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predator 2000 generator review

Predator 2000 Generator Review – Everything you Want To Know

When you want a convenient power supply for activities such as camping outdoors, you need to go for the best generator possible. There are many generator brands out there, with as many different features for you to consider. Being able to consider all these factors is crucial for your user experience, especially since generators are delicate tools.

We have developed this comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision for your needs. It’s a review of the Predator Generator 2000, which is both powerful and reliable for indoor use. 

Generators have come a long way over the years, and many people increasingly realize the benefits of owning one of these tools. Not only are they simple to set up, but they can also provide reliable power for all your electrical appliances.

Why We Liked It

Featuring inbuilt inverter technology, this inverter generator provides clean power, which is perfect for sensitive devices. Moreover, the efficient design of this inverter generator delivers more power, and with exceptional fuel consumption levels. Designed to be lighter in weight than most generators, this inverter generator is ideal for various applications, including RVs, boating, camping, and more. We also liked the fact that this unit is lighter than most generators and that it's ideal for camping, rafting, and more. 

The best tip for buying a generator for your needs is: Never wait until the lights go out. Whether you live in an area with hurricanes, snowstorms, or even heat waves, a lack of power can be a significant issue.

Key Features

The predator 2000 boasts of many unique features which can make it convenient for your devices. The primary ones include:

Run time: 12 hours @ 25% capacity

Perhaps the most significant feature in this unit is that it offers an exceptional run time, which is more than sufficient for your work or time spent outdoors. The run time of a good generator should average more than 7 hours. Furthermore, the runtime should be based on the capacity of the unit, and the number of power outlets it has available. Capable of providing well over 12 hours of run time, and at 25% capacity, the Predator 2000 generator is an excellent recommendation for your needs. The highly efficient generator is designed with efficiency in mind, and it's also easy to set up.

Super Quiet Only 65 dB

Noise can be a significant issue, primarily when you use gas-powered generators. Thus, you need a good generator that is not only powerful but also silent in operation. You will also appreciate the fact that this generator is super quiet, and will only produce a 65db sound level. This is a sound level, which is close to a human conversation level. Thus, the Predator 200 generator makes up for an excellent addition to your indoor space. When it is in use, it won’t affect the neighbors, or perhaps your little one who is asleep in the next room.

Electronic Overload Protection

When buying a generator, it's essential to consider the power supply features that are available with the machine. In this case, the Predator 2000 comes with electronic overload protection, which helps safeguard your devices from damage. More so, the electronic overload helps equalize the power supply, such that your devices never overcharge, which is a leading cause of battery damage. When it comes to starting the generator, the convenient recoil start makes things easy. It ensures the engine starts easily, even when it’s cold.

79.7cc Air-cooled OHV Gas Engine

As far as power goes, this generator features the powerful and highly efficient 79.7 cc air-cooled OHV gas engine. The engine is highly efficient and suitable for powering your small appliances, including lights, computers, and more. While the engine on this unit is sturdy, its whisper-quiet in operation and rarely requires maintenance. The main benefit of an OHV engine is that it provides a high torque level while being efficient at the same time.

2000 Starting Watts, 1600 Running Watts

Yes, the Predator 2000 is a small generator, but it packs a punch, and you will be surprised at the exceptional performance this unit can provide. With a starting watt level averaging at 2000, and a running level of 1600 watts, this generator is perfect for your needs. Simply put, it’s a small generator, which you can use to supply your large devices with power. It can provide more than two devices with power at the same time, and without issues such as overloading.

Parallel Compatibility

In the rare case that you need more power for your devices, the Predator 2000 still has you covered. To be specific, this generator has a power limit and may have to use the parallel kit if you want more power. The parallel kit lets you add a second Predator Generator, with the optional kit available. Thus, with two generators connected, you will have a total of 4,000 watts of power, which is more than enough for most devices.

Low Oil Indicator and High Impact Housing

The generator even comes with a low oil indicator, which makes it easy to perform machine maintenance. The low oil indicator comes in the form of a convenient LED light, which is placed on the front section of this unit. There is nothing better than when you have a heavy-duty generator, which ensures years of longevity. Thus, this is why the Predator 2000 generator has a high impact housing, which can withstand anything you throw at it. Besides that, such a unique structure means that the generator does not mind getting tossed around the trunk of your car.

The Good

  • Heavy-duty housing offers longevity
  • Low oil indicator makes tool maintenance convenient
  • Capable of parallel connectivity for double the power output
  • Powerful air-cooled OHV engine
  • Offers super quiet operation at 65 dB

The Bad

  • Has only two ports
  • Could use a large LCD screen

How to Use A Gas Generator

When a flood, hurricane, or natural disaster starts to bear down, people notice the importance of getting an excellent generator for when the power goes out. Never wait until you need a back up power unit before investing. Get a generator now, and be ready for anything. 

That said, it’s a significant investment, and there are many options for home generators to consider. If you want to buy a generator, these are the five essential safety tips for you to consider.

Never Use a Generator Indoors or In Enclosed Spaces

A generator is a mechanical tool, and it's likely to produce fumes during operation. Thus, the last thing you want is to use it indoors, where the fumes are likely to cause a health hazard. More so, issues such as wind are likely to push poisonous gases such as C02 inside the house, and this also a health hazard. The best advice would be to use generators outdoors, in places where there is adequate ventilation

Never “Back Feed”

For those who are not aware, a back feed occurs when you make an extension cord, which has prongs at both ends. Usually, people take this extension cord and plug into the generator on the side, and a power outlet may be indoors on the other end. Every component existing on the same circuit as the outlet receives electricity. However, this is not good for many reasons. The most common cause is that people will forget to throw the primary breaker on the service panel, and this has many issues. Now the high voltage electricity travels out to the grid, and this can be dangerous.

Never Use a Damaged Cord

People invest lots of money to purchase generators, and often forget about the importance of a suitable cord. Never use a damaged cable, or one which is taped, as this has various dangers associated with it.

Never Fuel the Generator When It’s Hot

Keep the fuel indoors, and not close to the generator. Even if this is common sense, not many people are keen on its benefits. A generator might cool down fast once you shut it down, and this often the case when you use the machine outdoors during winter. All it takes would be a small fuel spill on a red-hot generator to cause an explosion of petroleum. With the power already out, the last thing you want is an exploding generator in your space.

Use A Fuel Stabilizer

Some types of fuel will degrade fast unless you use a fuel stabilizer. Use the stabilizer when you want to store your generator for a few days without use. As far as fuel goes, you also have to remember to get the correct can for moving your fuel supply. Ensure the can is large enough to carry the fuel and has a good spout for ease of application.

Pick Your Features

Some brands feature a recoil handle or electric push-button start function, which makes the machine convenient to use. Even more, some of these tools also feature one or more outlets, which you can use to install extension cords. Other brands also feature covered outlets, illuminated control panels, and automatic shutdowns for when the oil runs low. More so, the portable brands can weigh between 100 to 250 pounds; you consider getting a wheel kit for your convenience. Once you install the wheels, you will find it easy to move the generator around your spaces.

Generator Fuel Type

Once you have determined the amount of power you need to keep your appliances running, you also have to consider the type of fuel. As previously mentioned, the electricity generators have an engine, which is responsible for power production. Usually, the engine can run on various sources of power include natural gas, gasoline, diesel, and even propane. Each of these fuel types has its benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, ensure that you give some thought to the fuel type of your generator before investing. This way, you can plan ahead of time, and determine whether the power supply is suitable for your needs.

Finally

When the power is out and you need to keep your devices supplied with power, you have to make decisions before time. The Predator 2000 Generator Review is an excellent place for you to start addressing your power supply needs. The generator is compact and powerful at the same time, and you can move with it around outdoors with ease. Even more, this unit is parallel compatible, and you can get double the power output when connected.

Thus, you can avoid any issues such as electrical outages, when you have the correct power supply units. Get a good generator, and your power supply needs easy to address.

predator 3500 inverter generator reviews

Predator 3500 Inverter Generator Reviews

Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast such as a camper, or you perhaps run delicate devices such as computer servers, you need a reliable power supply. You need a reliable power supply unit, which is both convenient and powerful to use. The range of suitable power supply products on the market is vast and diverse, which can make it hard to choose a good product. Fortunately, we have done all the hard work for you – we have developed this predator 3500 inverter generator reviews to help you make a good choice. Equip yourself with a powerful generator, and you will enjoy reliable power for your appliances.

Before you can buy an excellent generator for your needs, there are a few key factors that you have to consider to ensure the best results. A generator is a technical machine, and you also have to be keen on these aspects so that you get a device that suits your appliance. The last thing you want is to get a portable generator when you have high capacity demands at home or the office.

Why We Liked It

While this unit is compact in size, it surely packs a punch – when it comes to power supply purposes. The generator features a powerful 212cc air-cooled gas OHV engine, which is reliable for your needs. With such a powerful motor, you can expect this unit to provide over 11 hours of reliable power.

The power generator is not only efficient, but it also produces minimal noise during operation. Even more, the generator also features a small screen, which lets you check the status of the machine conveniently. Also, the sound produced during operation is a crucial factor to consider. This is why the Predator 3500 Inverter Generator is silent in operation and will produce only 57db sound level.

Inverter Generator Benefits

High Quality Power Output

Perhaps the most notable benefit of inverter technology, is that you are sure of high-quality power output each time. An inverter is a special electrical mechanism, which makes it easy to regulate the quality of power. Thus, you are devices are safe from issues such as overcharging, and the generator can even perform equalization of the charge. The inverter generators are specially calibrated to ensure the power supply is clean and equalized.

Compact Structures

There is nothing better than when you have a compact generator, which you can around with ease. The inverter types are popular for being compact, and without causing any compromise on the quality of power produced. These types of generators comprise of few components, which makes the relatively compact. Thus, when you have an inverter generator, you are sure of a unit which is relatively small in size and suitable for portability.

Silent Operation

Not only are inverter generators compact, but they also produce a small amount of noise when in operation. Thus, the generators are perfect for use in various settings because the motor won't produce noise when in us. Some other high-end brands even incorporate their products with sound dampening materials, which make their machines even quieter.

Key Features

212cc air-cooled OHV gas engine

Perhaps the most significant feature in this unit is the powerful engine. While the generator is compact, it features a powerful engine, which can power most of your small appliances. The gas generator engine is both powerful and efficient at the same time. It can provide over 11 hours of power and produces a small amount of emissions. The best part about using the engine on this unit is that its highly efficient.

11-hour run-time @ 25% capacity

Run time is a crucial factor to consider when getting a good generator for your needs. Thus, this is why the Predator 3500 generator ensures optimal run time before you can plan on the next power supply. When you need more power, you can just add more fuel to the tank and continue operating your devices. With such an immense amount of run time, you are more than sure of a reliable power supply for all your electrical devices. You can even customize the load capacity of the generator to suit the power demands of your devices.

Digital LCD Screen

To make things better, the generator comes with a digital LCD screen that has a low oil indicator. The LCD screen is well positioned and is easy to view, even in brightly lit settings. Moreover, the LCDs various other useful metrics such as the overload and output light indicators. The overload indicator informs you when the generator is overloaded and requires additional power. Furthermore, the output light indicators demonstrate the amount of energy the generator can produce in a given duration.

Integrated smooth-rolling casters for portability

Mobility is a crucial factor to consider when you want to get a generator for your needs. Not only do you want to look at the weight of the device, but you also want to evaluate the handles. Weighing in at 9.9lbs, this generator is not necessarily easy to carry around for some users. Therefore, the Predator brand has done well to incorporate the generator with smooth-rolling casters, which makes it convenient to move around. The casters are durable and suitable for movement over various types of outdoor terrains. All these features are backed by the outstanding design ergonomics of the handles, which make the generator comfortable in your hands.

Electronic overload protection and Parallel Compatibility

When using generators, you have to be cautious about issues such as overload and overcharging. In this case, the predator 3500 comes with an electronic overload protection, which ensures your device is safe from damage each time. The overload protection unit keeps the power supply regulated and clean regardless of the type of device you attach to the generator. 

