The HKYH 30 Watt Solar Panel Lighting Kit is a great example of power and price finding a wholly attractive compromise.
While the device is not the most user-friendly for those just stepping into the solar panel market, it does have a handful of instructions and a great many included pieces that should help any user get a handle on how to properly operate the system.
Unlike many solar kits for sale, this offering from HKYH has truly everything you need to start converting sunlight into electricity, storing that electricity, then using it to provide light and charge your devices.
The main features of the HKYH 30 Watt Solar Panel Lighting Kit are the somewhat large (but foldable and transportable) solar panels and the multi-functional solar DC system (which has an integrated lithium battery). Also included are several LED lights, charging cables, and adapters.
There are three solar cells included with this kit, each one 23 centimeters wide and 36 centimeters long. Folded out and placed side by side, these devices take up 2.2 feet by 3 feet of space – so you’ll need to ensure that you have that kind of space available to use (and transport) them. Likewise, the solar panels require the attachment of triangular metal legs in order to sit at the proper angle for capturing sunlight. The panels have a polycrystalline surface and can produce 11 volts, 30 watts as a trio.
The kit includes all of the requisite screws, screw housings and support shelves, but will require a bit of time to fully install. Once the legs are installed, however, the device cannot be folded up. Transportation requires the legs to be completely removed before the solar panels can be folded back up and moved again. This makes these panels a bit more of a hassle for those trying to move them on a regular basis, but a fairly good option for anyone installing them to sit in one location and moved only marginally for a good amount of time. For this reason, the “portability” of this kit is really up for debate; it would be a fine choice for RV-ing or even camping. Backpacking? Not so much.
The DC System
The solar DC system is a 5-volt system with a 13Ah, 7.4 volt lithium battery included in the device. The whole DC system includes several additions to make the device more versatile and more useful. On the back, users will find the in-charge port for charging the solar DC system’s internal battery, using the included 5 meter (16-foot) panel to DC system cable.
The battery can be charged using either the solar panels or by plugging the device into any outlet that has a standard 120V two-pronged receptacle, giving you the option of charging at home or by using a portable gas or propane generator. (To charge from an AC power source, an adapter is needed – which is not included with the kit. The manufacturer recommends using a 9V 2A DC transformer.)
On the front, users will find five 5-volt, 2 amp USB output ports. This makes the HKYH 30 Watt Solar Panel Lighting Kit a perfect device for taking on the road and charging basic electronic devices. The front houses a simple on/off switch, two indicator lights for when the device is charging, and a simple meter for measuring the amount of charge left in the internal battery. The case features an integrated carrying handle, giving the DC system a neat toolbox-like feel.
Lights & Charging Cables
The HKYH 30 Watt Solar Panel Lighting Kit also includes a host of different cords and lights. Users will find two 2-watt LED lights and two 3-watt LED lights. Each of the lights includes an integrated 5 meter (16-foot) USB cable that hooks directly into the system, which is convenient for placing them at different places around your room or campsite. If you need more length, USB extender cables are widely available (though not included in this kit). Three USB to Micro-USB charging cables are also included, along with adapters for both iPhone 4 and 5/6 (Lightning).
The 13Ah, 7.4 volt battery is capable of outputting about 96 watts on a full charge, enough to charge several cell phones, a laptop or a tablet, or keep the LED lights running for a good many hours at a time (anywhere from 3-4 hours if running all four, up to 12 hours if only using the 2W lights). The biggest concern will be setting up the device. The kit comes with very visual instructions which should help to alleviate some of the difficulty that comes with the initial setup. Once you set it up once, it’s simple to break down and setup again somewhere else.
HKYH 30 Watt Solar Panel Lighting Kit: Conclusion
This HKYH Solar Panel kit is a great option for those who only need a little power to charge a few devices and provide a little illumination once it gets dark. The system is remarkably simple and you really do get a lot for your money; the fact that it comes with four LED lights and charging cables that fit most mobile phones/tablets only makes it a better value.