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Going SOLAR...

Discussion in 'Other Camping' started by Northern Dancer, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    One of my goals this year is to minimize the use of fuels, batteries and the like and move to a more modern approach to lighting and power sources at base camp in particular.

    One of the new gadgets that I've picked up is the LUMINAID SOLAR POWERED INFLATABLE LIGHT.

    This inflatable solar light-bag is perfectly portable alternative to gas lanterns, torches, burning sticks, and other less convenient light sources.

    Featuring an integrated solar panel and dual setting the LUMINAID will illuminate your life for 8-10 hours on high and 14-16 hours on low setting. Keeping in mind that these are manufactures assessments.

    * Three light settings [OFF, HIGH and LOW]
    * 14 - 16 hours of 15 lumens on LOW for safety, night light
    * 8 - 10 hours of 30 lumens on HIGH for reading, task work
    * Waterproof up to 1 meter deep
    * Semi-transparent, puncture resistant TPU material [non-PVC and phthalate free]

    It folds up into nothing for caring in a pack or hanging outside the pack on a carabiner to soak up the sun. It will fit into a man's shirt pocket.

    It takes about 4 to 6 hours to recharge.

    Check it out! Oh...and another thing...if you decide to buy CHECK SEVERAL SOURCES FOR PRICE. I was surprised at the differences in prices. ANOTHER THING...check consumer reviews about the product.

    I've tested the product and I am happy with the performance FOR WHAT I NEED.

    I would be interested to hear from people who have used this product.
  2. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    If your luck is better than mine it sounds like a pretty good light, but in my case if I relied on solar, for my light source it would be dark and gloomy or foggy or raining, the whole time just to make that recharge impossible. :(:bigtears:
  3. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    It's hard to tell of course. And I'm not always impressed with solar stuff - but it is getting a whole lot better. I have a Goal Zero solar panel too that, among other things, provides excellent lighting in my tent. It can be used to power other devices but I'm cautious as to what I bring. I prefer to limit myself in that area.
  4. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    I'd be curious to see how well this works since when I'm camping my camp site is normally in an area that is heavily wooded and the sunlight is somewhat obstructed. I know solar panels work best in in direct sunlight so hopefully this isn't too much of a problem.
  5. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Admittedly I have some concerns about that too - but I'm determined to make it work. It wraps into a very convenient package that I'm sure I will be able to find enough light. The product has an interesting history. It was developed by two Columbia University students as a project to help Haitians living in shanty towns who had no source of safe light.
  6. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    That does sound nice and functional, but I guess I'm just a bit conservative when it comes to such things. I'd hate to be relying on it and have it fail on me because I like wooded/shaded areas.
  7. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Surprisingly the instrument is super sensitive to light in general. It was my goal to stop using kerosene that not only is a strong pollutant it is also becoming a lot more expensive.
  8. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Oh that is great new then. Do you know how many watts of power it can provide when it is in optimal sunlight? Also what are you trying to power?
  9. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    First of all, I have two instruments that I will be using this year including the Escape 150 Adventure Kit.

    • From the manufacturer/distributor: [I have tested this device.]
    The Escape 150 Adventure kit from GOALZERO® an ultimate power source for the camper or out-doors-man. The 150 W battery allows you to plug in many devices into the 110 V outlet, including laptops, lights, fans, small coolers (with a compressor), and much more. The 15 W Boulder solar panel will recharge the battery in about 10 to 20 hours of full sun. [You can also charge from a household or car outlet.] The Light-a-Life is a 3 W LED light that will run 50 hours on a single charge.

    The company has a variety of different products on the market. You can look up Goal Zero Canada but Costco has the best price by far.

    I have three Light-a-Life Lights that feature:
    • Bright 3 W, low power draw LED lantern light (provides the light of a regular 60 W bulb)
    • Rated for 20,000 hours of use
    • Weather resistant
    • 2.7 m (9 ft.) extender cord and patented carabineer that lets you hook it anywhere
    • Chainable - daisy chain up to 8 Light-a-Life lights in a series
    The other instrument - that I plan to use at base and more especially in the interior is the Luminaid inflatable light that I mentioned earlier. I have three of these. My test showed that a signal light was more powerful than a kerosene lantern that I normally use. It folds down into a little package that takes up little space. When blow up it is about the size of a camp pillow. It can be hung or laid out anywhere to pick up the rays.

    I will still be caring a standard high beam compact flashlight and I never go anywhere without my headlight.

    I know....I know...I'm nuts! BUT its an integral part of my life style :) . It seems that I have a bit of trouble managing the world that I live and work in. So I by pass the usual escapes and head for the serenity and isolation of the lakes and streams - with my dog.
  10. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    Kerosene sucks to carry anyway so I can see your point, but I am a battery carrier as it is... still this might work so I'll definitely have a look at it.
  11. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I'm a bit of a new equipment geek BUT I still stick to some of the more proven devices. I always have a high beam compact flashlight and as I've said I always take my powerful headlight.
  12. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    This is a follow up to my use of solar power panel. I used the escape 150 Adventure Kit and was pleased with the results. I had lighting in my tent that was as bright as a lamp at home. I had four lights actually so if I needed a lot of light I had it. I also used the Luminaid a simple lantern style light. In both cases I was pleased. I used the Luminaid as night lights as we have had bear visits during the night time in times past. [None this year.]

    The Adventure Kit is not a weekend purchase - it would be just too expensive. But, when you are in a base camp for five weeks having lights to read by and cheer up the tent is a welcomed piece of equipment. During the day time I simply hooked up the power source to the panel and left it for the duration of the day. Even with the cloudy days we had [and there were a lot of them] the battery was re-charged.
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