Tag Archives: solar

Walk to the inflatable solar light

21 Sep

Luci by MpoweredI’m into solar for long time now, more portable solar solutions than the panels on the roof … Because you need a roof …
While I was doing my shopping at Eastern Mountain, I fell on the Luci.Luci by Mpowered

The Luci is an inflatable (!), standalone light that is powered thanks to its tiny little (and cute) solar panels on its top.

When I unpacked my Luci it was already night, so no time to charge.

I inflated it (great to travel with it as you deflate it and pack it back when on the move) and I used it as a night-light in my hotel room.

I was surprised how bright it was for such a small lamp.

Luci by MpoweredThey are many settings of lights:

  • bright,
  • super bright,
  • blinking
  • and red flashing SOS mode.

Just push the button between the 2 solar panels to access each mode.

Charging time in direct sunlight is about 8 hours, you can also charge it under a lamp if it’s a cloudy day but it will take longer to charge up.Luci by Mpowered

Luci will also be great to decorate your garden parties, as an extra lamp, during a blackout or in emergency situations.
Price: only $9,99
More info on Luci

How to optimize your iPhone settings to spare your battery ?

10 Mar

Who doesn’t need battery when you own an iPhone? I spend lots of time on my phone and I can’t go through the day without looking desperately for a plug at least once or twice a day …

The easiest thing to do is to optimise the settings of your iphone
1/ Close the non-necessary apps (running in the background and wasting power). I didn’t know there were using power, I only thought they were taking space in the cache.

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  • Double tap the home button the bottom bar appears with all the working in the background apps
  • Touch one of the apps and waiting for it to move and have
  • Tap the “one way” panel, and it will shut down the app

2/ Turn off wifi and Bluetooth options

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  • Go to “Settings”
  • Turn off Bluetooth and wifi options

3/ Turn on the auto brightness

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  • Go to “Settings”
  • And set the toggle to “On”

4/ Turn off notifications

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  • Go to “Settings”
  • Tap “Notifications”
  • And select the apps that can send you the notifications

5/ Turn off vibration, led and flash

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  • To turn off the vibration
  • Go to “Settings”, “Sounds” and turn off “Vibrate on Ring” and “Vibrate on Silent”
  • To turn off the led
  • Go to “Settings”, “General”, “Accessibility” then turn off the toggle to off for “Led Flash for Alert”

6/ Turn off the location services

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  • Go to “Settings”, “Privacy”, and turn it off

If you still can’t go through the day and you don’t find plugs, I still have a trick (external batteries: Mophie, Just Mobile or … way cooler the Goal Zero!)

Speak out !

4 Mar

Before I had cute portable speakers that I carried with me while traveling.
Photo 4-03-13 11 02 22 AMThey were great, I charged them with the USB and could you them for a full week at the office to listen to my favorite playlist and radio show (97.3 The Coast with Julie Guy).

Sadly the twist and turn to expand them broke the little dents and my speakers were not portable anymore 😦

Now, I found a rugged and powerful speaker made by Goal Zero called the “Rock Out“.

The speaker is kind of a box that you unzip to reveal
. The switch on/offPhoto 4-03-13 11 05 48 AM . The USB cable to charge your speaker . The cable to link it to your device (iPhone, iPad, laptop, …) (audio jack in)
. There’s also a great feature called “audio out” that allows you to chain the Rock Out one to another to increase the watts (one RockOut gives you 30 watts). Let’s the party get started!
Photo 4-03-13 12 52 31 PM. Smartly you can tuck your iPhone inside the speaker when you go to the beach (nobody likes a sandy iPhone …) but you can also secure you phone outside the Rock Out if you want to access the volume functions.
. The outside cover comes with an elastic rope that you can tie and secure your speaker while on the move (works for me in the bathroom)

Good to know, you can power it with your Goal Zero Switch8 or straight from you Goal Zero solar panel Nomad 3.5

ChaseIt or BChased ?
ChaseIt because this is a great, rugged speaker that will follow you during your urban and wild expeditions.

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Mores infos
. Goal Zero official website: http://www.goalzero.com
. Follow @GoalZeroSolar
. Like their page on Facebook
. The Coast official website
. Like their page on Facebook
. Follow Julie Guy @JulieGuy_TheCoast

Going solar part2

24 Feb


So you may think about going solar. Good for you!

20130221-084255.jpgIt’s true that the past few weeks came with few power outages around the world, just check the news!
The cruise ship stuck at sea without power for days (finally arrived to shore in Albama after a 7 days of distress), the floods in Australia early January which cut the power for many families, and don’t forget Long Island and New York area were slammed down by Sandy and people are still battling there for electricity and warmth.

goingsolar0Cruise ship Carnival Triumph GoingSolar2Floods in Australia GoingSolar3Sandy in Long Island

I’m more an urban-type of girl but I also like to be prepared, so I’m browsing Goal Zero catalogue and will enlighten you to pick the right product for your use.
There are lots of choices and you might be confused!

So let’s follow together the path to electricity-independance and solar power for everyone.

Here’s the mystery of the power cycle unveiled to you in 3 steps
1. You collect the sun energy thanks to the solar panels.
2. You store the power in your rechargeable battery.
3. You use the stored power in your rechargeable battery to power whatever device you wish.