Similar to all the flagship predator generators on the market, this unit is parallel compatible for increased power output. In other words, you can connect the generator in parallel to increase the level of power output from the machine.

The Good

  • Comes with electronic overload protection
  • Easy to use generator design with ergonomic dials
  • 212 cc air-cooled engine is efficient
  • Can provide an exceptional 11 hour run time

The Bad

  • The motor warms up when used for long durations
  • Could use improved handle ergonomics for comfort

How to Buy a Good Gas Generator

Buying a generator can be a challenging procedure. That said, you can become more informed by using proper guides and getting the correct information. Here are a few key factors to know before buying a generator:

  • Determine your wattage needs – you have to come up with an average of the amount of power required to run your devices.
  • Establish your budget – generators range between different price categories, so determining the amount you want to spend is crucial.
  • Choose your generator – for home backup; you can go for the portable or standby generators. It all depends on factors such as power needs, convenience, and budget. Also, remember to use a transfer switch, which you will use to power the circuits in your home.
  • Consider the accessories included – does the generator come with components such as a warrant or maintenance package? What about parts such as wheels, a funnel, or a power cord? How much more will installation cost DIY vs. when you go to a professional? Will you need an accessory such as a cover to protect your generator from elements?
  • Check out exclusive features – generators are available with many different elements to make them easy to use and safe. Ensure that you check your generator for these factors before investing.

Understanding Your Wattage & Runtime Needs

There are two basic power measurements when it comes to buying generators; these are the starting watts and continuous watts. The starting watt is the amount required to run appliances at starts-ups, or perhaps when the devices are running at full capacity. Moreover, continuous power refers to the wattage needed for operating these appliances under a normal load, which is a metric measured in watts.

Common Applications

The way you plan to use the generator has a significant impact on the type of generator you select for your needs. The common ones include:

  • Storm and emergency power – if you want a generator for areas that are prone to hurricanes and bad weather, start by determining the appliances that you will use at that time. Will you need to power the entire house or just a few essential circuits? If you need a power supply for the whole house, then your best bet would be to go for a home standby generator. If you just want to power a few appliances and electronics, then a sizeable portable generator would be best.
  • Leisure and recreation – an inverter generator is perfect for activities such as camping and tailgating. A prevailing school of thought is to go for inverter generators, which are usually quiet and have low Total Harmonic Distortion. Thus, these tools are safe to use with electronics. Furthermore, most generators will provide only 3000W of power, so if you need more, go for a parallel kit. Or, you can go for generators that have Automate Voltage Regulation functions to make them convenient to use.
  • Jobsite – portable generators are most suitable for job site applications because they are portable and can supply different tools with power. Go for generators that have adequate running and starting watt power levels to suit your needs. Also, consider going for a generator with professional functions such as durable, heavy-duty frames, pneumatic tires, and idle technology. 
  • When buying a generator, remember to consider aspects such as the ports and outlets on the user panel, and the cables included with the unit as well. The outlets will make it easy to determine the types of appliances you need to power with your generator. There are various types of outlet types you will find on generators. For instance, if you want to power your RV with a generator, then ensure it features a 120-v outlet. Also, if you're going to power a small device such as a smartphone, consider outlets such as USB ports, which make it convenient to power your tools.

Generator Safety

Always consult the owner’s manual and instructions on the generator before using your machines. Also, carefully follow all warnings and guidelines before you start operating the generator. These tips are merely supplemental, and you can always learn more for optimal safety. They include:

  • Never operate a generator indoors or in enclosed spaces indoors. Only use the generator outdoors and away from doors, vents, crawl spaces, windows, and more. You need an area with adequate ventilation. Using a fan or opening the windows is not necessarily a good safety measure.
  • Always read the owner’s manual and instructions for your generator and carefully follow all instructions and warnings to safely start and operate the generator. These tips are merely supplemental and are not intended to substitute reading of the owner’s manual.
  • Use the generator on level surfaces, where you will not expose it to elements such as dust and moisture. These elements will easily compromise the functionality of your generator.
  • Never overfill the fuel tank, and leave some room for the expansion of fuel.
  • Never add fuel to the generator when the engine is still hot or running. Let the generator cool completely, before adding some fuel
  • Never store the generator with fuel in the tank, where gasoline vapors might make contact with an open flame, spark or light
  • Never connect your generator directly to the home wiring or a standard household power port. Connecting a portable electric generator to your installation can be a significant issue and other people. Connecting a generator directly to your home wiring can cause a ‘back feed’ on the power lines connecting to your home.
  • You must ground the generators properly. If your unit is not correctly grounded, then you run the risk of electrocution issues. The best recommendation is to ensure you adhere to all the rules required for safely operating a generator.
  • Leave at least 6 feet of clearance on either side of the generator when in its operation
  • Check the generator regularly, and contact a local dealer if you require any replacement parts.

Finally

When it comes to buying good power supply products, the range of products and options available is diverse. Thus, you have to make a precise decision when you want to get the correct power supply unit for your needs. You can never go wrong with a product from a reliable brand because you are sure of reliable power delivery each time. More so, you are also confident of a generator that offers safe and clean power each time. 

With the Predator 3500 inverter generator review, you are sure of starting in a good place. It’s a powerful generator, which sets up simple, and has a heavy-duty construction. The generator is also parallel compatible and can provide well over 10 hours of run time.  Get it, and instantly make it easy to manage power outages.

generac iq200 review

Generac iQ2000 Review & Buyer’s Guide

When you want reliable power, you need to go for a reliable and robust unit for your needs. In this case, you want to go for a generator, which is easy to use and convenient. The consumer market has several unique options which you can consider. However, this can make it somewhat challenging to find a suitable solution for your needs. Fortunately, we have identified all the useful information for you to consider for your power supply needs.

We have picked the Generac iq2000 generator because it guarantees reliable performance and impressive affordability. While this unit is compact, it makes up for its small size with exceptional power performance features. 

It’s the ideal generator for powering desired loads in various situations including campsites, backyard parties, tailgating events, parks and more. The machine has been tested to ensure it provides quiet operation than its competitors, which makes it easy to deliver adequate power without affecting those around you. More so, you will find it easy to connect any type of sensitive appliance to the generator, including electronics. It features a digital inverter module, which converts the raw power it produces from DC to AC power conveniently. Best of all, the Iq2000 is easy to use, and it comes with an innovative feature that you won’t find in most generators today.

Features from A Glance

  • Quiet generator operation with a 5-7 hour run time
  • 1.06-gallon fuel capacity
  • 7 hour run time at 25% load
  • Comes with economy, standard and turbo modes for convenient operation
  • Parallel connectivity for twice the power
  • Integrated power dial with start/run/stop functions
  • Powerbar displays the wattage used

Why We Liked It

There are various vital aspects and functions of the Generac iq2000 which you have to consider. For instance, the generator comes with a unique type of alternator, which you won't necessarily find in modern generators. Furthermore, it features a digital inverter module, which can cover the raw power produced from DC to AC power. On top of that, the engine speed varies based on the electrical demand, which will also reduce the amount of noise produced during operation. We also liked the unique Powerbar, which monitors and displays the amount of power produced at any given moment.

With such a unique combination of features, it's easy to see why the iq2000 is ideal for campsites, backyard parties, parks and more. The generator also operates quieter than most models, and won’t disturb those around you. We also liked that you can connect the generator to various types of sensitive tools, including electronics. 

And while this generator weighs 46lbs in weight, carrying it around to your campsites or playground is easy. Why? Well, the generator features a convenient ergonomic handle, which makes it easy to carry. Even more, the heavy duty design of the generator means that it won't mind getting tossed around in the trunk of your car. Simply put, this generator is built for the road, and to be convenient when you need power the most.

Key Features 

Quiet Operation

The Iq2000 comes with a unique type of alternator than you would find in most generators today. It features a digital inverter module, which converts the raw power produced from DC to AC power. Furthermore, the engine speed varies based on factors such as the electrical demand, which will help control the noise levels. 

As one of the best generators on the market, this unit comes with a powerful motor, which is whisper quiet in operation. Thus, this generator is powerful, and it won't produce any noises, that might affect the thrill of the time you spend outdoors. 

The Iq2000 has a powerful four-stroke 80 cc engine, which is fueled by gasoline, to provide as much as 120 volts of power. You will get a running wattage of 1600W, and it reaches a peak wattage of 2000W. Even more, since this machine is parallel cable, you can easily double the amount of power it produces when linked to a second unit.

The pull start mechanism on this unit is also easy to use and convenient. With an average fuel capacity of 1.06 gallons, the Iq2000 can run for over seven hours even on a full tank. The generator can produce a clear sine with a well-balanced harmonic distortion level.

Heavy-Duty Design and Ergonomic Handle

Generac iQ2000 buyer's guide

Innovation does not stop there with this best power supply source for your needs. Why? Because it boasts of many other useful features that make it ideal for use during power outages. For instance, the heavy-duty design of this unit means that it does not mind getting tossed around in the back of your trunk. Even more, the Generac brand has done well to include an ergonomic handle, which makes the generator easy to carry around. 

Weighing in at 46lbs, this generator is pretty compact when compared to other generators in its class. The best part is that it “packs a punch” when it comes to power supply applications while maintaining whisper-quiet operation. 

It has a characteristically encased inverter generator structure, which offers aesthetic benefits over the conventional generator products. This type of design is highly convenient and suitable for power generation. Designed to be lightweight and portable, it weighs only 46 lbs., and one person will find it easy to move.

Convenient Powerdial and Status Bar

The ability to manage your specific power supply needs is highly important, especially when you are outdoors where you wont get gas easily. Thus, the Generac brand has done well to include thoughtful power management solutions for your needs. This way, you can plan ahead for whenever you notice the gas in the generator reducing. The last thing you want is your generator running dry in the middle of the night, or when you were perhaps using a camp light for something important. 

You will also find the power dial on this unit convenient to use. It can perform various functions including start, run and stop, which makes it ideal for controlling your generator. This feature is also backed by the unique PowerBar monitor, which displays the amount of power used. 

When it comes to product feedback, the dashboard on this unit is easy to use to monitor the operating status of the generator. While the generator is running, you can determine the amount of time remaining before you need to refuel by checking the display. Even more, the Powerbar regularly specifies the amount of power produced by the generator. Other useful features include low oil, overload alerts, and low fuel alarms.

Excellent Run Time

With an average run of 7 hours and at 25% load, this generator is both highly effective and efficient. You are sure that you have more than enough power to keep you running during camping or when simply using your favourite electronic devices. It even comes with the unique economy, standard and turbo modes of operation to help you save fuel. The best part is that the convenient power dial makes it easy to activate these modes of operation.

Even if the run, stop and start functions are simple to set by using the convenient Powerdial, you will find it convenient to toggle through these modes of operation. They are set to help reduce noise and fuel consumption levels based on specific load requirements. 

When you connect equipment that requires high power to the generator, consider using the Turbo mode. For loads that require a higher power output, then the Turbo mode would best. For loads that require a small amount of power, consider using the Economy mode. The standard model is only suitable for use with intermediate load requirements.

The Good

  • Capable of parallel connectivity for double the power output
  • Ergonomic handle and easy to pull start cord
  • Heavy-duty generator design and simplistic design
  • Has a convenient PowerBar and dial for ease of use

The Bad

  • The pull cord is not easy to use for some users
  • The generator is only available in one finish
  • Could use an LCD screen for ease of use

Portable Generator Buying Guide

Portable generators are ideal if you need power for your small devices around the house, or when perhaps have a power blackout. Outside the house, a small generator is suitable for powering devices such as small appliances, TVs, power tools and more. You use this type of generator at construction sites to operate items such as drills, saws, air compressors and more. 

Plus, before you can buy a suitable generator or power supply unit for your needs, there are some few key features you should consider for the best results. Considering these features ensures that you pick a generator which can meet your specific power supply needs. The features one user requires on a generator might not be necessarily similar to those that another user requires. 

