Cool Stuff & Geekery

The 6 Geekiest Solar-Powered Gadgets

You want to be green, but you also need your electronics. We feel you—and luckily, lots of developers do, too! With a bevy of solar-powered contraptions on your side, you can run your entire life, basically, off 100 percent renewable energy. That should make you feel pretty good about your all-day gaming sessions!

Here are some of the neatest ways we’ve seen to incorporate some clean power into your gadgetry.

Solar-powered Gadgets

A Laptop Battery Bank that Runs Off the Sun

You know that feeling when your parents drag you to your nephew’s little league game, but you have a hot date with the new Legend of Zelda game? Been there. That’s why we’re so excited about the potential for solar-powered laptop chargers. Solar chargers are getting more efficient and lightweight than ever—The Wirecutter’s pick for top solar charger only weighs 12.5 ounces!

The charger powers your devices, but it doesn’t store energy, so if you want to spring for this eco-friendly energy option for long-term use, you’ll need to purchase a USB battery pack, too. Still, it’s a pretty cool way to make outdoor gaming possible—even when there’s no outlet anywhere in sight.

Portable Solar-Powered Speakers

Move over, Sonos—there’s a new wireless speaker in town, and this one’s powered expressly by the sun! Bluetooth-enabled rechargeable solar speakers make outdoor listening fun, simple, and environmental. You can pair your phone or tablet to the device and get a full day’s worth of sun-charged tunes, just like the electricity you’d get from solar panels.

The manufacturer claims they last up to 10 hours—but just in case, there’s a USB cable that lets you take advantage of more pedestrian energy sources. Blast one of these and have fun recreating the volleyball scene from Top Gun.

No Shade for This Solar-Enabled Patio Umbrella

When we covered CES 2017, we heard a lot of buzz about neat IoT gadgets and the newest innovations in AR/VR. But one of the less-celebrated products unveiled at the coveted tech convention was this solar-powered “smart” patio umbrella that tracks the sun’s movements to make sure you’re always getting optimal shade. It also features USB connections, WiFi and Bluetooth capability, automated lighting, and a built-in security camera. According to the manufacturer, it won’t be available until 2018, but when it comes out, we’ll be ready!

Low-Tech Solar Stove Turns Grilling into a Science Experiment

Let the jocks argue over propane grills and charcoal formations—you’ll be blissfully immune to those testosterone-fueled conversations with this 100 percent solar-powered cooker. The technology behind this device will really bring back memories of eighth-grade science class: it uses parabolic reflectors to harvest sunlight and an insulated vacuum tube to keep meals grilling or frying at food-safe temperatures. It’s absolutely fuel-free and especially low-impact—never again will you have to choke down burgers that taste like lighter fluid!

Outlast an Army of Walkers with This Solar Survival Gear

Emergency survival equipment and off-grid tech go together like peanut butter and jelly, so it’s no surprise to see several solar-powered offerings aimed at safety. Whether you’re evading Skynet in a robot uprising or outrunning the walkers in zombie wasteland, this lithium ion solar-powered band radio will be your connection to the outside world—at least as long as the radio towers remain intact! It also has an integrated flashlight and automatic National Weather Service alerts, in case your favorite flavor of apocalypse is a little less 28 Days Later and a little more The Day After Tomorrow.

Keep Time by the Sun—Literally—with This Solar-Powered Watch

We couldn’t be more pumped for the new era of solar-powered wearables—and the dawn of an emerging technological forefront is clearly evident with the release of this GPS-enabled solar watch. It’s set up to receive radio signals that will recalibrate the time, which should make you pretty happy if you’re as obsessive about punctuality as I am. I can’t think of a better way to brag to your friends that you’re always on time than by flashing this eco-friendly timepiece.

With these energy-efficient solar products, your whole life just got a lot sunnier!

This post was written by Erin Vaughan, a blogger, gardener and aspiring homeowner.  She currently resides in Austin, TX where she writes full time for Modernize, with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.

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