Here's a home tech item designed with pragmatic and humanitarian goals in mind. Like the OLPC laptop program, where the purchase of a laptop results in the donation of another laptop for a child in a developing nation, Sunlight Solar plans to illuminate the lives of thousands of people in developing nations with a similar "buy one, give one" program with their solar powered flashlights...
Founder Mark Bent's goals revolve around the idea that our purchasing habits can both encompass finding quality products at a fair price, while also supporting a humanitarian cause that brightens the lives of the impoverished.
The $49 BoGo Light is an affordable, high powered LED solar powered flashlight. Considering you're actually purchasing two flashlights (there's also an older model $39 light with less features), the price is extremely competitive with other LED flashlights we've seen out in the market. The six LEDs shine extremely bright...so much so we found ourselves using the 3 LED setting for indoor testing and causing temporary blindness if accidentally shined at someone directly (apologies to the cats and girlfriend). The sturdy plastic case has a slim profile with a large solar panel surface, allowing the flashlight to charge during the day, providing 5-10 hours of use, depending upon which of the 3 power settings are used.
We tested the flashlight one evening in the "lantern mode" (non-direction glow) and the BoGo lasted more than 5 hours into the evening without noticeable fading of illumination, performance that bodes well for both you and the people around the globe who will receive another in your name. Batteries are rated to last 2 years before needing replacement, so this is a perfect choice for those of you looking to keep a flashlight in your home emergency kit, car, or even while camping (we're going to take this out on our next overnight stay up in the wilderness). Oh, and did we mention the Bogo is also waterproof? Lastly, we can attest to the durability of the light's housing, as we accidentally dropped the Bogo from arm's height onto hardwood without noticeable damage, so these lights seem to fit the mold of a resilient emergency light source that any household will benefit having around when you most need it.
For more information about Sunlight Solar, the Bogo Lights and how to order, visit their website.