Before learning more on these factors, gain more insight by reading the instructions and manual on the portable generator. Even more, you should follow the warning and instructions required to operate the generator. Never improvise when it comes to maintaining generator safety. These tips will help improve your safety when using a generator:

Carbon Monoxide and Ventilation

  • The exhaust of a portable generator produces carbon monoxide, which is a poisonous gas, which can’t smell or see
  • Never operate the generator in small or enclosed spaces
  • Use your portable generator outdoors, away from vents, doors and crawl spaces. Ensure you have adequate ventilation to avoid poisoning
  • Using a fan when indoors won't improve the ventilation in the room
  • Use a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm, and ensure you install it correctly

Gasoline, Fueling and Preventing Burns

  • Gasoline is an explosive and flammable item
  • Never overfill your fuel tank. Leave some space for the expansion of fuel
  • If you overfill the tank, the fuel can overflow, which can lead to explosion or fires
  • Never add fuel while the generator is running or hot. Let the generator run, and allow the engine to cool before adding some fuel
  • Never store your generator with fuel, where the gas vapors might reach a spark or flame
  • Never smoke when close to a generator or a fuel source
  • Most generator components are hot enough to cause burns when in operation, and even when the generator coils.

Electrocution and Electrical Shock Hazard

  • Connecting to a portable electric generator directly to your home wiring can be dangerous. Such a connection can lead to a back feed onto the power lines, and lead to machine damage or injuries.
  • Avoid connecting the generator directly to the home wiring or a household power outlet
  • Always start or stop the generator, when it has no electrical loads
  • Overloading your generator can cause damage to sensitive electronics and appliances. Never overload your generator. Also, never operate more tools and equipment than the recommended output rating of your generator. Classify your needs, and ensure you use the generator when you have power outages.
  • Use the correct power cords. Connect specific equipment to the generator using the proper power cords, and use a wire gauge which is suitable for the appliance. Overloaded cords can lead to fires, or damage your equipment. Never use extension cords that have exposed wires or damaged shielding
  • Never use your generator in wet conditions, such as snow or rain
  • Ensure that you ground the generator correctly. If it is not grounded, there is a risk of electrocution. Check, and ensure you comply with all the state, local and federal regulations for generators.

Generator Placement and Operation

  • Keep children or pets away from the generator all times
  • Maintain at least 5 feet of space on either side, when using the generator
  • You can use the generator in various weather and temperature settings. However, ensure you safeguard the generator from elements when not in use, to avoid rusting and shorting.
  • Never operate your generator indoors or in a closed space
  • Use the generator on lever surfaces, where you won't expose it to excessive moisture, dust or corrosive gases
  • Evaluate the generator regularly, and get in touch with a dealer if you have parts that require repair
  • Ensure that you disconnect the spark plug wire, and put it where it won't get in touch with the spark plug and lead to accidental starting.

Portable Generator Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the difference between the rated watts and the maximum watts?

A. The rated watts refers to the amount of the power the generator can deliver continually. On the contrary, the maximum wattage refers to the power the generator can produce in short durations. The power a motor requires during startup is an excellent example of maximum wattage requirements.

Q. Can I use a portable generator for backup power

A. Yes, you can. However, it all depends on factors such as the equipment you have available and their average power ratings. Never plug your generator in a power outlet in your home. If you want to connect a portable generator to your home wiring, consider speaking with a certified electrician. 

Q. What is a transfer switch?

A. It’s a device which lets you connect a portable generator to the electrical system in your home. It does, so while allowing you disconnect safely from the utility grid. Thus, it helps prevent any issues such as back feeds.

Q. What is a back feed?

A. A back feed will happen when you connect your generator in the home outlet. It then feeds power back onto the utility lines, and this can lead to many hazards for other electricity users in your home 

Q. Do you need to ground a portable generator?

A. Yes, for safety, you have to ensure the generator is correctly grounded. If it's not precisely ground, there is a risk of electrocution. Check and confirm to ensure you have a generator installed according to state regulations.

Q. Can I vent the exhaust out of an enclosed space?

A. No, never operate the generator in an enclosed space or your home. The portable generators are designed to operate in areas with optimal ventilation. Components such as the generator exhaust, in all gasoline engines will produce large amounts of carbon monoxide.

Q. Can I use my generator in the rain?

Yes, you can. But some brands are not suited for use in the rain, and you may have to read the instructional manual before making a decision.

Quick Comparison With the Yamaha EF2000iSv2

The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Inverter generator is also a solid addition to your power supply regimen. This unit will quietly power various types of devices, for extended times, and also stay cool. It also features a new controller design and convenient programming functions. Weighing in at less than 40 pounds, this unit is compact and durable to make it ideal for your power supply needs. However, the iq2000 beats this unit when it comes to the power rating supply and ease of use.

Silent Operation

The EF2000iSv2 features one of the most advanced mufflers on the market, with a unique USFS approved spark arrestor. The generator is exceptionally quiet that you can enjoy speaking with a friend, and you won’t realize its operating. Even more, the rubber vibration isolation functions ensure smooth operation and help to control the effects of noise.

Oil watch warning system – this unique system helps to stop engine damage that might occur due to low oil. Thus, you avoid any costly repairs and reduce downtime, which provides you with peace of mind. Even more, the unique electrical overload breaker ensures the generator maintains optimal functionality, even when there is an overload.

Smart Throttle

The smart throttle regulates the speed of the engine in relation to a specific load size. Such a unique design helps improve fuel economy, and it also reduces the effects of noise. The generator can run for 10 hours. The OHV engine is reliable, robust and efficient, thus ensuring optimal longevity. The OHV engine even has a steel camshaft and train components, to make it easy to use the generator.

Fuel and Gas Petcock

You will not only be pleased by the fuel efficiency of this unit, but the fuel management systems available as well. The Yamaha brand seems to have an understanding of the power supply challenges that people face when using generators outdoors.

The inclusion of a convenient gasoline petcock makes it easy to regulate the gas, and let the carb run dry for convenient storage. Such a unique structure helps prevent any issues associated with gas accumulation. The EPA & CARB emission engine durability rating ensures the generator offers longevity and is suitable for use for intensive power supply demands.

Finally

Every time there is a power outage, you lose the ability to use tools such as lights, radios, TVs and more, conveniently. However, when you have the correct power supply resources, you are always confident even during a power outage. Thus, the Generac iq2000 review is an excellent recommendation for addressing your power supply needs. It’s a powerful machine, which offers whisper operation.

Even more, while the 80cc engine on this unit is powerful, the compact size of this unit makes it ideal for use in small spaces. It's an excellent portable and standby addition to your unique power supply regimen.

best battery maintainer

8 Best Battery Maintainer in 2020

Shopping for the best battery maintainer is often overlooked because drivers would just focus more on the batteries. 

Batteries, of course, are a must-have in any vehicle, since they power the starting system and electronics of your car, truck, motorbike, RV, or even a boat. Generally, if you use the vehicle daily, the batteries get recharged through the vehicle's alternator. But if you don't use your vehicle regularly, it would require special maintenance equipment like a battery maintainer to ensure your vehicle will still work when you need to use them.

Vehicle batteries can't be charged on any charger and left for weeks or months, since overcharging could potentially cause risky operation or even accidents. This is why battery maintainers were made.

Battery maintainers are a special kind of charger that provides a small trickle of electricity to the battery over a long period of time. They're designed specifically for batteries that will be unused for a long time. Battery maintainers will not fully charge a battery. Instead, the small amount of electricity at a time helps to counteract self-discharging and in turn, extend the life of your vehicle's batteries.

If you own an RV, boat, or a second car that doesn't get used too often, or are left to the garage throughout the winter season, you need to invest in the best battery maintainer you can find. Here's 8 we hand-picked to help you get a head start.

​Have a Quick Look at Comparison Table Of Best Battery Maintainer

Product

Best For

Key Features

Best Battery Maintainer Overall

black+decker bm3b
  • ETL certified
  • Dual-purpose charger and maintainer
  • Built-in circuit protection
  • Auto-stop charging

Best‌ ‌Battery‌ ‌
Maintainer‌ ‌Under‌ ‌$50‌

 diehard 71219
  • Very affordable
  • Microprocessor-controlled, 5-stage charging
  • Comes with useful accessories
  • Only 3 status on LED indicator display

Best Battery Maintainer Kits

bmk 12v 5a smart battery charger
  • Accommodates a wide range of batteries
  • Multiple built-in safety features
  • Quick charging and defective battery detecting capabilities
  • Affordable and beginner-friendly

8 Best Battery Maintainer Models in 2020

1. NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5 Amp Battery Charger and Maintainer

best battery charger maintainer

  • All-in-one battery charge and maintainer
  • Compatible with any 6-volt and 12-volt lead-acid batteries
  • Spark-proof technology and safety protection features
  • 5-year warranty

Designed to charge and keep batteries fully-charged for long-term storage up to 120-amp hours, the NOCO Genius G3500 accommodates cars, trucks, RVs, boats, tractors, and other vehicles. This device works with any 6-volt or 12-volt lithium and lead-acid batteries, so if yours are equipped with AGM, Gel, Wet or other maintenance-free, marine or deep cycle battery, expect the NOCO Genius G3500 to bring it back to working condition (sometimes even if it has been non-functional for months).

Probably the most popular feature of NOCO's Genius G3500 charger and maintainer is the Repair Mode, which is able to totally reverse the effects of overcharged batteries. Note that although it brings seemingly-dead batteries to life,

Another impressive feature is the advanced diagnostic tool, which gives users a visual interface that identifies your battery's issue, such as low voltage, reverse polarity.

And since it is also a battery charger, the NOCO Genius G3500 will work like ordinary battery chargers, except it can charge up to two times faster.

PROS

  • Mountable, compact and lightweight design
  • UV-resistant, waterproof, shockproof, and dirt-proof
  • Stops when battery is fully charged to prevent overcharging
  • Built-in safety features like reverse polarity protection and spark-proof tech
  • NOCO's active support (available via live chat, email and social media)
  • Affordable for its class

CONS

  • Shoulder shipping cost to use warranty

2. Schumacher SP1297 12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and 3A Maintainer

best car battery maintainer
  • Also available in 1A, 1.5A, and 6A
  • Charges battery and maintains battery charge
  • Charging controlled by microprocessor for safety

Schumacher's SP1297 battery charger and 3A maintainer is designed to recharge deeply-discharged vehicles, motorcycles and marine batteries. Not only is this brand and make DOE-compliant, it also met the highest industry standard with its Schu Eco Energy.  

There are two things that make this particular model great. First is the microprocessor, which is built into the unit to adjust amperage rate automatically after auto-detecting whether the battery is a 6-volt or 12-volt battery. The process is also quite impressive: the multi-stage charging allows the Schumacher SP1297 to deliver just enough boost safely, while the float mode monitoring ensures optimum maintaining for prolonged battery life. 

This Schumacher battery charger and 3A maintainer comes with a battery clamp quick-connect, ring connector quick-connect and DC adaptor quick-connect. Aside from the included manual that ensures you handle the Schumacher SP1297 properly, all these accessories make it easy for you to connect the device even far from your vehicle within seconds. 

And if you're not a fan of manuals, the unit will display the step-by-step instructions for charging your battery properly. This scrolling digital display also shows battery percentage and status of a fully-charged battery.

PROS

  • Energy-efficient
  • Easy-to-connect adapters and hook attachment
  • Awesome safety features
  • Microprocessor-controlled automatic features (like multi-stage charging and auto battery detection)
  • DOE-compliant

CONS

  • No refunds after 30 days

3. MOTOPOWER MP00207 6V / 12V 4AMP Automatic Smart Battery Charger Maintainer with Battery Repair Mode

best battery tender for rv
  • Affordable automatic battery charger and maintainer
  • Designed with battery repair mode
  • Supports 6V and 12V lead-acid batteries

MOTOPOWER MP00207 has several models, including the Junior, Optimizer X, and a unit designed for Lithium ion & Lead Acid, but the one featured here is equipped with Battery Repair Mode for all types of 6V and 12V lead-acid batteries. 

