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I bought a set of these for our garden last summer and they are lovely.
I like to sit in our garden in the evenings in the summer and appreciate the last of the days sunshine and when it begins to grow dark I like it when there are little lights. When I saw these on Amazon I couldn't resist them. In a pack you get 4 and they cost about £15 which I thought was a good price to pay seeing as you do not pay any electricity or anything as they are solar powered.
They are stainless steel so very practical and hard wearing for being outside. They have a spike on the end which you put in your garden. I have these in a flower bed and they fit in nicely in the soil and are tall enough to have had a good amount in the ground to secure it and a good amount poking up too so they can be seen.
It is powered with a battery which charges up when the sun shines on it. They only come on when it begins to get dark which is great! They are just a clear, yellowish light but you can buy some which are different colours and that change colour too.
It isn't the kind of light that will light up your garden but it does give a lovely glow and is more about looking pretty than being practical.
Something that I have noticed is that in the winter when there is little sun they don't work as well and one of them doesn't seem to charge up as well as the others. I tried moving it to an area which was more sunny but it still doesn't seem to work as well so I think perhaps the battery just isn't as good as it used to be.
I do like these, you do have to make sure you position them where they will get sun to be able to charge. I like the faint light they give off they are very pretty.
I think for £15 they are a good price.
I first saw these in B&Q, I'm a bit impulsive and after seeing them I decided that the garden could do with light at night, I don't know why I thought that since we have a security light out there and I'm never out there at night anyway but still.. I thought it would be pretty.
They are very easy to install, theres a plastic point on the end of them that you dig into the soil. I'm not the strongest of people and found it easy to dig them into both soil and grass. We did have 8 of them but on sticking them around the garden one of the spikes for one snapped, I wasn't pressing particularly hard but then the others all went in ok and are still standing just over a year later so maybe it was just that one.
They do enhance the look of the garden especially when surrounded by plants, although you will want to be sure that the solar panel is able to get sunlight in order for the lights to recharge.
Now.. despite the fact that overall I am happy with the lights they only really have one job.. to light up the garden, and therein lies the problem. They don't produce enough light. They are very subtle and look more like miniature UFO's have landed in my garden rather then lights designed to light the garden! However, my garden is surrounded by high fences and bushes and so maybe it's that there isn't enough sunlight reaching the panel. Despite this they do make the garden look very attractive and unless you're specifically looking for something to enable you to see around your garden at night I would recommend them
When we moved house last time, after spending a lot of time and effort making the garden nice, and installing patio doors so we could see more of it, my husband and I decided to invest in some outdoor garden lights which we could dot around the garden to make it more of a feature, and more attractive in general in the evenings, whether we were outside in the garden or in the house looking outside at it.
We wanted flexibility with the lights, so didn't want to have to have any wires or anything like that put in in order to run the lights. We wanted them to be as cheap as possible to run and also look nice, so when my husband found a set of these Stainless Steel Solar Garden Lights online, for just £15 for a set of 4, he decided to get a couple of sets of them. They were wire free, would cost nothing but free sunshine to power and looked simplistic but attractive, so we were happy with them.
Each solar powered light comes on top of a metal spike (approximately 20-25cm long), which can be driven into the ground to stand the lights upright, either alongside a path or in with the plants. We have dotted our lights around in the actual planting areas as it highlights the nicest plants and looks less formal than having them line the path, and the path is still illuminated by their white glow anyway, so that's fine for us. The lightbulb is housed in a glass container on top of the spike, and on top of this is a metal hood which contains the black solar energy cell, which powers up during the day to make the lights be able to work at night. The whole light, depending on how deep you push the spike in, is around 30cm off the ground, but you can push them in deeper if you want to. We have ours pushed in to different heights to create a more varied effect, but the maximum possible height is around 40cm.
The lights work by charging rechargable batteries by solar power during the day, so the batteries are full at night when the power is needed. The great thing about these solar powered lamps is that they switch on and off automatically when it gets light in the morning or dark at night. This is brilliant for us as we don't have to remember to turn them off / on at any point, it's all automated.
We've had these for nearly a year now and considering they've cost us nothing to run, we've found them excellent. During the Summer, when the sun is brighter and can charge the batteries of these LED lights more, the light is obviously a little brighter than in the depths of Winter, where at times we've found the light produced by these garden lights to be dimmer and shorter-lived. This is to be expected with solar lighting though considering this is the UK. All our lights, although in with the plants, are in nice sunlit areas in a South facing garden, so we've had no real problems with charging these lights. The AA rechargeable batteries are removable, so if you do want to make your garden brightly lit for something special after a string of dull days, you can always charge them yourselves indoors if you have a battery recharger, but of course that uses a bit of energy. To be honest we haven't bothered to do that, and our lights are still going strong, whilst looking attractive on their shiny metal poles with metal tops.
