|Item Weight||1 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||5.4 x 5.3 x 11.2 inches|
|Item model number||82156|
|Batteries||1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)|
|Manufacturer Part Number||82156|
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Sunforce 82156 60-LED Solar Motion Light
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- Features amorphous solar panel with 15 ft. (4.5m) of wire, 60 LED solar motion light, 1 x Lithium-ion rechargeable battery, and mounting hardware
- Fully weather resistant and can be mounted almost anywhere
- Amorphous solar panel charges in all daylight conditions, does not need direct sunlight
- Detection distance: 30 feet, detection range: 180 degrees
- Lumen output: 850
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Use the power of the sun to light dark areas and add extra security with the Sunforce 60 LED Solar Motion Light. This light automatically turns on when motion is detected and comes equipped with 60 super-bright white LEDs, ensuring reliable lighting power for whenever, wherever you need it.
From the manufacturer
Sunforce - 60 LED Solar Motion Light
Sunforce - 60 LED Solar Motion Light
Use the power of the sun to light dark areas and add extra security with the Sunforce 60 LED Solar Motion Security Light. This light automatically turns on when motion is detected and comes equipped with 60 super-bright white LEDs in ABS plastic housing for added durability. The amorphous solar panel charges 1 x rechargeable Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, ensuring reliable lighting power for whenever, wherever you need it.
- Provides lighting and security to garages, pathways, sheds, homes, remote cottages and more!
- Includes: 60 LED Solar Motion Light, 1 x Lithium-ion rechargeable battery, amorphous solar panel with 15 ft.(4.5m) of wire, and mounting hardware.
- Lumen output: 850.
- Detection distance: 30 feet; Detection range: 180 degrees.
- Amorphous solar panel works in all daylight conditions, even on cloudy days.
- Fully weatherproof design.
- No main power or wiring required.
- Easy installation; Maintenance free.
Simply Customize Your Solar Light’s Settings
This solar motion detector features 3 adjustable settings:
LUX (light level) determines the level of darkness that must be reached for the light to turn on.
TIME determines the duration of the light once motion is detected: 30 seconds, 60 seconds or 120 seconds.
SENS (Sensitivity) determines the range of motion detection.
How It Works?
Solar panels convert sunlight into an electric current, they do not store power. Amorphous solar panels are created by spraying silicon onto glass in very thin layers, and are commonly known as thin film solar panels. This process allows them to be better at generating electricity in all lighting conditions, including cloudy or shady environments. Amorphous solar panels are best for smaller output needs, temporary set ups, and areas that do not receive predictable sun conditions. These solar panels ensure your lights will work anywhere, anytime!
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Nice, bright light - better than expected.
Adjustable settings for: 1. what constitutes dusk when the light begins to motion sense; 2. how sensitive the IR detector is to movement, and; 3. how long the light remains on.
Selectable modes for auto, on, or off.
IR sensor is adjustable up / down and left / right, separate from light.
Power cord from solar cell is very long and gives you more flexibility on installation locations.
Mounting hardware (not the units themselves) is not galvanized or otherwise weather resistant (e.g. stainless). I used a silicon based caulk to cover screw heads and seams.
Light is only adjustable up / down so getting the light to face where you want may involve mounting additional hardware.
Adjustable settings have considerable hysteresis. (I was up and down a ladder many times)
I bought three of these; two of them took considerable time (15+ minutes) to start turning off in Auto mode, even with the sensitivity and time adjustments minimized. The third worked as soon as the switch was turned. All three had been given the same amount of time to charge beforehand (5 days).
I took one star for setup because I had almost given up on two of the three purchased. The adjustment settings were initially unresponsive and the lights just stayed on in Auto mode. When they finally turned off, everything started working as indicated. The adjustment knobs are not linear, so I recommend getting a second person to perform a walking test so that the first can stay on the ladder to tweak the settings. Also recommend using some sealant on the mounting hardware to keep it from rusting. I kept picturing two years from now: we're inside and something hits the side of our house and it looks like someone is shining a flashlight in the window as one of these lights breaks away and dangles from the power cord because of cheap hardware.
