Thursday, May 22, 2008

BoGo Solar Flashlight Pays it Forward

Here's a cool flashlight that helps the world in two ways. It charges up by solar power, which is great in itself. But it doesn't stop there: when you buy one, the company sends a second one to a needy family in Nigeria for free.

For each light purchased a second light is donated to the Ikot Usen Secondary School in Nigeria. These provide safe, healthy, renewable light for students and allow them more study time after dark. BoGo lights also help eliminate the need for kerosene lighting, an expensive and very hazardous pollutant that is all too common in developing countries.

This BoGo Solar Flashlight came to my attention via Current Energy, a company in Dallas that shows people how to save energy in their business or home. They have a store that sells all kinds of eco-friendly gadgets and gear, from bamboo bath linens to solar security lights for your house.

This is a hefty flashlight, so you probably want to use it on a camping trip or around the house more than you would want to backpack the world with it. The flip side of that is it is a lot brighter than most solar ones and it has a larger charging area. In my tests, after charging a full day in the sun, it would routinely go nonstop for six hours or more before it went dim. For normal intermittent use, you could probably go weeks between charges.

When the rechargeable AA batteries eventually die (after 750 to 1,000 hours), any old commercially available ones will do, so you can switch them out almost anywhere. There's a hook at the end of it so you could hang it from the top of a tent for lighting or clip it to a belt or pack. You're not likely to lose the BoGo: it comes in bright pink or bright orange.

It retails for $25 to $35, which is not a bad price for helping to save the world. See more at the official BoGo site.

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