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Aug 14

REVIEW The Beauty (or not) of LED Garden Lanterns

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I like the look of LED garden lanterns.  They make a pathway visible to visitors and they can highlight borders.  Westinghouse is a major manufacturer of LED garden lanterns.  These garden lanterns have a critical flaw, however.

The problem with these Westinghouse LED garden lanterns is the spikes.  The LED bulbs are terrific, so too are the AA rechargeable batteries that come with each unit.  I like the colour of the light that they produce as well (it is rather warm looking).  I have owned mine now for two seasons and have had no problems with the most expensive parts of the product (namely, the LED bulbs and the batteries).  They still work.  The vulnerability of the Westinghouse LED garden lanterns, however, seems to be the spikes that go into the ground and hold the lanterns upright.

The Westinghouse Lanterns that I bought

I bought a set of ten LED lanterns two seasons ago as I primarily wanted to light the path to my doorway.  They did a great job at first.  All of the frogs, toads (read more about frogs and toads), and leprechauns in the neighbourhood, I’m sure, got caught up on a lot of their summer reading (on my beautiful clover lawn).  Unfortunately this literary bliss was interrupted a mere two months later, when the spikes of four of these ten Westinghouse LED lanterns broke.  This basically makes these  lanterns useless.  Those darn toads and leprechauns (no doubt, leaning quite heavily against the lanterns whilst reading).  I tried Crazy glueing them together and even taping them together, but these were, at best, solutions that only lasted a day or two.  The spikes simply are of poor quality.  There is no fixing these useless spikes.

I actually had to replace them.  I used a one inch dowel, cut it to fit, and used epoxy to glue it in there.  So far, so good.  I just find it unfortunate that the most expensive parts of the lantern (namely, the batteries, and the LED), continue to work fine, while such a cheap part of the unit fails so miserably.  Apparently, built in obsolescence yet again.

When I went to Canadian Tire to ask if they sold replacement spikes for this lantern, the salesperson simply said “no, but that they should because they break all the time”.  I can hardly imagine all of the people that would simply throw out this garden lantern and replace it when such a problem occurred.   The solution is very simple and far less costly.  Buy a one inch dowel, place it into the base, glue it in there, and stick the lantern back in the ground.  Voila.

In summary, LED lanterns can add a lot of appeal to your home.  Just make sure that the spikes are good and solid.  The Westinghouse garden lanterns simply do not have good quality spikes.  Four out of ten of mine broke within a couple of months.  I found a way to repair these lanterns, but I shouldn’t have to after only two seasons.  However, the LED bulbs and the batteries are still working very well, and I like the quality of the light.  The Westinghouse garden lanterns rate two out of five stars.

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Frugal dad – focusing my money and energy towards happiness and the things that matter most since around 1985.

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