I previously bought a similar light with 45 led as it was the best reviewed solar PIR light. However, I then bought the Evo56 Solar Security Light so I could compare the two. The Evo56 is significantly brighter than the competitor. It does not compare with a 500W halogen flood light, of course, but it does illuminate well enough that you can see where you're going and I do not plan to go back to a power-hungry halogen. The competitor light is roundly criticised for the very fiddly way it is connected to the mounting bracket--it's no fun fixing it on a cold day up a ladder. The Evo56 is also fiddly but a little less so than the competitor light. The Evo56's mounting bracket is flimsey but, no doubt, will suffice. Before installing the unit, I left it for 4 days in a south-facing window to charge. I had to fit the Evo56 in December in a location where the panel will get no direct sunlight at that time of year. The unit worked for a few days but now does not work. I THINK this is because the charge is exhausted and there's not enough light during these cloudy December days to recharge it to the point where it will switch on. The competitor light is fitted side-by-side with the Evo56 and that switches on for a few minutes before exhausting its battery. So the competitor light seems to make rather better use of limited sunlight. The Evo56 does have the facility to plug in an additional solar panel and this may make it usable during the winter but I have not tried that yet. When this light works it is fine but I'd recommend caution if you cannot place the solar panel in full sunlight.
The light itself is easy to install, 3 holes into the wall and the panel goes up, 2 more and the light goes up. Takes about 15 mintues all in. For those of us who failed utterly to even think about outside lighting when getting the house re-wired last year (whoopsie!) the ability to install something like this is such a bonus. I live in the country, no ambient light at night, with this on I can see right across the garden, in recent rain and winds I spent an hour in the dark dismantling the kids trampoline by the light of the EVO56, it kept going fine.
The light from this is bright, as in "don't look at it" bright. It is never going to be the same as a 500W halogen, but is probably close to that of a 150W mains light. The controls are simple enough to use, although I've not messed with them much.
I did have a problem with the first light I was sent, it didn't charge the battery, however the new one is working absoltely fine in all conditions. I have put the panel facing SW and have had no problem with running out of go-go juice. My only tiny problem is that the panel is designed to sit on a flat roof and not wall mount, this means I can't angle mine to point properly South.
Overall I am really happy with this light, it was a bit of a punt into solar as it is not cheap, but I am happy with the result.
Well done Solar Light package! The sensor works very nicely! The light is amazingly bright! I have three of them now, and i am very pleased with them!
Bought this the light the area behind my shed as the shed casts a shadow from the main 500 watt halagon. Lights an area of about 8m x 3m with enough light to see the cats in the bushes. Will be looking at replacing the 500w with 2 of these.
Innovation results in reduced prices and often with a corresponding improvement in quality, and there are some superb deals to be found. Some like the Evo56 Solar Security light have received superb reviews.
What the Evo56 (security) light does exceptionally well for its ability to provide solar powered and motion detector.
My partner needed discrete lighting for the drive. The drive is an area of 16x12, West facing with side access to the rear. We decided that the ideal place for the light was facing the house to highlight a step and improve the light on the drive so you can see where you are going.
Having received delivery in early August I followed the simple instructions and installed the light and the solar panel about 12ft off the ground. The instructions advise that the solar panel is placed facing South at an angle that would follow the Sun's movement through the day. The instructions also advise that you leave the lamp switched off for up to 5 days to allow the battery to charge - We went on holiday for 15 days...
The Evo56 is fantastic for people who, like me, are not able to change the existing drive or garden layout to install an electrical supply or do not want to fit a mains security light facing the road. I'm sure there are dozens more applications where the Evo56 would come in handy.
Now the days are sadly shorter we are finding that the Evo56 is providing brilliant light, helps security and safety (step) with its bright white LED with a motion sensor. All without the usual light pollution.
