Skylight Steel solar-recharged LED flashlight, retail $TBA (
Manufactured by Skylight AG (
Last updated 04-02-06

Skylight Steel

If I've said this once, I've said it a hundred times. You might be thinking "What kind of bunghole would make a solar powered flashlight?" What this is though, is a RECHARGEABLE flashlight that uses its built-in solar panel to charge its built-in lithium vanadium battery. So you never have to buy batteries for this flashlight, and it can be recharged many, many times before the battery starts to poop out.

This model is the "Skylight Steel", with a 10-minute auto shutoff circuit. No dead batteries because of a light that got accidentally left on.

It comes in an almost-all stainless steel body; with the only nonmetal components being the lens in front of the LED, the rubberised pushbutton, the glass over the solar panel, and the glow in the dark lanyard cap.


The Skylight Steel comes ready to use right out of the package, however putting it in a bright, sunny window or under a good lamp solar cell facing the light source for a few hours will ensure it's topped off and ready to go when you are.

To use the new Skylight Steel, just press and release the button to turn it on, and press & release it again to turn it off.

Recharging the battery is as easy as setting the light down solar cell-up someplace bright, such as near a window or under a lamp.

You'll never have to change batteries or bulbs in a Skylight Steel, so this section really isn't needed.

Place the Skylight Steel in a sunny window or under a good lamp solar cell side up (button facing down) to recharge it. If the batteries are totally shot, 8-10 hours under good light (like sunlight) should charge it fully. The light will flash when used to indicate the battery needs to be recharged.

Skylight in the 'charging' position

The self-discharge rate of the battery is a very low 2% per month, so it won't hurt the Skylight Steel at all if it's forgotten in a purse for a few weeks or packed in a suitcase for a trip and subsequently not needed. You don't have to go to the trouble of putting it in the sun each and every day if you aren't using it a lot - that simply isn't necessary.

Advertised runtime on a fully-charged battery is approximately 6 hours.

After 100 full charge/discharge cycles, the battery has a capacity of approximately 50% of the initial capacity.

The new Skylight Steel appears to be well-made and reasonably durable, just like its brothers, the original Free Light, the Free Light II, and the Skylight Comfort. The body is composed of stainless steel, with a plastic (possibly polycarbonate) lens in front of the LED. The only really fragile component is the glass window that covers the solar cell; which is slightly recessed so it shouldn't break if the light is dropped. Attacking a defenseless Skylight Steel with an ice pick or a hammer will probably kill the poor thing though, so please try and play nice.

The unit is sealed and cannot be opened. It is also splash proof and submersible to one meter (just over three feet).

The Skylight Steel uses a circuit that regulates the solar cell's current to prevent overcharging and also to prevent overdischarging when the light is being used. In ordinary use, you may never have to throw the light away. Truly, a light to last you a lifetime.

The lanyard cap at the tail end glows in the dark, making the Skylight Steel easy to find in the dark.

Beam photo at 12" from target.
Measures 8,660mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.
I'll remeasure after a couple of days, just to be sure.
As my housemate says, "just to be sure it's Westinghouse".

I'm not sure when we'll see the sun in Seattle again, but when we do, I'll
place the Skylight Steel in it for a day just to be certain it's 100% charged.

(Update 10-07-05): After a full day in the sun, the reading did not change.

Spectrographic plot
The 5mm white LED in this flashlight.
Ocean Optics USB2000 Spectrometer on loan from TWO-CUBED.

Test unit was received on 10-06-05, sent directly from Switzerland.

The website is at

Product was made in Switzerland. A product's country of origin really does matter to some people, which is why I published it on this web page.



    MANUFACTURER: Swisslight AG
    PRODUCT TYPE: Solar-rechargeable flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm white LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Narrow flood with dimmer corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on flashlight body
    BEZEL: Stainless steel; plastic lens protects LED
    BATTERY: Internal rechargeable; lithium-vanadium, capacity not known
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 1 meter
    ACCESSORIES: Lanyard (9.5cm looped)
    SIZE: 108mm L, 47mm W, 18mm D
    WEIGHT: 30 grams
    WARRANTY: 10 years


    Star Rating

Skylight Steel *

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