Answers to 7 key questions about solar-powered hats

Solar Light Cap

Not aware of solar-powered hats? It’s time you learn. We’re answering your basic questions about one of the more unusual solar innovations.

The basics

Q: What is a solar-powered hat?

It’s any hat that uses solar power in a unique way. The most common use for a solar-powered hat is to provide a little extra light or charging. Of course, there are other uses we’ll mention later.

Q: What else do solar-powered hats do?

Hats that provide light or charging are more practical. There’s also a sizable business in gag gift hats, like Spencer’s solar-powered fan hat.

Q: Are there actual uses for these?

Maybe. Like many small solar-powered gadgets, they are a practical (and workable) option for campers or hikers. For example, this hat provides about three hours of light per night.

The different hats

Q: What options are there for solar-powered hats?

SmartPlanet CBS demonstrates the most practical option: a hat that lights up.

That said, it’s one of many. This Kickstarter for a solar-powered hard hat is a spin-off of a straw hat with a built-in fan.

Q: Can you make one yourself?

Definitely. You can find instructions here and here.

The limitations

Q: What is the battery life like?

It varies depending on the charging time, the use of the hat, and the function. Most hats work best with a day’s charge.

Q: What else should I be careful about?

Many manufacturers note that bending, flexing, or washing your hat can damage the solar panels or electronics inside, so you’ll have to be careful.

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