To date I haven't any negative comment to say. Most friends see the solar panel and ask what it is for, and are surprised to see the light placed discreetly to one side. Clearly many simply haven't become aware of the light this type of lamp are now starting to provide, so unfortunately they continue to pay qualified electricians to install mains powered motion detecting flood lights when they might be fitting this light very simply themselves, saving on installation charges and on energy bills too.
We like Argenta do not plan to go back to a power-hungry halogen.
On opening the box, first impression is that while the unit is well made and feels very solid, the mounting bracket for the light itself is a little flimsy. So far, however, it is holding up well. Where it's located, it also gets the full force of the English rain (which is not recommended, the instructions suggest mounting in a sheltered location), but so far without any problem so the unit itself seems to be well waterproofed.
One of the really big plus points for this light is the remote solar panel. In my garden, even in full summer, the light itself barely sees the sun but the panel, which is on the top of my greenhouse, gets sun all afternoon. Lights with integrated panels just would not work here, so the remote panel is really important. The design of the panel base is also very good, making mounting the panel relatively easy, and the long cable allows a good degree of flexibility in placement.
The performance of the large solar panel is also good, so far charging the light sufficiently to maintain operation even though it only sees direct sunlight for half the day. I also like that a second panel can be connected, which I might be doing in the winter - see how well the light copes with the short days.
Brightness-wise, this unit gives out plenty enough light for security purposes, or to see what you are doing, and gives a reasonable level of illumination even 40 feet away (end of the garden). The sensitivity of the unit is excellent, so much so in fact that the sensitivity adjustment feature is mandatory so that you can turn it down. The adjustments for light-on duration and ambient-light level (how dark it has to be for the light to trigger) are also very useful. THe ability to "switch off" the light, preventing it from draining the battery, is also a nice touch.
There are really only two negatives with this unit, and both of these are more annoyances than problems.
The first is that if you are moving in front of the sensor, the light will come on for the configured time, switch off, and immediately come back on again. This is disconcerting when using the light to see where you are walking, and I would prefer if it simply stayed on until movement stopped, and then started it's timeout.
The second is a result of the amount of control it gives you. It takes a fair amount of fiddling to get the light adjusted so it does exactly what's needed. It's easy to get the light to work, but the fine-tuning can be fiddly - especially if it's necessary to go up a ladder every time an adjustment is needed. This is however much better than lights with no adjustments at all.
Overall, I like this product, and its working well so far. It will be interesting to see how it performs in the winter, but with the option of a second panel I have high expectations.
The EVO56 security light looks, and behaves in a similar fashion to any mains powered unit, apart from having a solar panel unit attached.
It's apparently the brightest security solar light on the market, and with its 56 LED bulbs, it really is surprisingly bright although not as bright as my neighbour's blindingly bright halogen light. I currently have mine installed on a nearby wall, where it works fine. The sensitivity of the PIR detector will need a bit of trial and error to adjust correctly - if setting is too sensitive it will activate the light unnecessarily which will run the battery flat (and conversely if not sensitive enough it might not activate the light at all). Adjusting it is quite simple - rotating a small dial, but this might be easier with the assistance of a second person to trigger the movement. You can also adjust the length of time the light remains on from 4 - 30 seconds - as I don't think mine will be triggered that frequently I wasn't worried about it staying on too long and using up battery power. Positioning the solar panel to receive maximum sunlight was a slight problem as although it was south facing, for part of the day it is in the shadow of a nearby building and tree. This doesn't seem to have adversely affected performance (despite warnings to the contrary), but perhaps this is because it is summer and the light levels are high enough for it to charge adequately despite the less than optimum conditions. A friend has suggested that the solar panel would be easy to fit on the roof which would mean it would then get maximum sunlight and would also be concealed, which might increase its appeal to those conscious of appearances.
Overall, the EVO56 is a great alternative to a mains powered security light - free to run and no electrician costs to install!