Once we were able to move beyond the setup and enjoy them, these lights redeemed some stars for how bright they are and the fact that they're solar with motion detection. I truly didn't expect the intensity to be this good and to last for so long. I'm sure this will vary with the availability of optimal charging sunlight, but the performance, brightness, function, and price are well worth it so far.
FYI - the solar cell mounts to a ball-joint bracket on one of the long sides. The quickest comparison that comes to mind is the rearview mirror in a car. Except the range of movement is better on the solar cell. 360 degrees of rotation, and 180 degrees of tilt. Combine this with the length of power cord supplied and you have greater latitude on where you can install everything.
Very happy with this purchase and would definitely recommend it to others. Feel free to respond with any questions or feedback. I'll try to remember to post a follow up in 6 months and see how they're holding up.
After reading many of the customer reviews posed in this forum, it is clear that many of these "made in China" devices suffer an early demise after only a few weeks. Here is a preventative measure to try before installing your Sunforce solar light.
I have concluded - based upon the negative reviews herein and my own personal inspection of the Sunforce device - that the failures are most likely due to water intrusion. Even if the lamp is installed in a dry location (such as a shed) the solar panel will still be exposed to the weather. Here is how to make your device a bit more robust with a tube of black RTV sealant and some electrical tape.
This procedure will likely void the warranty but in my mind it is well worth it. Warranties are nice when honored but the time spent un-installing, packaging, returning, and re-installing a failed $35 product is still an inconvenience. If you will be up and down a ladder, spending more time re-testing and re-adjusting the motion sensor, that inconvenience quickly becomes a major headache. Your time is valuable. Will the replacement unit work any better or fail the same way? Also, bear in mind other reviewers have stated less-than-satisfactory results in obtaining warranty service from the manufacturer. Another hassle and wasted time you don't need. So an ounce of prevention may be worth a pound of cure, even if it means voiding the warranty.
TESTING DEVICE FOR "Dead-On-Arrival" CONDITION
Before beginning the waterproofing procedure, you will want to ensure you did not receive a defective unit out of the box. If you did receive a defective unit, return it within the 30 day window. Once the waterproofing modifications are made the unit cannot be returned.
First verify the solar panel is working by measuring the voltage at the connector with a voltmeter. It should vary with the intensity of the ambient lighting. I recorded 4 to 9 volts indoors depending if the room lighting was off or on (with sunlight entering the windows). If you do not have a voltmeter, place the connector on your tongue. You should feel a slight tingle similar to that of a 9 volt battery.
Now verify the lamp is working by placing the switch in the "auto" position. The batteries in my unit were already charged. The lamp should snap on when motion is detected. Be sure all LEDs illuminate and be sure the lamp extinguishes after the "time out" delay. If the lamp does not light, double check the lux setting and adjust if needed. Note: As another reviewer pointed out, the owner's manual appears to have a misprint regarding the max/min settings of this dial.
SOLAR PANEL MODIFICATION
Upon examination of the solar panel, you will notice that it is a glass plate sandwiched between a two-piece plastic frame which is held together by 8 screws. Yet, there are nine screw holes. I'm guessing a design error left an empty screw hole at the top center of the frame. This is a point for water entry. It is not possible to simply add a screw here as there is not a threaded hole to accept the screw on the opposite side. Due to this omitted screw, the two halves of the plastic frame do not fasten together tightly at the top of the panel. The result is water can seep down onto the glass plate containing the solar cells. A failed solar panel will not recharge the battery and the lamp will cease working once the batteries are depleted.
Here's what you need to do. Carefully remove the 8 screws and separate the frame. Take care that the glass plate does not fall out. Next, remove the glass plate from the frame. You will see two wires attached to the glass plate - one for `+' and one for `-`. Use black RTV sealant to make two gaskets around the plastic frame (use the side of the frame containing the threaded holes). The first gasket is around the inside where the glass plate sits. The second gasket is around the outside which mates with the other half of the frame. I used a gloved finger to smear the sealant around (thinly) to form the gaskets. When you're done, add a spot of sealant to both electrical contacts where they attach to the glass plate (there may be some here already). Do not put sealant in the cord holes at the bottom of the frame; allow them to function as weep holes just in case water does get inside. Reassemble the frame, tighten the 8 screws and wipe off any excess sealant. Finally fill that 9th screw hole with a dab of sealant.
