We now have more gadgets in our homes than ever before – smartphones and tablets, for example, have become an essential part of daily life, but the cost of powering such devices can mount up.
Sunlight is a great source of free energy, and luckily there are some clever solar-powered gadgets to help you save money on energy usage and reduce your carbon footprint.
Here are five solar-powered home products to get you started...
Save money by giving your home an energy efficient once-over
XD Design Window solar charger
Staying connected to family and friends is easy when you own a smartphone. However, these power-hungry devices require daily charging, which can inflate your electricity bill.
But it needn’t be that way if you invest in a portable USB charger such as the Window solar charger from XD Design. Stick the charger to a window in your home or car and the solar panel will absorb the sun’s energy to charge its built-in battery.
After 13 hours of sunlight, the internal battery fills, ready to power your smartphone via the charger’s USB socket.
Roberts Solar DAB2
Combining first class digital audio with solar technology, this portable radio from iconic British brand Roberts, keeps itself charged so that you don’t miss your favourite programmes.
Whether you’re in the kitchen or the garden, place the Solar DAB2 in sunlight and you’ll enjoy radio play throughout your day without hiking up your electricity bill.
The solar panel feeds an internal rechargeable battery that kicks in when the sunlight fades, and you can even use the radio as a speaker to play music from your iPod or MP3 player (cable sold separately).
Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750
Wave goodbye to batteries and unsightly cables with the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard, a lightweight computer accessory featuring a discreet solar strip above the keys to keep it charged whenever there’s daylight.
Amazingly, it can store charge for up to three months, so even if you don’t use it for a while, the keyboard will still have plenty of power when you come back to it.
Setting up the PVC-free Solar Keyboard couldn’t be simpler, either: plug the supplied wireless receiver into a USB port on your computer and you’re ready to go.
What you need to know about solar panels
Soladey Ion5 Ionic Toothbrush
Dentists recommend that we brush twice-daily, for two minutes each time, with an electric toothbrush. If you follow that advice, your electric toothbrush will need constant charging to keep it topped up with enough power for an effective clean.
The travel-friendly Soladey Ion5 Ionic Toothbrush (available in five different colours) features a small solar strip at its base that requires only the light in your bathroom to power it through each cleaning session.
Ionic technology draws plaque away from your teeth and on to the toothbrush, delivering a thorough cleanse.
How to choose the best electric toothbrush features
Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator
Having an alternative energy source during a power cut means you won’t be plunged back into the dark ages. Petrol-powered generators are noisy and produce dangerous fumes, whilst battery-operated gadgets are a false economy.
Combine Goal Zero’s Yeti 150 Solar Generator with a Nomad solar panel (sold separately) and you’ll have power even if the grid goes down.
Phones and tablets can be plugged into one of the generator’s two USB ports, while the AC and 12-volt sockets are perfect for charging laptops, powering lights and more.
Price: €249.99 (approx £211)
Five gadgets for a last minute picnic
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