Houston, TX is a great place to live. There are plenty of magnificent restauarants and cultural activities. The people are friendly and the cost of living is reasonable. However, there are a few downsides to living in Houston. Traffic is horrendous, the heat can be unbearable during the summer, and our sports teams can be a bit disappointing at times. But the biggest downside to living in Houston is the threat of hurricanes. each year, starting in June, Houstonians start to make plans to prepare for hurricane season. We stock up on bottle water, batteries, and non-perishable foods.
One of the biggest concerns during a hurricane is loss of power. This year, nrg has tackled that problem with an innovative line of products.Through their Goal Zero initiative, nrg has developed a line of leading-edge products such as solar generators, portable solar panels, and all-in-one solar kits to keep their customers powered up in even the harshest environments.
I’ve spent a few weeks using the Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight ($79.99) and I’m impressed with its capabilities. It cranks out 250 Lumens of light and runs between 7-48 hours depending on usage (you can save power with half-bright modes). The device offers multiple lighting options – an LED flashlight, floodlight, red emergency light – to handle most situations.
I’m a bit of a photography enthusiast and I’ve been using the floodlight to improve the quality of my photos. The portable flashlight is more convenient and lighter (it weighs14.4 oz) than my professional lighting equipment. The flashlight allows me to get some great shots when light isn’t readily available. I’ll admit that the flashlight doesn’t provide the flexiblilty of my pro kit, but it does the job in a pinch when I need a fill light and a flash would be too harsh.
In addition to being a fully functional light source, the Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight operates as a charging station. An integrated USB port and advanced lithium battery allows you to charge your cell phones, tablets, or portable gamin devices even when a power outlet is unavailable. The charger outputs 1.5A and gives you a full charge in about 30 minutes. This device is not a replacement for your pocket-sized chargers (see the nrg Portable Power Packs), but it is perfect for situations when your other charging devices have run out of juice.
The best thing about the Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight is that you don’t have to worry about it’s running out of power when you don’t have access to electricity. There are three ways to charge the device.
(1) Charge with solar power. The Torch 250 Flashlight has a built-in solar panel. Sit the device outside or by a window and let the sun do the work. nrg recommends charging the device every 3 days. The flashlight will be charged in about 7-14 hours.
(2) Charge with the hand crank. The hand crank on the flashlight allows you use some of your elbow grease (along with principles of physics and electromagnetics) to power the device. 1 minute of cranking can generate about 2 minutes of light.
(3) Charge with USB. The Torch 250 Flashlight can also be charged by being plugged into a USB power source in about 7 hours.
Knowing that you can charge the flashlight various ways makes it an essential tool for your home, car, or office, and the Torch 250 Flashlight’s durable, rugged construction makes it perfect for outdoor activities.
While the Goal Zero products make our lives more convenient, they have a larger mission. Since 2007, Goal Zero has developed and provided portable equipment to help people all over the world get the power they need. Giving to programs like TIFIE and Share the Sun, the company has set up projects that light villages and create sustainable power systems in local communities. You can participate by donating a portion of each sale to these projects. Your shiny new Torch 250 Flashlight could be the key to a brighter future.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by nrg. All opinions are my own.
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