A Solar Light With A Funny Name But Means Business - WAKAWAKA Solar Lamp Review

Lynx_Arc

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200+ perhaps from Cree and even then debatable whether that is shipping and they are large LEDs run at low currents. They are also quite cool.

These LEDs were described as "warm" and are Samsung and from the pics, are not high power LEDs. Let's say they are more 4-4500K. I would be surprised if they are over 130-140 at best and that would be at 25C.

Either way, there is no chance this product is meeting its stated specs and if the reviewer had gone over some basic math and with his "stated" in the past expertise in solar (which I question) it should have been obvious.

Semiman
With ANSI lumens it could possibly run awhile... but then it is also possible that they swapped out the junk nimh batteries and put in some 2700 sanyo nimh batteries and charged the thing under some sort of artificial light source for 16 hours to make it run to 10% and said... look here 100 lumens for X hours.
 
ToyTank

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I think this thread is running off topic a bit, we can speculate all day or we could start a fund to get one of these to selfbuilt? I'm down $10 if he is wiilling to look at it.
 
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SemiMan

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Don't need to spend a dime to know the claims are false. That would not make any sense. All it takes is engineering knowledge and math.

We are not running off topic at all. A review was posted. That opens it up for discussion. Engineering and math was used to show the claims are not possible and that the reviewer did not truly "review" the product in that none of the claims were proven beyond run time at a given setting, but not light output level.

I have no interest in spending money on it.
 
ToyTank

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Let's keep it civil- I think personal comments are not on topic. I do see more than one of them.

I'd still kick in $10 see another review from selfbuilt, even though semiman does not agree with me. No offense to Ama230 I think selfbuilt has more equipment and expertise.

He normally does not review budget lights. I trust his testing methods though and find them helpful. For comparison sake also he has reviewed TONS of lights.

Thanks again to OP, Ama230. You spent your money, used the device did some testing and posted a review. That is more than anyone else in this thread.:thumbsup:

Not everyone who reviews a flashlight has a integrating sphere or specific lights for comparison. I don't and think my opinion could still be valid.

You know ALL manufactures use the best possible impractical situations to boost the numbers as Lynx Arc has stated. Also marketing jargon like 8 hr runtime but it drops to lowest setting for last hour. Seems to show that in the graph.

It's like this little coast one mode G25....FL1 = 83 lm 9hr 45 on 2 alkaline AA. Not likely:shrug:
 
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SemiMan

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"I am going to be doing a comparison of the manufacturers claimed specs vs. actual real world specs. Then the proof is in the pudding as you will see that the closer these two values are, the better the company is. In this world most companies inflate their values to get the consumer to bite. As the purpose of this review is to ensure the user has an educated advantage over advertisement."

- All the was proven was runtime and in the graph, it does not decline in the last hour, it is a steep cliff. No other point that were claimed in the specifications were tested

"The specs were spot on or as close as they get as this company did do their homework and studied hard."

- How can you make a statement like that when the only spec that was confirmed is runtime? How can you claim they did their homework and studied hard when simple math shows the claims are not valid?

"I can assure you the claims on this light are 100% accurate. This company under promises on specs and over delivers on actual use. "

- How can one make a statement like that when you have not verified any claims beyond runtime? I am sorry when you start making claims like that, it stops being a review and it becomes an advertisement and at that point yes I am going to call into question the independence and qualification of the reviewer to post said review.


People may come onto this board and use the information to make an actual purchasing decision. When one portrays non validated information as fact and portrays a level of expertise, I do have an expectation that they will take at least a somewhat scientific approach. AMA230 has posted many times on solar so he (she) should have the required background to do basic calculations to verify the validity of the claims that are being made. I did. It took 5 minutes and I quickly showed the claims are not possible as stated.

Semiman
 
ToyTank

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Hubris?:poke:

How about"a real reviewer has the item for review"

Not that I don't find your theoretical review based on box and web interesting. Normally a reviewer has the item in question so...
 
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Lynx_Arc

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Don't need to spend a dime to know the claims are false. That would not make any sense. All it takes is engineering knowledge and math.

We are not running off topic at all. A review was posted. That opens it up for discussion. Engineering and math was used to show the claims are not possible and that the reviewer did not truly "review" the product in that none of the claims were proven beyond run time at a given setting, but not light output level.

I have no interest in spending money on it.
I don't have interest in this gadget beyond curiosity myself, I don't particulary like the light part of it as there is no optic or reflector for it to be used as a flashlight nor diffuser type setup to be used as a lantern either nor is it set up as a solar charging device well either. In other words I wouldn't buy it even if it was everything it has been hyped to be because it isn't designed to be what I would want.
 
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Hubris?:poke:

How about"a real reviewer has the item for review"

Not that I don't find your theoretical review based on box and web interesting. Normally a reviewer has the item in question so...


