So you have decided that you want to get some solar path lights for your walkway or solar accent lights for your garden. Maybe you want solar security lights to ward off potential trespassers. You have read my guide on how to choose outdoor solar lights, so you have a really good idea of what type(s) of lights you need. So where do you buy them?
I know this reads like a sales pitch, but stay with me here. I have no problem with you going to your local home improvement store and picking out your lights. Occasionally you will find a helpful sales person who is informed and can help you to purchase a high quality solar light that will work perfectly for your needs. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.
If you choose to do that, please be prepared! Before you head out to your local ACE or Home Depot, do some research online. I have looked high and low for solar lights reviews and I can tell you that it can be very discouraging trying to find some actual, real life, impartial reviews for different brands of lights. Most sites will show you THEIR brand and how wonderful it is.
Luckily, there are some sites that give real reviews (good and bad) from their customers. One of those sites is actually the review site for Home Depot. I do have a few concerns about picking anything up at a Home Depot though. Honestly, I have found that a lot of their products are of a lesser quality than similar products at other retailers. I have read a lot of solar lights reviews from that site that range from “This gave me much needed light for my shed and was nice and bright” to “It worked fine until the first time it rained and then never worked again.” Definitely do not want the latter.
My second concern is that people who purchase products at a brick and mortar retailer do not share their opinions of those products online as much as people who buy from online stores. When someone buys from an online store, they are usually sent an email asking how they liked it. Online stores actually ask for customer reviews.
Of course, one of the benefits of buying solar lights from a brick and mortar store is that you can actually see the product and attempt to judge its quality. It’s also easier to see exactly what it looks like and its size. You will not usually, however get as big a selection. You will also usually pay a little less online – sometimes a LOT less.
So, let me give you an example:
A solar security light from Home Depot will get 9 customer reviews giving it 4.2 out of 5 stars. Not bad, huh? It sells for let say $79.99. Oh, and you won’t see it in the store because it is an “online only” product. So much for seeing it.
The exact same product at an online solar lights store would sell $30.00 cheaper and would have 10 reviews for an average score of just barely over 1 out of 5 stars. See what I mean? Read the reviews. It is important.
If you would rather shop brick and mortar, by all means, go ahead. But keep in mind that no store will carry an extensive inventory of solar lights and your choice will be limited.
Well, hopefully I have been some help. May your cells always charge and your bulbs stay bright!