The freedoms we experience in the rural, off-grid setting are immeasurable and priceless.
We’re in full control of our resources and the means by which we utilize them.
But what we sacrifice for freedom and independence while living off-grid, is the security, consistency, and reliable structure of on-grid systems.
Would it be possible to have your own, mini-grid lighting system that could be taken with you, wherever you go?
Biolite, the makers of the ultra-popular Campstove 2, devised the SolarHome 620 for this very purpose.
It’s a complete, solar-powered lighting system that equips any off-grid setting with reliable power and illumination.
This is my review of the Biolite SolarHome 620.
Key Features of the Biolite SolarHome 620
- 6W solar panel connects to 20 Watt Hour Control Box
- 40o Lumens across 4 lights
- Motion sensor capability
- Wall-mounted switches control hanging lights
- Control Box plays radio/MP3 & provides charge out
- 18ft daisy-chainable cables for multi-room lighting
Who Makes the Biolite SolarHome 620?
Biolite is an American company founded by a team dedicated to providing sustainable energy to those in need. With their Energy Everywhere mission as the driving force behind their products, Biolite has developed a catalog of innovative items that provide sustainable energy in off-grid or rural settings.
The Biolite SolarHome 620 is currently in use in over 100,000 homes in Western Kenya, providing lighting and electricity to the most remote villages.
How Does it Work?
The Biolite SolarHome 620 is a complete solar-powered lighting system that provides charging capabilities for small devices and has a built-in mp3/radio system. Complete with a control panel, lamps, cables, and switches, the SolarHome 620 can provide up to 20 watt-hours of power.
The SolarHome comes with a 6-watt, 11" x 7", all-weather solar panel that remains in a permanent location on the roof of the residence or mobile vehicle. A 21-foot cable connects the solar panel to the control box where the electrical power is managed.
The control box itself has a built-in light and a backlit LED screen for monitoring the sun intake and battery level. It has the capability of listening to FM radio and playing mp3s.
Additional cables run from the control box to the hanging lamps that can be positioned in various places. Each lamp is controlled by its own on/off switch. One of the lamps comes with a motion sensor.
Biolite SolarHome 620 Kit
- Solar Panel
6 watt panel provides power to your system
- Wall Mounted Control Box
Monitor your power, charge devices and play music
- Hanging Light x2
Use wall mounted switch to adjust to 3 levels of brightness
- Motion Sensor Light
Security mode saves power and can alert you of passersby
- Input: Solar panel port x1 (PV Module)
Control Box: 7.9 x 6.1 x 2.9 in (200 x 154 x 68 mm )
Hanging Lights (each): 5.9 x 5.5 x 3.2 in (150 x 140 x 82 mm )
Solar Panel: 11.4 x 7.5 x 0.6 in (290 x 190 x 16 mm )
- Lumens: 100 Lm per lights (400 Lm total)
Control Box: 550g (1.21 lbs)
Hanging Lights (each): 300g (0.66 lbs)
Solar Panel: 720g (1.59 lbs)
USB Charge Out x2
DIN Port x1
Light Port x2
Light Junctions x3
3300 mAh @ 6.5V (20 Wh), LiFEPO4
- In the box:
2 Hanging Lights
1 Security Light
1 Solar Panel
The Biolite SolarHome 620 in Action
The Biolite SolarHome 620 works very well as an off-grid lighting system for rural or mobile applications. Whether it be for a mobile-home setup, an off-grid cabin, or a rural home in a developing region, the SolarHome can provide a simple and reliable lighting system and battery.
The daisy-chaining capability allows for freedom in placing the lamps in the most desirable locations.
The lights themselves are fairly bright (100 lumens) and each one, in most cases, is enough to illuminate its own small room.
The solar panel works best under consistent, direct sunlight, so optimal placement of the panel is important. Under hot, direct sun, the battery can be fully charged in about 6 hours.
The "620" in the name, SolarHome 620, comes from the 6-watt solar panel and the 20 watt-hour battery bank. In even average sunlight conditions, the SolarHome 620 can be used moderately at night and charged during the day without a break in power.
Biolite SolarHome 620 Video Review
Great product and excellent quality of all pieces. Really adds to my off-grid cabin.
Peace of Mind
The SolarHome 620 is a great item, I have used it now through 2 power outages, its great to know that when the power goes off I can have lights on in a matter of minutes, it's also good to know I can tune in to local radio stations to find out whats going on.
Where Can I Buy It?
The Biolite SolarHome 620 is a portable, solar-powered lighting system that can be used for rural and off-grid living applications. The control panel comes with a built-in mp3 player and FM radio and can monitor the battery levels. The system comes with 3 daisy-chained hanging lamps, each with its own on/off switch. Biolite's SolarHome 620 is currently installed in over 100,000 homes across Western Kenya.
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