Normally a "reviewer" actually reviews the manufacturers claims to make sure they are telling the truth not just agreeing with them with hubris. That stops being a review and becomes an advertisement.

What I will find if I review it is their claims are not factual. They can't be. Perpetual motion machines do not exist. It looks neat, it works, but the claims are exaggerated.

If you would like to add something valuable to the conversation go ahead, but you are just stirring and not even responded to my valid and documented issues. If you want to buy one go ahead and buy one and write a review too. I don't support companies that are not honest unless I have no choice. I don't need this product so I am not going to support them.
 
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ama230

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Number crunching can be done all day if need be but real world testing is what makes this product successful. If someone who is making less than a dollar a day spends a months wages on a product, it better work.

It takes a simple test to verify the claims by the manufacturer. Set it in the sun for one hour when completely dead and I got over two hours of light on the reading mode( which is the second highest level (approx 40-50 lumens) ) It is like taking your pulse for 15 seconds and multiplying it by four, which would give you an approximation of beats per minute. Nothing in life is static and everything is approximated so please be advised that a deviation of a few minutes might be present.

If you know the anatomy of an LED, then it is the same thing but run in reverse for power capture and also on a much larger scale. Just like a DC motor or a peltier cooler, you can run them in forward or reverse depending on application.

You are right as perpetual motion does not exist but we are able to get to the point of only losing 30% and this is due to heat loss, reflection and impurities/properties in the silicon itself. Alternative energy is improving on the point of diminishing returns and in no way can cure certain lifestyle choices.
 
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SemiMan

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Set it in the sun for one hour when completely dead and I got over two hours of light on the reading mode( which is the second highest level (approx 40-50 lumens) )

- They have a boost mode at 120 lumens, a 100% 60 lumen mode, and a 50% mode which they call the reading mode and that one is 30 lumens, not 40-50. My figures come directly from their website, not sure where yours come from? You wrote about 100% output for 2 hours after 1 hour in the sun. Are you now saying it does not run at the 100% level but the 50% level?

Then the panel is indeed a sunpower PV cell and the lines are what they call a bus line to mend the break of the pn junction.

-IT ABSOLUTELY IS NOT A SUNPOWER CELL. Grid lines do not mend breaks! They are to carry charge to busbars which would be the main contacts. SUNPOWER has NEVER made cells with gridlines on the front of the cell. I don't think they have even made a cell in the last many years only 18% efficient. That said, WakaWaka does not even claim that this is a SUNPOWER cell. They DO claim their new unreleased USB version has a SUNPOWER cell and the picture would indicate that is the case. No need for the solar primer .... I have been involved in cell production equipment.

You are right as perpetual motion does not exist but we are able to get to the point of only losing 30% and this is due to heat loss, reflection and impurities/properties in the silicon itself. Alternative energy is improving on the point of diminishing returns and in no way can solve it.

- Not sure what your point is here. A 0.75 watt cell is a 0.75 watt cell (at 25C, AM1.5, 1 SUN). Heated up, with electronics losses, battery losses, etc. it behaves effectively like a 0.5 watt cell. Your statement above is pretty meaningless w.r.t. this. Similarly a 0.5watt driven LED is a 0.5watt driven LED, but there will always be losses in driving it. 1 hour from a 0.5 watt effective cell will never run a 0.5 watt driven LED for two hours. Talking about 30% loss due to heat, etc. does not change energy in = energy out.

- Again, what is the point of this comment? We have long ways to go on solar panels. Sure single junction silicon technology will top out at 28% or so and with cells hitting 23-24% we are a good point of the way there, but that is why companies are working on multi-junction cells based on silicon technology to push that limit up to at least 35% and other methods are being explored to push that up to the 40 range. That is without triple junction gallium arsenide technology which is brutally expensive and requires concentration to achieve maximum efficiency.

I think you and lynx can stay under the bridge with trolling as its not needed ANYWHERE. As this is the last time I comment on childish behavior, I would appreciate it if you and lynx keep the smart @$$ remarks to ones self.

- I am sorry, but if you are going to post a review and claim expertise which others are going to base a purchasing decision on, then be prepared to back that up when the claims of your review and/or the product do not stand up to simple engineering and math review. That is not trolling, that is consumer protection. Your "review" was not critical, it was more of an advertisement.

- As I have said, I am not doubting that the product "works", only that the claims made are not possible. Those claims, which I have disputed with THEIR OWN SPECIFICATIONS ARE:

* 60 lumens (0.5 watts by their literature) for 2 hours with a 0.75 watt cell : Not possible as cell/electronics and battery losses make this not possible (see above)
* 60 lumens (0.5 watts) for 8 hours or 4 watt hours from a battery that is less than 3 watt hours

These are the manufacturer's claims which you stated are absolutely true.

You can call me and Lynx childish or trolls or whatever you want BUT --- Here is an idea .... Address the issues! Yes, address the issues.

