The word ‘camping’ today conjures up a very different image to what it did 20 years ago. Sure, the idea might still be similar, but the equipment that is used today is worlds apart. I love nothing more than seeing innovative products come out that make camping more comfortable, enjoyable and simple.
I also love seeing camping equipment that can do a number of different roles, and that’s why I was so excited to be sent an amazing solar powered LED flood light by MOMA Solar Lighting to review.
I’ve had the light now for more than 3 months, and have used it all over the place. Essentially it’s a solar panel on one side with a 5W LED that folds out on the other, powered by rechargeable batteries. Surrounding it is a frame that has two legs and allows the light to be set up in a number of different positions.
You can hang it, mount it to a wall, sit it on a table, carry it with you or lay it on the floor. Being able to turn it and fold it gives you ample options for getting your lighting right. It really is the ultimate camping light because you can use it in so many different applications.
The MOMA 5W flood light provides well and truly enough light for cooking in the dark, reading in a tent, taking with you for a walk or just lighting the area up around you.
Motion sensor activated
One of the great features of the MOMA light is that you can have it motion activated. On the LED light is a little sensor that will pick up movement within 6 metres and 120 degrees. Just like your security lights at home, if you walk or move near the sensor it will turn on at full power. Once it detects no movement for 20 seconds the light switches to low power mode, which is just a dull light that’s quite nice on the eyes.
When you are camping, this is a fantastic feature, as you can be sitting down and relaxing at night with the light nice and dull, and as soon as you get up the light comes on and you can see where you need to go! It also works as a security arrangement if someone unwanted decides to come through your camp.
Of course you don’t have to use this mode, and can just hold the power button for 3 seconds and it turns on and stays running until it goes flat.
How bright is it?
I’ve used a lot of different camping lights over the years, and this is well and truly bright enough for everything but spotlighting. It will comfortably light up the average driveway or campsite, but is not designed for real far distance light. It’s 5 watt, and uses LED’s that are 6000K colour; the normal LED light colour you’d expect.
For comparison, here are two photos. The one on the left is the normal 12V camping LED light that we run, attached to the solar rack on our camper trailer. Using identical camera settings, the right shot shows the Moma 5W light. It is quite a bit brighter, and being much larger tends to spread the light over more area too. This light is in a great position in that it lights up the kitchen and area in front of the camper trailer enough for us to easily see at night. Once we are done cooking it usually gets turned off.
There’s a few more photos below to give you an idea of how bright it is.
How long does the battery last for?
I thought you might get a few hours out of the batteries, but after 6 hours straight with the light on at full power, I was beginning to wonder when it might die. It had started to dim, but 6 hours between charge is ample for camping.
Charging the batteries
Charging the light is simple – just put the panel in the sun! You can sit it on the legs and angle it, or just lay it flat. Either way will get more than enough solar power if you leave it out for a few hours.
Using the light at home
Asides from being an all-rounder for camping, these lights are pretty useful at home too. You can mount them anywhere outside your house, without the need to run any cabling or pay for power to run them.
They are brilliant for working in a garage or shed with limited lighting, and I’ve found it fantastic for working underneath my 4WD too.
How big are they?
The lights are around 220mm long, 150mm wide and 35mm thick, and they weigh just over 600 grams.
The lights are 500 lumen, and have a beam angle of 90 degrees. They are IP65, which means they are dust tight and protected against water spray. If they are left in the rain, or they get condensation on them outdoors it’s not going to be a problem. The panel is 2.3 watts, and Poly Crystalline Silicon.
How long will it last?
The million dollar question! These are rated for 500 cycles before the batteries likely need replacing, but the light is rated for a lifespan of 35,000 hours. The warranty is 24 months, except for the batteries, which are 12 months.
Replacing the batteries
The two batteries used are extremely common today, and easy to buy. They are known as rechargeable 18650’s with 3000mAh of power, and are a bit bigger than a AA battery. To replace the batteries, simply unscrew the 8 phillips screws, pop them out and swap them over.
They are around 8 – 9 dollars each at battery stores, or there are lots of options on eBay. I’ve been using the Ultrafire ones from eBay for my head torch for more than 5 years now, and you can pick them up for less than $5 each.
How much are the flood lights?
You can buy them online for $50 here, or in person at a number of shows that Mark or Mike attends. Their numbers are 0421 600 181 and 0408 953 230. They will be at the Perth Caravan and Camping show this year for you to check out too.
Where does it fall short?
If I had to pick on anything, it would be that it’s not the most ergonomic thing to carry around. This is fine though, as it’s probably not the sort of light that you would use for long walks anyway. Quick trips to the toilet block, or to get something out of the car are no worries at all.
Beyond that, just be aware that the bolts holding the handle on need to be somewhat loose to allow the handle to move around (if you are adjusting it). If you don’t keep an eye on them, they will work loose and you’ll lose the handle. I suspect some Loctite or bees wax would fix this. If you are keeping it in a fixed position, do the bolts up tight and the spring washer will stop it all coming loose.
Is it worth it?
In terms of jack of all trades, this light is absolutely fantastic. I’ve got a myriad of torches, head torches, lanterns, portable flood lights and LED strip lighting in my camping kit, and this does everything except spotlighting.
It’s simple, robust, cleverly designed and has become my go to camping light. I can’t recommend these more; they are a great camping light for anyone who uses a tent, camper trailer or caravan.