ClicLite brings solar charging to your keyring
By Ben Coxworth
September 6, 2013
There are already a number of solar-powered phone charger/LED light combos out there, but the ClicLite is a little different from the rest – “little” being the key word. At just 4 x 4 cm (1.6 x 1.6 in), it can be attached to a keyring, and easily stuffed into a purse or pocket. Additionally, if its one included mono-crystalline solar panel isn't powerful enough for you, you can add on some others.
To use the ClicLite, you start by setting it in the sunlight and clicking one button on its side. If it’s equipped with just the one included modular solar panel (known as a “Clicc”), its internal 500-mAh lithium-polymer battery should reach a full charge within 10 hours. Clicking an additional two Cliccs onto the sides of the first one lowers the charging time to three hours, while using a total of six daisy-chained Cliccs charges the battery in one hour ... although six Cliccs might be going a bit overboard, considering that this thing’s main selling point is its small size.
If you’re a party pooper, you also just charge it from a computer using a USB cable, in two hours.
A small green light on the ClicLite illuminates to indicate that the unit is charging. Once it’s reached a full charge, it can then be plugged into a smartphone to charge its battery. One charge of the ClicLite’s battery is reportedly enough to bring an iPhone’s dead battery up to 20 percent capacity, which is good for about an hour of heavy use.
As mentioned, the device also features an LED spotlight. That light has three brightness settings – on the brightest setting it will run for 15 hours on one charge, while medium will get you 60 hours, and low will get you 600. There are no exact figures available on its light output.
The ClicLite is currently available in its native Germany for €36 (US$47), with extra Cliccs – which have a solar efficiency rating of 22 percent, by the way – going for €7 ($9) each or €19.50 ($26) for a three-pack. It should be available in other European countries within a few months, with worldwide availability following in the next one to two years.