Like the Schumacher, this MOTOPOWER smart battery charger and maintainer features a microprocessor, which automatically controls the entire charging progress and stops the device once the battery is fully charged. Once batteries are fully-charged, the device monitors wattage continuously and uses float-charging current to maintain battery level. 

MOTOPOWER MP00207 goes through 7 charging stages, from diagnosis to soft start, bulk charge, then absorption, float, maintenance and lastly, recovery. You can charge a 12-volt battery with either a 2Amp or 4Amp charging rate, but a 6-volt battery only has a 2Amp charge rate. 

Unlike other battery maintainers, this MOTOPOWER unit doesn't have confusing displays. Instead, what you see is what you get with several battery charge status that indicates whether it is charging or full. 

Note that this isn't designed to bring dead batteries to life, but the repair mode specifically deals with sulfated batteries. When it comes to safety features, MOTOPOWER MP00207 is built with spark-free technology, anti-overcharging and short circuit protection.

PROS

  • Certified by CE, RoHS and UL
  • 7 charging stages and repair mode
  • Choose from two charging rates (2Amp or 4Amp)
  • No-fuss battery status display
  • 2-year warranty

CONS

  • Short cables (might require additional cables to reach socket)

4. BMK 12V 5A Smart Battery Charger Portable Battery Maintainer with Detachable Alligator Rings

car battery tender
  • Multipurpose charger and maintainer
  • 4-stage smart charging
  • Charges battery of bigger vehicles like boats, RVs and tractors

BMK's 12-volt 5Amp smart battery charger also works as a battery maintainer for most land-based vehicles, even on toy cars, farm equipment, and so on. It's a favorite device across the board, simply because it works, operates simply and has multiple safety precautions that even users that are not so high-tech could still use it with ease. 

The BMK smart battery charger and maintainer is designed with the capability to diagnose the condition of batteries before charging. During the diagnostic phase, the device desulfates the battery through 18-volt pulse, but if it stays at stage 2 after 24 hours, it means the battery is already dead. 

After diagnosing a battery, the BMK unit bulk-charges the battery until 80% capacity. You'll see the status of charging on the easy-access LED display on the unit. The device then goes through the third stage and lets the battery absorb the current until full capacity. The last stage involves maintaining the battery charge via pulse-charging.

PROS

  • 4-stage charging and maintaining
  • Efficient battery diagnostic feature
  • Works as a trickle charger for boats
  • Low-energy consumption
  • Multi-safety protection

CONS

  • Could get hot when charging

5. BLACK+DECKER BM3B Fully Automatic 6V/12V Battery Charger/Maintainer with Cable Clamps and O-Ring Terminal

battery maintainer review
  • ETL-certified
  • Available option for cigarette lighter adapter
  • Built-in circuit protection

If you're after a trusted brand, BLACK+DECKER BM3B is a fully automatic, battery charger and maintainer that charges 6 volt and 12 volt AGM, GEL and WET batteries in cars, motorcycles, ATVs, RVs, lawn mowers, snowmobiles, boats, and other specialty vehicles. 

The Black & Decker BM3B charger and maintainer comes with all the attachments you'd need, such as the alligator cable clamps and O-ring terminals for direct battery connecting. They also have a quick-disconnect feature on them as well. 

Aside from the super-rugged casing and hassle-free status display, operating this device is pretty straightforward. Just slide the voltage selector switch (choose from either 6-volt or 12-volt depending on the battery you're planning to charge), use the battery ring terminal or clip to connect the device. Note that charging will automatically stop once battery becomes fully charged, then it auto-switches to float mode monitoring so it maintains the charge. 

The good thing about the BLACK+DECKER BM3B unit is that all the safety features work seamlessly, so you don't have to worry about short circuits, reverse polarity or overcharging.

PROS

  • Rugged and durable housing
  • Comes with built-in mounting bracket
  • Plug-and-play operation
  • Designed with cable clamps and O-ring terminals

CONS

  • Only 1 year limited manufacturer warranty

6. Optima Digital 400 12V Performance Maintainer and Battery Charger

battery maintainer reviews
  • Performance Maintainer and Battery Charger
  • Spark-free connection tech
  • Equipped with built-in battery health mode

Probably one of the best battery maintainer when it comes to design, the Optima Digital 400 is definitely a looker. You can see and feel how high quality this device is, from the moment you hold onto it. 

Optima's Digital 400 12-volt performance maintainer and battery charger was designed to handle any marine battery charger, motorcycle battery charger, or other AGM battery charger. You have an option of hanging it (thanks to the included bracket) or simply letting the device stand.  

It may be a bit bulkier than others on this list, but the charging process is pretty remarkable. First, it automatically charges, then undergoes multiple stages beginning with conditioning, maintaining and storage reconditioning. \

Designed with microprocessor-controlled charging, the Optima Digital 400 efficiently and intelligently charges batteries a lot faster and safer than other units within its class. The device diagnoses batteries of existing faults, prevents overcharging and reverse polarity.

PROS

  • Hybrid LED battery-charging gauge
  • LCD display and gorgeous design
  • 4 amp maximum

CONS

  • Heats up quite a bit (so be wary of where you place it while in use)

7. DieHard 71219 6/12V Shelf Smart Battery Charger and 2A Maintainer

automotive battery maintainer
  • Microprocessor-controlled device
  • 5-stage charging
  • LED indicator display

The DieHard 71219 battery charger and 2A maintainer may be one of the cheapest on this list, but the quality is up to par with the rest of the devices within its class. The device is backed by a trusted name and uses a built-in microprocessor to control the five-stage charging process. 

This device is designed with a simple rectangular-shaped casing and quick-connect harness with 50A clamps, 12-volt accessory plug, or permanent ring connectors. It has a simple LED indicator that will flash if the clamps are connected in reversed or if there is an issue with charging. 

The safety features of DieHard 71219 battery charger and 2A maintainer are common, but always works. It has reverse hookup protection that shuts off the charger if you placed the clamps wrong. It also has float mode monitoring that keeps the battery at normal voltage to prevent overcharging.

PROS

  • Up to 3-year warranty
  • Comes with super-handy quick-connect harness
  • Effective anti-overcharging safety measures
  • Quick connect harness for easy install and removal

CONS

  • Takes over 12 hours to charge a fully discharged battery

8. Schumacher SC1280 6/12V Rapid Battery Charger and 15A Maintainer

battery maintainers reviews
  • Good-looking design
  • Comes with 2-year warranty
  • DOE-compliant with Schu Eco Energy

The Schumacher SC1280 6/12V Rapid Battery Charger and 15A Maintainer is an attractive-looking device. You can see that the brand put some thought into the device, and it shows with the features as well. 

Designed to accommodate standard, AGM, gel, and deep-cycle batteries, Schumacher's SC1280 Rapid Battery Charger and Maintainer uses 15A to charge and 3A to maintain your battery. It can be used in a wide range of applications, from boosting battery of generator-powered cabins, to recharging a luxury car. 

It's pretty easy to operate. First you have to plug it into a 110V A/C outlet, then connect the device to your  battery. Once connected, it will automatically detect your battery's voltage if it's 6 or 12 volts. After this initial step, the Schumacher SC1280 will then begin charging until it fully-charges the battery. 

The device automatically goes into float mode when the charge of the battery connected reaches 100%. There's a start/stop button you could use to control charging manually as well. 

As for safety features, the Schumacher SC1280 6/12V Rapid Battery Charger and 15A Maintainer has built-in reverse hookup protection, which prevents the device from charging if clamps are connected in reverse.

PROS

  • Auto-detect battery voltage
  • Highly durable clamps
  • Rated for 800 CCA
  • Digital display indicates charging percentage

CONS

  • Fan inside the device can be loud

Factors To Consider When Buying the Best Battery Maintainer

Factors To Consider

When finding the best battery maintainer for your set-up, you only need to consider a few things. These include:

  • Type of battery maintainer - The three types of battery maintainers are "single-bank," "multi-bank" and "hybrid." Single-bank is the cheapest and most common - it is ideal for use on a single vehicle. Multi-bank maintainers work on several batteries at a time, so if you have 3 cars in a garage, you could buy a battery maintainer with three banks.
  • Cable length - If you're shopping for two or more vehicles and want just one battery maintainer, you have to ensure that the cables will be enough to reach all the batteries. If not, you may need to buy additional cables to accommodate your vehicle's batteries.
  • Safety Features - A battery charger, maintainer, trickle charger and any other similar device handles electricity, which can potentially be hazardous. As such, having some sort of safety feature like short-circuit protection or spark-proof clamps, can never be a bad thing.
  • Amperage - This refers to the current amount that will flow from the maintainer to your vehicle's battery. Generally speaking, the higher amperage a maintainer has, the quicker it will charge. However, since battery maintainers are designed to charge batteries slowly and stop when they're full, amperage shouldn't be a major consideration. You'll need to consider this if you see the need to charge your vehicle's battery quickly in the future.
  • Charging modes - This feature is often included in maintainers with dual purpose (such as charger-maintainer hybrids) to accommodate different situations. Examples of charging modes include COLD/AGM mode, fast-charging mode, maintenance mode, and so on.

Wrap Up: Which is the Best Battery Maintainer for Me?

For those on a budget, the DieHard 71219 6/12V Shelf Smart Battery Charger and 2A Maintainer works just as effective as its contemporaries within its class but without breaking the bank. 

The BMK 12V 5A Smart Battery Charger Portable Battery Maintainer with Detachable Alligator Rings is a popular dual-purpose device designed with a four-stage diagnosing, charging and pulse-charging the battery of vehicles. And if you have larger vehicles (like boats and tractors), it could even charge them with ease. 

If you're looking for a brand you know, the BLACK+DECKER BM3B Fully Automatic 6V/12V Battery Charger/Maintainer with Cable Clamps and O-Ring Terminals won't disappoint. It is rugged, effective and long-lasting. 

The most reliable way of knowing which make and model is the best battery maintainer for you is to determine how many vehicles you need charged and maintained. This will help in filtering your choices down to the devices with the right charging modes, safety features and amperage for your requirements.

best flexible solar panel

7 Best Flexible Solar Panels Reviews 2020

The best flexible solar panels work by providing low-cost, off-grid power on-the-go, making it ideal for boats, RVs, cabins, and other outdoor locations and activities like camping and hiking.

Sometimes, when homes cannot use the traditional, rigid solar panels due to uneven roof or other reasons, flexible solar panels serve as a pretty good alternative.

In the solar industry, flexible solar panels are called "thin film panels." This is because they are made from layers of one or more photovoltaic (PV) material on top of glass, metal or plastic. These layers end up over 300 times smaller than the standard silicon-based solar panels.

The design of flexible solar panels makes them a lot more lightweight, portable and flexible, while keeping the durability and energy-efficiency of traditional silicon panels.

What better way to understand the capabilities of flexible solar panels than to check out the current models offered in the market today. We've handpicked several interesting models that may fit your requirements:

Comparison Table Of Best Flexible Solar Panels

Product

Best For

Key Features

Best Flexible Solar Panels With The Most Features

renogy rng-100db-h
  • Maximum curved range of 248 degrees
  • Ideal for uneven surfaces
  • High efficiency 21% monocrystalline
  • 5-year warranty

Best Flexible Solar Panels For Various Settings

giaride 100-watt flexible solar panel
  • High efficiency
  • Multiple installation options
  • Easily flex and bend in place
  • Also available in 50-watt

Best Flexible Solar Panels Under $150

richsolar 50 watt solar panel
  • Super affordable
  • Available in 50 and 80-watt variations
  • Curves up to 30 degrees
  • 25-year power output warranty

​Top 7 Flexible Solar Panels To Buy in 2020

 sunpower solar panel

  • Up to 25% efficiency
  • Performs well in high temperatures
  • USA made with ISO9001 certification
  • 5-year warranty

Made by one of the most popular brands in the country, SunPower's 100-watt flexible solar panel is a top-notch option if you want maximum power performance from your unit. This is because the main material used are Gen II Maxeon silicon solar cells, the same material you can find in traditional solar panels.

