ION Solar Blog

Top 5 Solar Powered Products for Around the Home

Solar-powered products are everywhere these days. Being environmentally friendly and energy conscious means you can find all sorts of ways to use products powered by solar energy. You’ll be amazed at the fun and innovative solar-powered products now available for everyday activities and around the house.

  • Solar Powered Phone Chargers
  • Solar Powered Fairy Lights
  • Solar Powered Bike Locks
  • Solar Powered Bird Baths and Lawn Fountains
  • Solar Powered Backpacks

Solar power is more viable than ever for homes. It is an accessible and affordable option, lowering your carbon footprint and reducing your utility bills.

Solar panels have become more affordable for homeowners. There are tax credits, rebates, incentives from the utility company, lease options and technological advances that have reduced the costs. In Utah, there are both state and federal tax credits for household solar energy installations.

Someday soon everything should be solar powered, and fossil fuels will become a distant memory. Are you ready to join in the fun and take advantage of the sun’s energy? Let’s take a look at the top trending, most popular solar-powered products on the market.

Solar Powered Phone Chargers

Use the sun to charge your phone! These phone chargers also charge things like tablets, iPads, your GoPro, your eBook and your GPS— anything that uses a USB charger. When it comes to solar-powered products, chargers are considered one of the best. Here are some reasons why:

Long Flights – If you are taking a long trip and want to use your tablet, iPad or phone (in airplane mode, of course) while you travel, this is an excellent way to be sure you don’t run out of juice. Sit by the window, and soak up that sunshine. Your device will be ready to use for days at a time.

Emergency Use – Hurricanes, tornadoes and tropical storms happen all the time now. Snow, hail, rain, falling trees, and car accidents are all known to knock out the power. Having a way to always communicate by keeping your cell phone charged means you can rest easy, even in the worst storm.

Camping and Hiking and Other Outdoor Activities – The only thing worse than having your GoPro die in the middle of nowhere is having your phone and your GPS run out of power, too. Most solar-powered phone chargers have two USB ports so you can charge more than one device at the same time. Look for a solar-powered phone charger that has a built-in flashlight for added benefit.

Most solar-powered chargers have LED lights which indicate the charging status. You’ll know at a glance whether it’s charging by solar, by USB (normal wall charging works, too), and when a device is fully charged. These devices are quite sturdy and can take a beating. Made of ABS, PC, and silicone, you can clip them onto a backpack, or throw them into your carry-on bag.

If you spend any time outdoors, enjoy traveling, or live in an area with frequent power outages, having electricity powered by solar energy is extremely beneficial.

Solar Powered Fairy Lights

They’re only Christmas lights when you put them up in December. The rest of the year, they’re called fairy lights. These lights are ideal for brightening your yard or gazebo for BBQs, fancying up the pool deck, and decorating for Halloween or special occasion.

You can get solar-powered fairy lights in a multitude of colors. The company RDK Products manufactures solar-generated white garden led lights which are lovely for a wedding reception. Green and red, of course, are perfect for Christmas. Blue gives a warm touch to a pool deck area while making sure it is still possible to see clearly. Orange is really popular for Halloween. As for yard decorations for BBQ, it all depends on your style.

The best thing about the solar powered lights is that you don’t have to run an extension cord from the house for electricity. This way, there’s no tripping hazard or danger of small children getting accidentally shocked.

You can set these lights to automatically illuminate when it gets dark, and even make them flash on and off. After a full day of charging (14 hours or more), you can expect about 8 hours of light. So, they automatically turn off when the party should be over, and charge up again the next day, ready for the next night.

The garden LED lights made by RDK Products include a solar panel which is mounted onto a lawn spike that you can stick right into the ground. Even during rain or snow storms, the weather-resistant solar panel picks up energy and gets ready to turn on the lights at dusk.

Solar-powered fairy lights are a grand addition to any decor or lighting scheme in and around your home. RDK Products is currently the most popular brand, though there are a variety of solar fairy lights available in many colors.

Solar Powered Bike Locks

Solar-powered bike locks are an ingenious idea. Here’s a strong, inconspicuous bike lock which is powered by the sun, and connects to your smartphone!

The Ellipse Solar Powered Bike Lock needs just about an hour of charging to be good for an entire week. After given an initial charge, the lock becomes self-charging using the built-in solar panel. The battery automatically keeps itself charged, as long as you leave the Ellipse lock in the sun or even under indoor lights. There should be no reason to set up a manual charge under normal use. There is a micro-USB port which allows you to perform manual charging, in case you stored your bike and the lock in the basement over the winter.

