Our recent purchase of this K-Light Solar-Rechargeable Lantern was long overdue. We have a good amount of flashlights in our home of various shapes and sizes. All of these flash lights run on battery power. Unfortunately we don’t own any large size rechargeable batteries – we do have a charging system for smaller batteries.
A recent power outage was the last straw for me in regards to dealing with traditional flashlights. Our huge MAGLITE that had been working just fine the night before ran out of juice right when I needed it. Only one flashlight out of the many we have had working batteries. Granted this is my fault for not checking them more often. Of course finding working batteries when you need them is rarely easy. After much aggravation that night I decided it was time to find a rechargeable option.
I’d been wanting to upgrade to an LED flashlight for awhile now. All the HexBright FLEX hype definitely caught my attention. I’m still wanting to purchase one of those. The K-Light Solar-Rechargeable Lantern offers more features for a little less money. Although K-Light only gives you 120 Lumens of brightness versus the 500 HexBright provides. Those 120 Lumens are seriously bright though. I’ve tested out the lantern inside and out and prefer it’s light performance versus our older / larger MAGLITE – we also own a mini MAG.
I purchased the K-Light Solar Cell Phone Charger kit for $84.95 with free shipping. For an extra $10 you can get the same kit with a car charger. I have a Duracell DRINVP175 175-Watt Pocket Mobile Inverter for inside the car. The car also has a few charging ports for phones. So I don’t need the extra car charger.
There are cheaper K-Light kits – the one I purchased gave me all the features I wanted. It seems smart to purchase the A/C adapter for days when the Sun can’t get the job done. I wanted to be able to charge all our cell phones. This meant skipping the cheaper basic kit.
The K-Light Solar-Rechargeable Lantern can be used in three different ways. It can be used as a lantern, a flashlight, or you can plug your cell phone into the lantern ( with optional adapters ) to charge your phone. About 1/3 of a fully charged lantern’s battery capacity will be used to completely charge a phone. If you charge the lantern using the Sun – this is a green way to recharge your cell phone.
Switching from lantern to flashlight mode is very easy. Just unscrew the lantern portion – screw it into the bottom. The flashlight portion is available for use on top. Very smart compact design. There is the traditional 2 handle hinge that lantern users will find familiar. This allows for very good stability.
So far I’m very pleased with the performance of this product. Multiple functionality, bright light and can be powered by the Sun. But there are a few minor shortcomings. The product was designed to be simple and easy to use, lightweight and durable at fairly low cost. While I’m not going to go beat up on the lantern – I’ll see how durable it really is over time. When using the plastic dial I feel like I have to be gentle as to not snap it.
LED excessive wear on one side only – this could be a concern later on in the life cycle of this product. You could easily use the lowest setting for your lighting needs. This means only one row of the 16 LED lights will be lit. Over time this could lead to more wear and tear on those lights. I’m not sure if that row failed if the other would turn on when using the lower setting. Using that setting provides you with plenty of light and gives you more run time per charge.
There is no indicator as to when the battery is fully charged or at what level of charge the battery is at. I’m sure this was designed this way to reduce cost and it’s original mission was for a country with a lot of sunlight. Making it likely that the device would be charged using the Sun during the day – each day. For my usage I would feel more secure knowing the amount of charge I had to work with.
The plug from the solar panel doesn’t plug-in fully flush to the lantern outlet. Makes you wonder if it’s full connected and doing it’s job. But there is no more give – I’d assume anymore pressure to make things flush would break something.
I may have missed it – but I don’t recall seeing any information on using a higher capacity solar panel. I’m not sure if this is possible or even advised. Also not sure if the device would work properly with another solar panel other than the one provided.
At this point I’m happy enough with the purchase that I would like to buy this same exact kit for our car. The large MAGLITE is definitely being retired – most likely passed on to someone else. Now I need to focus on purchasing that long overdue weather radio.
With each K-Light purchase a $1 donation is made to the Koinonia Foundation. The Koinonia Foundation provides K-Lights to villages across Africa.
For every K-Light we sell, we donate $1 to the Koinonia Foundation. We have teamed up with GR8Lakes Essentials (formerly PiSat Solar) and the Koinonia Foundation to provide K-Lights to villages across Africa, replacing the dangerous kerosene lanterns commonly used on a continent where 75% of homes have no electricity. Together, we are bringing the K-Light to Africa through the Koinonia Foundation’s Beacon Program, through which groups of African women are given a start-up “grant” of K-Lights to sell in their villages. Using 100% of the proceeds from the initial sale, they are able to purchase (at a greatly reduced cost) more K-Lights to sell, establishing local businesses that provide an ongoing and sustainable source of income.