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Written by Olin Coles   
Sunday, 12 June 2011

HIS Solar LED Flashlight Review

Product Name: Solar Rechargeable LED Flashlight
Model Number: HSOLAR5S
EAN Code: 4895139003765
Manufacturer: Hightech Information System, Ltd.

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by HIS.

Hightech Information System, also known as HIS, is a well-known enthusiast graphics card manufacturer. Occasionally a company deeply rooted in computer hardware products will step away from their tried-and-true product lines and reinvent themselves. In this particular case, HIS has branded their own rechargeable solar LED flashlight. In principal, the solar LED flashlight is everything a consumer could ask for: practical purpose, renewable energy source, and durable construction. In this article, Benchmark Reviews explains how valuable a solar flashlight can be in the age of an economic collapse and green revolution.

HIS-Solar-LED-Flashlight-Package.jpg

HIS Packages their solar LED flashlight in a trendy clam-shell enclosure they affectionately call the "HIS Magic Box". Inside the case comes a silver and bright-white colored lanyard, which can accent whatever environment you choose for the flashlight. While interesting, the packaging doesn't serve any purpose other than to contain a product you'll likely never store in the box. This is a solar flashlight after all, and you can't charge the internal battery if the unit is sitting inside a closed case.

HIS-Solar-LED-Flashlight-Front.jpg

The aluminum alloy body gives the HIS solar LED flashlight plenty of rugged strength, and earns it the potential of being a survival/disaster preparation tool. Even the hard polycarbonate cover that protects the multi-crystalline solar strips can take a direct impact without damage to the internal components. HIS suggest that the unit requires 4-6 hours of charge time in sunlight, with 3-5 hours of continuous LED flashlight use on a full charge. Your mileage may vary.

The HIS HSOLAR5S offers me the best of both worlds: five bright LED lights, durable metal enclosure, and a large solar panel to recharge the internal battery each day without needing direct sunlight. I discovered that simply having the solar flashlight in a sun-lit room was enough to sustain full charge in-between uses, but it certainly speeds up the process if kept in direct sunlight.

HIS-Solar-LED-Flashlight-Back.jpg

I've been personally looking for a product exactly like the HIS solar rechargeable LED flashlight, since I'm constantly in need of a handy spot-light on my workbench and batteries are expensive. Since the HSOLAR5S unit utilizes a sealed rubber button actuator, the HIS solar flashlight is safe from harsh elements such as dust or rain. While not submergible, the HIS solar flashlight could easily help you brave bad weather.

HIS HSOLAR5S Conclusion

Performance expectations for the HIS HSOLAR5S were set to realistic levels, since I didn't expect this flashlight to compete against spotting lamps or much larger units with more power. In terms of comparing the HIS solar flashlight to other LED flashlights on the market, HIS uses five ultra-bright LEDs which are best suited for lighting small areas or used for spotting objects within reach. This solar flashlight performed very similar to my 8-LED flashlight, which uses three AAA batteries, but didn't have nearly the brightness or spread that my 14-LED flashlight offers.

HIS has placed considerable effort in the solar flashlight's appearance, and the flat silver finish helps to give this product an appreciated look. Many flashlights are colored black, which makes them impossible to find in poor lighting. By finishing this flashlight with a contrasting color, there's a good chance you'll find it when needed.

At the time of publication, the HIS Solar Rechargeable LED Flashlight (model HSOLAR5S) could only be found for sale at one online retailer for $30. For general needs I can easily recommend their solar flashlight as a product that will fulfill its intended purpose, but it belongs in the market-competitive $10 range.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval

+ Renewable energy source
+ Durable aluminum housing
+ 3-5 hours of flashlight power
+ Two included carry-lanyards
+ Water-proof construction

Cons:

- Limited product availability

Recommended: Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval.

Please leave your comments below or join the discussion in our Forum.

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Comments 

 
# The problem.\succellus 2011-06-13 15:27
The problem is.. it only works in plain daylight ...LOL.
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# RE: The problem.Olin Coles 2011-06-13 15:36
It works in any condition, but only CHARGES the battery in daylight.
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# Poor designTechman 2011-06-13 15:41
Having to leave it out to charge adds to the possibility of theft.3 to 5 hours may not be long enough.Both of these problems could have been diverted, if in addition it had a crank charge.Crank charge and motion charge are the best for survival situations.These companys should get advice from survivalists.
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# RE: Poor designRobert17 2011-06-13 18:08
"Survivalist" didn't come to mind when I read this review. Just a good product that would be useful sporadically during the day when digging around darker areas, maybe at night around the home.

I had a motion charge light some years ago. The motion needed to put a brief charge on the light was excessive; we called it the "master jack o'lantern". Noisy too. Not something you would strap to a backpack and get any kind of charge on. I've got a crank radio I keep handy for emergencies, test it occasionally. When the crank handle isn't popping off due to the major cranking action needed to hear a 5 minute broadcast, the tuning coil is a bit snivelly, hard to tune.

But I do have a couple of solar-charged devices that have worked quietly for years: calculators and a small clock. 'Course with the clock, if it's charging, it's daytime, not charging, night. Kinda easy that way.
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# RE: HIS Solar LED Flashlight HSOLAR5SPinakio 2011-06-13 16:11
Interesting, HIS making solar flash light! Any news on those Energizer/Sunforce GPUs on TSMC's 22nm node?
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# RE: HIS Solar LED Flashlight HSOLAR5SDave Dedrick 2011-06-16 17:31
I wonder if they can ever get the solar versions to give out as much light as there battery and electric counterparts.

DD
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# RE: HIS Solar LED Flashlight HSOLAR5SNathan 2013-04-10 12:26
Take a closer look at that "Magic" case. You'll see there's something quite special about it.
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# RE: RE: HIS Solar LED Flashlight HSOLAR5SOlin Coles 2013-04-10 12:59
So what might that be?
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# RE: RE: RE: HIS Solar LED Flashlight HSOLAR5SNathan 2013-04-10 13:12
The case has no hinges. Open it and keep going - the top half flips to the other side as if the two halves are magnetised together (they're not). This design allows the case to double as a stand for the flashlight, keeping it exposed to any available sunlight, in either the vertical or horizontal position.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: HIS Solar LED Flashlight HSOLAR5SOlin Coles 2013-04-10 13:59
Thank you! It's too bad HIS didn't mention something like that in their instructions or marketing material.
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