Low Cost Lighting, Cell Phone Charging and Radio – KA340 Emergency Lantern

I recommend this device!  I bought a Kaito brand device, KA340, for about $34 from my usual online retail overlord (smile.amazon.com)  and it has a surprising number of features for the low cost.  One issue is that, so far, low cost has meant low amount of power generated and stored. The paperwork included with this device claims it has about 8.5 watts of power storage built in, but  I haven’t been able to verify how much energy this device will store IRL.  The paperwork claims that it’s enough for 14 – 16 hours of light, presumably on a full charge.  If you are able to put it in full sun on a clear sunny day and charge it using the built in .5 (yes, that’s one half) watt solar PV panel, with about 5.5 “peak sun hours” (not the same as daylight hours) in the summer (in Saint Louis, MO USA), you’d only be able to pick up about 2.75 watts of energy per day….so maybe you’d have to charge it for 3 days to fill the tiny batteries???  How in the world do they get away with such tiny PV panels and battery packs, you ask?  If you charge it all day, in good sun, that’s still enough for several hours of light, which most people will accept.  It probably takes about 5 watts to charge a cell phone, so if you want light AND cell phone charging you are going to spend a very long time using the hand crank as an energy input.   Beware – there’s no indication that this is waterproof – keep it in a sealed ziploc bag if there’s any chance it could get wet – rained on, spilled on, etc.    Please check out this review – this guy does a pretty good job of describing the features.


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