Rated 3.0 out of 5 by 3
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 by Panaman Does not charge on cloudy days
I thought it would be nice to put a light out by my kids play set. Without running electricity solar is the only way to go. The product seems to be made sturdy. The construction seems to be some kind of metal maybe aluminum that is powder coated and the glass on the lens is fairly thick. When it arrived it was mostly assembled and the batteries seemed to be fully charged already. Installation was a breeze. all I had to do was mount the bracket to the light with a bolt they provided and then I mounted the bracket to the swing set with two screws that were provided. The light has three modes, low, high and off. The motion sensor is only used in the low position. The light stays on in a dim state and when motion is detected it turns to the bright setting for 30 seconds, the manual says the batteries should last 18 hours in this mode. In the high position, the light stays on at maximum brightness regardless of any motion. The manual says 4 hours in this mode. It has two special lithium batteries inside of it. They are larger than double AA batteries so I am sure you would have to order replacements when they die. I have had this mounted outside for 4 days now and its been cloudy and cold and has yet to charge back up from when I received it. I left the light in the off position in hopes it would charge itself but nothing has happened yet. I called the tech support line and got through immediately. The tech said that it will not charge at all on cloudy days and needs direct sunlight. Its cold, cloudy and rainy here so I will just have to wait and see. If it works fine in the summer time, I can live with that. I also have the pole mount light (SPX112). It is the exact same light with a different mount. I would not rely on this light on a daily basis, if the sun isn't shooting a ray directly onto it, you are out of luck.
January 31, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by PapawJeff Really bright and long lasting for a Solar Lamp
I set a post down by the utility shed and mounted the light on the side of it (I used a 4X4).
I had been waiting on a really sunny day to charge up the batteries really good.
We finally got one and this still lit when I got up the next day as it had direct sunlight all day...So as the days get longer im sure it will even be better
February 11, 2013
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 by MrFixIt Disappointing
We have a relatively large backyard, and it is WAY too dark. It really doesn't make sense to run wires on the outside walls, and install lamps, because we don't want to waste electricity at night when we're out there. So when i saw this product, a solar lamp that looks like a REAL lamp, i thought it would be the PERFECT solution to our problem. Unfortunately, it really wasn't.
Installation went relatively well, and quickly. There is a template included for the mounting holes, and it made the drilling of the mounting holes breeze. Unfortunately, to get the lamp part onto the mounting arm, you have to essentially dis-assemble the entire lamp. And when you re-assemble the lamp, there are four small black screws that hold the lamp to the housing that you will have to install upside-down. This is not easy, and i kept dropping the screws. There should be a better way to do this.
The lamp preforms like it's supposed to. The charge lasts pretty much the entire night (in motion-sensing conservation mode), which is fantastic. The motion sensor switches the lamp to a brighter setting when nearby, however, it is not the advertised 10 feet. It's more like 5 feet, which makes this feature almost irrelevant.
The last few days have been cloudy, and the light did not come on, AT ALL. This means that the solar panel is not efficient on overcast days, and really needs direct sunlight.
When it did turn on, the light output in the low conservation setting is really quite low. In my opinion, TOO low. Sure, i won't trip over anything when walking around, but that's where it ends. Its really just not enough light.
Design & Look
This is where the lamp really falls short. The lamp looks beautiful when off. At night, when it turns on, it is, i'm sad to say, atrocious. Why? The glass housing is made of this strange bubble design, where there are bubbles literally embedded throughout the glass. This looks fine during the day, and actually adds to the aesthetic. At night, however, it casts these horrible oval shadows all over the ground that look light big stains everywhere, almost like a reverse disco light. I really don't know anyone who would actually like this all over their yard and on the wall. The glass is this lamps Achilles heel.
Secondly, the design of the actual light source is not thought out well either. There is 1 (one!) LED in the very middle top of the lamp that creates all of the light. This is essentially a point light source. When you walk near the lamp and actually look at it the LED, it almost blinds you like a laser. And the bigger issue is that due to this, the base of the lamp casts a horrible 3-foot diameter circle on the ground where there is no light. It is absolutely noticeable, and the higher up the lamp is installed, the larger this circle appears. The circle appears to have sharp, crisp edges, which does not blend well with anything. If the lamp was a bit brighter, and the glass was a opaque to diffuse the light, this lamp would be much better.
The lamp stays light, albeit dimly, all night, but only when it gets direct sunlight during the day. The solar panel design is sound, and the lamp is water tight. However, the patterns cast on the ground & adjacent walls are absolutely atrocious, and ruin this lamp completely.
February 4, 2013