* Prices may differ from that shown
We are working over the back garden at the moment and clearing the overgrown mayhem that has been neglected and left for the dogs to play in. Part of the "clean up" involves making it look appealing for both my daughter and myself. Once she is asleep at night, I want to be able to go outside and chill by the firepits, so I have invested in lots of solar lights to brighten the space and create a nice atmosphere. I have several types of solar light, from the fairy type strands to the crackled globe type, and these are my newest acquisition. I managed to get these for just £6 for a pack of two which is a good deal I think.
These lights come in a large box, with the poles for each light in three separate pieces. The poles are metal and screw together easily, finishing in a shepherd's crook type top hook to hang the lanterns from. The lanterns themselves are like old style coach lights. They feature integrated little panels on the top which initially are protected with some very hard to remove plastic film. Once that is removed, assembling them is a doddle.
You get two ground spikes in the box too. These are easy to use and hold the poles reasonably well. The lanterns swing gently on the hooks and look good in a light breeze. Even in the strongest wind (and my garden is very windy at times) they have not flown off of the crooks.
My first impressions of these was initially disappointment, as the lanterns themselves are very plastic looking. I decided to age them a bit with some bronze acrylic paint which I dry-brushed on and stippled. Once dried, these looked really good, and I was happy with them.
ASSEMBLING THE LANTERNS:
The lantern part unclips with a twist from under the rim, where you will find a simple "on-off" button. You turn this to the "on" position and that is that. The poles need to be screwed together as they are hollow metal tubes with threads on the end. Pop the poles into the ground spikes and they are ready to place.
I put these out late afternoon so the lights only got around 3 hours of daylight. It was not sunny either. But once it became dark outside the lights came on and lasted until 4am. I was surprised by this and pleased that they were so efficient. They did not kick out a great deal of light in terms of being able to see the grass below, but they were great as markers for the edge of the flower bed. The next day was sunny and the lights had all day to charge up. By nightfall the lights were glowing well and did illuminate the area.
The light output from these is good for mood lighting but not very efficient for illuminating an area brightly. They will mark a path or a feature just fine but anymore than that is not possible. I tend to use solar lighting for its ambience so this did not bother me, but it is something to bear in mind if you are looking for brightness. The lights last all night after a sunny day with no problems and last a very long time even without direct sunlight. They look lovely, especially against some lime green foliage.
MORE ABOUT THE SOLAR FUNCTION:
These lights are best positioned in a sunny spot if possible. I placed mine by a raised bed near the biggest fire-pit, as that is where I like to sit at night. The spikes on the base are strong and you can shove these into the ground quite easily. Once situated, all you have to do is allow the natural daylight to charge up the cells.
The lantern parts have the little solar panels in, they are rectangular and made of glass. These solar cells charge up the batteries in the lights (included) which then discharge the light at night time. These are automatic lights so they have an auto-shut off feature. Be sure to remove the protective film ;)
* The plastic lantern will not rust
* Easy to assemble
* Glow for hours even without direct sunlight
* A good price
* Lanterns are a little plastic looking
Pretty lanterns for the price. Look better when a bit aged! They give off an ambient light and look appealing swaying on the poles provided.
This summer I wanted to get some lights for our garden. I didn't want to go to the expense of getting electric outside so we just went for solar lights. We chose the Gardman Solar Coach light. We thought they looked a bit different from the regular solar lights that all our friends had. We got them from our local garden centre.
They come in a box of 2 so we got 3 boxes, they were £4.50 a box.
The coach lights come complete with a shepherds crook to hang the lanterns from, very quaint! The lanterns, although only plastic, are a nice shape and if you don't look too closely they look half decent. They are black in colour with glass panels making the lantern. They are approximately 16cm in diameter and 22cm high. The shepherds crooks arrive in pieces and need pushing together.
The lanterns are bought with re chargeable batteries included. They also have a manual on/off switch. Although we never used this I suppose you could turn them off if on holiday, or in the winter when the garden isn't used so much.
The crooks as I said come in 2 parts, these are made of metal, you push one part in the ground and then slot the second piece into the first. Then its simply a matter of hanging the lantern on the crook and waiting for the sun to shine.
However, it wasn't quite that simple. The shepherds crooks are very flimsy, its hard to get the lantern hanging on it without it leaning. I found this extremely frustrating to the point where it really annoyed me.
Apart from the crook problem, the lanterns worked fine, they were not overly bright but did give a nice soft glow in the evenings. We had to move them a few times due to plants growing and shading them from the sun. Something we stupidly didn't think of when choosing where to put them. I was annoyed with myself over this because it meant we had the whole " getting the crook right" problem again.