The SunPower 100-watt solar panels consist of 32 high-efficiency monocrystalline cells. They have up to 23% efficiency (its 110-watt counterpart has up to 25%), which are both in the higher range when it comes to the efficiency of flexible solar panels. 

Another good thing about SunPower's flexible solar panel is that it could perform well even in hot temperatures, so if you're planning to mount it on top of your trailer while passing through the desert, this make and model could deliver the power you need. Some low-quality panels lose efficiency as the temperature rises.

If you're an owner of other flexible solar panels, you'll quickly realize that the SunPower's flexible solar panels are special. Unlike other brands, these panels are very hard with thick plastic as the top layer. The quality is definitely evident as quickly as you carry them. Plus, the panels come with 17.7 feet of 12 AWG cable and MC4 connectors (already integrated as a single piece), so it's easier for people to install themselves.

PROS

  • Available in 50, 100 and 110 watts
  • -0.30 to -0.35% per 1C˚power temperature coefficient
  • Robust and weather-resistant
  • Well-made with high quality materials

CONS

  • Not the cheapest in the market
kingsolar 100 watt flexible solar panel
  • Reaches up to 23.5 power efficiency
  • High temperature resistance
  • Uses ETFE material
  • Portable and lightweight

The Kingsolar 100-watt kit may look like any of the other contenders of best flexible solar panels on this list, but there are two things that make this kit special. 

For one, Kingsolar skipped PET and used an ETFE surface, a type of thermoplastic polymer known for resistance to corrosion and heat more effectively compared to the more common PET surface. The transmission of ETFE material can be as high as 95% and also perform even at high temperatures. 

Aside from being waterproof (with an IP68 rating), these flexible solar panels are also made with copper cables covered with 3 layers of plastic film and water-resistant, sealed junction box. 

Kingsolar's 100-watt flexible solar panels convert up to 23.5% of sunlight into usable power. It boasts of superior weak-light sensitivity and impressive internal-blocking diode that prevents reverse current drain at night. 

This flexible solar panel kit can curve at a maximum 30 degree arc and since it only weighs 4.8 pounds and measures 0.1-inch thick, it can be installed in any irregular or curved surface like boats, cabins, RVs, trucks, trailers and tents, among others. This also means removing and transporting these flexible solar panels are as hassle-free as installing them.

PROS

  • Designed with ETFE material
  • Ideal for numerous applications
  • Water-resistant, weatherproof and highly durably
  • Portable and easy to install

CONS

  • Need to have adapters and controllers to work
renogy rng-100db-h
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Weather-resistant and flexible
  • Impressive warranty
  • Also available in 50-watt or 160-watts

Renogy's flexible monocrystalline solar panel is a favorite of many veteran fans of portable solar power. It's an ideal kit if you're looking for something to power up your yacht, boat, trailer, RV, and even all kinds of curved rooftops. 

Designed and manufactured in the USA, the Renogy 100-watt flexible solar panels also feature IP68-rated waterproof junction box, making them perfect for outdoor use. They're 21% efficient thanks to the durable monocrystalline silion material that takes in a massive amount of power with a tiny footprint.    

It has built a reputation for being an all-purpose flexible solar panel because of its durability and power despite weighing only a measly 4 pounds. Being super lightweight and its capability of flexing up to 248 degrees means users can easily install these solar panels themselves on numerous applications under an hour. Any adhesive or sealant could do the trick. 

Renogy backs its flexible solar panels with excellent warranty - you get a standard 5-year warranty and 25 years for power, which is one of the longest warranty you can find among the best flexible solar panels out there.

PROS

  • Made of advanced polymer materials
  • 70% lighter than other solar panels
  • 95% thinner than rigid panels
  • ISO9001 certification

CONS

  • Pricier than competition
giaride 100-watt flexible solar panel
  • No-drilling installation
  • 21% efficiency
  • Ideal for numerous applications, even temporary placement
  • 18-month warranty

The GIARIDE flexible solar panel is crafted with high-efficiency monocrystalline cell and 100% waterproof material.

Unlike other panels that boast flexibility but only bend at a certain angle, GIARDE's offering delivers with a smooth curve of 30 degrees max. You can mount it on top of your camper, trailer, and even the roof of your sedan.

And because it weighs super-light and requires just ordinary adhesive to keep it in place, anyone can install these like a pro. GIARIDE even made it easier for users by pre-drilling the panels for faster and more secured mounting, making it perfect for temporary installations as well.

The junction box of GIARIDE's 100-watt flexible solar panels are extremely waterproof that many users were left impressed when the panels accidentally fell off their boats and still survive after. The advanced lamination with dust- and water-resistant thin film of the solar cell probably helped keep the kits virtually untouched as well.

Performance-wise, the 50-watt version can charge around 25 watts when facing the sun completely. Imagine how intensely powerful GIARIDE's 100-watt flexible solar panels could perform.

PROS

  • Comes with pre-drilled holes
  • Quick install and removal
  • Works even on overcast days
  • 30-degree curve

CONS

  • Long wires may peep out
windynation 100-watt
  • Monocrystalline cells
  • Ideal for smaller applications
  • Extremely thin design
  • Ability to charge with partial sun

If you're looking for a temporary flexible solar panel for a quick camping trip or other similar applications, WindyNation's 100-watt flexible solar panels can deliver enough power to charge your gadgets without breaking the bank. They're super thin - about 0.1 inches - making it perfect for various installations without having to worry about bulking up your car, camper, or yacht. 

The WindyNation 100-watt flexible solar panel is pretty inexpensive, which can be perfect for users just trying out the world of solar panels. It's also for people who consider price as the major deciding factor. The downside to this is that the kits are made of PTE, a polyester with shorter lifespan, so don't expect it to last beyond its 1-year product warranty.  

Installing this kit follows standard installation for flexible solar panels - you just need a good quality adhesive to stick it to your chosen spot. WindyNation's 100-watt model comes with blocking diode in the junction box to eliminate battery discharge or draining at night.

PROS

  • Dirt cheap
  • Lightweight and easy to install
  • US-based company

CONS

  • Only 1-year product warranty
  • Uses PTE plastic

6. Richsolar 80 Watt 12 Volt Extremely ETFE Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel Ultra Lightweight

richsolar 50 watt solar panel
  • Uses Monocrystalline solar cells
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Incredible power output

Our pick for the value-for-money flexible solar panel, Richsolar's 80-watt model features ETFE coating, which feels solid and durable for its low price-point. It is a flexible solar panel, so it was expected for the kit to be super-lightweight (under 5 pounds) and extremely bendy (flexes 30 degree max).

This kit is designed for charging 12-volt lead-acid batteries and can easily put out 100 watts as advertised. Because of its flexibility, the Richsolar 80-watt flexible solar panels can be installed in various settings, from tents and huts, to boats, RVs, campers, and other applications with irregular or uneven surfaces.

Installation is also a breeze, without the need for tools. You can mount these flexible solar panels with your chosen adhesive in under 30 minutes. And if you want a more permanent installation, Richsolar already provided copper-eyelet holes ready to use.

PROS

  • Gets 80 to 90 watts consistently in full sun
  • Curves 30 degrees max
  • 100% recyclable
  • Extremely portable and supports multiple applications

CONS

  • Drops wattage on shaded areas
allpowers solar panel
  • Up to 23.5% efficiency
  • Made with monocrystalline solar cells
  • Available in 50-watts or 100-watts

There's an upside and downside to the ALLPOWERS flexible solar panel. On one side, it uses the high-efficiency SunPower solar cells that produces exceptional power output. On the other hand, it makes use of the lower-quality PTE polyester that is known to degrade faster in sunlight compared to the newer ETFE material. PTE is also cheaper, which brings down the price of this ALLPOWERS model completely. 

Now that you know what you're signing up for, ALLPOWERS does have other qualities to impress. It has an efficiency of up to 23.5%, which is on the higher range when it comes to flexible solar panels. The 100-watt ALLPOWERS flexible solar panel is also weatherproof, waterproof and highly durable thanks to its 6 laminate layers. 

ALLPOWERS bendable solar panels are able to curve to a maximum 30degree arc, which makes it a good fit for a wide range of vehicles, boats, tents, cabins, or even as a standalone panel.

PROS

  • Cheaper than other branded flexible solar panels
  • Includes 18-month product warranty
  • Bends up to 30 degrees max
  • Lightweight (4.7 pounds per panel) and highly portable

CONS

  • Uses PTE plastic

Factors To Consider When Buying the Best Flexible Solar Panels

The prices of flexible solar panels only include the solar panel kits. For this to work, you'll need a solar controller, deep cycle battery, battery connectors, and other optional accessories like extended solar panel wires. 

Like other types of solar panels, these super-thin, flexible solar panels have their own pros and cons. As such, you have to weigh these considerations before buying one of the best flexible solar panels we've compiled above:

  • Power - When choosing flexible solar panels, check those with high power outage, since the higher watts produced means you'll need fewer panels. Note that the power of flexible solar panels would also depend on application: Is it to power a camper at night, or simply to recharge gadgets? Flexible solar panels usually go around 100 to 400 watts.
  • Efficiency - The efficiency of flexible solar panels refers to the amount of sunlight the unit could convert into usable electrical energy. Generally, it is best to find a model with energy efficiency of 11% to 20%.
  • Semiconductors - One of the biggest differences between flexible solar panels and the thicker traditional ones is the production process. With flexible solar panels, a mix of semiconductors is sprayed on to an underlying layer. The three most common semiconductors are 1: Amorphous silicon (a-Si), 2: Cadmium telluride (CdTe), and 3: Copper, Indium, Gallium Deselenide (CIGS). You'll determine which semiconductors are used on a particular flexible solar panel once you see the suffix attached to the model name.
  • a-Si is the oldest and most commonly used, but it is notorious for aging quickly after direct sun exposure
  • CIGS is newer and uses Gallium to slow down the aging of solar cells
  • Flexibility - This refers to the maximum angling the panel could curve without breaking. Generally, 30 degrees is more than enough flex range for most applications.
  • Warranty - Even the best flexible solar panels do not last as long as rigid ones. As such, warranties usually go for 1 to 2 years. However, there are gems that may offer 5-year warranties, so watch out for these brands.

Other considerations like size and weight are also important, especially since every project is different and has varying requirements.

Wrap Up: Which is the Best Flexible Solar Panels for Me?

Note that this list of best flexible solar panels just touches the tip of an iceberg - there are dozens of other models that would be perfect. However, we stuck to 100-watt models to cater to beginners looking to give flexible solar panels a shot and these 7 could definitely deliver.

For those on a budget, ultra lightweight Richsolar 100-watt 12-volt flexible solar panels is one of the most inexpensive, yet durable and efficient flexible solar panels around. But if you're looking for a kit that could be used in virtually any possible application, check out the high-efficiency GIARIDE 100-Watt Flexible Solar Panels.

Our top pick is Renogy's RNG-100DB-H 100-Watt 12-Volt Extremely Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel, since it is relatively affordable, powerful and has the most features out of all models we handpicked. Plus, this kit offers the longest warranty.

Make sure to weigh the considerations listed above, and if you can't get past the technical stuff, go with the one with the best warranty, since it is often a good indicator that the company is confident about their product's durability.

How to Select A Solar Charge Controller

Solar power has become a crucial power supply resource today. As people increasingly learn about the importance of using sustainable energy methods, so has the need for suitable resources for the same. In this guide, we shall be looking for the key factors to consider when buying solar charge controllers. These are essential tools, which you need to supply your favourite electrical devices with power. You must note that solar power is unlike most of the power supply sources you might have come across today. Solar chargers are technical, and you have to learn about the basics before investing. 

The following guide identifies key factors to consider when buying a solar charge controller for your needs. Let’s get started

What is a Solar Charge Controller?

Otherwise referred to as a charge regulator, a charge controller is a voltage or current regulator, which you can use to protect your batteries from overcharging. It's a component which regulates the current and charges from solar panels and directs to the battery. Usually, the 12-volt panels can produce an average of 16 to 20 volts. Thus, if there if you fail to control the charging process, your batteries may overcharge. Most batteries require an average of 14 volts to charge fully.

