|HIS Solar LED Flashlight HSOLAR5S|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Accessories|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 12 June 2011|
HIS Solar LED Flashlight Review
Product Name: Solar Rechargeable LED Flashlight
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 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.
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.
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.
+ Renewable energy source
- Limited product availability
Recommended: Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval.
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