- Show us the math that shows how a 0.75watt cell with charging and battery losses powers 0.5 watts for 2 hours after only 1 hour of charging
- Show us the math that shows how a <3 watt hour battery pack can drive 0.5 watts into an LED for 8 hours (4 watt hours). Please note the supplied graph shows 100% power for those 8 hours.
- Show any Sunpower cell literature that shows front gridlines (I think you confused their existing and new product here)
- Address the run time graph. Did you create it? I thought the WakaWaka2 was not released yet?? That would mean this graph was from WakaWaka would it not?

Semiman
 
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Lynx_Arc

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I think you and lynx can stay under the bridge with trolling as its not needed ANYWHERE. As this is the last time I comment on childish behavior, I would appreciate it if you and lynx keep the smart @$$ remarks to ones self.

@ Lynx and Semi - Thank you for showing us CPFers of who not to be and what not to do.
I don't think I need to add to what SemiMan said in his posts. I suggest you reread carefully ALL the claims the product makes that you posted and charge it for 16 hours and see if it will run for 8 hours or even half that on the 100% (60 lumens) mode and get back to us with that information.
 
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I don't think I need to add to what SemiMan said in his posts. I suggest you reread carefully ALL the claims the product makes that you posted and charge it for 16 hours and see if it will run for 8 hours or even half that on the 100% (60 lumens) mode and get back to us with that information.

I don't doubt the light will stay on for 8 hours, but at what actual power level and will it be kept constant as advertised in the graph?

When doing the above test please do the following:

1) Open the device and verify for at least 5 minutes the voltage and current going into the LED. This will likely require breaking the circuit and inserting an amp meter hence it should only be done as a short verification.

2) While doing the above, and for the duration of the test, datalog the light output using some means so that it can be verified to be consistent.


Semiman
 
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ama230

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My reviews are in no way comprehensive and are not intended to be. They are just informing others of unique and functional products that I happened to find and wanted to share. Convincing someone that they should buy something is a sales pitch and I am not a sales man. I am a fitness fanatic with an avid outdoor lifestyle that just so happens to use such products on my excursions. I do not sit at home and test these devices 24/7, as this is the opposite of a real world review/use. Conditions do vary with wind, solar and thermo-electricity as with all products and if you are looking for exact run time you are SOL! Mind you that there are two leds that are driven at low current to achieve the lumen claim as driving one at a higher current will yield a much lower efficiency.

Its not crazy bright but for something the size of a large smartphone it holds its ground and felt it was worthy of purchase and review.

One hour of direct sunlight yields one hour of light @ 60 lumen.
 
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SemiMan

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There is no absolute need to hook this up to DMM or Oscilloscope as you can do a basic test. Also, I do think that you are trolling and expecting me to do a full review, as I do not do these, as this would be ADVERTISEMENT/PROMOTING.

I do not understand how doing a proper test, i.e. verifying drive power to the LEDs, lumen output over time to at least ensure one numerical claim is accurate is unnecessary and would constitute Advertising or Promoting. Not delving into the voracity of the claims would be considered Advertising and Promoting.

I do not get it Eric. If I am not mistaken, you have an engineering education? Part of being an engineer is factual protection of the public trust.

I do not understand your hesitance and unwillingness, as an engineer, to address from a simple engineering standpoint, the voracity of the claims especially when on paper, they are not possible.

By your own writing, "I am going to be doing a comparison of the manufacturers claimed specs vs. actual real world specs. Then the proof is in the pudding as you will see that the closer these two values are, the better the company is. In this world most companies inflate their values to get the consumer to bite. As the purpose of this review is to ensure the user has an educated advantage over advertisement."

With the exception of a possible run-time comparison, which can be easily met by reducing drive levels, I see in now way that you have verified the manufacturers claims.


I apologize in advance, but your unwillingness to address the validity of these claims coupled with a run-time graph that would have had to be provided by WakaWaka or created with their help (shows data on an unreleased product) makes me question if you truly have an arms length relationship with this company. Certainly you can see how one could come to that conclusion. I am not asking you to spend 10's of hours, or get integration sphere testing, just go over the numbers and show how it can work, or admit that there must be some stretching of the truth in their claim.


Semiman
 
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LynxArc has been very civil in his critiques and skepticism- Very well put sir you are a scholar and a gentleman.

Semiman- posts borderline trolling, for some reason you need to add condescending and personal remarks into the discussion. I have no issue with your math and I agree the claims seem to be exaggerated. You've made your case, no need to hi-jack ama23's thread. I no longer am on "pre-order" for V2 but just with kickstarter they appear to be a commercial succes, and I can only assume amazon directly will stock and sell them.
Hubris
Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities
.

That is my the point I was trying to make-
 
Lynx_Arc

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I don't doubt the light will stay on for 8 hours, but at what actual power level and will it be kept constant as advertised in the graph?

