Waterproof solar torch review

4.5 out of 5
£24.99

For

Never have to buy batteries again

Against

You need sun to charge it

More and more gadgets are surfacing that allow you to promote your green credentials, but surely a solar powered torch is taking it a bit too far? I mean, where is the sun when you are stumbling around in the dark trying to find the fuse box?

Of course in reality, the product isn’t that silly - and yes before you ask it has the ability to store the energy it collects. The waterproof solar torch works by using the sunlight in the day to provide power in the evening. To do so, the makers recommend you simply place the torch on a windowsill and the sunrays it does get, will help keep the batteries topped up.

So following the company's recommendations, Pocket-lint did just that, excited by the fact that while we tested it, we managed to get the hottest July day on record.

Not surprisingly, in bright sunshine the torch managed to charge incredibly quickly, however British weather being what it is, we're not sure we would be able to say the same on a dank, overcast October afternoon.

Once charged you have the choice of two different lights, a white torch light at one end and flashing red LEDs at the other, which can be operated at the same time if required. Frustratingly, apart from the light coming on, there is no way of telling how much charge you have and so it’s a case of if there is enough juice to light the bulb, the bulb will light.

As with most renewable energy devices, there is a backup solution and the torch can be run from non-rechargable AA batteries (most likely for those dank, overcast October afternoons we mentioned earlier) and the solar torch's makers state that you can even use the torch to charge rechargeable NiCad or NiMH.

Verdict

Fully waterproof and floats, we could see this would make an excellent accessory for the boating or sailing crowd.

For the home, as long as you've got a windowsill that gets plenty of light, you should be okay.

It might sound like an oxymoron; I mean where is the sun at midnight? But we were actually very impressed by the solar torch performance in our tests.

If you're looking to light up your life and don't want the battery bill to match, this is £19.50 well spent.

This product was kindly loaned to us by www.selectsolar.co.uk