General Purpose Tools

Solar BoGoLight

Pay-it-forward sun-powered torch

Buy one of these solar lights, and the company sends another to a developing country of your choice. I purchased two and asked for one to be sent to Iraq and another to Afghanistan. Aside from the feel-good proposition, the lights have a simple and effective design. There’s only one switch (on/off) and one screw opens the battery chamber for the three rechargeable AA batteries, which are included. The six LEDs are bright enough to read by. I use one of mine about 30 minutes a night for bedside reading. There’s even a hook to hang it over the bed. The package says you can get 4-5 hours of light on 8-10 hours of charging. Supposedly the batteries “last 750/1000 nights!” and the LEDs “last 20 years!” It’s also “highly water and shock resistant,” but I don’t plan to test those claims. My favorite feature: you can charge a second set of AA batteries and switch batteries from one portable device to another.

-- George Mokray 08/15/07

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