I wanted to revive this thread with some comments on solar powered flash lights. I had bought a Bogo Light way back when and was impressed with it. However, soon after getting it, the OEM batteries leaked and I had to dissemble it and clean to get it to work again. It worked for a while but then went south, for whatever reason. Disappointed, I wrote the company and they very obligingly sent me a new one free of charge. This one was a little fancier with additional lighting options.
This fall I was working outside in the dark and was shovelling some sand to fill in an area. The new Bogo Light fell off a ledge where I had placed it, no more than 2 feet, and landed on soft, loose sand. Unfortunately, it stopped working although there was no external damage whatsoever. I wrote the manufacturer again and the gentleman advised me that the switch could have come loose. I fiddled around with it and got it working again. However, it will only work intermittently, sometimes yes, sometimes no, with no predictability. Obviously, I can’t trust the light to function when I need it.
This unreliability really bugged me since I have a couple of Pelican flashlights that I’ve had for 25 years that have been thrown around on Canadian canoeing and camping trips and NEVER failed and never even needed a bulb replaced. However, they need replaceable batteries and I wanted something that had a solar or mechanical charge option.
I subsequently picked up a SolaDyne Solar Waterproof Flashlight.
It’s smaller than a Bogo Light and has a smaller solar cell but it also has a dynamo crank option for extended nighttime or cloudy day use. It’s also waterproof down to 10 meters and floats. It has only 3 lighting options (versus the Bogo Light’s 7) but to me, less is more and the increased simplicity means decreased likelihood of failure. It seems well constructed and I tested it out tonight against the Bogo Light (when the blasted thing was working which wasn’t too often) and it threw a more focused beam of light farther than the Bogo Light. It also has a strobe option which the Bogo Light doesn’t. It also is considerably less expensive than the Bogo Light. The only disadvantage I can see is that the battery it come with is sealed inside so once that goes, the light goes.
I haven’t taken it camping yet and given it a thorough test but so far, I’m impressed with it. If anyone has a better solar powered flashlight option with changeable batteries, I’d like to hear about it.