Waterproof flickering flames without fire. No electrical wires to run. No maintenance. Just stick them in the ground and enjoy the ambiance. Sounds great, right? But do the TomCare Solar Torch Lights really live up to their claims? I purchased a set of four of these for our front yard flower bed and have been putting them to the test. Here’s what I’ve found.
Are TomCare Solar Torch Lights worth it? The torches do an impressive job of simulating a fire torch and are worth the money. They are most realistic looking from a distance of twenty feet or greater. If you are looking for a realistic-looking, safe alternative to flame torches, the TomCare Solar Torch Lights are an excellent choice.
Let’s have a look at these solar-powered torches, their features, and what they actually look light when lit up.
The first thing I noticed about the TomCare Solar Torch Lights is that they are larger than I expected. This may or may not influence your buying decision but it’s worth knowing the size.
The main piece that contains the light and solar panel is about 1 foot long and 5 inches wide at the thickest part of the frame. It’s made of hard plastic and feels to be very durable.
It also includes two 12 inch extenders and an 8 inch stake. You can choose to use one of two of the base extenders. When both extenders are used, the total height of the torch is just over 4 feet tall. You should account for 7 or 8 inches of the ground stake being underground which will give you a total height closer to 36 inches.
Below is an image of the torch fully assembled laying across a 4 foot wide table.
If you choose to use only one of the base extender poles, the total height above ground will be right at 2 feet.
What really sets these solar lights apart is the simulated dancing flames. And that is something to behold!
These turned out to be to large for my front yard flower bed. I ended up placing them around the pool in our back yard and am really glad that I did. The pool is far enough away from the back porch to really give the lights a realistic “flame” look (more on that later including a video demonstration).
The TomCare solar torch does not require battery replacements or electrical cords. Each torch as an independent 0.88W mono crystalline solar panel to charge the internal battery from sunlight. Each torch is shipped with a pre-installed 2200mAh lithium ion battery and contains 96PCS LED lighting. The manufacturer reports up to 12 hours of lighting during summer months when the torch receives maximum sunshine.
Torches are sold in packs of two or four and can be assembled in a matter of minutes. Simply connect the extender poles to the base and insert the stake. At this point, it is ready to be turned on and placed outside in the sun.
The power button is on the side and is protected with a rubber, weather-resistant cover. The button makes a tactile click when depressed so it is easy to tell if you have successfully depressed it.
The lights arrived packed in bubble-wrap to protect them during shipping.
The torch lights are advertised as being maintenance-free, meaning they feature an automatic dusk to dawn on and off function. There is no requirement to turn them on or off each day. Good to know but, to be honest, this is less a “feature” these days and more of a standard expectation of solar outdoor lighting.
Realistic Torch Flames… From A Distance
The most important thing that you need to know about these torches is that from a distance of 20 feet or so, they are remarkable. The simulated flames dance inside the torch and it is absolutely mesmerizing. The closer you get to them, though, the less realistic they look. Here’s a video of the torch from about 10 feet away. Note the reflections of the dancing flames on the deck!
Where the TomCare Solar Torches really shine though is when they are placed a decent distance away. You should really consider the location and viewing distance of where you would be placing the torches. While even 10 feet away helps the illusion, placing them at least 20 feet back will really give you then sense that you are looking at a fire torch.
I have also been pleasantly surprised to find that the lights last all night, even after most of my other solar lights give out. The below video shows how realistic these torches look from a reasonable distance.
What About The Upgraded Version?
You may have noticed that TomCare has a newer “upgraded version” available in online stores such as Amazon. I have dug through the specs for both the previous version and the new upgrade and cannot find any measurable difference in specs or performance expectations.
According to the TomCare website, both the previous version and the upgraded one include the following specifications:
- 230g weight
- 96PCS LED
- 320 X 121 X 121 mm size
- 2200mAh lithium-ion battery
- 0.88-watt solar panel with 17% efficiency
- 8 hour charge time
- 12 hour working time when fully charged
Time will tell what the durability of these torches truly is but my initial impressions are that they are going to last several years without issue.
First, the hard plastic casing may seem like a “cheap” alternative to metal but considering the constant exposure to the elements, it will likely hold up better than a lot of metal housings would. I have dealt with my share of rust from metal-encased solar lights.
Second, I like to put products like this to a gentle “shake test” when they arrive. Not too abusive, but enough shake to determine if there are loose pieces inside or if the housing is not tightly secured. All four of the lights I received passed the shake test without issue. 🙂
Finally, the technology behind solar-powered LED lighting has matured quite a bit over the last decade. It wasn’t that many years ago that we were lucky if we could get a full season’s use out of solar lights. And, that may still be the case when purchasing low-quality products at a local thrift store.
But today’s solar outdoor lights use modern lithium-ion batteries and are built with much higher reliability and longevity than the Nickel Cadmium or Nickel Metal Hydride batteries of years past.
In the end, I’m confident that my family will be enjoying our TomCare Solar Torches for years to come.
There are a lot of ways that you can take advantage of solar power to add decoration and security to your outdoor living space. With over 1000 reviews on Amazon and an average rating as of this writing of 4.8, the TomCare Solar Torch Lights are an excellent addition to a yard’s nighttime ambiance. The dancing flames simulate real flames when viewed from a reasonable distance and do not require battery replacements or electric wiring.
I have been happy with my purchase and truly enjoy watching the flames flickering in the back yard at night by the pool. Its relaxing and sets a calming mood, without the risk of burning down the neighborhood.
TomCare solar lights warranty
I was unable to find any information regarding warranty on the TomCare website. They list their office address in Shenzhen Guangdong. Because of the potentially high shipping charges associated with sending a product like this internationally for repair or replacement, I would recommend purchasing from an American store that is known to value customer satisfaction such as Amazon.