When doing the above test please do the following:

1) Open the device and verify for at least 5 minutes the voltage and current going into the LED. This will likely require breaking the circuit and inserting an amp meter hence it should only be done as a short verification.

2) While doing the above, and for the duration of the test, datalog the light output using some means so that it can be verified to be consistent.


Semiman
In actuality you don't even need to verify the voltage or anything. You could break the circuit in the battery area without cutting into it further if you can verify it doesn't have a buck circuit or more than 3 batteries it is most likely direct drive with a resistor or linear regulator of some sort and the current from the batteries will give you the information needed. If the current is 300ma at 100% you can just calculate 1000mah/300ma and estimate about 3+ hours of runtime. The runtime will probably be longer as the batteries deplete and voltage drops but for practical purposed the advertised output level won't be achieved at 60 lumens unless the drive current level is in the range of 125ma or 1/8 of the 1000mah total. One could assume that it may drop down some and perhaps see it starting around 150mah and after the half way point be around 100mah to average at 125mah perhaps but if the average isn't 60 lumens then the claim is related to ANSI and not a true 8 hours output at 60 lumens as advertised... not even ~7 hours as the graph seems to portray it at. I just don't see it myself using the low end nimh batteries there just isn't enough capacity in them to achieve 100% (60 lumens). If they made an error in their specs and it was at the 30 lumen level someone should write to them and tell them to change their information instead of posting it all over the place as if it was actual fact.
 
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LynxArc has been very civil in his critiques and skepticism- Very well put sir you are a scholar and a gentleman.

Semiman- posts borderline trolling, for some reason you need to add condescending and personal remarks into the discussion. I have no issue with your math and I agree the claims seem to be exaggerated. You've made your case, no need to hi-jack ama23's thread. I no longer am on "pre-order" for V2 but just with kickstarter they appear to be a commercial succes, and I can only assume amazon directly will stock and sell them.
Hubris .

That is my the point I was trying to make-

You are entitled to your opinion and you can call me a troll all you like, but the unwillingness of the opp to address the issues gives the appearance of being a shill. This person is not a "casual" reviewer, but a stated expert in solar technology and a degreed engineer. I will note that of the two reviews under his name on Amazon (he reposted one in three places, so only really two), there were two comments made that the reviews sounded more like an advertisement than a review. So call me skeptical at this point.

Forums are referred to as discussion boards ... discussion means two ways. Things are said, agreed with, refuted, etc. I would like to have a discussion on the "review", but there is an unwillingness on the part of the arms length reviewer to discuss the basic voracity of the marketing specs.

Perhaps ToyTank as opposed to playing armchair moderator, you can explain to us why there is an unwillingness to discuss specifications in a review when the op explicitly stated his goal was to verify specifications. I am trying to engage a discussion of the specifications to find out the reality of the product. I am sorry if that offends you, but when someone writes, "I can assure you the claims on this light are 100% accurate. This company under promises on specs and over delivers on actual use. This is all achieved by a 800maH nimh battery, which is nuts.", that opens the door wide for criticism.
 
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ama230

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The product does what its advertised to do and nothing more.

My testing only was to claim the advertised 2:1 ratio, which states 1 hour of charging yields two hours of reading light. Even though the manufacture claims 30 or so, with the high quality leds it seems more along the likes of 40-50 lumens of nice soft semi-warm flood.
 
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SemiMan

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AMA230 how you can yourself an engineer really amazes me. I have not resorted to swearing but called into question your credibility based on facts. None of which you have addressed I will again say. I have bought many products that I have liked but which did not live up to all the claims. If someone asks me about it I tell them what I like and what I don't.

As an engineer and stated solar expert surely you can agree the claims as stated are not possible? If you believe they are then state (with math) why.

You have not communicated the specs of the product accurately. They claim a 2:1 ratio at their 100% light level or 60 lumens, not the reading level of 30 lumens.

The only sidetracking of this thread is your inability or unwillingness to deal with the voracity of the claims which you have certified as accurate and that I have called into question. That is not trolling. You posted a review. I called into question the claimed performance not out of hand but by basic engineering and the manufacturers own claims. Again that is not trolling.

You could have addressed the concerns factually many posts ago but chose not to.

This "old goat" at this point equates you to a little kid who has been caught in a lie yet refuses to admit it.

No doubt there is a lot of interest in this product. For that reason alone it would be good for potential purchasers to know the real performance would it not? That is who I am trying to look out for. If looking out for my fellow consumers is trolling then so be it.
 
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Illum

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user replaceable NIMH AAs is a nice feature to have, provided the batteries are discrete and not assembled in packs. I have not seen the V2 but the V1 uses 2AA batteries, despite that claim, the "2AA" part turns out to be entirely proprietary.... who knows what else has issues.
 
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