Proxy Lighting 48 FT Weatherproof Outdoor String Lights

In Southern California, we spend an inordinate amount of time outdoors. One of the things that can turn a normal night into a magical one is the right outdoor lighting. Proxy lighting gets it, and made a super-cool set of string lights that look amazing.

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The thick, heavy-duty 14-gauge cord has 15 drop light sockets sporting an 11-watt bulb in each, enough to give that “just right” amount of light. Perfect for a patio, gazebo, or pergola, and made well enough to give you years and years of use. The medium base (E26) will hold and power a bulb up to 40 watts, but I feel that would be just too much light. At 48 feet long and only 15 lights, you have about 3 feet between sockets, so whil eit looks superb it’s markedly different than the previous set I owned, but not so much that it stands out too much. I would have preferred there being closer to 2-2 1/2 feet between bulbs, but these Proxy Lighting lights still get the job done. And the built-in hanging loops make putting them up a cinch.

One thing I need to mention is that wile these are outdoor rated, the plugs are polarized but not a three prong grounded plug, which my older set was, but I’m still a fan. I also love that these are UL listed, which means Underwriter’s Laboratory have tested these and certified them safe, which is a step so many fly-by-night companies tend to skip. I appreciate that Proxy Lighting went that extra mile.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Proxy Lighting. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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AGPTek’s LED Solar Motion Sensor Wall Light (New Generation)

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LED’s have been making a major push into the US market this past year, and making a huge impact too. With the next generation of LED lights now entering the marketplace and the prices starting to make them not only attractive, but irrefutably budget and environmentally conscious choices. And one of the companies that has made a major splash is AGPTek. They’ve become ubiquitous  with cutting edge technologies at a price point that makes sense. Their LED Solar Motion Sensor light is no exception.

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Gone are the days of the necessity for heavy, bulky cast aluminum or pot metal wall lights, with their aesthetically unpleasing solar or motion-sensor add-ons, and with them are also gone the days of replacing incandescent bulbs every few months, and the waste associated. This wall lantern looks just as snazzy and functions just as well, or better, than most of the budget lamps you can buy in your local big-box store. The light this AGPTek lamp provides is adequate, and not that harsh, bright almost blue/purple light you get from cheaper, poorer quality LED’s. And because the AGPTek lamp is lightweight, it’s mountable on any surface with zero fears of it falling or damaging walls, and because it’s solar powered with a long life lithium-ion battery, there’s no wiring to do, and no hiring an electrician. The motion sensor will pick up moving opjects up to over 25 feet away, so it can also function as a security lamp as well. It’s also waterproof so outdoors lighting is A-Ok. One day’s worth of sunlight provides you an entire evening worth of illumination. And the LED light is good for thousands and thousands of hours, so no more replacing bulbs every few months either.

I was slow to adopt LED lights because of the price and the quality of light, but this last generation of LED’s has won me over in a big way. And AGPTek’s Solar Motion Sensor Wall Lamp, like all it’s products are first rate, are made of quality components and made to last. Priced at $24.99 (It’s no miniature lamp, this a full-size real deal lantern!), you get plenty of bang for your buck. There’s a place in my home for plenty of AGPTek’s products going forward!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from AGPTeK.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

OxyLED’s E03S Solar Spotlight

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If there’s one thing that’s never in short supply in California, it’s sunlight. All freaking year round, sunlight. It’s a no-brainer, then, that we’d have solar lights all around our landscape. Except we didn’t, because the light they produced was never very good, the would get wet by the sprinklers and short out, and/or they wouldn’t last very long or hold a charge well. I was skeptical when I was offered a solar LED spotlight. I really shouldn’t have been, because it’s an OxyLED product.