Overall, we've found these to be a great set of garden lights. They are completely hassle free and have provided lots of illumination in our garden, an area which we've enjoyed more because of these lights. Well recommended.
I've always enjoyed seeing these solar lights in other peoples gardens at night - like little static ghosts sitting there randomly around the garden. So when we were landscaping our back garden and wanted to provide some light to light the pathway up, these seemed to be ideal for the job. I thought solar - nil running costs, environmentally friendly, look good - can't go wrong.
There seem to be a variety of different makes of these on the market at the moment. But dealing with the ones I have, I bought 2 sets of 4 from Amazon about a year ago for £18 each set, although looking on Amazon now they have reduced down to £12.80 for a set of 4. They were made by a company called Rolson Tools and also had free delivery through Amazon at the time.
They are basically a light in a glass housing on top of a stainless steel tube. On top of the light is a sort of hood, the top of which houses the solar cell. The hood also directs the light produced downwards towards the ground rather than upwards, which is more useful since these are often used to light pathways etc. At the bottom of the stainless steel tube is a spike arrangement which you push into the ground leaving the tube/light sticking vertically upwards. Height wise they are approx 410 mm. No need for extra wiring runs along the garden to power the lights or any requirement to concrete the tubes into the ground to hold them upright, meaning that these lights can be positioned anywhere around the garden - providing that you can push the spike into the ground.
The light itself is powered by a mixture of rechargeable Ni Cd AA batteries and solar power, so that the solar panel charges the batteries up through the day when it is bright, and then the batteries kick-in at night to light the light throughout the night. To try and regulate this battery and solar panel usage and swap over, there is some electronic wizardry inside the unit that switches the light on and off automatically at dusk and dawn. The whole lighting process is full automated, so there is no need to worry about it once you have it set up in the garden.
In use, the light itself is crisp and white coming from LEDs. It's not brilliantly bright, and it's never going to be floodlight brightness quality coming from a solar powered light. But it is functional to light the ground around the light. When we lined these along out path every 8 feet or so either side, they provided plenty of light to light the path around them for quite a few feet, and enough to easily read a book (if you want to get down on your hands and knees in your garden in the middle of the night under the light hood to do so because they are only 410 mm high!!)
The only issue I've found is with the endurance of the rechargeable batteries. Middle of summer wasn't really a problem because long nice bright days (when they did occur) meant that the solar charger was working flat out to charge the batteries for the night. But when we had a few dull days in succession, particularly in the autumn and winter months, the solar cell couldn't quite charge the batteries fully enough during the day, and hence the light was a little dimmer at night and didn't appear to last as long. To get around this I bought a better set of AA rechargeable batteries and every so often I would take them out and give them a full charge on a separate mains battery charger. I suppose it depends on if you are happy with a dimmer light occasionally from these solar lights, or do you want to try and maintain peak efficiency by giving them a full charge every so often. So very much down to personal choice as to how you want to play that issue.
Positioning of the lights also needs to be carefully considered. We had some lights in the open areas of the lawn and others were located nearer some trees. The ones by the trees were slightly shielded from the sun during the day, and again we found these to be dimmer and not as long lasting as the ones that were in the open areas. Repositioning the lights sorted out this issue, but I suppose you could also go through the recharging routine on a mains charger that I detailed earlier.
Longevity wise, they still look good after a year. They seem to be well made and look quite stylish, and we haven't really noticed any signs of failure through water seepage or rust on them. Obviously they have been left out in all weathers, and occasionally we've needed to give the solar cell on the top a quick wipe just to ensure that it was maintaining peak efficiency. They've also been knocked over by the dogs when they've been playing and running in the garden, and 2 of the lights have also survived being extensively used as a pee posts by the dogs (didn't say anything in the manual that dogs weren't allowed to do this - but then my dogs didn't bother to read the manual!!).
In summary, to our garden I think they are a nice addition. They provide sufficient light for our needs to light up the areas where we have put them, and seem to be robust enough to survive all weathers - and dog pee!!! So highly recommended.
Our house and garden faces south so at this or indeed any time of year we get a lot of free heat through a total of 5 full length windows/patio doors and several smaller windows. It makes it lovely and airy and bright.
We'd love to have solar panels on the roof to make extra use of the sun we get, but it would be too much of an eyesore in a pretty area and we have nowhere in the garden that we can hide them.
