10" Solar-Rechargeable Garden Globe, retail $19.99 (http://cgi.ebay.com...)
Manufactured by (Unknown), for Symmetry Co. (www.symmetryco.com/)
Last updated 11-05-04

The Solar-Rechargeable Garden Globe is a 10" white translucent globe (acrylic, I believe) with four LEDs and a solar array visible at the bottom. During the day, the solar array charges a built-in battery, which operates the four LEDs at night. These LEDs appear to have wide viewing angles, so the entire globe is lighted evenly.

The globe is lighted remarkably evenly, with no rings, blotches, dark spots, or other little evil things on it that might piss you off.

You can hang these globes on the side of a house with hardware that you supply, throw them in the garden (well, don't actually throw them, but you get the idea), or put them on fence posts.

From the listing on Ebay for them, comes the following text (slightly edited for clarity):

"If you would like to make it float on the water- like your swimming pool or pond, you have to remove the base and seal off the hole that will allow the water get into the circuitry inside the ball. Use silicone or cork to fill the hole, but then you can not change it back and mount it on the stand. So it's either mounted or floating!"


The light needs to be charged before its first use. Eight hours in sunlight ought to do the trick here.

Unscrew the globe and flick the small rocker switch near the LEDs and solar cell to the "on" position, then screw the globe back on. In this state, the LEDs will come on at dusk and go out at dawn, all by themselves, without additional intervention on your part. Be sure you mount the globe where it will receive at least eight hours of sunlight a day, so you don't end up with dead, uncharged batteries when you need the light the most.

If you wish to store the units, be sure to unscrew the globe and turn the rocker switch off, then screw the globe back on. Do this with every unit you're storing. This will prevent the LEDs from activating when the unit is placed in a box or a dark closet.
It is advised to NOT put these in a box or a dark place; this supposedly prevents damage to the batteries over the long term. But if you have to, the above steps should help minimise damage.

This product is solar rechargeable, and the user does not have to buy batteries for it, so this section will be largely skipped.

Just ensure the solar panel is exposed to sunlight for about eight hours a day, and the LEDs will light for up to eight hours at night.

If or when the batteries eventually need replacing, unscrew the globe, and set it aside. Unscrew the two phillips screws from the deep holes on the edges of the solar cell array, and set those aside too. Take the round plate off the light connector. Remove the batteries from the battery holder, and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit. Install new rechargeable batteries of the same size as the originals. Replace the round plate, and screw in those two screws you removed earlier. Finally, screw the globe back on.

The cells look like size AA, but I don't have a screwdriver with a shank long enough to reach the screws, so I cannot tell their chemistry, and cannot verify for certain their size.

These light globes seem reasonably sturdy, but they're NOT indestructible. Since they're meant to be placed somewhere and then not screwed with, I won't throw it, try to drown it in the john, kick it, smack it against a steel rod, sit on it, or otherwise abuse it like I might abuse a regular flashlight for the sake of this website. So this section of the web page will seem more bare than this section of the web page on a page about a flashlight.

Be sure to mount this product in a SUNNY location - a location that receives no less than eight hours of direct sunlight a day. On cloudy or overcast days, the life of the light at night may be shorter; the next sunny day will charge it fully. You should also clean the translucent ball regularly.

Once you turn it on via the rocker switch under the globe, it is automatic. That is, the LEDs turn off at dawn, and turn on at dusk. There is a CdS (cadmium sulfide) photocell on one side of the circuit board, facing out. This is what tells the difference between dark and light, and its associated circuit switches the LEDs on and off as needed.

The unit is weather-resistant. A large gasket is present between the globe and the metal base.

Picture of the globe, illuminated.
Photograph makes it look brighter than it really is.

Test unit was purchased on Ebay on 07-13-04, and was received on the morning of 07-19-04.
The ebay listing I bought it from is right here, but will expire around 10-15-04.
Use the Sellers Other Items link to see if he's offering any more of these lights.
This seller also has an Ebay store if you do not see the product in his auction listings.

These solar-rechargeable globe lights come in five LED colors: white, blue, green, yellow, and red.

UPDATE: 10-19-04
I placed the globe on the back porch at my new location this evening; we'll see how it handles the rain that's forecast for Seattle tonight. Temperatures overnight are expected to be in the upper 40s (degrees farenheit).

Here's a photograph of the globe illuminated, in its new location.

UPDATE: 10-24-04
On two occasions now, I have gone outside about two hours after sunset to check on the globe, and have found it very dim both times. So I don't think it's receiving enough light during the daytime to adequately charge the batteries. I have since brought it back inside until I can figure out a better place to put it.

UPDATE: 11-05-04
I forgot to add in my 10-24-04 update above that it got rained on a few times, and no water was found inside when I unscrewed the globe to switch it off.

Never have to buy disposable batteries for it
Recharges itself - no cords or cradles needed
Automatic day/night switching - no switches to fuss with or remember

Not all that bright

    MANUFACTURER: Unknown, for Symmetry Co.
    PRODUCT TYPE: LED garden/decorative light
    LAMP TYPE: 3mm LED, color varies with what you order
    No. OF LAMPS: 4
    SWITCH TYPE: Rocker switch on/off under globe
    BEZEL: LEDs protected by plastic globe
    BATTERY: Two, possibly size AA, chemistry unknown
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unable to measure
    WATER RESISTANT: Yes, weather-resistant at minimum
    SUBMERSIBLE: Unknown (probably not)
    SIZE: ~9" diameter, 16" tall
    WARRANTY: 1 year


    Star Rating

Solar-rechargeable LED garden light * www.symmetryco.com/

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