Whether its load shedding, power failure or un-notified “scheduled” maintenance, unexpected ‘lights out’ can happen on occasions. This gives us an added challenge here at Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse with some foreign guests not always able to follow written directions in English and others just annoyed by the lack of power. However we smooth the path with simple signs and battery backup for WiFi (today’s essential)!
Then along came an item that not only provided magical light but also an intriguing conversation point that delighted our guests. We have even sold some directly to a guest or two. This was the Consol Preserve Bottle Solar Lamp. It brought a solution and conversation point of SA ingenuity and just plain admiration for a simple every day item being put to such a useful end in a very attractive way. It really hits the “green” button (in more ways than one) with our guests.
We needed more of them and some required replacing as they had run their life time course. On unpacking them back at the guesthouse, everyone – to a bottle – did not work. They went on for 30 seconds then off, then flashed once or twice then permanently off. Pity … loaded them all up ready to return them under warranty. However as one always does on these occasions – we decided to read the instructions!
The Consol Solar Lamp has some neat new features. In the event of sudden darkness it lights up automatically and stays on for a bit so you can find it in the dark. If you need it to shine for longer periods (can go up to 12 hours on a single charge) you simply flip the switch over manually. Very neat! This can be a way to provide light to a dark path or corner which gets some sun to charge the lamp during the day. And guess what ? In the unlikely event of it being a cloudy day, there is even a USB charging feature. These are all clear indicators of major product development – well done Consol Glass!
We also discovered the quick little flashes, that appear after it has turned itself off, tell you how much charge there is in the battery:
- 5 flashes battery is full
- 4 flashes battery is three quarters full
- 3 flashes battery is half full
- 2 flashes battery is quarter full
- 1 flash battery is almost empty
And the instructions were not even difficult to follow and the lamps are all actually working perfectly!