Our one concession to solar power then is a total of 12 of these solar lights mounted on plastic silver spikes. Strategically located around the garden, they do look attractive when they come on at dusk and we have sufficient light coming from these to subtly light the whole garden.
For two years they have done their job well. You have to clean off the solar panels on the top from time to time and occasionally need to re-site them when a growing plant has obstructed the light. They obviously aren't as bright if you have them by a dark fence or under a big shrub as they rely on as much sunlight as possible to keep them working.
This year however, the lights were not shining as brightly and upon investigation, the problem and therefore the opportunity lay in the rechargeable batteries that are contained within the unit. Over a period of time they had lost their charge - or rather each solar charge was lasting a shorter and shorter period.
I removed all the rechargeable batteries and charged them up via the standard battery charger plugged into the mains in the house and hey presto, they now have a new lease of life.
For anyone who is suffering the same issue with dimmer lights, it's certainly worth doing this rather than go to the expense of getting a new set. Maybe they won't last long, but if you get an extra year out of them that would be a year worth having.
At first these lights looked like a bit of an eyesore in amongst the plants. We have found that the best thing to do is to spread them about and now that the plants have grown up around them they are not so obviously false looking in the garden.
Perhaps some people would wonder why get Solar powered lights when you stay in Scotland, and I would say to that - good point, but we sometimes have daylight up here, and we got these for the function as well as a bit of decoration in the garden.
We bought these from B&Q ages ago. They were on a special offer of £8 for the 4 light pack, so we got 3 packs and planned to dot them along the edge of the Garden.
These are so easy to install. They have quite a sharp point on the end of them and you just stick these where you want them. They will go easily enough into Soil and grass, and even if they aren't that far in then they will stay upright. Then again you want them in far enough for you not to see the spike of them anyway.
The silver colouring of these I think makes them look more expensive than they are. The light part of them is large enough, and although I wasn't too keen on the silver bit on top of the light, after you see these on then it does make them look nice.
These give quite a subtle light but then again if you do stay somewhere that gets lots and lots of light then you may get a different experience than my one. The light stays on for a good while, and although it gets dimmer and dimmer until it goes off, it is a nice light to see in your Garden.
Liven up your Garden
Last summer we were just adding the finishing touches to our new garden that we had spent months trying to complete. We have a nice sized garden with a combination of grass and patio area. Through the middle of the grass we have a path leading up to the end of the garden. On one side of this path we had dug a border going all the way along. The idea was to plant some flowers down this edge but on doing this we didn't feel it looked completed. The garden looked as though it had something missing but I had no idea what else to put in as we had almost every kind of flower and tree that would be easy to maintain.
That was another important factor about our garden is that we wanted it to be easy maintenance. I'm not a huge gardener well, not a gardener at all really by my partner's accounts, just because he didn't look after his cactus and it died he now seems to think it was my fault and there for thinks I kill any living plant I touch. Typical to blame me!
Anyway when I was walking through my local discount store I came across a pack of 4 stainless steel solar panelled lights and thought they would finish of our garden well. Costing only £8 per pack of 4 I picked up two. On appearance they look relatively plain. They have s silver tube which sticks into the ground via the spike attached to the bottom. This isn't sharp but with enough force it can easily be pushed into position. The top looks almost like a spaceship it is a sort of half a circle at the top which contains the solar panel and then there is a dome underneath this which contains the light.
They are not as heavy as they look on appearance, they are actually relatively light which for a product like this is not a good factor as it means they can easily be blown over by wind. In our garden we placed the eight lights evenly spaced out between the flowers. Even during the day the lights looked like a nice feature to the garden.
Come evening time the view was totally different than in the day. The lights don't really light up the garden so you can see everything, but it does a good job of lighting up the space around them. The light produced from them is very bright. As soon as it starts to go dark the light comes on, at first it is just a faint light but when it is pitch black the lights are so bright, it looks like 8 balls of light from an upstairs window but from in the garden it makes everything so beautiful. All of the different coloured flowers glow and shimmer in the light making the garden a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
Unfortunately for our lights they didn't last too long, neither did our garden. As our dog grew so did his stamina and with that saw him running around the garden in a circle around five times a day. This left a big muddy track mark. As for our flowers he ate, and the lights were dismantled one by one and poles were left scattered around the garden.
This isn't to say they will brake if you buy them as I am sure ours would have lasted if we didn't have our gangly best friend eat them (the things you put up with for dogs!) I would definitely recommend buying them, they are a pretty little feature to any garden, any size, any shape as long as you have some soft ground to stick them into they will look great and they are easy to maintain.
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