A solar lighting and power system by Solar Technology Limited.
Designed for use on camping / caravanning trips or in your garden as a source of power for your shed, greenhouse or gazebo.
It’s difficult for me to review the HUBi Solar lighting and power system without a little favourable biased for couple of reasons. The first is that I am seriously into solar technology and absolutely love the idea of free energy and being off the grid. The second is that I have owned the ISIS Freeloader portable solar charger for some time now, which is made by the same UK company and has proven to be a firm favourite.
For testing purposes, I have chosen to use the HUBi in a camping environment with a small tent set-up. In the long term I plan to make use of the HUBi as a source of power and lighting in my garden shed with the 12V solar panel permanently mounted.
Measuring 220mm x 146mm x 50mm the hub appears to be a seriously robust unit. On the front there’s a sliding power on/off switch, 2 outputs for LED Lights, a light switch, 2 x 5V USB outputs, an LED display and a 12V auto socket. On the rear there are 2 inputs, one is for attaching the Solar panel cable and the other is for optional AUX power.
The build quality of the case is solid and it’s been cleverly designed to so that the rubberised feet engage inside the formed recesses on the top of the device. This allows you to stack the HUBi should you wish to expand the storage capacity by linking up to 3 units.
The Solar Panel
The attached cable is 2.5 metres in length and feels considerably thick and durable. Once connected to the unit it will instantly begin feeding a charge, indicated by a red lightning symbol on the front panel of the hub.
The LUMi Lighting
The LUMi bulbs are exceptionally lightweight and come with hanging hooks that can be easily used to suspend them from above.
How I got on with the HUBi solar panel system
The set up was a simple as you could possibly get. The solar panel started feeding the hub the second it was connected and seemed to do an exceptional job of maintaining the charge. During the day I topped up the batteries on my phone and iPad, fiddled with the LUMI lights and plugged in a couple of USB powered fans.
After a slightly uncomfortable nights sleep due to a self-deflatting sleeping matt, I woke to find the charging symbol lit with the solar panel already feeding a new charge back into the batteries.
While I may have been able to use a large capacity portable battery pack to keep my devices topped up and provide a source of power for lighting, over time it would become a dead weight. The HUBi however, offers me a sustainable source of power ideal for longer trips.
For my requirements the HUBi 2K version is ideal and I can’t think of much I would change or add to this product other than the addition of a protective carry case perhaps?
There is a larger capacity version available called the HUBi 10K which may be more suited to people who require a bigger output to power laptops or TV’s. It comes with a 20W solar panel instead of a 5W, which will effectively quadruple your charge.
Only time will tell how durable and useful the HUBi will prove to be, but based on how well the Freeloader has performed, I cannot wait to find out.
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