We’ve gone over the hump. The summer solstice was weeks ago. The nights are drawing in. Late evening sojourns to fetch boozy refreshment from the brewing shed are now conducted under fading light, as we edge ever closer to the dark, dank months of wintery misery. (Weeps into keyboard, pounds fists on desk)
These night-time shed excursions have been fraught with danger ever since the shed light got smashed to bits by the blow from a falling rake. Shrouded in darkness, sharp-edged garden machinery lies in wait to bite shinbone, soil smeared tools dangle from the roof, ready to smite unsuspecting bonce. Swears often illuminate the evening where fluorescence once shone brightly.
The arrival then of a Festive Lights ‘solar shed light’, for reviewing purposes, was timely and most welcome. I installed it forthwith – and here’s the review.
Design-wise, it’s a zinger. The shade assembly is sleek and low-profile but retains a certain barracks room aesthetic – there’s also a distinct nod towards the old Bakelite stylings in the switch assembly. A nice mix of retro and modern. Metro. Or Rodern.
Ease of fitting
Now despite there being only two parts to the light, I still managed to cock up the installation. The solar unit was straightforward – attach it to the outside of the shed, making sure there’s a hole in the shed wall to pass the cable through. And of course, make sure the panel is pointing upwards – towards the sun. Where I came unstuck is that the infra-red switch unit that the lamp dangles from is meant for mounting on the shed walls, not the shed ceiling. Only on completion did I realise my error – the light was dangling down too low. The 50cm cable between shade and switch unit meant the light hovered just above my chest. Great for illuminating feet*, but not much else.
A quick check of the photos on the Festive Lights website confirmed the error. Laziness prevented me from re-fitting the light, so I made things good by hitching up the cable with a cup hook and securing it with twine.
The shallow shade allows a good spread of light – the LED bulb kicks out a decent 70 lumens, strong enough for late-night bottling sessions (and even later-night guzzling sessions). A neat, techy touch is the ability to operate the light with a slim, key-fob-mountable infra red button. You’ll need a clear sight of the switch unit for it to function properly, but I can confirm it worked fine through the filthy, cobweb festooned windows of the brewing shed. The light is also operable with a sturdy pull cord that dangles from the infra-red assembly.
There’s tons of shed lighting options on the market, but this is one of the best we’ve tested. It’s a robust, eco-friendly lighting option with the bonus of remote control functionality. And at a shade under £22, it’s a steal.
Festive Lights Solar Shed Light
Available from: festive-lights.com
*Might come in useful if this is your thing.