Outdoor Lighting enhances your front porch... or in my case, your front porch impulse!
Recently, I was given the opportunity to review two sets of solar lights from West Side Wholesale for Front Porch Nation. Lighting is an important feature in front porch living. You want your family and guests to be able to reach your porch safely, without stumbling in the dark. Outdoor lighting also provides a warmth and welcome which is an extension of your front porch spirit. It was with deliberation that I chose two very different styles of lamps.
Talk about some solar lights with sizzle!
The first set to review were the Malibu 8550 Lighting set. These come in a set of four lamps per package. They are very modern, sleek lights.
Pros: They come in a well-packaged box and are easy to assemble. Their elegant silver fluted design is very appealing for a modern or craftsman style home. The housing goes straight to the ground with no “pole” support. Very chic. Brushed nickel metal exterior with a pleasing grid pattern surround a opaque white plastic cone, which holds the small LED bulb. The pattern play of the light through the grid is subtle.
All these features play into making these lamps truly stunning. The modern vibe is incredibly appealing. You lust after these lamps, literally, they are just that sexy. As an added bonus, they come with extra long stakes for holding them into the ground. I was, frankly, impressed. They were placed off my front porch to help visiting guests navigate their way along the short sidewalk from the driveway to the front door. In the past, I have had trouble with solar lights attracting ants who wish to colonize inside the housing. This has not been a problem with these lights.
Cons: These solar lights are highly sensitive to outside light sources. If there is enough ambient light in the nearby proximity, they simply will not light. This made for some interesting placement of these lamps. One lamp had the street light glowing on it, so it never lit up (except in my darkened closet to make sure it worked). I moved it to another spot, where a tall tree branch tended to move with the wind. The light flickered on and off in time with the branch. When these lights are away from external light sources, they do light well. It is not as bright as I expected, but they do the job. For a third attempt, I relocated these lamps to my back porch and placed them in pots. Since my backyard is much darker, they stayed illumined more consistently; however, one lamp would go off, simply because it was too close to another lamp. I begin to feel this lamp may be damaged.
These look like just good, basic lights, but wait, there is more to them than you imagined!
The second set of lights, the Malibu Lighting 8518 Lighting set
were purchased, primarily because I felt like they were “a real deal,” which is a strong buyer deciding factor in purchasing items.
Pros: First big plus for these was that there are 8 lights in the box vs. the standard four. Getting twice as many lights for nearly 40% less the cost is always a strong incentive. Honestly though, I didn’t think that I was going to enjoy these lights. When I opened the sturdy packaging, my first surprise was that the clear housing for the bulbs were actually constructed of glass and not the expected plastic. They are very well made.
For me, the mark of good assembly is if I can put it together without having to read the instruction manual. These definitely passed as all their parts are intuitive as to “what belongs where.” They are more standard looking lights, with a pole attachment that fits to the stake and then the bulb housing fits on top of the pole. They emit a very solid glow and are very steady. Not a single flicker from any lamp they entire time, when exposed to the same conditions as the other set.
They burn brightly, yet the light is not harsh or piercing. The path from my driveway to the front porch is now well lit, without calling too much attention to itself. They are very pretty in their glowing bowls of light. It was an unexpected delight. The glass creates very pleasing radiating pattern of shadow play in the darkness.
Steady, welcoming glow
As an added bonus, the poles have held up well to the weed eater, which I did not expect. These also did not seem to attract ants, which has been a real problem in the past with other versions of solar lighting. Perhaps, the cooler temperatures of the LED bulbs do not make them as alluring to the ant population?
Cons: The stakes that come with these are not very long. They do the job, but you feel they are a bit “top heavy” and worry if a strong wind could blow them over. Since the housing is real glass, this could cause problems if the lamps were placed near cement or stone. Other than that, they are perfect and, in spite of that one shortfall, these are amazing lights that would be an asset to any landscape. For the price, they are really a great buy.
Overall, I was impressed with the selection and service offered by West Side Wholesale. They were very friendly and worked hard to make sure that I was a happy customer.