Reviews

Solar Fiber Optic Decorative Outdoor Light from Four Seasons: Product Review


Solar-powered fiber optic light provides night-time color

Solar-powered fiber optic light provides night-time color

Changing Colors to Brighten the Nighttime Garden

While this solar-powered outdoor lamp stays lit for hours, and does change color, the fiber optic strands have not held up well in the garden. This light is something that would probably do better where it is protected from the elements, garden debris, pets, … Of course, that would defeat the purpose of having an outdoor light.

“Interesting”

When I saw this outdoor light, my first reaction was “Hmmm, looks familiar.” It reminded me of a similar lamp that my parents had in the ’70’s. We used to turn it on in the evenings and watch the colors change while my parents drank wine and my sister and I danced around to the big band music of  James Last records.

But this is a different time – and a different light.

It’s not a style that would work in every garden, and it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but let’s put personal preference aside for the moment…

The fiber optic strands clump together when wet

The fiber optic strands clump together when wet

Does Not Hold Its Shape

When we first placed the fiber optic lamp outside, it looked exactly like the pictures on the packaging. Two days later, after some light rain, the fiber optic strands flattened almost to the ground. After a day in the sun, they regained their former shape, but that was the last time. With more rain, the fibers started to become permanently flattened.

Over time, as garden debris, sand, seeds, and other small objects fell onto the fiber optic strands, they settled into the center of the lamp and now prevent the strands from doing anything except sticking out sideways. We tried to remove the debris by shaking the lamp upside down, to no avail. We tried picking out debris with tweezers. That didn’t work either. We then tried to comb it out, but that was a failure as well. In the end, it seems that there is no way to remove debris from between the strands and the lamp will never regain its original shape.

In addition, the fiber optic strands are easily bent or kinked. They do not straighten back out again. Your options are to cut off the bent strands or live with it. It’s best not to let pets or children touch it, and keep the lamp away from plants that might bend the strands.

Stays Bright for Hours

The lamp is entirely solar powered (no cords to plug in!) so we charged for full 8 hours in direct sunlight before first use. Over the course of several days, the battery became fully charged and the lamp continued to shine at night even after a few days of cloudy weather or rain. Be sure to place it in an area that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day.

We found that it stayed brightly lit at night for at least six hours. The light is quite bright and can be seen from a distance.

Don’t forget to turn the lamp on! Although it is fully solar powered, it has an on off switch that must be in the “On” position.

Over time, the strands flatten out and the lamp does not regain its original shape

Over time, the strands flatten out and the lamp does not regain its original shape

Changes Color

The colors change few seconds and rotate through red, green, blue, and purple. On this front at least, the lamp lives up to its marketing.

Easy Assembly

The lamp is easy to assemble. The fiber optic strands are tightly held together at one end with a round, black clamp. Simply click it into the lamp base.

The stake comes in two parts; attach the pointed end into the hollow stake. The point makes it easy to push the stake into the ground. Be sure to push it straight down into loosened soil; don’t use a hammer (yes, people have done that).

Recommendation

We give this solar-powered, fiber optic lamp one shovel. While it does work well as a solar lamp, and does cycle through the different colors, it simply will not hold its shape and, over time, starts to look like a mess of white strands. For this reason, we would not recommend this product.

Where to Buy It

The Four Seasons solar fiber optic lamp is available exclusively from True Value hardware stores.

Disclaimer: We received a free fiber optic lamp to review. There was no expectation that this would be a positive review and no compensation for writing the review.

 

 

 

 

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