BoGo Light Review

Updated January 1, 1970
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BoGo Light
We found the best review of the BoGo solar flashlight at the LEDMuseum.org, where battery life is tested and the flashlight is run through durability tests. We found other hands-on reviews at Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools and at GreenDealsDaily.com, which includes a video. Articles at Vision Magazine, The New York Times and Time magazine provide convincing details about the importance of the BoGo Light donations to refugee camps and Third World villagers.ProsSolar powered, Solar panel lasts about 20 years, Water- and shock-resistant, Easy to find in the darkConsInstalling batteries requires screwdriver, Not waterproof, Indirect sunlight doesn't give much runtime, No red filter for night vision

Reviews recommend this six-LED solar flashlight as the best rechargeable flashlight for household use and disaster preparation. It comes with a hook for hanging, and a "Night Glow" strip makes it easy to find in the dark. "BoGo" stands for "buy one, give one" - for every purchase, a BoGo solar flashlight is donated either to a serviceman in Iraq or Afghanistan, or to a villager in a developing country. Eight hours of sunlight recharges the three AAA NiMH batteries enough for four or five hours of reading light. The newer SuperBoGo Light (*est. $30) is still being refined, but includes many technical improvements, plus three extra LEDs for lighting a whole room.

Our Sources

1. LEDMuseum.org

The Punishment Zone: Bo Go Light Flashlight, Craig Johnson, Oct. 2007

This well-illustrated review includes results of a battery-discharge test, showing the solar-charged batteries run about six hours at full level, then fade to about 10 percent at 11 hours – but only if charged in direct sunlight. The flashlight proves water-resistant, but not waterproof if submerged.

2. GreenDealsDaily.com

Video: OLPC of Flashlights Sheds Solar Light on the Developing World, Feb. 2008

This brief review gives the BoGo solar flashlight top ratings for value and quality, with slightly lower ratings for environmental-friendliness – perhaps because it doesn't use lithium-ion batteries. The brief text is accompanied by a video that says it provides "a decent amount of light" with a seven-hour runtime.

3. Kevin Kelley Cool Tools

Cool Tool: Solar BoGo Light, George Mokray, Aug. 2007

This reviewer likes to hang the BoGo solar flashlight over the bed for reading at night, saying it's plenty bright enough. The review also notes that you can use the solar panel to charge an extra set of batteries to extend runtime or to use with another device.

4. Vision Magazine

Illuminating Change: BoGo Lights in the Developing World, Andrea Verdin, Feb. 2008

This moving article doesn't evaluate the BoGo solar flashlight for its performance, but makes a convincing case for the health and environmental benefits of using these flashlights and donating them to Third World villagers.

5. The New York Times

Solar Flashlight Lets Africa's Sun Deliver the Luxury of Light to the Poorest Villages, Will Connors and Ralph Blumenthal, May 20, 2007

This article is not a product review. Instead, the feature describes outreach efforts in Africa to provide solar flashlights to impoverished Ethiopians and how the lights can make a huge difference in their health and safety.

6. Time magazine

How Many People Does It Take to Make a New Light Bulb?, Bryan Walsh, Mar. 2008

This article covers the development of the new SuperBoGo Light with many improvements, including extra LEDs for illuminating a whole room.