Solar What?! is a fully repairable, recyclable solar-powered light and charger.

Solar What?! consists of a torch, SW Light, and an adaptor unit, SW Power. SW Light has two brightness settings, battery life of over 20 hours and is small enough to be carried in a pocket.

SW Power is designed to be mounted in multiple ways and can be connected to any solar panel between 5 and 30 volts. SW Power outputs to a 5 volt USB port to charge mobile phones USB radios and the SW Light, and has 3 different brightness settings for use in a fixed location.

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Solar What?! sources all electrical components from suppliers with internationally recognised ethical and environmental policies. These include ISO 14001, ISO 9001, RoHS compliance. We source from suppliers with policies on conflict minerals and fair labour standards. Our decisions aim to highlight how ethical and environmental practices should be consistent throughout the product life cycle.


Both Solar What?! lighting devices are comprised of three sections held together by easily removable screws of the same size. These allow stages of access depending upon need. The battery(s) (standard mobile phone battery readily available in context) can be replaced without damaging the PCB or fiddling with wires. All components can be unsoldered and replaced. Repair information will be available on this website in due course.


Solar What?! ships without a solar panel. Instead the device is designed to be connected to second-hand panels already in circulation. The panel can be attached via a separate voltage adaptor, providing a 5V USB port to charge either the light or a mobile phone. There is no stand or strap. Features on the casing recognise that people always adapt technologies to contexts of use. Solar What?! introduces points around which distributors and end users are invited to design, adapt or reuse their own fixtures and fittings, minimising shipping costs, unwanted or unusable materials and waste, and maximising local repairability. 


Solar What?! endeavours to use recycled materials where possible and ensures that all plastics are clearly labelled for ease of recycling. The casing is designed to be durable, but with parts that can be individually replaced.

The diagram below details the various components of the SW Power and highlights the reasoning behind specific design decisions:

SW Power- Exploded Diagram