///Nokero Solar Light Bulb Review

Nokero Solar Light Bulb Review

In September of 2010 I introduced you to the Nokero Solar Light Bulb. Now it’s time to give you my thoughts after months of strict scientific testing. Ok, so it was not very scientific. Basically we just dreamed up random stuff to do to the three we received and observed how they did.

The Nokero Soloar Light Buld arrived in good packaging and without molestation from the parcel career – always a good day. The design seemed sturdy and like it could hold up to most reasonable abuse. Then came time for the testing.

The days it got tested on were all full sun days and the device was facing South. It got moved around a couple more times in the yard, but with the same results.

The Good

Factory clip replaced with a small carabiner.

For $15, they are very reasonable.

At approximately 2.6oz they won’t weigh your pack down and since they are about the size of an incandescent 60w bulb they don’t take up a lot of space. For some reason I thought they would be bigger, but was happy to find this not to be the case.

They are pretty sturdy. Tossing the Nokero from the second floor balcony of the Urban Survival Podcast studio balcony produced some scuffs, but nothing cracked or came flying off.

Sticking them in the freezer repeatedly produced no ill effects.

The Nokero Solar Light Bulb comes with a rechargeable none branded AA battery. Also a plus, it only takes one. I replaced it with a fully charged Sanyo Eneloop and nothing blew up. When the day comes that the factory AA gives its last, you can replace it yourself with a rechargeable from the store. The nicest part is since it is one of the most common battery sizes, finding a replacement when the time comes will not be an issue – baring some Zombie apocalypse.

Seven months hanging in my backyard and the Nokero is still going strong with little too no cosmetic or mechanical defects. This impresses me most of all. It’s rare that you find anything that can stand up to the elements for even a few months.

The Bad

I hung the Nokero from a tree in my backyard and left it for a few days with the switch turned to the on position so the batteries could cycle a couple of times. Being that it was fall, there were no leaves to interfere with the solar panels. Saddly, the most I was able to get out of it was just over an hour – manufacturer claims 2 hours.

At a recent Project Applseed shoot, while camping, I ran the test again with all three solar light bulbs over a couple of clear sunny days. Still the Nokero only produced just over 1 hour of constant light.

Hiking with the Nokero attached to a pack only produced 20 minutes of light on average.

The light is not very bright. In a small tent it did produce enough light to illuminate the tent sufficiantly for most tasks. However, I don’t think most people would be wowed by it. Reading by it will be lack luster at best.

It was difficult – if not impossible – to really tell if the switch was in the on position or not without covering the sensor.

Flimsy factory clip.

The clip that it comes with will do the job, but is pretty small and flimsy. With gloves on or if you have particularly large hands, you will find it difficult to manipulate. I ended up replacing them with a small light weight carabiner.

There is absolutely no indicator to tell you when the battery is full. At $15 though, I actually wouldn’t expect one.

Final Thoughts

The Nokero under preformed expectations when it came to light output and longevity. Given the relative uniqueness, light weight, and $15 price tag, I found the solar light bulb to be “good enough” and would buy one. Just don’t expect to get much out of it when hiking and consider charging it completely before use.

By |2016-10-15T00:15:54+00:00April 13th, 2011|Survival Gear Reviews|8 Comments

About the Author:

In his free time, Aaron enjoys hogging the remote, surfing, scotch, mental masturbation and debate over philosophical topics, and shooting stuff--usually not all at the same time.


  1. Aaron Frankel April 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    BTW – The photo up top of the tent, that came from Nokero. They must have either been using a flash light in that tent or a bunch of these things. No way that was from one.

  2. Tom April 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Hi guys – Tom here from Nokero.

    I hope you’ll all try our new Nokero N200. We’ve made several improvements to the design and you’ll find that it lasts longer and is up to 60% brighter (learn more at http://www.nokero.com/products/n200).

    Also, I took the photo of the Nokero in my tent up in the mountains in Colorado. It’s one Nokero N100 lighting up my tent on a moonless night, but it is a fairly long exposure – however I don’t remember exactly how long.

    The eye will adjust to low light after about 20 minutes, so the perceived brightness of the light is actually quite good if you give yourself time to adjust properly. Remember that our goal here is not to create a light as bright as your 60 watt bulb at home, but rather to create an affordable, durable, replacement for kerosene still used by 1.6 billion people worldwide.

    We also love it as a camping and backpacking light.

    Thanks for the honest review.

    Tom Boyd

  3. Aaron Frankel April 21, 2011 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    Hey Tom,

    Your point about the long exposure photography makes a perfect sense. I stand corrected and retract my earlier comment.

    Looking forward to trying out the new version and still support your companies mission.

  4. […] September 2010 I introduced you to the Nokero N100 Solar Lightbulb and in April 2011 we reviewed it. The solar light that mostly could (for our purposes). Now Nokero has come out with an […]

  5. chris August 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    I must say even if it produced 20 minutes of light the heart behind the development of this bulb is great. I was so moved watching the video on their website on people living in this world without electricity. As an above middle class american that grew up in poverty in Jamaica I must say that as a child we wished we had these light bulbs. We would walk for hours at night after school in the dark to get water from the stand pipe and this little light would have helped us so much as kids. We would spend days my cousin and I wishing for electricity and when money ran out we moved from kerosene to candles. I am so proud of this company.

  6. Maroof Ramzan August 23, 2014 at 12:45 am - Reply

    I agree that N100 doesn’t have a longer life span. It just lit for 20-25minutes, even i put it out i the sun for 1 whole day.
    I think i would prefer to have candle rather than Nokero solar light.

  7. AuricTech November 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Have you looked into the Luci solar lantern? When fully charged, it puts out enough light for reading for up to 12 hours, based on my testing.

    • Aaron Frankel November 30, 2014 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      I’ve seen them, but not had any experience with them. But good information. Thanks!

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