In today’s world, most of us are paying attention to renewable energy and finding alternatives to the power we consume on a daily basis. New solar-powered gadgets pop up continuously, as do really cool DIY options.
Here are 12 innovative solar-powered gadgets and concepts from around the world, as well as a couple of DIY projects (these are not affiliate links). Enjoy!
1 – Illuminated plant pots
We’ve all seen solar path lights, but how about switching it up a little with solar-powered plant pots to light up your yard or walkway? These pots have a solar cell on a separate spike that sticks in the ground, connected to the pot with a cable.
The pots have internal LED lights that glow at night for 6-8 hours in the summer and 2-4 hours in winter.
2 – Glowing jars
For a similar look, check out these frosted multi-colored solar light jars.
3 – Hat fan
If you’re the type of person who can sacrifice fashion for comfort, you might like this solar-powered fan hat found on Amazon. It’s a little geeky, but I could see it having some potential…
4 – Solar backpack
For something a little more functional, check out this solar backpack from Voltaic that can charge all your handheld electronics while you’re off the grid. The solar pocket is removable, so it can be attached to other bags or accessories.
5 – Hanging solar light
This solar light from Nokero looks like a regular light bulb and can be hung or can be flipped upright and set on a tabletop.
6 – Solar lampion
Solar lighting can be beautifully artistic, like this Solar Lampion designed by Damian O’Sullivan. The Solar Lampion is on display at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen as a part of an exhibition called ‘New energy in design and art’.
7 – Charging table
This solar table prototype, unveiled at a Tokyo tech expo by Panasonic, is able to charge your electronic devices wirelessly. Just set your phone or other electronic device with a Qi battery down on the table and leave it to charge. Awesome idea!
8 – Solar cooler
I could see this having tons of potential on camping trips or outings – a solar-powered cooler that keeps food and drinks cold all day long. The retail version, available from Solar Cool Tech, is pretty pricey, but making something similar to this could be an interesting challenge for DIYers.
9 – Solar racer
Solar cars have been popular for years now, especially these little solar racers built for competitions by enthusiasts and university design teams.
10 – Solar dune racer
This awesome solar-powered dune racer eliminates the need for kids to have to stop every 30 minutes to recharge their car the traditional way. See this video from lasersaber on YouTube to learn how to make this type of car run on solar energy.
11 – Robot
For something fun, here is a little 6-in-1 solar robot kit found at Walmart. The kit teaches kids how solar power can be used to drive a small motor. The snap-together parts can be made into a boat, car, windmill, puppy, or two different airplanes.
12 – Miniature insect robots
Here’s another fun solar project idea to try – miniature light-sensing robots made from stuff you can scavenge from around the house. This video shows how to make these. Very cool!