Image via GadgetGrid
Oasis has put out a beautiful solar powered lantern. It's stainless steel, has high and low settings, and can charge up via sunlight - though it takes 12-24 hours of light to get a full battery. The lantern sports 12 LEDs and can last 12 hours on high, 24 hours on low with a full battery. While you can use the sun, if you're impatient you can charge it up via AC power before leaving the house on your camping trip. But for all its beauty, we have something even better than this for you. It may not be as pretty, but it has some big pros. GadgetGrid lets us know the lantern has a backup battery, though it doesn't tell us how long it takes to get a full charge. If you're out camping, you might not be able to get this thing in the sun for long enough to gather a substantial charge. While it's certainly beautiful, and for $99.99, it'd better be efficient at gathering a full battery's worth of sunlight in a hurry.
And while certainly beautiful, there is a great alternative option to the Oasis - the K-Light.
Image via Warmers
First, it's about $50 cheaper. Second, it has a serious do-gooder side on top of providing solar powered light. The K-Light has 16 LEDs (4 more than the Oasis), a 10-year lifespan and a battery that lasts over 3,000 charges. The 1.5 watt solar panel will take a long time to gather a full charge, but the whole lantern is only the size of a soda can so it's understandable.
And this is where the do-gooder side makes up for the shortcomings. PiSAT Solar and the Koinonia Foundation have partnered up to provide K-Lights to villages across Africa as a replacement for kerosene lanterns. Not only does it help eliminate a dangerous and polluting light source, but it also helps women in the areas become entrepreneures as part of Koinonia's Light for Africa micro-loan program. Groups of African women get start-up grants to assemble and sell the lanterns in their villages, and using the proceeds, they can purchase and sell more K-Lights, creating a business.
Thus, the K-Light is much more than just a solar lantern. And that is beautiful.
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