If you like the idea of getting free energy from the sun, but don’t want to deal with the complications of installing a solar array on your roof, Umbrosa has created a lovely backyard sun shade that does double-duty — turning those rays into electricity.
As umbrellas go the Eclipse’s design is striking, but it isn’t really an umbrella at all. At least it doesn’t fold away like one. Instead, the shade is composed of a large metal ring, supported by a pole, with a large piece of fabric stretched taut across it. Kind of like a drum, but instead of producing rhythmic sounds as the sun’s rays bounce off it, they’re collected by an optional array of solar cells on top.
Admittedly, the setup probably doesn’t have the same energy yield as a large array of solar panels atop your home, but it should be more than enough to take your festive deck lights off the grid, or keep a speaker running well into the night after the sun has set.