Sanyo eneloop solar light
We came across this nice little addition to the Sanyo eneloop solar family recently while browsing environmentally oriented electronics makers sites.
Sanyo has been working hard to cultivate their green image with the eneloop series of rechargeable batteries, a big hit here in Japan, and thankfully for green geeks everywhere it looks like they will be continuing on this line. The Sanyo eneloop solar light attempts to combine the best of a solar USB charger and a portable 9-bulb LED light. Finally, something practical you can do with a solar panel for less than the price of a new car! (We hope..)
The solar light comes with 9 LED bulbs that can be used all at once for bright surround light, or singly for a long-lasting spotlight. It takes a hefty 15-30 hours to charge fully, but once it's full Sanyo reckons it will be able to operate on 9 bulbs for up to 9 hours, or 1 bulb for 35 hours (though what the real-world specs will be like is anyone's guess).
One of the great things is that it will also include a USB port, meaning that the charger should be able to give a decent charge to your electronic toys while you're on tour. Now that's what we like to hear, no more running out of batteries on your camera in the wilderness.. or your iPod as the case may be.
We have great hopes for USB, and mini-USB, as the pathway to a future without all those different chargers for each of our favorite gadgets so we can cut down on e-waste. And with the latest charger technology the power strips can stop feeding power to a gadget that's already full, so no more greedy gadgets guzzling unnecessary vampire power.
The major drawback would have to be that despite its "portability", at around 1 kg and 20x25 cm its a pretty hefty package. I don't think it would fit in most people's pockets so you'd probably be looking at taking it on camping trips and other outdoorsy holidays (yes, most likely in a car).
As the eneloop portable solar light isn't on sale yet, we just have to wait and see what the price tag will be. Fingers crossed it costs less than the gadgets we want to charge.
Written by Luke Poliszcuk at greenz.jp