Celebrate Earth Day with Sustainable Switches

Earth Day is Friday, and if you have to work and can’t plant trees in a park or take part in a neighborhood cleanup day, you could celebrate Earth Day by purchasing sustainable products with switches to help you enjoy the outdoors and preserve our environment.

Solar Powered Lantern

If you have the weekend to enjoy Earth Day, take a camping trip somewhere beautiful and breathe in the fresh air. But before you go, consider picking up a solar powered lantern for those late night walks through the woods to find a safe, comfortable place to relieve yourself.

Some of these solar lanterns even allow for charging via USB or by using a crank, like you would if you were starting an old Ford Model T. While this might seem incredibly old-fashioned, so is walking, but walking is still honest. We as a species don’t take near enough advantage of the potential energy in the calories we consume. Sure, we burn more calories per day than apes, but we’re also consuming more calories than ever

Regardless of which solar lantern you choose for your midnight movements, there’s a good chance it’ll have a switch programmed for multiple levels of brightness, measured in lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light.

Some of these lanterns are even collapsible, saving space when packing it in and out of the woods. Regardless of design, it’s most likely your solar powered lantern requires a switch with a right angle or through-hole design. The TL6190 series tactile switch from E-switch features that design and a plastic cap that makes it easy on the user to operate. It’s also sealed to protect from dust and moisture, which makes it perfect for outdoor applications. This tact switch also operates at temperatures ranging from -40 to 105°C, so whether this switch find itself in the desert or the arctic, it’ll work.

Solar Charger

We’ve become accustomed (and addicted) to modern technology, and that’s especially the case for young people. Taking the kids on a camping trip to a place without Wi-Fi might sound like a death sentence to some parents, but it doesn’t have to be. Wireless data availability has expanded to areas where car camping is common. Even our cars are equipped with Wi-Fi now.

But increased access to Wi-Fi and wireless data means more time on devices and makes access to electricity more important. But when you’re on the hike with the kids and their tablet dies, it doesn’t have to result in a temper tantrum that forces you back to the car to charge the device. Portable solar chargers allow you to harness the power of the sun to charge smartphones, tablets, and the like. 

Space is at a premium when designing these solar chargers, so a small, surface mountable tactile switch for turning on the charger is necessary. The TL6120 series tactile switch measures 7.4mm x 7.4mm, is sealed to protect against the elements, operates at temperatures ranging from -40 to 85°C, and has an operating life of one million cycles. The TL6120 tact switch was designed to stand the test of time, regardless of environment.

Residential Solar Array

If you’re ready to invest in your home and think you’d enjoy getting a check from your energy company for a change, you might consider having a residential solar array installed on your roof. I had mine installed three years ago, and while I’m paying more for electricity now, the majority of my payment goes toward my solar loan rather than to the energy company. In fact, during the summer, I seldom have an energy bill because the sun is in the sky for so long and I keep my house at 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most of the solar energy my array produces in the winter is sold back to the energy company and distributed to my neighbors, resulting in a $300 check every year. That makes my energy bill around $1,000 each year, but again, almost all of it goes toward my loan. Once that’s paid off, I’m making $300 per year for as long as I own the home. My solar array is relatively small and cost around $12,000 to have installed, which I’ll pay down over 10 years.

When you have a residential solar array installed, a Wi-Fi device monitoring the energy production of your solar array will also be installed. This device allows you to use an app to check whether your solar array is functioning properly and how much energy it’s producing. Since this device requires access to your home Internet to log this data, it occasionally needs to be reconnected to your home network. This is where a switch comes into play. The 800 series subminiature pushbutton switch from E-switch could serve that purpose.

The 800 series pushbutton switches perform a momentary function like reconnecting to a network by simply holding down the actuator, which has multiple cap options. These pushbutton switches also feature a variety of termination options and come with either silver or gold terminals. Installation is a literal snap with the snap-in, panel mount option, and in tight spots, the right angle mounting option can save the day.

E-switch is proud to supply switches for any sustainable products helping to preserve our environment and Earth. Earth Day might be Friday, but it should be celebrated everyday, whether that be by planting trees, cleaning out storm drains, or designing and manufacturing products promoting sustainability. Happy Earth Day from E-switch!

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