The lamp does have a rubber gasket around the lens. However, on the unit I received, it was not a tight seal. A noticeable gap was visible on the top allowing water penetration. Unscrew the single screw at the top which clamps the lens against the gasket. Unhinge things a bit and add a little RTV sealant (about a 1" bead in length) below the screw hole. Beware of a black rubber washer which may fall off the screw. I noticed that replacing the washer under the screw head allowed the screw to tighten down more (and seal better) than placing the washer under the metal flange. When assembled, there should be no visible gaps along the top of the lamp.
Next, I used a piece of black electrical tape to cover the seam around the replaceable battery. The tape is hardly noticeable if positioned carefully. Finally, a thin film of RTV sealant was added along the motion sensor seams (including the lens seams - a toothpick may be helpful here). If possible, the motion sensor should angle down slightly when installed to facilitate water runoff. Now double check that all screws are tight without overdoing it.
When plugging in the solar panel, it might be a good idea to shade the solar panel from the sun. This will zero the output voltage at the connector. Just seems a good practice to reduce the risk of damage to the solar panel should the electrical contacts get shorted together (briefly) while plugging the connector into the lamp. Likewise shade the panel during installation if you must route the cable across or through any metallic object which may come into contact with the exposed connector.
Important! Pay attention to the orientation of the solar panel. The owner's manual is completely void of any instructions for placement, mounting, or connection of the solar panel. In fact, the photo of the solar panel on the box and on this website shows it positioned upside down. If the solar panel is mounted in this manner rain water can enter via the two pre-fabricated cord holes in the frame which are supposed to be on the underside when mounted correctly.
There you have it. My unit is installed in Indiana weather and the lamp itself is actually in a shaded (but exposed) location. The solar panel is mounted to the roof just above and receives 6+ hours of sun per day. Installation was straight forward although the mounting screws provided were not adequate for heavy wind loads in my opinion. I chose to use my own. I rated the unit only 1 star simply to group this review with the other reviews reporting failures. The rationale is this review offers a preventative solution for consideration. Obviously a number of folks were unhappy with the product as it failed within the first month of use, or less. Hope these suggestions help!
UPDATE 9/29/2013 - First day of moderate rain. Light still detects motion, illuminates, and shuts off after 30 seconds as expected. Will try to provide status update at 2 weeks and 1 month. And certainly if light fails. The next weakest link in the product's design is likely the installed NiMH batteries. After researching NiMH batteries I suspect they will fail within 2 years given the below freezing conditions during the winter, and erratic charging/discharging cycles of an unregulated solar panel charger. I suspect the installed batteries are not name-brand batteries by any means. Mounting the lamp (not solar panel) out of direct sunlight (heat) may benefit battery chemistry.
This unit makes a convenient shed light but there is a very important consideration regarding battery life. If your shed is not conditioned (99% are not) the rechargeable batteries will soak in heat during the summer months, especially if the unit is mounted near the roof where heat collects. Extreme temperatures reduce the lifespan of the battery. That's why manufacturers recommend storing rechargeable batteries for yard tools not in the shed with the tool, but in a more mild environment (indoors).
UPDATE 10/9/2013 - Went outside just after dark to test light (as I've been doing every night since installation) and noticed lamp was ON. Lamp would not extinguish after many minutes of observation without motion (the time-out delay is 30 seconds). After manually shutting light off for 15 seconds and back to "auto" mode, it appears to have reset itself and works as it should. Today was clear and sunny, no rain. This is concerning because the batteries would have likely drained completely had I not reset the light manually. Will likely post future updates in the comments section for sake of space.
As a tip for install, remove metal brace for install of light (remove hand/wing nuts from side), and reinstall. Rotate solar panel 90 degrees to enable access with cordless driver.
Only recommendation, as others have stated, is the cheap hardware. Screws will strip out if not careful during install.
All in all I rate these units and the customer support as very good for the price.