Do I Always Need a Charge Controller?

You don’t need the controller always, but its best to have it when you have delicate devices.  Avoid going for the trickle charge panels, such as the types that can put out 1 to 5 watts of power. A good school of thought amongst most users is that if the battery produces 2 watts or less for each cell, then you don’t need any.

For instance, a conventional golf car battery can produce around 210 amp-hours. Thus, to keep up a series pair of these units, you may have to consider the panel with approximately 4.2 watts of power. Furthermore, the conventional 5-watt panels are almost similar to these, and they don’t need a controller. If you are using AGM deep cycle batteries, then consider going for a smaller 2-watt charge panel.

solar power

Why are 12 Volt Panels 17 Volts?

Why are the panels not just produced to deliver 12 volts? Well, the main reason is that if you do so, the panels will produce power only when cool, and in perfect weather conditions. However, you can never count on all these factors to be present. The panels need to have additional voltage, such that when the sun is low, or when there is a heavy haze, you will still get some power from the panel. A fully charged 12-volt battery will produce around 12.7 volts at rest, such that the panel has to produce at least this amount even in the most demanding situations.

Charger Controller Types

Charge controllers are available in many sizes, features and price ranges. You can find the small 4.5-amp controls, or the large 80-amp MPPT programmable controllers, which come with LCDs. Usually, if you require large current outputs, you might have to go for two or more-amp units, which you set up in parallel mode. The most popular controls for the battery systems fall between the 4 to 60-amp category. However, some MPPT controls are known to go up to as much as 80 amps. 

Charge controls come in 3 general types (with some overlap):

The simple 1 or 2 stage controls, which feature relays or shunt transistors, which regulate the voltage level. Simply put, these will disconnect the solar panel, when it achieves a specific voltage level. For all practical purposes, these components are large but are still present on some systems. Their only genuine benefit is that they have a few components, and are less likely to break 

The three-stage types such as Xantrex and Steca are also common solar charge controllers. These types are nowadays common, and you will sometimes come across the shunt types. 

The next types are the Maximum power point tracking (MPPT), such as the types developed by Midnite Solar and Outback power. These are the best controller types, with reasonable prices, and efficiencies that surpass the 93% percent range. Furthermore, these types are ideal for saving money on large systems, because they provide well over 25% more power when compared to the battery types.

Indicator Type

Usually, controllers are available wit ha type of indicator, an LED, or series of LED`s. Most of the new brands, such as Outback Power and Morningstar MPPT, come with inbuilt interfaces for convenient control. The most basic types usually consist of a few small LEDs, which indicate the charge and power status of the device. Furthermore, most of these tools that have meters will show the current and voltage level produced from the panels. Some types even show the amount of current being generated from the LOAD terminals.

What is Equalization?

Just as the name implies, equalization refers to the process of making the cells in a battery back to have a similar charge level. Usually, it is a time of overcharge, which generally occurs in the 15 to 15.5-volt category. If some cells in the string are lower than others, the tool will help bring all the remaining cells to full capacities. 

When it comes to flooded batteries, equalization also helps to stir up the liquid in the batteries by producing gas bubbles. That said, if you are in an RV or boat, this feature won't benefit you unless you have been parked for a long time. This because normal movement will just lead to the same results. Plus, the types that have small panels or super large batteries may not produce enough current to trigger the bubbling. In most off-grid systems, tools such as chargers and generators are suitable for equalization purposes.

What is PWM?

Quite a significant number of charge controllers feature the “PWM” mode. It refers to Pulse Width Modulation. PWM is one of the main techniques used in float charging. Rather than a steady output from the controller, this unit produces a series of short charging pulses, which are direct to the battery. The controller regularly evaluates the state of the battery, to determine the best rate of sending pulses, and length of the pulses as well. 

In a fully charged battery that has no load, the tool may “tick” after a few seconds, while also sending a small pulse to the battery. When it comes to discharged batteries, the pulses are usually continuous and long, and the controller may transition into the “full-on” mode. The main issue with PWM is that it can lead to interference in TV`s and radios, due to the sharp pulses it produces.

solar charge controller

What is a Load, or "Low Voltage Disconnect" Output?

Some charge controllers come with an LVD output, which is perfect for smaller loads, including lights and small devices. The benefit of this approach is that the load terminals will have a low voltage disconnect, which will switch off the device, which is connected to the load terminals. It will also help keep the battery from running down excessively. THE LVD output is often ideal for small appliances such as lights. It is also strongly recommended that you avoid running small inverters on LVD output because inverters often have high surge currents.

Most systems do not require the LVD function, because it is only suitable for small appliances. Based on the rating of the controller, this average between 6 to 60 amps. You won't be able to run a small inverter when using the LOAD output. On some controllers such as the Morningstar SS Series, the load output can is suitable for heavy-duty relays such as generator starts. Also, the LVD output is usually used in RV and remote resources including monitors, cameras and more.

What are the “Sense” Terminals on the Controller?

Some charge controller types feature a set of “sense” terminals, which serve a specific purpose. The role of the terminals is to carry a low current, around 0.1 milliamps, such that there is no compromise in the voltage levels. The terminals evaluate the battery voltage and compares it to the amount produced by the controller. If the voltage level decreases in the battery and charge controller, the sense terminals will increase the voltage to compensate.

These terminals are only suitable for use when you have long wires between the battery and controller. Also, these wires carry no current and are sometimes small in size. The best size to use would be the #16 size because it's durable. More so, you can attach them to the sense terminals, and to the same terminals as the charging wires which are on the battery end.

What is a "Battery System Monitor"?

A battery system monitor should not be confused with a charge controller. Rather, it’s a tool which helps observe the battery system and provides useful information about the battery performance. More so, it also includes information on what you are using and producing. The system monitor also keeps track of the total amp-hours in and out of the battery, the state of charge and more.

These tools can be ideal for medium to large systems, for tracking the specific ways in which your system charges your devices. However, they are not necessarily useful when used in small systems, but can be an excellent way to observe the functions of your system.

Charge Controller Modes

  • Equalization charging voltage – equalization voltage is the one you are less likely to come across. It occurs every 20 days, and it causes overcharging of batteries to help with desulfation. This technique improves the longevity and performance of the battery.
  • Boost charging voltage – boost charge is most of what you will come across when your battery is charging. This charging technique performs most of the charging on solar chargers. Usually, it will vary among different batteries.
  • Float charging voltage – the float charge is used when the battery is full to stop overcharging issues. Even if it still charges the battery, it reduces the current and voltage to an equal level. Thus, it can match the discharge rate, which often depends on the size of the battery.

Finally

A solar charge controller is an essential component of a solar charging system. You place it between the solar panels and battery bank, whereby its role is to control the amount of charge direct to your device. Being able to select this device, is unlike most chargers you have come across on the consumer market. You may have to consider how of factors to ensure the best charging results for your needs. 

Charging your devices using solar power is much unlike using the conventional DC power ports in most homes. You have to practice caution to help protect your devices from overcharges.

Top 10 Solar Tube Reviews : Buying Guide

If you're looking for solar tube reviews, you've come to the right place. Like you, we're believers of taking advantage of the natural light the sun provides. 

Solar tubes has many names. They're known as "light tube," "tubular skylight," "sun tunnel," "sun tube" and many others, but they have the same purpose: to use a sheet metal tube (in varying diameters) with polished interior that allows the light of the sun to pass through the roof and into the home. 

Connected to the metal tube (outdoors on the roof) is a weather-proof plastic globe, while the other end of the tube (in the ceiling indoors) is equipped with a diffuser that spreads the light in a dramatic white glow inside the house. 

Although it is similar to the traditional rectangular sunlight, a solar tube is a much cheaper alternative and offers better flexibility to different house and roof layouts. 

Want to learn which one you need? Here are the best options available in the market today...

Most Affordable 

BEST SOLAR TUBE KITS UNDER $200

  • 25 years warranty
  • Provides ample lighting for most rooms
  • Affordability make it possible to add more solar tube kits

Most Versatile

BEST SOLAR TUBE FOR ALL PARTS OF THE HOUSE

natural light energy systems solar sky light kit
  • Modern design
  • Easy installation
  • Equivalent of up to 500 watts

Most Heavy Duty

BEST SOLAR TUBE FOR EXTREME WEATHER

velux sun tunnel tubular skylight
  • Provides over 90% of sunlight indoors
  •  20 years warranty
  • Super-strong components

10 Best Solar Tube Reviews

 natural light 10-inch tubular skylight kit for flat roof
  • Illuminates up to 150 square feet area
  • Equivalent of up to 300 watts
  • Hurricane-tested

Natural Light's 10-inch tubular skylight is perfect for those living in areas often passed by hurricanes. In fact, aside from being NFRC-certified for Energy Efficiency, this brand passes Florida code requirements with flying colors.

This kit is beginner-friendly: It includes 4 feet of tubing and even sealant. The materials are high quality, which is a big deal, because you won't have to replace the solar tube too quickly down the road.

Probably the most common issue with Natural Light's tubular skylight kit is the type of flashing chosen. While the brand uses big and heavy gauge aluminum, choosing the right type will prevent potential leaking. If you're not sure, Natural Light's customer support is super helpful, so call them for flashing recommendation.

​PROS

​CONS

  • Some types of roof require professional installation (and additional fees that go with it)
us sunlight solar 1914st radiant skylight tube
  • Made of hail-resistant materials
  • Designed for asphalt shingle roof
  • Installation possible for both professionals and DIY-ers

If you have low-pitched asphalt shingle or fiberglass shingle type of roof,  this 14-inch solar tube with low-profile flashing from Radiant Skylight lets you add up to 90% of light transmitted from the roof lens down to your desired indoor space. 

This US Sunlight solar tube kit consists of 6 feet of flex tube attached to the skylight and a round, single diffuser. Contrary to what the instruction pamphlet says, there are about 8 feet of flexible tube, which is more than enough for most installations. In fact, many say the provided tube is longer than you'd need, so prepare to cut to fit your set-up. 

There is no need for major reframing, structural changes or renovations, but know that if your ceiling is low, the light would look more of a spotlight. The way to counter this is to add additional tubes nearby to "spread" light horizontally.

​PROS

  • No need for major renovation
  • 1- to 2-hour installation
  • Can withstand extreme weather like hail

​CONS

  • Black-painted flashing may not be to everyone's liking
natural light energy systems solar sky light kit
  • 13-inch model illuminates up to 300 square feet space
  • ENERGY STAR® Qualified
  • Equivalent of up to 500 watts

Another one from Natural Light, this 13-inch solar tube model is designed with black flashing, 4 feet of tubing and a domed prismatic interior diffuser, which perfectly fits fiberglass-asphalt shingle roof types. 

Like most solar tubes on this list, installation of this model is possible even for beginners. Of course, there will be a learning curve (especially if you're used to skylights than light tubes), but once you've installed one on your roof, the next one would be much easier. It could even bring in light from the moon at nighttime. 

Note that because the included flashing is designed for pitched Fiberglass-asphalt shingle roof applications only, you have to buy Turret extensions or tile roof flashing kits (sold separately) if needed. 

The protective plastic of the Natural Light Energy Systems 13kxxx 13" Solar Sky Light Kit is a common complaint, but if you remove it before beginning installation, it won't become an issue near the end of the install.

​PROS

  • Hurricane-tested
  • High quality roof and exterior components
  • Comes with tools, sealant and hardware needed out of the box
  • 25 years warranty

​CONS

  • Only 4 feet of tubing included
velux sun tunnel tubular skylight
  • Energy Star labeled
  • Can be extended with additional tubular skylight (sold separately)
  • 20-year tunnel warranty

This 10-inch, double-strength, acrylic sun tunnel tubular skylight comes with low-profile flashing, which provides the elegant and modern appeal from the roof. This set-up results to up to 98% additional lighting mainly thanks to the newly-added 99.99% silver reflective layer. 

