XEPA 42-Inch Tall Solar-Powered LED Post Lamp
I had been planning for a while to install a lamp post in my front yard, to illuminate a well-traveled walkway, but had been procrastinating (for at least the past 2 years) because the project would require running electrical wiring underground from a power source and switch at the house. I was aware that solar lamps were available, but my experience with solar lighting has been less than positive, with solar lamps proving to be unreliable, lack sufficient lumens output, and short-lived due to
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the elements. I did not expect the Xepa to perform much differently, on the basis and belief that solar lighting isn’t quite perfected, but this LED post lamp from Xepa exceeded my expectation. As I removed the product from shipping box, the first thing I noticed is that the lamps 4 shades are made of glass, not plastic, and feature air bubbles and a distorted wave effect giving the appearance of old paned glass. When the lantern is turned on, the light through the air bubble glass casts a visually interesting effect on the surrounding area. The lamp post is constructed of cast aluminum with no visible seams, to which I am accustomed to seeing on other lamps, which I now know are of an inferior quality. Hardware and an Allen key are included, in addition to well-written instructions containing illustrations, which proved useful during assembly. What really impressed me about this lamp is the built-in timer that activates once the photo cell senses darkness. Depending on the switch setting, the lamp will illuminate for 6 or 12 hours, and then turn itself back on for another cycle. The 6 hour setting provides more lumens than the 12 hour setting, but the light that burns twice as bright, lasts half as long. The aluminum post is hollow and there are no wires. I have my lamp set for 6 hours of illumination. After several nights of testing, I realized that the lamp not only requires direct sunlight to charge the solar cells, but also pitch blackness to illuminate. For example, one night the moon was full and shining brightly and, although it was dark outside, the lamp did not turn on. There doesn’t appear to be a setting to adjust for low light, so you need to try different locations to find one that works reliably. Since its winter and the ground is too hard to dig and pour a concrete base, I planted the post to the ground surface by driving 10-inch aluminum tent spikes through the pre-drilled holes in the aluminum base, which hold the 42-inch post sufficiently well, but I’m not sure would work on anything taller as the majority of weight is in the lamp atop the post. I had the post lamp installed in my front yard in a matter of minutes, rather than the several hours it would have taken to run underground wiring and install an electric post lamp. My plan, when the weather is warmer, is to purchase the Xepa 77-inch lamp post for the front walkway and move the Xepa 42-inch lamp post to a garden area. These lamps are not inexpensive, but like anything, you get what you pay for and quality is worth paying a little extra to get. While I recommend this Xepa post lamp as an alternative to running outdoor electrical wiring, aside from the hyper-sensitivity of the photo cell, and lack of low light adjustment, my only other negative comment is that the light is typical-LED white, where my preference for outdoor lighting is for amber, to match the electrical incandescent light fixtures attached to my house.