Most of you probably remember the one laptop per child program where for $400 you could give one to a developing country and get one for yourself? Well for a lot of us folks on a limited budget that was just too much money to help out as much as we would have liked having a new laptop to play with and one given away in our name. For a much more affordable way ($50) to help out those in developing countries, or even our own troops, SunNight Solar has come up with a buy one give one (BOGO) program to help provide a free source of light to impoverished people.
Many people in the developing world don’t have electricity to light their homes and have to spend a lot of their resources on lighting solutions such as kerosene lanterns, candles, and flashlights. SunNight Solar has come up with a flashlight / lantern that is powered by the sun and basically provides free light. Their goal is to give as many of these flashlights away to as many people in need as possible and they have given us an easy way to help them with their goal. For about $50 you can buy one for yourself and give one to an organization of your choice including troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their founder Mark Bent an ex-marine started SunNight after spending many years in Africa and seeing how providing a free lighting source would be helpful to so many people. Mark being a man of action decided to found SunNight to help address this important need.
Being a bit of a gadget geek I was happy to see a package at my door the other day with one of these solar powered flashlights in it and who doesn’t enjoy a new toy to play with? I had forgotten that a few months back I signed up to get one of these to test out. The flashlight itself is very light and easy to handle, and although it’s not that small it’s thin enough to easily fit in a pocket. Its six LEDs make for a nice spotlight and easily illuminates the path ahead of you. To conserve on battery power you can turn it down to lower levels of light which give plenty of light to get around in the dark. There is even a lantern mode where it gives off a broad amount of light instead of a focused spot like in the flashlight mode. In this mode it gives off plenty of light to illuminate a small room for many hours. I’ve had mine on for four hours now in the medium lantern setting and it is still going on strong. I have no doubt that it will easily go for the 5 hours that SunNight claims.
The great thing about these flashlights is that you don’t have to worry about buying batteries or remembering to charge them. You just store it in a well lit spot and you will always have a charged flashlight. This is a pretty good solution to give people some light to enable them to get around at night for free. For two years at least, after that they’ll need to replace the batteries.
If you are interested in getting yourself one of these flashlights and giving one away head over to SunNight’s BOGO site. The hardest part is deciding what group to give a free flashlight to.
Watch this news report about Mark Bent and SunNight Solar.
Watch this Video about how SunNight Solar’s flashlight works.