The VELUX 10-inch sun tunnel tubular skylight was made for shake or shingle roofs with 15 to 60 degree pitch. 

This kit is definitely heavy-duty with high-quality components. The downside to this is that installation won't be "under two hours" as advertised. Setting it up would take more time (due to the tunnel's strength and weight), but it is doable even if you're doing it yourself. Plus, it includes a scaled dimensional layout of the hole.

​PROS

  • Exceptional customer support
  • Double strength
  • High-efficiency without additional cost

​CONS

  • Professional installation can be expensive
odl tubular skylight kit
  • Ideal for those looking for a complete solar tube kit
  • Includes lens diffuser, trim ring and leak-proof flashing
  • Installs under an hour

ODL's 10-inch solar tube kit is one of the most-complete kits in this list. It has everything you need, such as a trim ring, flashing and lens diffuser (that helps in scattering light or spotlighting in a specific area). It is also equipped with ODL-patented solar lens and the brand's adjustable skylight tube with elegant-looking mirror finish.  

Because this kit comes with flat aluminum flashing, some people may need to order the kit for flat roofs. This is an important consideration to ensure your solar tube fits your existing roof without the need for framing, dry-walling or re-painting. 

The best thing about the ODL 10-inch Tubular Skylight Kit being an old model is that there are a lot of useful tips from fellow owners.

​PROS

  • Easy to install
  • Complete solar tube kit
  • 48 inches of adjustable tube included

​CONS

  • Not the newest model in the market (released in 2004)
natural light, tubular skylight kit
  • Lights up to 300 square feet
  • Ideal for asphalt type roof
  • Hurricane-tested

This 13-inch solar tube model from Natural Light is equipped with flat roof flashing (perfect for asphalt-type roof installations), high-impact acrylic dome, and hurricane-tested tubes and other components.

Illuminating up to 300 square feet of space, which is an equivalent of about 500 watts, this set-up will dramatically brighten up a kitchen, cabinet, entryway, or any other areas that used to be "blind spots."

And like other Natural Light solar tubes, you can choose to custom powder-coat the flashing to match your roof color.

​PROS

  • Energy Star-qualified (could qualify for tax credits)
  • 25 years manufacturer's warranty
  • Easy to install, even sealer is included
  • Solid instruction manual

​CONS

  • Fingerprints easily gets onto the mirror-like finish, so be careful during installation
solatube 290ds daylighting system skylight
  • From one of the older solar tube brands in the market
  • Illuminates up to 300 square feet of space
  • Flexible to accommodate many roof types

Solatube's 14-inch Daylighting System Skylight is composed of an acrylic dome, Vusion diffuser, pitched metal flashing, top and bottom tubes, as well as sealant and fastener to put everything in place. Plus, the light deflector included in the Solatube kit gives you some control of the type of light brought into the house. 

The tube is 30 feet long, which is pretty long for most houses, so you might need to cut it down to fit your specific needs. 

Solatube has been providing a power-saving option to homeowners for decades now, so you'd have more information about its solar tubes than any other brands in the market.

​PROS

  • Effect filter available (sold separately by Solatube)
  • 10 year manufacturer's warranty
  • Completely USA Made

​CONS

  • Might need professional install for tricky set-ups
14 in. sun tunnel tubular skylight
  • Power-saving solution for homes with many rooms
  • Tube that expands to six or eight feet
  • Features low-profile flashing for pitched fiberglass asphalt single o shake-type roofs

Velux America's 14-inch model sun tunnel has all the components you need to bring the sunlight into your home for cheap. This kit includes exterior dome, roof flashing, 8 feet of tubing, and interior diffuser, which dramatically helps in spreading light output more evenly.

Like other solar tubes, there's a possibility that insects get through the lens. What's great about this Velux sun tunnel is it makes it easy for you to clean the lens with just a twist on the trim ring's lock. It's an underrated, but much-appreciate feature.

​PROS

  • Easy to install, even for beginners
  • Additional tubing can be purchased from Velux
  • Quick twist cleaning

​CONS

  • Light is on the cool side (may be a problem if you're after something warmer)
odl ez14scanh 14" tubular skylight
  • Illuminates a room up to 300 square feet
  • Energy Star qualified
  • Made for asphalt roofs

ODL's 14-inch tubular skylight kit is a massive-looking sun tunnel. You might get intimidated at first, but when you're inside a home with this model installed, there's a good chance you'll get wowed by the 48-inch, highly reflective tubing that delivers the sun's light from the UV-protected acrylic dome down to your room. 

Positioning the ODL Tubular Skylight kit properly is important, unless of course if you live in an area where cloudy days are more often than not.

​PROS

  • Polyethylene flashing
  • Dome constructed with ODL-patented optics
  • Choice of DIY installation or professional installation

​CONS

  • Must be careful in sealing the seam of tubes (to prevent air and insects from coming in)
natural light tubular skylight 18
  • Illuminates up to 500 square feet
  • Sunlight brought in is equivalent to 1000-watt of light bulb
  • Ideal for both residential and commercial installation

Natural Light's 18-inch tubular skylight was designed for use on pitched Fiber-glass asphalt shingle roofs. Aside from the massive size, what's great about this model is that the highly-reflective tubing doesn't crack, peel, delaminate or turn yellow. 

This model of Natural Light also features a heavy-duty acrylic dome, seamless commercial grade powder-coated black aluminum flashing, a diffuser, and ceiling trim ring. 

Installation is as easy as most of the best solar tubes here, but because of the size of Natural Light's 18-inch tubular skylight, you could probably do the setup without a professional’s help only if you have some help.

​PROS

  • Comes with 25 years warranty
  • Light tube is crack-proof and stain-proof
  • Produces massive amounts of light

​CONS

  • Doesn't accommodate metal roofing

Factors to Consider When Buying  Solar Tubes

Almost every solar tube in the market looks alike, but just like many solar products, every tiny component makes a huge difference. As such, choosing the solar tube kit should depend on the following considerations:

  • Budget - Professionally installed solar tubes cost an average $750, which is a lot cheaper than the average $2k skylight. But if you know how to work your way around the roof and you can install the solar tube on your own, you could find kits sold for around $300.
  • Light needed per square feet - Solar tubes are usually placed in rooms and areas of the house that require constant light, such as bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, or stairways. It can also be used for laundry rooms or walk-in closets. As such, you have to know how big a solar tube you'll need for the room intended. Generally, a 10-inch tube can light up a 200-square feet space since it is equivalent to 3 bulbs of 100-watt each.
  • Roof type - Not all solar tubes can work with any type of roof. If your roof has slope between 15 to 60 degrees, you'll need a solar tube with flashing (this is usually included in most kits). Also consider the material of your roof, since most solar tube kits were designed for asphalt shingles, but they would also work with tile or metal roofing as long as you get flashing adapters.
  • Location of the solar tube - The spot where you install the light tube will affect how much light it brings indoors. A globe is recommended to be installed southwest of the roof for best light source possible.
  • Weather and climate - Solar tubes can work in both hot and cold climates, but problematic areas are those that suffer from heavy snow (could cause cracking of the dome), or high humidity (could lead to condensation inside the tube). There are hurricane-proof solar tubes, but you have to make sure the dome is made of polycarbonate.

If you're planning to bring the solar tube through multiple levels, it is possible, but may require professional installation (especially if you have no idea how to go through HVAC, wiring or plumbing).

Wrap Up: Which is the Best Solar Tube for My Home?

These solar tube reviews are a great start if you’re looking for the perfect model, but you have to understand that the best solar tube for you depends on your lighting needs. For example, if you’re trying to bring light into a tiny space, the budget-friendly Natural Light 10-inch Tubular Skylight Kit for Flat Roof can be a good choice. 

If you have a more complicated set-up such as multi-levels, rooms bigger than 300 square feet, extensive HVAC systems, then the best solar tube kits for you are the ones that would meet your requirements. For example, the VELUX 10" Double Strength Acrylic Rigid Low-Profile Sun Tunnel Tubular Skylight would fit most households that are currently undergoing roof renovations, while the Natural Light Energy Systems 13kxxx 13" Solar Sky Light Kit is best for rooms small enough to need just one solar tube unit, but big enough that a 10-inch model wouldn’t cut it. 

Once you do find a solar tube perfect for your requirements, there's a big possibility that you won't ever go back to the time when you haven't taken advantage of the sun.

10 Best Solar Attic Fan Models

If you're looking for the best solar attic fan, you're probably one among hundreds of people faced with the burden of a super-hot attic. 

It's a common problem, especially since most HVAC systems focus on cooling living areas of a house. All is well and good, until of course summer arrives and the attic is taking the brunt of the heat. This is problematic because of two things: 

  • If you're using the attic as someone's bedroom or a storage room, it may not be livable during super-hot months.
  • If you leave the attic virtually empty all year-round, you may not notice this issue. However, you might notice that your HVAC system is working extra-hard or even producing less cold air.

One way to solve this is to replace or upgrade your HVAC system, but it can be a huge investment to do so. Installing a solar attic fan is actually a more affordable and efficient fix. Check out 10 of the best solar attic fan brands we've handpicked for you...

Most Affordable 

BEST SOLAR ATTIC FAN UNDER $500

  • Very customizable with different sizes and options available
  • Affordable
  • Effective once installed

Most Attractive

BEST DESIGNED SOLAR ATTIC FAN

broan 345so attic ventilator
  • Made of heavy-duty plastics and metals
  • Innovative and flat design (no bulky equipment on your roof)
  • Fully weatherproof

Most Featured-packed

BEST SOLAR ATTIC FAN WITH MOST FEATURES

Amtrak 14-inch Solar Attic Fan
  • Huge fan blade and housing for its size
  • 40-watt solar panel provides ventilation for spaces up to 2250 square feet
  • All parts USA made

10 Best Solar Attic Fan Models of 2019

Ventilation in the attic helps by pushing hot air out and pulling cooler air in, while properly circulating air inside. The solar attic fan removes stuffy, stale and unhealthy air from your attic without spending additional money on electricity.

In general, solar attic fans can easily be installed, if you know your way around a drill, saw and screwdriver. But if you find your roofing, wiring, or HVAC system complicated and would rather a professional install the solar attic fan for you, you have an option to hire a pro anytime.

natural light 36-watt solar attic fan
  • Arizona-based company, but Germany-made motor
  • 25-year warranty on solar panel and motor
  • Fully operational straight off the box

Natural Light 12-watt solar attic fan simply works. It can easily improve ventilation of a space up to 1,260 square feet. While this varies depending on local climate, that's still pretty powerful, considering the fan runs from free solar energy. This gorgeous-looking solar attic fan operates at up to 893 cfms to reduce the load of your air-conditioning system. 

The kit includes a high impact photovoltaic solar panel housed on a leak-proof aluminum. Underneath, it is powered by a DC motor, which you'll notice is a lot more quieter than any of your plugged HVAC systems. Natural Light makes a thermostat and fire safety switch available (for an extra fee) if you wish to add them to your solar attic fan.

​PROS

  • Equipped with stainless-steel mesh to keep rodents away
  • Super quiet motor
  • High quality build with weatherproofed aluminum housing

​CONS

  • Professional installation costs $200 or more (varies between provider and location)
 iliving smart exhaust solar roof attic exhaust fan
  • Available in different sizes and options for add-on features
  • Provides ventilation for up to 2000 square feet of space
  • Ideal for roof, greenhouse, attic, side of the house, RV, boats and so on
  • 15-year warranty for motor

iLIVING's Smart Exhaust solar roof attic fan features a 20-watt adjustable polycrystalline solar panel. It runs with an IP68 waterproof brushless motor, which operates as quietly as a typical oscillating fan. 

This model comes built-in smart thermostat control 65-130f with enable/disable feature. There are extra fees involved, but if you want your fan to have an on/off switch, screen guard or non-stop running AC power supply, you can choose these options when checking out.