The Ellipse Solar-Powered Bike Lock provides:

Keyless Entry: It both locks and unlocks just by tapping your phone, or you can do it automatically if you are close by. It can even be set to automatically lock or unlock by proximity to your phone, without even taking it out of your pocket.

Backup Access – A touchpad encoded with your personal code will unlock it when you don’t have your phone available or if your phone’s battery runs out.

Theft Detection – Receive an alert on your phone to warn you if the lock is being tampered with or disturbed. The long-range Bluetooth sends the alert. You can adjust the sensitivity level and can decide when to turn on this feature.

Bike Sharing – You can create a network of friends who can use your bike by sending a secure code to their phones. They enter the code and the bike is unlocked once they get nearby.

Crash Alerts – The Ellipse lock detects accidents using a built-in accelerometer. You can set up alerts that notify your emergency contacts if you need medical assistance.

Location – Both you and your friends can see the location where the bike is parked, so it can be easier to share. Did you get a bit lost on a large college campus? This feature helps you find your bike if you forget where you parked.

Splash Proof – The lock is rated IPX4 splash proof. That doesn’t mean you can take it with you on an underwater diving expedition, but it does mean you are okay riding through an occasional puddle. If it starts raining, you’ll have plenty of time to ride for shelter.

A strong, solar-powered bike lock is an ingenious concept and a great way to secure your bike. Half of all bike owners have had their bike stolen. Don’t let it happen to you!

Solar-Powered Bird Bath, Fish Pond Aerator and Lawn Fountain

Solar-powered lawn decorations, what a great idea! Anything outdoors is the perfect opportunity for using solar power. Garden products like bird baths, fish ponds, and lawn water fountains are outdoors in the sun anyway, ready to soak up energy rays. Running electrical cords to ponds and fountains can be dangerous. With cord-free solar power, your yard will be much safer.

These solar powered garden products can range in size, though none of them are very large. They are only designed to aerate and swirl the fountain water as a decoration. You can even pick which sprayer head you want to change the height and shape of the water falling. These fountains are designed for a quick start. Just set it up in the water and within just a few seconds the water will start to spray or move around in the pattern you have selected.

There are two basic types of pumps for solar-powered garden products: floating pumps and submerged pumps. A floating pump works great for bird baths, but you’ll probably want a submerged pump for a lawn fountain or a fish pond. Make sure you change out the water frequently in your solar powered garden products to keep them clean and not get too much dirt in the pump.

Fountains, bird baths, and fish ponds are all ways to make the exterior of your place stand out from your neighbors. With simple garden products like a solar-powered bird bath, fish pond aerator, and lawn fountain you can make your home unique.

Solar Powered Backpacks

Solar-powered backpacks are essentially portable solar panels, and provide an interesting way to power your gadgets while you’re hiking the woods, on a plane in your travels, or waiting for class to start at school.

The outside panel of the backpack has an array of solar cells which gives you the ability to charge or power a variety of gadgets. This versatility makes it one of the most innovative solar-powered products designed for everyday use.

USB Charging – Charge your smartphones, GPS Systems, external battery packs, MP3 Players, eReader, Bluetooth Speakers or GoPros. Some models charge up to 6 devices at a time. Charging capacity can be as high as one extra charge for every four hours of sunshine on the power cells.

Built-In Bluetooth Speakers – Some solar-powered backpacks have speakers built right into the pack. Chances are you’ll run out of music before you can drain the battery—  a full charge often lasts as long as 96 hours.

Recharge from a Wall Socket – You can also plug a solar-powered backpack into a wall socket as an alternative way to charge the battery.

Removable Solar Charger – The solar charger is removable for the main pack for washing.

The next time you are going camping, hiking, on a plane or to school or work, grab a solar-powered backpack to reduce your carbon footprint and make use of the sunshine.

Ways to Use Solar Power in Your Everyday Life

You may not (yet) have your whole house outfitted with solar power. These days you can install a solar attic fan, water heater, and even a solar-powered water purifier. It won’t be long before you’re driving a solar-powered car.

What’s important is that those who are energy conscious take every opportunity to use solar powered products to save energy and to reduce your carbon footprint. There is a wide variety of solar-powered products available today, with many more arriving in the near future thanks to the growing solar industry.

Whether you use a solar-powered phone charger, or you decorate the yard with solar-powered lights, you are making a difference. If you know someone who rides a bike to work or school, encourage them to use a solar-powered bike lock. For hiking, camping, traveling, or going to school, try a solar-powered backpack and enjoy the free energy it provides.

Solar power is the best source of clean electricity. Today solar-powered gadgets are environmental-friendly, innovative, and lots of fun— and we can expect many more devices to be available soon.

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