Solar Power Hour: 15 Goods & Gadgets Powered by Sunshine
Speaking of spring, is it as unseasonably warm for you as it is for us today? Just two weeks ago we thought we were finally cozying into snowy times and served up 15 ways to get sunshine in the winter months. But the sun is out! And as much as we mourn the lack of snow this season and wonder whether our plants (tweet, tweet!) can really wait until April for showers, we have to look at the silver lining. An abundance of sunshine means an abundance of solar power, in your home, on your phone, and even on your nails!
1. Sun Jar ($29 ): A bit of illumination by Suck UK, the LED lights in the jar are solar powered by a rechargeable battery. Choose from a few soft hues and light up your garden.
2. Solar Camp Shower ($13): We’ll be the first to admit that the best part of camping is sleeping under the stars, being amazed by how delicious beans can be, and really roughing it. But, that doesn’t need to include your hygiene. This compact camping shower keeps up to 5 gallons of water heated and ready for 8 minutes of warm washing bliss.
3. Sharp Electronics 8-Digit Twin Powered Calculator ($6): Let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start. Most children of the 80s and 90s had their first glimpse of solar power when they used their first calculator, pre TI-85.
4. Super Sunprint Kit ($14): Using sunshine to make charming blue and white pieces of art? That’s definitely something we can get behind. Based on the cyanotype process, sunprinting makes it easy to come up with impromptu art on any nature walk (or anywhere else, for that matter). Make prints of using physical objects, images on transparency, leaves, lace, etc.
5. Rainbow Maker ($20): Speaking of magic made by the sun, we’re pretty obsessed with this solar powered rainbow maker. The solar panel powers the unit, allowing it to revolve and refract light in all directions. And, of course, the genuine Swarovski crystal hangs ever so innocently casting rainbows all over the place. Sort of a Pollyanna scene for the tech generation, no?
6. Color Changing Nail Polish ($10): Yep. Color Changing Nail Polish. Indoors, the nail polish is an enticing shade of Super Hero lavender. Step outside, and behold a dramatically different blue hue! With a few bottles of Del Sol polish, our nail art could get into some serious summer fun.
7. Sunny Is Power Solar Travel Charger ($26): A decidedly analog-looking piece, this whimsical USB ready charger by ModCloth asks “Watt would you do without tunes on your weekend-long trek?” We recommend storing it in the sunniest spot of your apartment, so its locked and loaded for your next getaway.
8. Inkodye ($12): Back to the business of making things beautiful and colorful via sunshine, inkodye is similar to sunprints but way more versatile. Works on cotton, wood, suede, silk and other natural fibers! And the dye is, in fact, dye – meaning that you won’t have that stiff residue laying on top of fabric after printing. (P.S. We just might have a few bottles of Inkodye at Brit HQ – stay tuned!)
9. Voltaic 1015 Switch Solar Bags ($129-$189): So, we’ve outfitted you for a ridiculously colorful sunny adventure, but how will you tote around all your solar powered goods? Why, in a solar powered backpack, of course! The backpack comes with 11 standard adapters including a car charger socket and USB adaptor. The three solar panels are tough, lightweight, and waterproof, and generate up to 4 watts of power.
10. Thermochomatic T-Shirt ($36): Oh American Apparel. This tee really is a hipster dream. The grid pattern matches the quadrille pattern in our moleskine notebook, and the women’s ultralight jersey knit is perfect for revealing a sneak peek at our chevron bralette. Oh, and the color changes based on the temperature! Less solar powered and more body heated, but still awesome.
11. Solar Powered Radio ($35): A sweet miniature radio, ready to keep you up to date on music, information, and possibly someone else’s iPod if they’re using a radio adapter. ;) The radio charges in sunlight or using the hand crank, and will play for seven hours when fully charged.
12. Nokero Solar Light ($20): Developed specifically for off-grid regions, the Nokero light pays for itself in 15 days to 2 months by eliminating the need for candles or kerosene. Also a great light for camping, an outdoor picnic, or your patio.
13. Solar Birdhouse ($105): Designed by Netherlands design team OOOMS, the solar panel on the roof of the house charges by day and lights up by night. Because, after all, even birds need their midnight snack!
14. Eton Mobius iPhone Solar Charger ($80): And, of course, a solar powered iPhone case. If cords aren’t your style and you want to bulk up your iPhone with some solar energy, the Mobius is your jam. Now you can keep your iPhone powered up anywhere the sun shines. (Also check out the XDModo charger in our roundup of funky docks!)
15. Sunny Outlook Solar Powered Owl ($11): Obvs a must-have, because who doesn’t need an owl turning it’s head in their garden from time to time? Or if you’ve got a sunny corner on your desk, this little darling would certainly add a little color and lot of whimsy.
Aside from frolicking on the beach in springtime apparel and getting in touch with your inner boy scout, what are your favorite ways to take advantage of sunny days? Got any solar-powered gadgets we need to check out? Leave us a note in the comments below!