Fitted the Evo 56 on the shed, (it has no electricity supply) so a solar security light was my only option. Took the light straight from the box it was easy to fit. I fitted it in the morning in bright sunlight and by night it was working giving off plenty of light it also has a second jack plug for attaching to a second solar panel if required. Its great & gives off almost as much light as a hard wired light, which i also have further up the garden. I would recommend this to anyone who has a detached shed/garage with no electricity supply, well done solar centre great product.
Being a woman alone I thought the EVO56 SOLAR SECURITY LIGHT to be just what I needed to illuminate my back garden which I felt need that extra bit of security.
I would like to add that being a "mere" woman I found the product easy to install .... well if I can install it anyone can !!!
As always the company has a brilliant customer service base that is always very helpful.
We placed the Evo56 Solar Security light under a balcony where there was no electricity supply available. The light fitting was very easy to install (although the wing nuts were a bit fiddly when working off a ladder - much tutting from the wife below) and has plenty of cable to position the solar panel. We are fortunate to have a south facing aspect so the light is working extremely well (hope it works as well in winter!). The solar panel is designed to give maximum flexibility when positioning. The LEDs give of a very bright but pleasant light. The PIR is easy to adjust and has a good range. In the past I have always been wary of buying solar lights but have been converted and I would recommend this product.
First you have to recognise that this product will not replace a mains powered security light. Once you get over this the product is actually very good. It is very well made and easy to set up / install. The light charges quickly and is pretty bright, so good for quick bursts of illumination.The controls enable you to set it up to your requirements by adjusting the trigger sensitivity, time etc. so it can be customised to your installation setting. There are a few comments in other reviews about working in winter but I can't comment as it is July! Overall, it is looking like a great product so far...
Having previously purchased individual solar lights for the garden I wasn't sure about a solar security light. However, as I'm renting, I was didn't want to pay for an electrical security light that needed fitting (I don't have a drill!!) & then couldn't move with me!
I have to admit I was doubtful if a solar light would be bright enough to light up my garden. I wanted it to come on when I walk from the back door to the garage but I needn't have worried! I charged the solar panel for 3 days & then plugged it in & I have been pleasantly surprised. I suppose the sun has been shining so I can't comment on cloudy days yet but so far it's been really good.
Our garden is South facing & not that large but it does what I need it to which is to light it up & I am very pleased.
I had bought a cheaper solar powered security light in the past, but disappointingly the light output was not much more than a hand-held torch would provide. This Evo 56 looks more like a traditional mains-powered unit and does provide better illumination than I expected.
Although seeming quite expensive, the main advantage of buying this type of product is to avoid the hassle and cost of having an external mains power supply installed at the desired location. As the latest regulations require this type of work to be tested by a qualified electrician, a self-contained solar unit could save money overall.
I did a direct comparison with our existing mains 100W external security lamp which covers the area viewed by a CCTV camera. When fully dark, the mains unit clearly illuminates our driveway and covers a distance of around 10 metres or so. By comparison, the Evo 56 solar unit brightly illuminates the initial 3 or 4 metres but beyond this the camera struggles to show an image. The illumination appears better when viewed by the naked eye so perhaps the CCTV camera is also able to pick up some IR light emitted by the mains filament bulb that the Evo 56's LEDs do not provide.
The features on the Evo 56 are quite comprehensive allowing you to independently adjust the angle of the lamp and PIR sensor (like most mains-powered designs). You are also able to set the surrounding light level when the unit should become active, plus PIR sensitivity and time for illumination. There is even a separate on/off switch if you wish to conserve the battery power when illumination is not needed. The solar panel is larger than some (hence the more powerful output) and the mounting bracket allows flexible adjustment to provide a decent position. There is also an option to purchase a second solar panel in situations where the optimum south-facing position is not practicable or the unit would trigger very often. I have not seen this option on other designs and may provide the answer to weaker performance during the winter months.
