Typically Techbuzz review technology products that involve a download of an app, connected via a USB connection with the potential of security, audio, video. This product has none of the above but the successful crowdfunding and from the support of Comic Relief has resulted in a product which efficiently harnessing human effort or uses solar power to turn on lights or charge devices through its USB ports.
The nowlight kit includes:
- 1 x NowLight
- 1 x SatLight (SL03)
- 1 x 3W Solar Panel
- 1 x DC charging cable
- 1 x Setup instructions
This product which promotes green, working for the good of the community has their brief as Their goal was to create a sustainable alternative to dangerous, polluting and expensive kerosene lamps, has a disappointing 1-year warranty. My belief if they wish to create “create a sustainable” they should start with a minimum of a 3-year warranty rather than the disposal society encouraged by the 1-year warranty.
Setup: & connections
The setup is easy without the need for any technical expertise, while there may be safety concerns if using a ladder to install the solar light, the hanging cable would be required to be kept out of reach of young children to prevent been pulled down on them.
Affordable and renewable charging
The Kit comes with a 3W solar panel placed outdoors in direct sunlight can fully charge the nowlight in around 5 hours, The Kit if placed inside a window will not have sufficient light to correctly charge the kit, Manual charging can take less than 30 minutes while recommended to manually charge in blocks of a few minutes rather then constantly pulling the cable. Alternatively, if expecting to use on e.g. a camping trip the unit can be charged using a standard USB charger to the mains. (Any typical smartphone charger word work)
- The nowlight has Up to 50 hours of light with • Up to 160 lumens
- The nowlight has 6 independent brightness settings: 5 – 10 – 20 – 40 – 80 – 160 lumens
- 1-second manual charging = up to 2 minutes of light
- 1-minute manual charging = 15 Minutes of talk time on your mobile
This kit has numerous advantages from a technical perspective environment and humanity side but has a few niggles. The 1-year warranty for a product which is classed as affordable and renewable is let down by a paltry 1-year warranty which may be a continuous source of supply (albeit or 1 year as the warranty does not go further) The IP rating for the 3-watt solar panel is IP33, which is ok for outdoor in mild showers but not suitable for long terms in the rain/submersible, In the UK & Ireland a fine day is a where the sun casts sharp shadows and it doesn’t rain, but typically Ireland gets on average about 151 wet days per year, this solar panel should be 100% waterproof for our climate ensuring fit for purpose.
In the world today 1 in 7 don’t have access to Electricity, the developer of the product have been able to develop a product renewable energy solution to provide light anywhere, anytime. This is not aimed at your commercial organisation rather getting assistance from Red Cross and Comic Relief to achieve humanitarian organisations equipment in terms of light. On practical terms, the unit works well with an abundance of light when required with the options of using solar, manual or traditional mains charging. A few slight niggles but the principle for renewable light with the options to charge a phone when stuck is impressive. This is ideal for areas where electricity can be haphazard, or on camping trips or as a backup alternative. This is a great product using technology with humanitarian gains also.
Alternatively, there is an option to donate a nowlight for €52 via the Deciwatt partnership with humanitarian organisations to provide nowlights to households who have been displaced by natural disasters or conflict. This would provide a family with a nowlight, a SatLight and a Solar Panel for a reliable source of lighting and power for mobile devices.