104 of 110 people found the following review helpful
Nice warm light, but....,
This review is from: Malibu 8501-0604-01 Solar Spotlight, Black (Tools & Home Improvement)
We wanted to illuminate some new trees in our back yard. I did not want to run low voltage wire and deal with power transformers so I started looking at solar landscape lights. We did not need them to be very bright since they are just to create a nice effect. More important than brightness was "color". We don't like the bluish white light that most led lights emit. It seems cold and harsh. These Malibu lights are one of the only solar lights i have been able to find with a light color of 3000 degrees K., which is a nice warm yellowish color. Most solar led lights produce a color around 6,000 degrees K which is bluish white. (here's a link to a Kelvin color temperature scale-- [...] ).
My problem with most of the lights with the solar panel mounted directly to the light is that optimal light placement and optimal panel placement are rarely the same place. In our situation, the preferred location for the light did not provide good sun exposure for the panel during the day. I know there are solar kits with separate lights and panels, but none of the ones i found had the color light i wanted. Therefore, I modified these lights by removing the panel from the light housing and putting a 10' wire between the light and the panel. I modified some old tent stakes to mount the panel on. Now i can locate the panel in a nice sunny spot while keeping the light where my wife wants it. So far, they are working nicely. We will probably purchase a few more for the front yard. Hopefully someone will come out with a kit with separate lights and panel that use the "warm white" led's.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 29, 2012 7:39:14 AM PDT
Jason Torchio says:
Great idea about separating the panel from the light. Was that relativley simple to do? Did you just pick up some low voltage wire and splice? What did you use to splice? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 10:24:19 AM PDT
I used four conductor 18 gauge security cable. There are four conductors that run between the light and the solar panel. I soldered the connections to ensure they would be reliable outdoors. The wire in the light is very small gauge so if you solder you need to use a very low power soldering iron. After soldering the connections I used electrical tape to cover them and then put them inside the light housing, then sealed the hole with silicon. It can be a little tricky if you are not an experienced solderer. I ran about six feet of wire between the light and panel and they have been working great. My wife is so happy with them she bought another one for me to modify. I can take some pictures as I do it and send them to you if you think it would help. Let me know.
In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 6:35:12 AM PDT
Jason Torchio says:
Thanks so much for the quick and detailed reply, and the offer to share some pictures. I've never soldered before so it's probably outside my comfort zone but I do appreciate the info. Glad you're enjoying the lights!
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 3:48:21 PM PDT
L. Baker says:
I would be very interested in your pics if you're willing to share them. I have a magnificent paperbark tree that i'd like to use these lights on but will need to modify the panel like you did. I read your feedback and know how to solder - seems straight forward enough.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012 12:25:05 PM PDT
I already modified the light a couple of days ago so I will not be able to do any "disassembled" photos. If you think it will help, I can send pics of the finished modification so you can see how I mounted the panel on a old tent stake. If you are comfortable soldering, it should go smoothly. There are only four wires, two from the panel to the circuit board in the light assembly, and two that return to the battery in the panel assembly. Actually, two of the four wires are "common" for the negative connection and could be connected together if you only have three conductor wire to run between the panel and light. You can identify them using a ohm meter. I used cat5 network cable for the last mod I did since I was out of the four conductor alarm wire. It works just fine. I used each pair as a single wire, orange, blue, green and brown.
Let me know if you want some pics of the finished mod.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2012 7:20:58 AM PDT
can you send some photos to me, i have been thinking of doing this, thanks
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 2, 2012 7:46:35 AM PDT
Jason, Do a Google search for directions, or look for a YouTube "How To Solder" video. Soldering is really easy to do. Much easier than making a batch of cookies. You can do it!
Posted on Oct 5, 2012 12:56:53 AM PDT
Buy the bluish white ones with the detached solar panel, then open them up and put yellow cellophane inside. The LEDs won't melt the cellophane. Look for my review on "Mr. Beams MB723 Battery-Powered Motion-Sensing LED Stick-Anywhere Nightlight" because I had the same problem with the color of the light.
Posted on Nov 13, 2013 8:20:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2013 8:21:39 PM PST
I noticed that these comments were made in 2012. Malibu now makes a 54 lumen spot light with an extended attached cord to place the solar panel on an included stake about 3-4 feet away from the spot light. Bought 2 at Home Depot to try on a couple palm trees and absolutely love their more yellow bright white light and being able to place the solar panel away to the sun. I bought 3 more on Amazon, but found that November is not the month to buy these as I wanted more and found most were currently unavailable(: The lighting provided by 54 lumens is amazing and well worth the $39 to $43 price. I had them in place in minutes and that night WOW! No electrician and no soldering. Just concerned no one steals them! or my lawn folks don't run over them! You can not tell that they aren't electric...hate blue solar lighting. Hope this helps, Lynne
Posted on Jan 8, 2014 9:10:14 AM PST
See these two links for a light that has the solar panel separated from the light itself:
Malibu: Solar Lamp
Generic Water Proof Outdoor Solar Powered LED Spotlight Lamp 6 LEDs Waterproof Available for Pool Use