Most helpful critical review
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
poor Concept: not worth money or time
on December 30, 2011
This item is so poorly-made I can't believe it got any good reviews -- unless it used to be made differently.
It gets one star because it does provide a nice bright light. But "190 ft range"? No way.
And "Designed & engineered for reliable outdoor use"? Nope, not designed to be installed outside. It comes with hardware you find on toys, literally -- small, short, soft-metal screws; the solar panel mounts to the light/sensor housing but rotates, meaning there is nothing to keep it pointed in the right direction; it has a long cord but no way to mount the panel remotely except the toy hardware which will only attach it flat -- not angled at the sun -- to a wall or other surface (but I would NOT drive screws through my roof as pictured); the "UV protected plastic and ABS housing" feels flimsy and is not sealed against the weather
I have bought and installed dozens of solar lights. The good ones last a couple of years or more; this one might work for a couple of months if you can get it mounted. I wasted many hours trying to overcome these deficiencies before finally giving up and repackaging it only to find that Amazon will not accept it as a return (because of the battery).
Some notes for people researching this kind of product:
-LEDs are dimmer in cold weather and take longer to come up to max brightness.
-You need lots of LEDs in the housing to make real light (this one was good in that respect).
-Halogens can be bright enough to read by, but use more juice. They need a larger battery (typically 4 amp-hours or more) and more efficient charging (a panel that will adjust for the optimal angle to the sun).
-Lack of weather-tightness is usually a prime cause of failures, not just from rain but excess humidity which will corrode batteries, contacts and circuit boards.
-Even a well-designed case is worthless without decent hardware: non-rusting screws that are long enough to go through siding and into solid structure and an extra bracket for mounting the panel and adjusting its angle.
-Batteries do wear out -- hopefully the rest of the light doesn't fail first -- so a case that can be opened and re-closed is good (real hardware, again).
UPDATE: 5 Stars for Amazon who did refund my purchase price without taking the item as a return. I guess for free this item is worth putting up for as short as it is likely to last; I will build some bracket device to mount the panel and seal the housing against rain.