Over all I was pleased with out solar lanterns, they worked fine, looked pretty and didn't break the bank however, the shepherds crooks were such a pain that in the end we dispensed with them. The slightest little knock would make them wobble and lean, and with 3 cats rubbing round them this was a problem. In the end we dispensed with the crooks and stood 4 of the lanterns around the patio and hung the other 2 from brackets on the end of the pergola. They look really nice on there too.
Obviously you need sunshine or at least a bright day for the lanterns to work but we found they lit up every evening during the summer and early autumn, and it's a nice way to add light to your garden without the expense of electricity.
For the money these lights were good, but I do think the crook needs to be much better quality, therefore I am only giving them 4 stars out of 5.
I bought 2 packs of these in the summer so that I could put one in each corner of the patio. At the time, I paid something like £10 per pack of 2 from the local Garden Centre, working out at £5 each. Looking at them, I thought that they would add a bit of ambiance for when we had the occasional evening out on the patio with friends.
First impressions out of the box is that they look quite stylish. You have an old styled coaching lantern with a wide black top, over a number of glass panels giving a 360 degree cover, which is then finished off at the bottom by an additional black covering to bring it all together. The lantern itself is made from a satin finished black plastic, which means that it will not start to look tatty over time because it will be corrosion resistant.
On top of the top panel you have a solar cell which is used to charge up the supplied rechargeable batteries during the day to allow the light to be run at night. The on/off state of the light is automatically regulated by some electronics which allow the light to come on at dusk and switch off again at dawn.
What I do think is particularly nice with these lanterns is the supplied metal crook from which you can suspend one of these lanterns. The end of the crook is basically just a spike that you push into the ground and the crook comes up to form a hook to suspend the lantern from. The crook is also height adjustable. In my case, I have one crook with one lantern at each corner of the patio.
In use, they do look quite nice at night when they light up, but it is worth understanding how the whole solar charging thing works, because I have seen some reviews of these on the web where people have complained that the light doesn't last too long at night.
The light is automatically switched off during the day to allow the batteries to be charged up by the solar cells. Obviously, the more sunlight the solar cells are exposed to, the more the batteries will charge up. But during overcast days, you're not going to get much sunlight, which means that there will be a limited charge in the battery. At night, the light switches on, and since there is no sunlight to power the solar cells, the light draws its power from the batteries, and does so throughout the night. In the morning, the light switches off and the charging process starts again.
So initially, it is a bit of expectation management in that during those nights following hazy or overcast days, the light output from these lanterns may not be as bright as expected, or last as long as previously seen following bright summer days. In my case, the light is not brilliantly flood light bright, and I wouldn't expect it to be so from a solar powered lantern. But it does give off just enough light to light the area around it sufficiently enough to allow you to see what you are doing. If I was planning to have a social function in the garden and the previous days have been overcast, what I have done is to remove the batteries and give them a good charge separately on a battery charger. Then I find that a full charge may last for a couple of nights operations during overcast conditions.
The second point to note is to be careful where you locate these lanterns. I was at a friend's house once who complained about one of her solar lights along her path that apparently wasn't working properly. When I went to look at it I noticed that she had located it right under an overhanging tree, so that it got no sunlight at all, and hence there was no way for the batteries to be charged up. When we moved the light to another location, all of a sudden it 'magically' started to work again.
In summary, for the price, these lanterns do look good and do add a little ambiance to your garden. But you need to be careful as to where you locate them, and also have a little expectation management as to what sort of light output you will get in return, and for how long it will last.
But from me, I think they are worth 5 stars.
Review also on Ciao under Randal1.
I got these lights quite some time ago, i think they were picked up for about £30 for 4, They were chosen out particuarly as they were of a nice design with an old fashioned look to them.
However i cant say im particuarly impressed by the solar powered lights, They are incredibly weak and even on the hottest days of the year the lights only produce a very small dim light which is very hard to see and notice.
Ok so the design is good as they look like nice features in the garden particuarly in the day time. They each feature a pole mounted with a hook, where the plastic pole is inserted into the ground, the lamp part then slots onto this hook and is allowed to swing delicately on the plastic pole. Another complaint i have is with the pole itself, i found it incredibly difficult to get the pole to sit in the ground with the plastic not at all being heavy or strong enough to deal with the actualy lamp part. So buy burying the pole deeper than expected into the ground and using a few small rocks i managed to keep each of the poles with lanterns standing upright.
Each lamp itself is fitted with a small led bulb which is powered purely by sunlight, which is recieved in through the tiny solar cells located on the top edges of the lamp. Its very hard to notice these and are very well disguised i think.
