Back in the day, I seem to remember a joke about a solar powered flashlight. Then, it would seem crazy to even consider such an item. That was long before we truly understood how solar power actually works. Knowing now that the solar cells recharge batteries and in turn, the batteries hold the charge for later use. I am a newbie when it comes to anything solar powered. I see myself as being one of those knuckle draggers that still refuses to own a cell phone. With that said, when I got a hold of this light I was very intrigued to say the least. Joe of Hybrid Light explained the function and charging of this light in great detail. I was informed that it comes partially charged and I should set it in the sun for a full 8 hours to gain full charge. I did exactly as he instructed before I needed use the light for the first time.
Once I opened the package, I found myself turning the light on and off . Yes, it seemed a little dim right out of the box so I placed it in the direct sunlight and allowed it to charge. After 8 hours had gone by I brought the light inside and turned it on. A word of advice here: Do not look into the light when you turn it on! No, I did not look into to it; however, it did bounce off the mirror and hit me in the eyes. It is a very bright light! From there, I needed to be able to test it, I was in luck when the property owner called and said they would be repairing the electrical service outside the house. This took a few days for them to complete and this was one of my chances to give it a full test.
The first night I used the light to do everyday things like let the dog out, do the laundry, get something to eat from the cupboards, and yes, even use the bathroom. I found that the longest I had the light on at any given time was an hour. The package said the Hybrid Light would provide 8 hours of light on one full charge. With three nights of darkness using the light, I would definitely agree that this is 100% true. The light never even dimmed while in use. I now keep this light close by and even take with me in the vehicle should I need it on the road.
The Hybrid Light has two settings for turning the flashlight on. The first click is running off the solar battery while the second click uses the battery back up. These are easily recognizable and are color coated. The yellow indicator light means you are running off the solar battery inside the light. The green indicator will illuminate when you are using the battery back up.
Let us talk about the charging of this light. I was a little blown away by how little light it takes to charge. The red charging indicator will illuminate when ample light is provided for charging. This is where I was highly surprised with this unit. My office is pretty well lit during the day; however, it is not lit enough so one would think that it could charge a flashlight. While putting a few emails together one day, I glanced over at the light and I noticed the red charging indicator was lit. When my arm would cast a shadow, it would turn off. I picked up the light and started to experiment. I found that it does not take much to charge this light at all. In fact, another flashlight can charge the battery. Taking this a step further, I decided to grab a lighter from the shelf across the room. I light the lighter and found that in total darkness the lighter was enough to turn on the charging indicator. Weather it was enough to charge or just turn the indicator on is up for debate. All I can say is it did work. Once the fire restrictions are over, I plan to take it camping to see if a campfire will aid in charging the unit. Seems test worthy to me!
The model I tested was the 120 model. It says it has 120 lumens of light. I find this to be very accurate as well as being a very though light. The Hybrid Light is very durable and was able to withstand a 15-foot fall from some rocks I was climbing while looking for rattlesnakes. I also managed to drop it into a pond while looking for bullfrogs one night. The light is 100% waterproof and it even floats.
So, would I recommend this light? I would say yes, with my findings on this light, it is very well suited for everyday use. Whether you are building a survival kit or even adding onto one this light will be a very nice addition. For bug out bags, it is necessary and for every day possibilities of a power outage, I highly suggest this light. As I mentioned earlier I keep mine close by and even take it with me in the vehicle. This light has actually prompted me to purchase several more to have on hand when needed.