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This is a brilliant electric parasol heater and light which I bought a couple of years ago from Costco for £102. It was a bit of an impulse buy and my other half thought I'd taken leave on my senses when I came home with it. However, he was soon won over as it's made sitting outside a real pleasure regardless of the weather.
Over the summer I did see it elsewhere for around £130 but with end of season sales you can probably now pick one up for £80. Check out amazon if you are thinking of buying one. It does seem a hefty initial investment but for us it was worthwhile since we love to bbq and we eat as many meals outside as possible during the summer months.
The heater has four infra-red lamps on a circular base. The base is hinged so fits around the pole of a parasol. It will fit most parasols as it fits poles between 25mm and 55mm in diameter. Once around the parasol, the base closes with a thumbscrew and then is secured to the pole with a screw clamp. If the parasol sits in the middle of a garden table, you will also need to feed the 3m electric cable through the central hole. One person can fit it but it is easier with two - so that one can position the lamp and hold it steady while the other secures the clamp.
The heater feels substantial. It weighs 5.2 kg and measures 48.5 x 48.5 x 21 cm. The metal base which is cast aluminium has a dark hammered finish and the lamps have safety guards and polished reflectors.
It warms up instantly and is surprisingly economical to run - apparently around 25p per hour. The heater lamps can be adjusted so you can get the heat where you need it and because it's infrared, it's more environmentally friendly than gas patio heaters - it doesn't waste heat because it heats people not the surrounding air. The heat output is 500 watts per lamp.
The heater gives a wide circle of heat as well as providing light. We've used it a lot when we've wanted to eat outside particularly in the evening. Even on those very warm nights we've enjoyed this year, we've switched the heater on to take off the chill and so been able to sit out very late without layering up with jumpers and blankets. It heats an area of 15 square meters so everyone around the table gets the benefit of the heat. We can get 10-12 people around our table and no one has complained that they are missing out on the heat.
Our heater also came with a ceiling hanging mount. We've not used this but it will enable you to use the heater in a gazebo or conservatory.
The only problem we've had is that after two years of sterling service, one of the bulbs went. I found a replacement easily on ebay although it did cost £10.99 + 99p postage. It was easy to fit (I take hubby's word on this!) and I'm sure the heater will continue to give us hours of heat. As you can probably tell, I really like this parasol heater and give it the full 5 stars.