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Oxy LED has been a company that has surprised me over and over again by overdelivering on their products. And this OxyLED® E03S LED Solar Spotlight is no exception. It’s almost too bright on the high setting (yes, it has high and low settings! Sweet!), and even on an overcast day, grabs enough light to power the 4 LED drivers well into the early morning hours. You can put the light almost anywhere, because the solar cell rotates 180 degrees, and the light tuns 90 degrees, all on a vertical axis. The stake base also has the ability to be wall mounted (with the included screws and anchors), so it can even be used as a security light. Did I mention it’s bright? Usually with multiple LED cells, you end up with diffuse light that is only very bright if you look directly into it. This one gives a very bright, blue-ish light that projects, easily, 75 feet, unobstructed. That’s truly impressive. And while plastic makes up 98% of the housing, stake and reflector, after almost a month outside, in the heat, in the sprinkler, in the intense California sun, the light is burning as bright and holding as string as the day I put it out. Again, most impressive. Whether it will hold up for a longer period of time is yet to be seen, and to be honest very little does hold up to the intense year-round sun and nearly year-round heat in Southern California. 

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In the end I would greatly recommend this to anyone who was, like me, skeptical about the quality of solar lamps, especially a solar spotlight. It’s not huge and clunky, it works all night after a day in the sun, and it’s oh, so bright. I would like to see OxyLED offer different tones of light, as more “soft white” tone LED’s are making their way into the marketplace, so they don’t always have to be the bright harsh blue tones inherent to the brightest LED’s. This one is a winner.

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Connect with OxyLED/Hisgadget:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Hisgadget.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

AGPtek Lighting Waterproof Mood Ball by Foober US

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These cooler fall nights are just what the doctor ordered after a blistering finish to a hot SoCal summer, and that means dinner in outside int he waning light, night swims and lights, lights, and more lights. I never thought much about “decorating” the surface of the water of our pool, especially since so much money and effort is spent keeping it crystal clear! To say I was intrigued by this Foober “mood” ball would be an understatement.

 

It’s just what it says it is: A lightweight, color changing ball that floats along the surface of the water. It’s watertight and runs on just two little button-cell cr2032 batteries. It is a little difficult to open at first, because it’s sealed so tight, but that’s better than being loose and letting water in to fry the little circuit board inside. About the size of a softball, in the day time it doesn’t look like much, but once the sun sets it really comes to life. It will only work in water, so don’t think you can fudge it an have it in a planter or something. A single ball tend to get lost in a moderate to  large pool, so if you really want a cool effect, be sure to pick up a few! Though at $7.99 for one, I would like it to be around the $4.99 mark, because while it is neat to look at, it’s very small and is the very textbook definition of “novelty” light.

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There could be numerous applications for in the home, too, like filling a wide-mouth vase with a little water and letting this little guy float under some flowers. It’s an energy efficient LED that gives this little Mood Ball his light, and ensures that it will last a good, long while before needing to replace the batteries. A neat little bauble for those nights under the waning light.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from AGPTek.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Esky 3-Piece Solar-Powered Tulips

Sometimes there’s a product that seems like a good idea, like it could be cute under the right circumstances, maybe enhance a yard or planter. And then it gets here, and you just kinda go “Huh!”, because it just missed the mark, and now you have a product you don’t really know what to do with. That is what my situation is here. It’s not even that I don’t like them, because I do, I just don’t know what I’m going to do with them.

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I’m old enough to remember the last couple of waves of solar-powered products. They were overpromised and underdelivered. They didn’t last long, weren’t very bright, not at all efficient and were not very attractive looking. We needed technology to catch up with the innovation. And It looks like it has, because these Esky Solar Tulips are bright and vivid and dazzling and last a good long time after about 6 hours of sun (something we’re not exactly lacking in California!) A single monofilament LED is surrounded by a quartet of vivid cloth “petals”, and a pair of pretty green leaves sprout from the “stem” that is the metal rod used to stand both the flowers and the solar cell that powers them. LED’s like these are a very bright, pure white, but are such a low drain diode that you lots of time lit with very little energy used, and they don’t get so hot that they melt everything they touch. And all powered by a single 600mA rechargeable AAA Ni-MH battery. So it won’t cost an arm and a leg to replace and keep lit for years and years!

