I get a lot of things for review as you probably noticed and I’ll be honest, most of it either goes in a box in the attic or I give it away to friends and family but a small percentage I keep and use all the time. That’s not say the other products aren’t good, I may have similar ones already as I do gets lots of the same things so I keep them around as spares really, but today for review I’ve got a product that I use everyday and I’m very happy with it. It’s a light, a solar powered light to be exact that you put outside to light your way, it’s from Volmate and it has 16 LEDs in it with a solar panel so you don’t need to run any wires. The light has a sensors on it that detect light and motion and it works great, but I found that you need to make sure you put in a place that gets lots of sun during the day to fully charge the internal battery. Read on to learn more…
Specifications and Features
Once you get everything unpacked you’ll find the light, mounting hardware, user guide and a special pin style key to power the light on. The lights ships in powered off mode as not to waste the battery, you use the pin key to press the internal button to activate it.
The bottom is where the 16 LEDs are located under a plastic semi-clear or opaque half round shaped dome. The LEDs produce 100 lumens of light in total and have a life span of 50,000 hours. The light itself is small really at about 6 x 3.8 x 3.6 inches in dimensions and it weighs a little over seven ounces. The light is weather and waterproof as you’d expect for something meant to be mounted outside in the sun and it seems very well made overall.
The sensor is located opposite the mounting bracket meaning that it sticks out from the wall to sense movement. There’s a small hole located to the side of the sensor which is the power button and another hole which I have to assume is a sensor as well, most likely a light sensor as the larger one would be for motion. The sensor has a 120 degree sensing angle and 1-3 meters range.
The top of the light is basically an aluminum bracket, but specs say it has a stainless steel finish, with a solar panel mounted in the center of it. The panel looks like any other solar panel I’ve seen and according to specs it’s 17% efficient, which might not seem like much, but for a solar panel that’s fairly decent. The panel is .55 watts and it’s good for more than 5 years supposedly. Inside is a 3.7v 800mAh li-ion battery that is good for over 500 cycles which means it should last for a year and half really if one cycle is one day of charging.
I needed light on the side of my house for the evenings when I take my dogs out to do their business so I originally mounted it there and I thought it would be fine. Mounting was easy for me, grabbed my drill, masonry bit and ladder and got it installed in under ten minutes. It worked great for a few days but then it just didn’t seem to last long at all and I realized it wasn’t getting enough sun. The trees that block too much of the sun apparently, I was afraid that would happen but tried anyway, it charged via the sun but it just wasn’t exposed long enough to give it enough of a charge to last all night. It kind of worked out not putting the light on the side of my house as I did get another battery powered LED light for review, so put it there on the side of the house instead of the solar one. In the dark the light is always on in low power mode but when it sense motion it comes on to full brightness and stays on as long as it senses motion.
I took the light down and mounted it on one of the pillars on the front of my house. I call them pillars, there’s one on each side of the steps that holds the porch roof up but I thought that would be the perfect place to install it as then when we come home at night the light would come on for us. Our house is situated so that it gets hit by the sun on the front pretty much all day so this allowed the battery to charge fully. I know this because my wife leaves at a little after 6am to go to work and it’s still dark out but the light is still working just fine. I’m also up at 4:30am and I can see it still lit up so I know it’s charged and working all night long. We have a regular porch light with switch inside of the house but that lights up the porch and really not the steps, but where I mounted this is directly over the steps so now the steps are illuminated.
The light is bright yes, but not quite bright enough to use by itself to be the only light, we do turn the regular porch light on sometimes as well. Two of these would probably be perfect to replace my porch light totally I would think.
The odd thing about this light is that it stays on all the time in low powered mode and then when it senses movement it comes on full power or high mode. The idea of it being on all the time is to be used like a marker of sorts, but I think I would like it better if it were to be off and then only come on when it senses movement. This would save the battery life for sure as it wouldn’t constantly be on. This isn’t an issue for me now that I have the light in direct sun, but it might be for people that don’t get lots of sun.
I like the Volmate solar light a lot, it’s mounted and it will stay there as long as it works. My family likes it, my wife especially as where I have it mounted it lights up the steps unlike the regular porch light.
Aesthetically, I wasn’t sure if I would like the white and silver coloring combination but once I installed it I’ve come to like it a lot.
It’s well made in my opinion, it seems very sturdy, and if you mount it correctly I don’t think it will go anywhere even in the worst of storms.
I have an electric porch light that has a switch inside of the house like most people have and if I forget to turn it on I still have light when I come home at night that lights up my steps so we can see where to walk.
It’s a great light, but basically to use this light you need to make sure it’s mounted somewhere that it will get a lot of sunlight to fully charge the battery. I would recommend planning ahead and seeing if the spot where you want this type of light to be mounted gets enough sunlight throughout the day before buying it.
+Bright enough for most uses
+Solar powered – no wires to run
-Must be in direct sun to charge
-Always on in low mode
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|Design / Aesthetic|
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Disclosure: This product was given to us for review by the company for review purposes only, and is not considered by us as payment for the review.
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