​PROS

  • Sleek-looking, all-black design
  • Adjustable solar panel (goes from 0° to 15° and 30° to 45°)
  • Well thought of add-on options

​CONS

  • Installation issues may occur (due to size details and accessories included)
gbgs solar attic fan
  • Flexible solar panels (can be moved in various directions)
  • 10 to 25 years warranty on parts
  • Auto on/off motor

The GBGS solar attic fan is designed to help replace stale and hot indoor air with cold air from outdoors during summer months, then remove indoor moisture during winter without the need for additional HVAC units. It is designed to automatically turn on the motor when temperature reaches 77°F and automatically shut off once the temperature cools down to 65°F.

Equipped with a 20-watt solar panel, this GBGS solar attic fan can adjust 90 degrees horizontally (thanks to the bracket included), and adjust its position against the sun from 0/15/30/45 degrees. Its IP68 waterproof, 24-volt brushless motor delivers enough power without the noise that usually befalls motors of its size.

​PROS

  • Motor protection with auto on/off feature
  • Nylon-fiber aluminum fan blades
  • Ventilates up to 1,750 cubic feet per minute (CFM)

​CONS

  • Only for roof and similar surface
broan 345so attic ventilator
  • Provides ventilation for up to 537 cubic feet per minute
  • Impressively designed and well-built
  • Fully weatherproof

The BROAN 345SO may look tiny, but it is one of the prettiest solar attic fans in the market today.  It was designed with a 28-watt, tempered glass solar panel housed in a UV-stabilized, rugged ABS plastic that can impressively withstand the strongest winds, hail, or storm. 

One small, yet important detail, is the aluminum gauge screen that keeps birds, insects and small animals out of the fan. It's also made of aluminum, so you know it's going to last in keeping airflow free from blockage.

​PROS

  • Heavy-duty plastic can be painted
  • Rust-resistant, weatherproof solar panels
  • Easy installation
  • Optional thermostat available
  • Unobtrusive roof installation

​CONS

  • Non-adjustable solar panels
remington solar attic fan
  • Equipped with noise-dampening technology
  • Built-in thermostat and humidistat

Remington's solar attic fan is a rectangular-shaped all-black roof mount with a stylish design and simple, yet durable parts. It is made with a quiet brushless 24-volt DC Motor, which is powered up by solar power gathered by the 30-watt polycrystalline solar panel. 

This Remington model was designed to ventilate up to 1550 CFM for 2500 square-feet attics. 

The cool thing about the Remington solar attic fan is that it already pre-installed the thermostat and humidistat out of the box. Compared to other brands that make these optional (with around $50 value each), adding these parts save you some money. Plus, it is built with noise-dampening technology as well.

​PROS

  • Beginner-friendly, one-hour installation
  • Built-in thermostat comes free of charge
  • Quiet operation

​CONS

  • Only 12 month limited warranty
Amtrak 14-inch Solar Attic Fan
  • Ideal for RV, garage, greenhouse or Gabel vent
  • Brand backed with 30 years of solar power experience
  • Built in the USA

With Amtrak's solar-powered attic fan, you don't need to worry about ventilating the stuffy air in your attic. It powers up once it gets too hot in the attic, then shuts down when no longer needed. 

The Amtrak solar attic fan is built with 40-watt solar panel, thermal-protected motor and a 10-inch high efficiency fan blades made by renowned fan-blade manufacturer Revor.  All these components work together effectively in providing ventilation for areas up to 2250 square feet. 

And if you're going to install this on your own, you'd be pleased to know that the Z-brackets included in the pack are already pre-drilled for your bolts and screws. Interested in built-in thermostat? This can be free too, but you'd need to request it first.

​PROS

  • Large 14-inch fan housing
  • Quick-connect wires and pre-drilled brackets for easy installation
  • 25 feet of wire included in the box
  • Can be installed open louver

​CONS

  • 10-inch Fan blade may look awkwardly small against its big housing
eco-worthy 25w solar powered vent fan
  • Auto on/off operation
  • Flexible placement - works on roof and everywhere else
  • Expandable (if you want)

If you know your way around solar panels, this ECO-WORTHY solar-powered fan can be a very good option for you. Not only can you place this on your attic, gable roof vent, greenhouse, and any other spots in or outside your home, this kit is also flexible enough for you to add more panels (or fans) if needed. 

ECO-WORTHY's solar vent fan includes a 25-watt fan, high efficiency brushless motor and 30-watt solar panel that you can fold (if you have a small space) or extend (up to 37.2 × 18.6 inch) to have more sunlight coverage. On paper, the ECO-WORTHY solar-powered fan is supposed to ventilate areas up to 1960 cubic feet per minute, but many report it is near the 1000 CFM mark.

​PROS

  • 5-year solar panel warranty
  • Fan can operate at low voltage (as low as 4 volts)
  • Comes with 6 brackets, 16 feet cables, bolts and screws for installation

​CONS

  • Only 1-year motor warranty
solar blaster solar roof vent
  • Tiny solar-powered attic fan
  • Manual quality-tested before shipped
  • Used on roof, greenhouse, sheds, garages, containers, RV, and so on

If you're not a fan of huge systems on your roof due to its bulky appearance, or if your roof cannot handle any heavy components installed, the Solar Blaster roof vent fans could be your solution. They're small enough to not add much weight or obstruction in view from your roof.

Solar Blaster's solar-powered roof and attic ventilation fans feature a 3-watt solar panel (25-year rated) on top of a square-shaped high-quality leak-proof housing. There's also the 50k-hour rated fan with two-ball bearing and 1/8-inch mesh screen to keep insects and pests away from the vents.

The advantage to this kind of solar attic fan is that it's a set-and-forget equipment, but it also means there would be less control since you'd just let the fan "do its thing" whenever temperature increases

​PROS

  • 5-year warranty
  • USA-based family business
  • Super-small footprint
  • No need to access attic during installation

​CONS

  • May need more than one unit to provide ventilation to bigger spaces
hqst solar powered attic fan with adjustable solar panel
  • Maintenance-free operation
  • All-in-one unit (no wiring, cables needed)
  • Built with durable, weatherproofed materials

If you like the design of Solar Blaster, but don't have the funds to buy two or more units, this HQST solar-powered attic fan should be the model you're looking for. It can be installed on most sloped or flat roof types, whether it's concrete tile, wood, asphalt shingle, metal, or slate.

Designed with an all-black, durable aluminum housing, The HQST solar attic fan is comprised of the 15-watt polycrystalline solar panel placed perfectly on top. Hidden under the panel is the 12-inch fan and 1P68-rated brushless DC motor.

​PROS

  • Snap-on thermostat is available as an add-on
  • Solar panels are adjustable
  • Automatic light control
  • Quiet operation

​CONS

  • One unit of this HQST solar attic fan can only ventilate an area of 1076 square feet max
natural light ultra low-profile 24-watt solar attic fan
  • Popular solar panel manufacturer
  • Built using commercial-grade materials
  • Ideal for small homes with Fiberglass-Asphalt shingle roofs

Natural Light's smaller solar attic fan is for those who prefer style with function. Its ultra low profile makes it a good option, especially with the black powder-coated aluminum housing and black background, if you're not a fan of big and bulky equipment on top of your house. 

What's great about this model is that even if it's obviously a well-designed solar fan, it is also solidly built with useful features. It is equipped with a 24-watt solar module and 17-volt motor, which has a venting capacity of up to 2100 square feet of attic space per fan. And because all the wires and cables are already built into this kit, installation is user-friendly and hassle-free. 

Natural Light also has an impressive 25-year warranty for all the parts. Yes, motor, solar panels, fan, the works. You'd get your money's worth way before any damage occurs to your solar attic fan.

​PROS

  • Unobtrusive, ultra-low profile
  • Could withstand hurricane-level winds
  • No-wiring installation

​CONS

  • Fire safety and thermostat switch available (but sold separately)

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Solar Attic Fan

When choosing between the best solar attic fan for your home, take note of these several considerations:

  • Space availability - Some of these fans are small and portable, but others can be as huge as HVAC systems. The good news though is manufacturers will state the square footage needed for a particular make and model, so know your available space in the attic to see if the solar attic fan you plan to buy is best for you.
  • Solar attic fan parts
  •  Motor - Solar attic fans should have powerful motors to be able to perform efficiently. 
  • Solar panel - What kind of solar panel is incorporated into the solar attic fan? Make sure to check how powerful the panel or panels are. Ideally, look out for those with around 20 to 30 watts. Another feature you should look out for when it comes to solar panels is an adjustable setup that lets you pivot the panels or position for better sunlight coverage. 
  • Materials used - Because you'll be placing the solar attic fan near the roof outdoors, the model you buy should be weather-resistant. Check materials used for the solar attic fan and make sure it is built with rust- and corrosion-free stainless steel, high quality plastics, and metallic blades. 
  • Thermostat options - If you want to be able to control fan temperature or attach a thermostat, there are solar attic fans that could accommodate these requirements.
  • Other features - Other features such as adjustable fan speed may not be present on all kinds of solar attic fans, but you can either watch out for this specific feature or have it custom-made.
  • Local weather - Consider the climate and weather your area suffers throughout the year. Do you get intense winds? snow storms? all-sun? Find a "weatherproofed" solar attic fan based on your area's weather and climate.

Cost and warranty should also be a consideration, especially if you're looking for a long-term solution to high temperatures in your attic. 

Wrap Up: Which is the Best Solar Attic Fan for My Home?

All the solar attic fans we’ve handpicked for this list can be effective for your space. 

But here’s our top three: iLIVING Smart Exhaust Solar Roof Attic Fan for those on a budget, BROAN 345SO Attic Ventilator if you think design should be second-priority to efficiency, and the Amtrak 14 inch Solar Attic Fan for those who want to use a solar attic fan beyond their roofs.  

One of the most important things to know about solar attic fans is that there is no “best solar attic fan” for everyone. A particular brand and make may be perfect for your neighbor’s greenhouse, but will be the worst choice for your 2,000-square feet attic. And this definitely does not mean the product is worthless or ineffective.

The best solar attic fan for your home is the unit that can accommodate the space you need to cool down. And if you can’t find any solar attic fan big enough for your needs, it could mean that you might have a better chance of you bought two or more of your chosen solar attic fan

12 Best Solar Flood Lights

The solar flood lights work by absorbing the sun's energy and using it to light up an outdoor area effectively once the sun goes down. 

If you decided to go with a solar flood light over traditional wired fixtures, you're off to a good start. Getting free energy from the sun is a pretty compelling reason to go the solar route. On top of this, since you won't need electricity as a power source, you can install the flood light anywhere the sun can reach, and even reinstall it somewhere else. 

In addition, you save money and the environment for using renewable energy instead of electricity. 

After scouring the web for the best of the best solar flood lights, we compiled 12 models you should check out. Note that solar flood lights come in various forms, so you might find some all-in-one units with the battery, solar panel and lighting fixture built into one casing, and solar flood light kits with separate devices (motion sensor, solar panel, battery, light fixture, etc.) that are connected by a cable.

Most Affordable 

BEST SOLAR FLOOD LIGHTS UNDER $50

LITOM Original Outdoor Solar Lights with 3 Optional Modes

litom original outdoor solar lights
  • Full-sized solar flood lights
  • 3 modes of brightness and sensor allow customization
  • 270-degree lighting angle
  • Super affordable, ideal for entry to solar flood lights

Most Feature-packed

BEST MOTION-ACTIVATED SOLAR FLOOD LIGHTS

CINOTON Solar Flood Lights Outdoor Motion Sensor

cinoton solar flood lights
  • Unique satellite-shaped design
  • Small, but boasts powerful bright lights
  • Dimmed light at night, but brightens up more when motion-activated

Most Hassle-free

BEST PHOTOSENSOR FLOOD LIGHTS

BAXIA TECHNOLOGY BX-SL-101 Solar Lights Outdoor 28 LED Wireless

baxia technology bx-sl-101 solar lights
  • Comes in pack of 4
  • Impressively bright light for a solar flood light this size
  • ON/OFF solar mode
  • Amazon’s bestseller

​Top 12 Solar Flood Light Reviews in 2020

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