The illumination power is good when fairly close to the unit and this design would work well in many situations, but it needs to be accepted that any solar design has its limitations and if a very bright light is required over a large area, a mains-powered unit is the only option. I have installed the Evo 56 inside our garage so that you can easily park the car without having to first find the mains light switch or tripping over things in the dark. In this application, the Evo 56 illumination is really good and far better than the previous solar light I installed.
**LONG TERM REVIEW** I keep chickens at the bottom of my garden and last year we desperately needed a source of bright light around the coop to impact on a fox problem in the area, which had killed 4 of our chickens. With no mains power there, the only solution was solar powered security lights. Having spent a number of nights looking on eBay and local shops I came across the Evo 56 units by The Solar Centre. The price for 2 units was within the budget I'd put aside for the job, but at the time was sceptical that solar LED floodlight would give out enough light, but took the plunge.
On opening the package, I was impressed with the build quality and how easy they were to fit. The solar panels mount is really handy because it has 2 hinges on the mounting plate allowing you to mount the panels on the apex of the coop roof, or I could have flattened the hinge and mounted it flush to the south facing coop wall. I gave the lights a couple of days to charge the batteries before turning them on. That evening, once dark, we tested them out, WOW!! They were bright and lit the area of the coop and run perfectly. Whether it's the lights or not, but we haven't lost a single chicken since the installation!
Last winter was harsh, and I found that as long as you turned the lights duration down slightly, the solar panels had no problem at all with charge. No time during the winter have we had to turn the lights off for the batteries to charge, which to me speaks volumes about the quality of batteries and panels used in the units.
We've had 500W halogen lights on the house in the past that after a few months all the paint would peel off the metal surrounding the glass. The lights I have here, other than dirty from rain and snow, are still as they came out of the box.
If you need a good source of bright light, but have no way of running mains power to that area, I can recommend these lights with 2 thumbs up!!
Mr. S. Forrester
I purchased two of these lights a couple of years ago and they have been brilliant. I was very impressed with the brightness of the lights, just as good as hard wired mains security lights. Even through the winter with minimal sunlight they charge very well and whenever they are triggered they work.
I recently purchased two more for friends and they have been equally impressed.
The customer service for these products is also excellent.
I was sceptical about how good solar powered products were but using these lights changed my mind.
I would highly recommend the EVO 56.
All in all, a great product and great service
Got my Evo in November 2010 and its been solid as a rock ever since. I bought mine on the basis it would be a Spirng / Summer product but that just isn't the case. The light has worked right through winter and that includes 2 periods of heavy snow - I took the time to wipe the panel down of course. Big thumbs up Solar Centre!
I previously bought a PowerBee Solar Security Light with 45 led as it was the best reviewed solar PIR light. However, I then bought the Evo56 Solar Security Light so I could compare the two. The Evo56 is significantly brighter than the PowerBee. It does not compare with a 500W halogen flood light, of course, but it does illuminate well enough that you can see where you're going and I do not plan to go back to a power-hungry halogen. The PowerBee light is roundly criticised for the very fiddly way it is connected to the mounting bracket--it's no fun fixing it on a cold day up a ladder. The Evo56 is also fiddly but a little less so than the PowerBee. The Evo56's mounting bracket is flimsey but, no doubt, will suffice.
Before installing the unit, I left it for 4 days in a south-facing window to charge. I had to fit the Evo56 in December in a location where the panel will get no direct sunlight at that time of year. The unit worked for a few days but now does not work. I THINK this is because the charge is exhausted and there's not enough light during these cloudy December days to recharge it to the point where it will switch on. The PowerBee light is fitted side-by-side with the Evo56 and that switches on for a few minutes before exhausting its battery. So the PowerBee seems to make rather better use of limited sunlight. The Evo56 does have the facility to plug in an additional solar panel and this may make it usable during the winter but I have not tried that yet.
When this light works it is fine but I'd recommend caution if you cannot place the solar panel in full sunlight.