Solar Tribune

2020 Holiday Guide to Solar-Inspired Gift Giving


Let’s face it, 2020 has been a real stinker of a year. And while this year’s holiday season will include smaller family gatherings than usual, it is nevertheless an opportunity to bring joy to our loved ones in what has otherwise been a dreary year.

Nailing the perfect gift for a loved one or close friend is really what makes the holiday season especially rewarding. Even though solar costs have plummeted in recent years, the idea of gifting a solar energy system or electric vehicle to that special someone is way out of the price range of your average American. Even so, there are no shortage of solar-inspired gifts that you can purchase for the eco-conscious solar enthusiast in your life. Use our gift guide below to find just the right solar knickknack this holiday season and help showcase the wonder and versatility of the sun’s awesome power.

Gifts Under $40

Panther Vision POWERCAP – Available on Amazon for $20.79

Solar-powered flashlights are no longer the novelty item they were just a few years ago. There are, however, newer products on the market that harness the sun’s energy to create light in more creative and practical ways.

Take for instance this LED-equipped baseball cap that is powered entirely by solar energy. Two LED lights are affixed to the underside of the hat’s brim while a solar-powered NiMH battery sits on the top of the brim to collect solar energy throughout the day. On a full 8-hour charge, the cap’s LED lights can last up to 10 hours with a visibility range of about 32 feet.

The hat is ideal for all sorts of outdoor activities that are made all the easier with some strategically placed light. The hat can be especially helpful for routine tasks like walking the dog in the evening now that the days are shorter as we approach the winter solstice.

Outdoor Motion Sensor Solar Lights – Available on Amazon for $29.99

Solar landscape lighting products are a dime a dozen these days, but product offerings on the market today are now much more effective and diversified than just a few years ago.

These motion-detected solar-powered outdoor lights are hard to beat for the price (4-pack/$29.99). The lights attach easily to a wooden fence or deck and provide much-needed light to make walking paths clearer at night. With the use of appropriate screw anchors, the lights can also be screwed into stucco and even concrete. The lights are equipped with 8 LED lights which provide a powerful display of targeted light for such a relatively small device. I can speak from personal experience that these lights are a quality product. I have about a dozen or so of them affixed to the wooden fence around my house and they work great! Check out this 3-sided option for an even wider radius of light.


TEDCO 50 Foot Solar Balloon – Available on Amazon for $18.50

This product is certainly from the “you don’t see this everyday department.” This 50-foot tubular balloon is sure to elicit plenty of laughs from the kids in your life, while also providing educational enrichment. The all-black balloon essentially acts as a combination of a kite and a hot air balloon. The sun’s energy heats the air inside the tube, helping it to gain buoyancy. The heated air inside the balloon slowly expands encouraging lift off given that it has lower density than the surrounding air, much like a hot air balloon. This simple but fun product is a great educational tool for young children as it provides a hands-on lesson in thermodynamics, solar energy, convection, thermodynamics, and the more sophisticated Bernoulli and Pascal principles.

Assorted Solar-Powered Toy Kits – Available on Amazon for $20+

Solar-powered toy kits are a great gift for school-age children on your holiday shopping list, especially those with an interest in science and tinkering. These fun and educational DIY toy kits are the perfect way to hone a child’s critical STEM skills. The kits come in a range of shapes, forms, and functions, but they typically involve a small self-assembled motorized vehicle that is powered by small solar panels.

Gifts Over $40

Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 – Available from Logitech for $59.99 

Yes, you read that right, solar-powered wireless keyboards are a thing now. This wireless keyboard can charge itself under both natural sunlight or artificial light in your house (sunlight gives the best charge). It is a great addition to a well-lit office that may have a desk positioned to absorb sunlight during the day. It also gives added incentive to take your work outside to your deck or patio and soak up some Vitamin D yourself.

Colorful Solar-Powered Floating Pool Balls – Available on Amazon for $59.98 (4-pack) 

This 4-piece set of colorful floating lights are a nice addition to a pool or backyard pond. The 14 x 14 in. balls are inflatable, waterproof, and can emit light up to 8 hours after a full day’s charge. With social gatherings occurring outside more and more during the Covid-era, these are a neat solar-inspired way to bring some fun and color to your next outdoor party.

GoSun Portable Solar Grill – Available at Home Depot for $199

Ask anyone who regularly camps out and they will tell you that a solar oven or grill is a nice way to greatly enhance otherwise lousy campfire cooking routines. The portable solar grill is a new twist on the more conventional solar ovens that employ several reflective panels to direct heat to a pot or similar piece of cookware holding food.

The solar grill by contrast uses a tubular cooking surface made of metal and reflective materials to rapidly cook an interior compartment with food contents in as little as 20 minutes. Cooking temperatures can be adjusted from 200 degrees Fahrenheit to a scalding 550 degrees. Not bad for a device that folds up neatly amongst your camping gear and weighs just 3.5 pounds.

Solar-Powered Wireless Bluetooth Speaker – Available on Amazon for $47.99

This rugged Bluetooth speaker is powered entirely by solar energy. Its compact (just 1 pound) and easy to carry design plus its dustproof, waterproof, and shockproof features combine to make this product a must have for your beach or pool bag next summer. Ten minutes of charging time in the sun provides about an half hour of music playing time, while a full day’s charge can produce up to 60 hours of nonstop music.

We hope that the above gift ideas help inspire you to incorporate solar-powered products into your holiday shopping list this year. More importantly, we hope that in this year marked by tumult and despair for so many that you find time to refocus on the important things in life. For us that means redoubling our focus on living more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyles. For tips on how you can do the same this holiday season, take a look at the below resources:

We at Solar Tribune wish you and yours a very joyous and safe holiday season this year!


Cover photo source:

Recent Posts