But obviously the main point of these garden features is to light up in the evening to make sitting out in the garden in the late evening a nicer experience particularly on those hot summer nights! But they have failed to work, they are positioned in direct sunlight in a south facing garden so there really isnt an excuse for them not to work. I must say i was rather dissapointed with these lights, compared to some of my friends solar lights which work very nicely there really isn't a comparison.
Recently one of the lamps poles have also snapped which is down to the high winds making a pole snapped putting the entire lamp out of action.
Despite the nice design more thought could have gone into making this work to a satisfactory level, i cant recommend these lamps for this reason and suggest using another brand.
I bought eight of these coach light lanterns when I saw them being sold very cheaply on Ebay. I've got quite a few solar lights in my garden and as the garden is in a perfect position to get plenty of sunlight so they do tend to charge up quite well.
These coach light lanterns appealled to me as they are very different to the plain upright solar lights I already have dotted about the garden. I liked the idea of being able to adjust the height and as I got the eight for less than £15 I was very impressed.
I'm undecided about them really though. They are very plastic looking, which isn't apparent in any of the online photos I've seen of these lantern. I knew they were going to be made of plastic but in the broad daylight they do look very cheap, part of this is due to the fact that the lanterns are so shiny and unfortunately they don't dull over time to look more metallic.
Then I feel robbed about the so-called height adjusting poles. These are the poles which you push into the ground, they have a shepherds crook shape to enable you to hang the lantern from it giving a real coach lantern look. Why do I feel robbed? Because you push the poles into the ground so they're naturally height adjustable depending on how far you push them in! <slaps head and looks round to make sure no-one saw>
Each light has a rechargeable battery fitted, obviously now bright the lanterns shine and how long the light will last is going to depend on how well they are able to charge in the sunlight available. As I have mentioned, we get loads of light in our garden and the coach lights are quite bright when they first come on. They will dull down slightly in the night but I've noticed most of them are still glowing faintly when I get up in the morning to get the kids ready for school.
Of the eight only one refuses to work so we've just left that, initially in the hope that it might one day flicker to life but now just to balance up the lights. You don't get enough light off them to actually light up your garden but the effect is nice, not much different to the standard solar lights which you can buy in any pound shop though.
They've lasted well, none of the lights have fallen over and none of the poles have snapped even in the quite strong winds we've had recently. I woke up one morning to find that a couple of the lights had flipped themselves up and off their crooked holding place, they didn't break though. Well, being made of cheap plastic they wouldn't.
The coach lantern design is obviously visible in daylight hours, but at night when you really want the effect the lantern shape itself isn't defined well enough to make them stand out as well as I had hoped.
£9.95 for two coach light lanterns from Amazon, not £4.93 as it states on their link to the right!
Oh Boy have I had fun spending all my rebate from the Inland Revenue, It's not been hard finding things I want to add to my garden I can assure you.In fact there are so many products I want I think I'd need to win the Lotto Jackpot, but back in reality I'm still looking for items to improve my garden at what I consider to be a bargain price.
Always one to save a bit of money, I am getting more and more interested in Solar power and it's benefits, the main one being anything that is solar powered saves me cash and saves the environment at the same time.
My garden is slowly filling with all the new items I have bought for it, solar fountains, fair trade wind chimes and of course the solar lighting.
This is a great way to display certain areas if you buy spot light solar lights , but I also wanted something that would give the garden its own unique character, back to amazon.co.uk...( what a great place to buy from , I will have to review amazon too soon ).
It's strange I was in my office looking for solar lights and my husband was downstairs on his laptop doing the same thing, we came up with completely different items , he was the one that discovered the solar coach light lanterns, he asked me what I thought of them and I said just order them fast before they run out of stock.
If I could find a Victorian style street solar light I'd buy that too, but as I had no joy we ordered two packs of two coach light lanterns with hooks.
When these were delivered I was amazed at how easy they are to fix together, each one comes in separate box with two poles and a hook which you fit together by screwing.
The solar lantern is slightly different to most solar lights , instead of having one large solar panel, the solar panels are on the top of the hexagon light each catching its own energy, there are five solar strips.
Once you find the place you want to illuminate just press the poles into the earth and angle as appropriate to your needs.
Solar Lighting is amazing, within two hours of being out in the garden these lights were actually burning quite brightly ( this was at night obviously )and they have an added feature , if there is another light on near them they shut down to collect the energy from that light.
These are a great addition to any garden, made by Gardman they sell on amazon for £10.94 , the shipping and handling fee is an extra £5.05 but they also sell them in packs of 4.Whatever price you pay ultimately these lights will save you cash.In my opinion they are good value for money and I would recommend them to everyone.
Perfect for mood lighting of borders, paths, patios and driveways. Complete with metal crooks offering 2 optional display heights. Automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn. Rechargeable batteries included.