In Focus: Solar Toys 0

Has your budget, and your sanity, finally stabilized after all the school clothes shopping and the endless hunt for school supplies? It might be time to treat yourself to something fun!

The sun’s irradiance is highest in the fall, making solar power even more effective. It’s no secret we love the sun here at EcoOutfitters. We also like these solar-powered toys for grown-ups that can help you be more productive and save money — because we’re all about that, too.

Logitech Solar Powered Keyboard

For conference rooms or home offices, the Logitech solar-powered keyboard helps lower electric bills. That means no more energy-hungry wall-warts to charge the keyboard and turn your “wireless” peripheral in to anything but.

While your home’s solar panels need sunlight to convert the sun’s irradiance into energy, this keyboard works with any type of light: moonlight, desk lamps, and most definitely, the sun. The Logitech Solar App lets you know if your device is charging and how quickly it’s charging, how much power you have n reserve, and even offers tips on how to get more power easily when you need it.

Samsung NC215S Solar Powered Laptop

EcoOutfitters’ Raina Russo says she likes to sit at her deck and work with a view of the Long Island Sound to one side and her home’s solar PV array to the other. I often bring my laptop to the local park with free Wifi to catch up while the kids play. It sounds like we could all use Samsung’s new solar laptop, the first to be marketed in the U.S.

The solar cells are built in to the lid, so the computer can charge in a closed position or you can angle yourself strategically outdoors for continuous charging while you work. The LED backlit display is perfect for bright spaces. No more squinting to see the screen, and no more staying tethered to a wall outlet at your local coffee shop.

IKEA SUNNAN work lamp

This unique lamp uses low-energy LED bulbs and solar panels to produce four hours of light for every nine to 12 hours it’s charged in the sun. SUNNAN lamps are designed to be extra sturdy to stand up to conditions in energy-poor countries. In fact, for every SUNNAN lamp you purchase, a child in India or Pakistan will receive his own light to help him read, write, color and study after sunset. Since the IKEA SUNNAN campaign began in June 2009, more than 600,000 SUNNAN lamps have been sold and matched for donations to either UNICEF or Save the Children, says the company.

The SUNNAN may be designed with kids in mind, but what grown-up wouldn’t love the fun colors to brighten up a home office? At $19.99, you can pick up a lamp for everyone in the family. And, of course, one of the five smart color options is green.

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