With the cold weather we experienced this past weekend, it’s hard to believe that spring officially starts about one month from now. Yes, you heard me right–spring!! Early spring is the time of year when homeowners and professional gardeners start planting and mulching and we start to see some really beautiful yards. And we all enjoy stopping to admire the designs and shapes of flowers and shrubs in those yards. And it’s even more enjoyable for us to see other people stopping to admire the care we’ve put into our own yard!
In recent years, solar lamps have become a very popular element in landscaped yards. They do a wonderful job in highlighting the pathways through yards during the evening. However, some people need the evening lighting but don’t like the way solar lamps appear during the daytime; the lamps can distract from the natural beauty of the yard. Also, if the lamps are in grass, they make it very hard to cut the grass around them. If you are bothered by one of these things, imagine how nice it would be if the lamps could just disappear in the daylight hours?
If you’re one of those people, I’ve found the perfect solution for you: retractable solar lamps! They disappear during daylight hours and magically appear in the evening.
A company, Zoombuilt, has an ingenious design for accomplishing this. Their lighting product is called the Solar IQ. For me as a homeowner and an amateur gardener, I find this a very welcome contribution to the solar lamp business. I was so intrigued by these lamps that I had to get some more information on them. Lucky for me, I was granted an interview with their Vice President of Sales, Matthew Sammons, and he was very gracious to answer my questions.
How was the idea developed? What was your inspiration?
There are many landscape lights that are not visually appealing and just get in the way. We wanted a light that you could mow over and would not be an obstacle to kids, pets, or foot and vehicle traffic.
Who are you hoping to buy your products—homes or businesses? Where are you concentrating most of your marketing?
We feel the Solar IQ is perfect for everyone. From the consumer who wants the most unique landscape light to restaurants, hotels, businesses, golf courses and of course landscape architects and contractors. Our marketing focus is currently targeted towards creating consumer awareness that our product is available.
What retailers sell your products?
We currently have great online retail partners like Wayfair.com and Amazon.com. We will be offered in the upcoming Sharper Image catalog and look forward to being available in retail stores very soon.
Are they meant to stay outside all year long? If so, will the moving parts need periodic lubricating so that they don’t get stuck?
The Solar IQ is completely water and weather resistant and can be left out 12 months out of the year. We do recommend simply powering them off during heavy snowfalls and ice but no service is required.
Are the lamps designed to prevent dirt from getting into the moving parts?
Absolutely! The unique design of the solar IQ protects its working parts and prevents grass clippings, dirt, mulch etc. from getting inside the unit.
Do you foresee designing different styles and sizes in the lamps to accommodate different tastes?
Our current product is only the beginning and we look forward to developing new variations and styles to meet consumer demand and taste, some of which are already in the works.
Thank you, Mr. Sammons, for taking the time to answer my questions! I think with the approaching spring months, this product will be a great enhancement that will give your garden evening lighting with a seamless look during the daytime hours.
Note: besides the retractable solar lamps described here, Zoombuilt also produces retractable landscape lamps lights powered by home electricity.