Solar lights are nothing new, they have been around for quite a while, being marketed around the world as free light for those in need. The primary market of most companies producing these great gadgets is the developing world (i.e. Nokoro International, d.light, the plastic solar bottle, etc.etc.), but around the US and Europe, the interest in such products is no less. In fact, even stores like IKEA sell solar powered lights that can be used indoors and out, and come at a highly tempting price.
So, it seems, if a new invention in this field is to make it on the market, it has to be quite a revolutionary one, with at least longer-lasting battery life, probably a cool look, but most importantly, a competitive price. This last point is particularly important if the light is to be marketed in the developing world, but it also matters if the product is to compete with the existing ones in the US and EU.
Shine, the solar light from Voltaic, is the new kid on the block. The gadget is pretty sleek, it is 100% waterproof, and it has a wall mount. It has a 5,000mAh (19 Watt/hour) USB battery, which can be charged both with a 3.5 Watt solar panel, and by being plugged. It also gives the option to fully charge a smartphone.
But leaving the specifications aside (which are pretty great anyway), the team behind Shine has a greater goal. They want to provide light to families in poor regions in developing countries, and yes, although many are already doing it, it will never be trivial. So, here it is.
Shine is currently calling for backers on Kickstarter. With 29 days to go, the guys from Voltaic have already reached their goal, but of course they want all of you in. For $39 you can become the first owner of a Shine light (without the solar panel), while for $49, you can become a donor of a Shine light to a family in Nicaragua. The complete set, light and solar panel, comes at a starting price of $66.
The cause is really nice, so do go to their crowdfunding campaign site and get more information about the product. Chances are, you will like it.
Image (c) Voltaic