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In the end, they are bright without being overpoweringly so, and are cute in a very novelty way, but they truly don’t look much like tulips, either lit or in natural light, and stand out in a flowerbed because, really, how many of us have light-up flowers? They do everything they say the would, and it’s up to you whether you think they’ll add to or detract from your garden or decor. For me, the shine came off the apple fairly quickly and I couldn’t find a place to put them where I thought they looked nice, and could weather the California sun and heat and not end up some bleached-out stem of white and pale green “stuff” that lights up at night.

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Connect with Esky Products:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Esky and HisGadget, Inc..  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Zitrades: Low-Voltage Floodlights and Lighting #Review #ZitradesFloodLight

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When it comes to items that must be left plugged in and connected, like outdoor lighting that is set to turn on from a timer and when you are most likely not home, safety comes first. I’m all for a bargain and have fallen for the bulk packages of low voltage lighting where a transformer is required, to later not be happy with the output. I also understand what weather-proof means versus waterproof.

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I can easily state that the Zitrades lighting failed for me on many ways. First, the product has no gasket, seal, or any preventive measure to call it “waterproof”. I looked for a UL listing or something to inform me the materials used and inspection is even up to safety specs, none could be found. The manufacturer provided me with two lights to review and both advertised a remote, however one box was missing said remote and the light has no way to manually change the lighting for it to perform as advertised. Then comes the advertising where the manufacturer used the following wording in “features” on their listing:

  • Ground wire plug in assure your safety in using

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Let us get over the part where the proper syntax was not used because if I can understand someone, I really don’t care much when it comes to grammar. What I do care is about the key words such as “ground wire” and “plug”. You look at Zitrades website and they sell many of these lights, with plugs being the prominent ones they “sell”. Well, so far they only sell via Amazon, none are priced on their site and you can’t order and check-out like with a normal selling site. Some icons of products you click and they go to pages that are blank. I contacted the manufacturer and shared that the wording in both the promotion and on Amazon, which states the aforementioned, plus made them aware of the missing remote, however this is the reply I received:

All of my floodlight promoton are about DC 12V, there is no ground wire type, please check the promotions.I make it clear in my description.

Sophia

The above is copy and pasted as-is. I have only interacted with “Sophia” that gets back to you after midnight every time, as long as it is a weekday and don’t count Friday or the weekend because I went 4 days without hearing anything to just be greeted by the above. I love when companies are so busy with copy and pasting their descriptions that they get so caught up cutting corners, which they then end up attaching the wrong description to the incorrect product. This is a low voltage light, so think Malibu-style lighting. There is no ground in those but the transformer you use has one. The light being sold above has no ground or plug. The sentence is gibberish and I can’t review a product that has in my opinion already a bad beginning. The package has zero information about power sources you can use and even though I have an idea, the consumer should be able to have clear and understandable information. I will not damage my own transformer or worse, cause other damage or a fire because I wanted to test a light that we took apart and other than the wording by Zitrades, we could not find what makes the product “water-proof” and much less weatherproof! The box even has errors where it is printed to state something and then crossed off with a pen (like important information as the input voltage). I replied to Sophia and copy/pasted the above that was not only in this Amazon description but the promotion I signed-up as a blogger, and again silent. I don’t feel like waiting until midnight the next day for a reply when the company resides in California but keeps the oddest hours. Their site states 24 hour e-mail reply and that was false, as was the 8AM to 5PM (PST) hours. I don’t expect someone to jump when I establish contact but I do expect not needing to wait 4 days when you alert them to a remote is missing.

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Connect with Zitrades at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Zitrades. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

As a post script, a received the following reply just prior to posting this review:

Re: sorry for my mistake

From: Zitrades06/23/2015 04:18 AM

  • but you can see that in the picture, the flooldight is DC 12V without power plug in. THE SENTENCE”Ground wire plug in assure your safety in using”MEAN THAT in order to make it safe, you need to use ground wire, thank you.

