Here are 10 of the coolest, weirdest, and most practical eco-friendly solar powered gizmos. “Every Day Is Earth Day” So we don’t need any special reason to use these gadgets.
1. Logitech Solar Keyboard
A solar-powered keyboard might sound counterintuitive, since you’re most likely to use it indoors, but this peripheral is sensitive enough to pick up charge from a lamp. The PVC-free case of the $80 Logitech Solar Wireless Keyboard 750 measures 0.33 inch thick. Its USB receiver stays plugged into your PC, so you won’t have to mess with cords. A solar app provides details about how much battery power remains.
2. Owleye Solar Bike Light
If you’re riding around outdoors anyway, why not charge your bike light from the sun and forget the disposable batteries? This solar-powered, water-resistant headlight from Owleye costs around $80 and comes in white or black. Tail lights are priced at around $20. The LED headlamps provide more than 200 lumens of light and are built to illuminate objects at distances of up to 33 feet ahead. If you’re low on sunlight for a needed charge, you can plug the headlight into another device via mini USB to power up.
3. Voltaic Solar Backpack
The $250 Voltaic solar backpack includes a pair of 2-watt, detachable solar panels that can output up to 12 volts. The backpack provides compartments for your gadgets and a handful of connecting fobs for smartphones, MP3 players, digital cameras, and other small gizmos. The bag is designed to power up after 4 or 5 hours in the sun, at which point it can support 3 hours of talking for a cell phone. In a pinch, you can charge the solar panels via USB. Voltaic makes laptop bags, too.
4. Brunton Solar Chargers
Brunton makes rugged solar chargers for smartphones, digital cameras, and other handheld devices. The Freedom (left) costs $96 and the folding Restore goes for $124. Though many other off-grid gadget chargers crowd the market, we like Brunton’s simple, waterproof design.
5. Voltaic Generator Solar-Energy Laptop Bag
Packing up to 15 watts in its included battery pack, the $499 Voltaic Generator can juice a laptop for roughly 5 hours. Plus, it’s made almost entirely of recycled soda bottles. Looking for a more mainstream solar bag? Samsonite plans to release its own line of solar products this summer.
6. Solar-Powered Camcorder
A search for green tech on Amazon turned up this 720p, 10X-optical-zoom camcorder fitted with two solar panels. Not a bad deal for $250, but fair warning: It’s a no-name brand, and the product has no customer reviews on the site. It’s a nice concept, at least.
8. PowerPlus Leopard Solar Remote
If you’re the kind of couch potato who would rather stick with one channel than get up to change the remote’s dead batteries, you’ll appreciate the PowerPlus Leopard. Its small solar charger can even absorb ambient light, so you needn’t place it in direct sunlight to juice up. The price is roughly $15.
9. NovoThink Surge Solar iPhone Case
It seems as if every iPhone owner has a case to protect their precious device, but NovoThink Surge cases actually put the extra layer to use, gathering charge with a solar panel. You even get an app that lets you plan your solar needs based on how you use the phone.
10. AUO Solar Powered Touch Notebook Keyboard
AUO well know for its LCD manufacturing skills has launched a new 14 inch solar powered touch keyboard notebook. The notebook is fitted with a specially designed solar panel measure just 2.1mm in thickness. The addition of the panel within the notebook helps cut the system power usage by up to 20%.
BONUS: Solar Electric Three Wheeler Bicycle
Josh Hadar is a New York artists who specializes in making some amazing metal bicycles, his latest creation is a solar powered electric three wheeler bicycle. As you can see from the photos the three wheeler bicycle looks amazing, and it has a 20 inch wheel at the front and two 26 inch wheels at the rear, and measures 8.4 feet long, which is about the same length as a Smart car.
To minimize waste and pollution, make sure to recycle old gadgets responsibly, and try to support vendors that have a good track record with groups such as Greenpeace, which offers a green electronics scorecard.