Top critical review
9 of 10 people found this helpful
on 6 February 2014
These little solar lamps are inexpensive and attractive, but ultimately pretty ineffective on average during the dark winter months. I have a couple of them, facing south to south-east where they are exposed to as much daylight as we ever get in mid-Norfolk in the winter months, and they give off light when they feel like it. When they are having a good day, they will light up at dusk and still be glowing at 5 am the next morning. However, on most winter days they don't illuminate at all, or at most for two or three hours in early evening. It will be interesting to see how the performance is in the summer, but to me the real relevance of such products is how they perform when you actually need to see, i.e. on dark evenings and in the night. By that test, these are not really worthwhile purchases. I suspect that in the Northern parts of the UK, where the winter days are even shorter, they would be even less attractive to have.
FOLLOW UP COMMENT : now that we're into late winter/early spring these lamps work better (they're obviously getting more daylight on average) but on dull days they are still temperamental. In addition, one of the two I have has decided to stay only on the lower illumination setting, and does not "brighten up" when it detects movement. It's still a useful low source of light for my garage door lock, but clearly it's not functioning correctly. These are still three-star items, no better than that.