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Now, let’s start by asking yourself…
. What do you want to power ? A cell phone or small electronics, a computer or maybe bigger appliances (a fridge when you experience a blackout).
. Also were would you use the panels ? Home? At work? You will transport them everyday ?
. Where will you hang my solar panels ? Where and when does the sun rises and set ?

Basicaly, Goal Zero split its products in 3 classes depending on what you expect to power.
. Ultra-light class: for the urban pioneers we are (light to carry and for our daily uses and commutes)
It’s perfect for charging iPods/GPS, USB light, Smartphone.
. Endurance class: you are more settled and don’t carry stuff all day long, then this is for you (and me too, I will leave it at the office)
For smartphone, iPad/tablet, camera/12volts lights, Laptops, TV.
. Utility class: you are a heavy consumer or are concerned about power failures, this is great for home and work and will cover your needs when emergency calls! Good for 12volts heater, fridge and desktop computer.
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For your info, 7 models of solar panels are available for as many rechargers:
. Ultra-light class: Nomad 3.5 (for the Switch8 recharger) , Nomad 7 (for the Guide 10 Plus recharger)
. Endurance class: Nomad 13 (for the Sherpa 50)
. Utility class: Nomad 27, Boulder 15 (for the Escape 150 and Guardian 12V rechargers), Boulder 30 (Extreme 350, Yeti 1250 rechargers), and Escape 30

Knowing all that and
. Owning an iPhone, a Blackberry, an iPad and a McBook Pro
. Walking and taking the metro each day to reach the office
. Travelling a lot and working outside where I can’t find plugs
I will go for the Sherpa 50 kit i addition to my Switch 8 recharger kit!
And if you want to charge your rechargers in the middle of the night or during a sun eclipse you still can do thanks to USB power charge.

Photo 21-02-13 9 59 33 AM

More about Goal Zero
Goal Zero, a three year old US-based company in Utah, developed for the pioneers that we all are and developing smart solar-power products.

. Official website: http://www.goalzero.com
. Follow @GoalZeroSolar
. Like their page on Facebook

Time to switch !

17 Feb

Time to switch
… to solar energy! Even for you urban readers!
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Why ?
Because solar energy is good for the planet,
because it’s free to use
and because it works damn well !

If you are not climbing mountains everyday and you are more a subway surfer (like me), then you will be interested by the Switch 8.

The Switch 8 charging kit includes
. A nomad solar panel
. A switch 8 charger
. A USB cord

The charging time for the Switch 8 is
. 4 hours through the general USB
. 3-6 hours through the nomad solar panel 7 USB
. 6-12 hours through the nomad solar panel 3,5 USB

The specs of the Switch 8
. The battery is Lithium-ion (f.y.i. lithium-ion batteries have no memory effect and present a slow loss of charge when not in use)
. It weights 0,2lbs (or 90gr)
. The Switch 8 is as long as an iPhone 5 (you can hold both in your hand while charging)

I just unpacked my Switch 8 and started charging through the USB (it was raining outside, no sign of the sun!)

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. 4 blue lights started blinking to indicate that the Switch was charging
. When the 4blue lights are on, you are set to go!
. Note that you can check the charge of your Switch 8 by pushing the black button on the side

Now, let’s talk about the most important part of the kit … the solar panels.

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. They are small and light, they fold nicely in two to protect the inside panels
. The cover is a rugged kind of cordura and will survive many urban and rural expeditions
. The back of the folded panels shows a netted pouch with a USB plug to connect your Switch 8 and to charge it from the sun (thanks to Goal Zero to provide the USB cord).
. The kit is really handy and easy to move quickly (all is tied together, you won’t lose anything).

Now that we have discovered all the components of the kits, we are ready for the sun to shine but where do I hang the solar panels ?
. On a backpack while walking
. On a shutter
. Or flat on the ground …
Basically, wherever you want but, of course, facing the sun!

I suggest you use a carabineer (easy to clip and unclip) to hang to the many hanging spots created around the panels.

Be aware not to link your phone to the Switch 8 recharger while charging from the sun. First you charge it, then you plug it into your phone to power it.

ChaseIt Or BChased ?
ChaseIt, because
. It’s cool to charge your many electronic devices for free thanks to the sun ! Also through USB when it’s raining. You’ve got two charging devices in one.
. The kit is light and super easy to use.
. The kit is rugged and is shock resistant!

Now the big question, am I ready to ditch my Mophie and Just mobile for Goal Zero ?

. Yes, the products are full of details and are smart. The built-in USB is easy to use and I can leave 2 cables home!
. But I suggest to buy an extra Switch 8 charger so you can charge one while using the other one (told you I’m an heavy user!)

Prices
. Goal Zero 41001 Switch 8 Silver/Black Solar Recharging Kit, 81,54$
. Extra Goal Zero 21004 Switch 8 Silver Solar Recharger, 39,95$
(less than the Mophie and Just Mobile)

More about Goal Zero
Goal Zero, a three year old US-based company in Utah, developed for the pioneers that we all are and developing smart solar-power products.

. Official website: http://www.goalzero.com
. Follow @GoalZeroSolar
. Like their page on Facebook

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