Solar Firefly Magic™ Lights, retail $87.95 (www.fireflymagic.com)
Manufactured by Sigma Two Industries (www.fireflymagic.com)
Last updated 03-01-08

These are LED "fireflies" that supposedly look and behave like the real thing. Since we don't have firebugs in Sacramento CA. USA, I cannot compare them with the real thing and tell you how they compare. I grew up in Juneau AK., lived in Seattle WA., have been to several cities in California and Oregon during the summer, (I've been to the east coast once, but it was in a February) and currently live in Sacramento CA. USA, but fireflies do not live on the west coast, so I've never seen them.

Solar Firebug Magic™ Lights consist of a series of long wires with yellow-green LEDs on their ends. When set up correctly, these LEDs are supposed to "fly" and waver about, simulating the natural movements of fireflies. Each LED is also connected to a microcontroller, so the LED on the end of each and every wire will blink and fade like the light on the end of an actual firefly's butt.



1) Find a place for the solar controller/charger that receives 2 to 3 hours per day of direct sunlight. Place this controller in that location; it has a sharpened "stake" at its base, so just push it into the ground.

2) Carefully place each Solar Firefly Magic™ electronic firefly where you want it. NOTE: DO NOT step on the small firefly lights or they will be damaged and not operate correctly.


Most real fireflies tend to remain near the ground, and by installing your fireflies the same way, it will be an easy task.

Run each firefly wire along the ground, up branches and out the stems of plants to reduce their visibility. Be sure each firefly light sticks out slightly so leaves do not cover it. NOTE: If the firefly light is placed near the end of a flexible stem or branch, any slight breeze will cause the firefly light to move, creating the added effect of fireflies dancing in the night


Aim each firefly light approximately 90º from where people will be viewing. This ensures the firefly does not appear to be too bright by looking directly into the end of the light. However, if your firefly lights are farther away, or you just prefer them to be brighter, then aim the tip of the firefly light toward the viewers.

This set has photoelectric switching (accomplished by the use of a CdS (cadmium sulfide) photocell), so you don't need to remember to turn them on and off; they turn themselves on at dusk and turn themselves at dawn.

However, this photocell does not function on the test unit, and has been shown to ***NOT*** function on other units as well.

The Fireflies (model FMS-12) I'm testing today do not require disposable batteries, so this section can and will be skipped.

This unit has a solar array to charge its built-in batteries.
Just be certain the controller with solar array is staked in the ground so its top is irradiated by direct sunlight for two to three hours a day.

Photograph of the solar panel.

Solar Firefly Magic™ is meant to be used as a decorative fixture, not a flashlight meant to be thrashed and abused, so I won't throw them against the wall, stomp on them, try to drown them in the {vulgar term for feces}bowl or the cistern, run over them, swing them against the concrete floor of a patio, bash them open to check them for candiosity, fire them from the cannonada (I guess I've been watching the TV program "Viva Piñata" too much again - candiosity is usually checked with a laser-type device on a platform with a large readout, with a handheld wand that Langston Lickatoad uses, or with a pack-of-cards-sized device that Fergy Fudgehog uses; and the cannonada is only used to shoot piñatas to piñata parties away from picturesque Piñata Island), send them to the Daystrom Institute for additional analysis, or inflict upon them punishments that I might inflict upon a flashlight. So this section of their web page will be rather bare, when compared to this section of the web page on a page about a flashlight.

This is a loaner set anyway, so I would have not performed any of these tests on it anyway, regardless of what type of product it was.

Photograph comparing the "fireflies" from the Enchanted Fireflies (top) and this product (bottom).

Each electronic firefly is connected by its own wire.
The configuration is as follows:
  • Two Fireflies - each on seperate 12 foot wires
  • Two Fireflies - each on seperate 10 foot wires
  • Two Fireflies - each on seperate 8 foot wires
  • Two Fireflies - each on seperate 6 foot wires
  • Two Fireflies - each on seperate 4 foot wires
  • Two Fireflies - each on seperate 3 foot wires
  • Total 86 feet of wire
  • Maximum span - 24 feet
These fireflies flash ***VERY SLOWLY***; you need to be looking directly at the set to have a snowball's chance in h-e-double-tippy-straws of seeing one of them fade on & fade off.

The batteries used in this set are NiCd cells which are inherently environmentally unfriendly, as when the cells are disposed of, the cadmium can leach into the landfill and subsequently pollute the environment. Cadmium is what's called a "heavy metal", and is toxic to the environment.

Photograph of the end of one of the Fireflies.

Photograph of the PCB; showing that much of it is covered with this black
{vulgar term for feces} (possibly an epoxy compound of some type).

Photograph was taken by another product owner and was used with permission.

WMP movie (.avi extension) showing the product *VERY SLOWLY* flashing.
This clip is approximately 1.55 megabytes (1,666,854 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than six minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.
I cannot provide it in other formats, so please do not ask.

That sound you might hear is a commercial playing on the boob tube.
This product is not sound-sensitive; the sound may be ignored or muted if desired.

Test unit was received as a loaner on the afternoon of 02-21-08.
When I do return the set (and that needs to be done within the next several days), that dreadful "" icon will be placed next to its listings on this website.

I believe that this product was made in the United States.
A product's country of origin really does matter to some people, which is why I published it on this web page.

UPDATE: 02-29-08
Product has been returned to its owner, so that dreadful "" icon will now appear next to its listings on this website.

UPDATE: 03-01-08
If the wires going to the fireflies themselves are flexed too much, they can become broken.
This is because the wire is solid, not stranded.

For this reason (among others), if I had to choose which fireflies to purchase, I'd get the Enchanted Fireflies - without a doubt!



    MANUFACTURER: Sigma Two Industries
    PRODUCT TYPE: Simulated fireflies
    LAMP TYPE: 3mm yellow-green LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 12
    BEZEL: N/A
    BATTERY: 2xAA rechargeable cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    ACCESSORIES: 2xNiCd AA cells
    WARRANTY: 2 years


    Star Rating

Solar Firefly Magic™ Lights * www.fireflymagic.com

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