    Maybe next time, I can give you another plug in floodlight, but this time, I have no plug in floodlight promotion, wish you can understand this.

    I wish you can post reviews with several pictures. Thank you in advance. 🙂

    Sophia

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I’ll leave it up to you if you feel this is “standing behind their products”. I can’t recommend this brand at all, sorry.

Quality Source Products: Red and Green colored Laser Beam Landscape Lighting #Review #LaserLights

I received this item from Quality Source Products and was amazed at the differences between the item pictured and the actual item delivered. In short, it is nothing at all like the item advertised. It has a defective attachment from the cord to th20150131_230115e power supply, which is neither weather proof and much less water proof, as stated in the manual.  It is clearly a hazard. It in fact does not meet up at all (connecting to complete a closed circuit) and would probably cause a short immediately. When I notified the company of this, their only response was that they are aware of the problem and have notified the factory. Aaand?! Well, sadly, “and” nothing. That’s it. No offer to replace, return or to refund. Thankfully this is an item the company discounted to me 100% and I didn’t pay a penny of the $199.99 (at the time) price tag.

Retail Price Point: $79.88 via Amazon as of 2/01/2015

It is a laser pointer. Dual color, broadcast over a wide area, but that’s all. There is no timer, no on/off switch. It is not “low voltage”. In fact, the AC adapter provided looks nothing like the power supply pictured. It gets hot quickly, has no way to control any functions, , no timer, and the only way to turn it off and on is to plug or unplug it, but I wouldn’t be too concerned about that because the first morning’s dew will probably short it out anyways since the power connection doesn’t fit properly and won’t lock.  The “instructions” provided make mention of a remote control, but I’m not sure if it works with one or if they sell one. And if they did sell one, if it would even be compatible.

The stake provided is cheap zinc, cast so shoddily it’s crooked. The housing has a gob of black silicone that I suppose is meant to keep out moisture/water, except, it’s pulled away from the housing by the cord, so it won’t.

This is the item as pictured on Amazon:

 

And this is what was delivered:

 

Not even close.

I appreciate the company sending me this item to test, and I usually try to grade these things generously because I’ve not paid for them, but this thing is defective, dangerous and clearly not made to last. There’s just so much wrong with it, I can’t recommend it. In fact, I think it and the company should be avoided. And to add insult to injury, they picture something that they clearly are not selling, and pricing it high for reasons I can’t discern. Purchase at your own risk.

Here’s a view of what the promised results:

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Here’s what we got:

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Again, not even close. What my pictures simply cannot convey is the overwhelming disorientation hundreds of little laser points cause. Spatial relationships are lost, and I almost felt dizzy. This is a bad product, with no practical applications and what’s worse is they clearly don’t care about quality of their product or the safety of their buyers. To add insult to (potential) injury, casting a laser pointer into the sky, as this is clearly designed to do, can be illegal in some places. I rarely have so many bad things to say about a product, but this company went above and beyond to do everything wrong here.

I received the above product(s) free of charge from QSP.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Brillante: G40 Clear Globe String Lights #Review #BrillanteLights

Not all light is created equal. Florescent light feels like the workplace. LED’s feel like a showroom. Soft white feels like grandma’s house. But some lights just feel fancy. Like the clear G40(C7) sting of lights from Brillante. Smaller than the regular fixture lights, larger than the mini lights you use for the holidays, these clear mini globes give enough light to illuminate beautifully without blinding everyone.

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With a sturdy, green 25ft. long cord, and 25 lights to a string, you can safely run two strings end to end, so it gives you plenty of length to surround your party, your patio, or spa. The soft ambient glow is that “just right” level of light to make everything bright, but not washed out.

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I’ve used these lights around the pool and spa, and on a clear cool night, nothing beats a meal under the stars with these Brillante lights. With bulbs rated for 3,000 hours, these are made to last. And G40 (C7) bulbs are affordable to replace and easy to find. I would recommend them highly.

Retail Price Point: $29.99 per strand via Amazon

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Brillante.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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