s energy and keep the water pumping. It doesn’t hold charge meaning that when the sky darkens, the water pump will stop. The resin mould comes with a bronze finish.

Pleasing panel – Sunload Solar Charger Set M5 EnerPlex Packr, £171.15,

Unlike other backpacks, the Packr comes complete with a 3-watt solar panel which covers almost the entirety of the back of the rucksack. Made from plastic rather than glass, the panel is both flexible and lightweight enough (it weighs just 1lb) that you can wear it while out cycling or hiking. As the sun beats down, you can attach your phone or camera to the USB output which you’ll find inside the bag and top up your battery. The bag isn’t cheap, but will make a good investment for those who love nothing more than spending a weekend in the great outdoors.

Copyright Press Association 2015

Published: Saturday 13th June 2015 by The News Editor

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