FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
To provide faster online help, we have attached a list of frequently asked questions. If you have a question which isn't on our list, e-mail us and we'll be happy to assist you. Click HERE to send us an email.
How do I order online?
We strive to make it as easy as possible for you to order online. When shopping, simply add an item to your shopping cart from any product page, selecting a quantity, continue shopping by adding further items to your shopping cart then, when you are ready, check-out. Enter your details and payment information and the order is complete. For more detailed information, please see ‘How to Order or click on 'Terms. Conditions & Policies' at the bottom of the web page or click HERE. Most of our products have a discounted price shown for all on-line (internet) orders. Telephone and mail orders do not attract those discounted prices and instead our regular product price is applied, as advertised.
Is the credit card information that I submit when ordering online secure?
Absolutely. Every page in the Solar Illuminations online ordering process that requests credit card information uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. We encrypt your personal information, such as your credit card number, when transmitting over the Internet using SSL. SSL renders information unreadable should anyone try to intercept it. See our Security and Privacy Policies for more information.
Can I return something I bought online?
It’s easy to return a faulty item for a repair, exchange or replacement subject to meeting the terms and conditions of our Returns Policy. Our Returns Policy is available upon request or it can be viewed by clicking on the ‘Returns Policy’ button at the bottom of the web page or click HERE. If a product fails within 90 days from the date of purchase simply let us know and we will advise you what to do next. We do not refund products that have been ‘used’ or ‘installed’, otherwise there is a restocking fee applied and shipping charges are non-refundable, regardless. A valid RMA number is required for all returns regardless of reason for return. Our Returns Policy & Returns Instructions will provide you with detailed information on this subject.
What if can’t find the product I am looking for so how can I search for it?
The Search button is located on the top of every page. You can search for product names and descriptions that are featured in our online store. You can also search for products within a pre-defined price groups.
What if I want a product but it is out of stock? How will I know and how can I still order it?
Usually, if a product is not in stock we will advise customers of this fact by displaying a message within the product description. We may also provide an indication as to when the product is expected to arrive back in stock. This is only an estimate. We try and update stock notices whenever new information arrives that is relevant. Sometimes we can sell out of a product very quickly or out of hours so it is not always possible to display an ‘out-of-stock’ notice in the product description immediately. We try and keep customers informed of these kind of situations in advance so everyone is fully aware before an order is placed. If the ‘add to cart’ button is visible then an order can still be placed and it will wait pending arrival of new stock. Our secure payments system will automatically and instantly charge a customers credit card at the time of placing the order, in ‘real time’. As soon as a product arrives back in stock, all pending orders and pre-orders will ship out quickly, as a priority to all waiting customers.
What should I expect to happen once I place an online order?
When your order is received, it will be processed and shipped normally within 5 business days (excluding US public holidays) but usually within 1-2 business days. If there is any problem with your order we will advise you as soon as possible. If an item is ordered that is not in stock then it may be back ordered for you. This may mean part shipping of an order initially. Usually, if a product is not in stock this will be mentioned at the product description on this web site. Sometimes an item may be out of stock even if this is not stated on the web site. We will try to advise you of any delays as soon as possible. Special orders and large orders take extra time for us to prepare. Orders received at peak periods and during the festive season may take longer to prepare. We are closed on Saturday, Sunday and all US public holidays so if you submit an order during these periods it will not be processed until the next business day.
Which credit cards do you accept?
We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, and the American Express Optima credit card. Please ensure that you enter you details correctly as we use AVS (Address Verification System) to authenticate cardholder’s addresses. We also use CVV2 (Card Code) details to ensure the credit, debit or charge card is to hand. This code can be found as the last 3 digits on the back of your Visa, Mastercard or Discover card on the signature strip or the 4 digits on an American Express card shown on the front of the card on the right, just above the card number. Please telephone us if you have any transaction authorization problems.
Can I pay by check or money order?
Yes, you may proceed by placing your order on-line. There will be a section about payment methods available and you will need to select the ‘Mail Check’ option. Complete the check-out process and print off your order confirmation which will show the total order value and shipping which will be the total amount payable. You will then need to mail in your check or money order made payable to ‘SOLAR ILLUMINATIONS’ within 7 days. Please ensure that you also supply your invoice/order number with your check or money order. Mail to: Solar Illuminations, 14965 Technology Court, Units 3-6, Fort Myers, Florida, 33912. Please allow appropriate postal time for us to receive your check or money order and then appropriate clearance time with our bank. Only when the check or money order has cleared will order processing begin. Presently we are only able to accept a check or money order in US$ drawn upon a US bank with the exception of a Western Union money order which may be mailed to us internationally in US$ currency only.
Do you accept PayPal?
Yes, we gladly accept PayPal. At checkout ensure you select PayPal. You are then automatically directed to the secure PayPal site where you can enter your payment details. You may find this facility most useful as it provides a large choice of payment methods including making payments from your bank account without the use of a credit, debit or charge card.
Why isn’t my browser working with your site?
Ordering from our site requires the use of an SSL-compliant browser. We recommend using Netscape 3.02, or Microsoft IE 3.02 (or more recent versions of either). Version 3.01 of both browsers incorrectly displays "transfer interrupted" when retrieving information from our databases. For AOL users, either the 3.0 or 4.0 AOL client for PCs or the 4.0 AOL client for Macs is recommended. Also, your browser preferences must be set to accept "cookies."
Why is my order empty?
How is sales tax calculated on orders?
Sales tax is charged only on orders sent within the state of Florida at the current rate of 6%. Sales tax charged on orders sent within the state of Florida is calculated on your merchandise total. Sales tax is not charged when orders are sent to any other USA state. If you are making a purchase for resale within Florida or have exemption then we will require a faxed or mailed signed & dated copy of your Florida Sales Tax Resale Certificate or Exemption Certificate.
How are shipping and handling charges calculated?
Shipping and handling charges are based on merchandise total value and/or merchandise total weight, for each delivery address. We normally ship products by UPS Ground service. In-stock orders should normally arrive within 2-10 business days depending upon delivery location. You can also choose to upgrade to UPS Three Day Select, Two Day Air or Next Day Air to ship the next business day. International orders usually ship via USPS and a choice of services are offered in the check-out pages. For more information, see our Delivery section by clicking at the top of the web page on the 'Terms, Conditions & Policies' button or click HERE.
Can items be shipped internationally?
Yes. Shipping charges will vary accordingly and additional and appropriate transit time must be allowed. We are not responsible for any local taxes, duties, fees or charges applicable due to their import to your country. You are responsible for these additional costs and these would normally, where charged, be paid locally. We recommend USPS Priority Mail, USPS Express Mail or UPS Express depending upon the size of your order, carton dimensions and weight and restrictions apply with some services offered.
Can I have my order shipped to an alternative address?
For security reasons we will usually only ship to the credit card holder’s billing address. This is the address where the credit card statement is received as held on file by the credit card company. This is so that we can be sure that the cardholder receives the order without dispute. The cardholder will need to sign for the order and UPS forwards a copy of the delivery confirmation and signature to Solar Illuminations. We may make exception to PO box addresses because UPS does not deliver to a PO box. When placing an order at our web site please only enter the credit card billing address even if this is a PO box. Then, once completed and the transaction is authorized, if you provided a PO box address then send us a brief email with your name, regular street address, zip code and your order/invoice number and we will make the adjustment. There may be an exception to the alternative shipping address in certain circumstances so if you have a question please call us or send us an email.
How will I know when my order has shipped?
Usually, we request that UPS is to email you a tracking number. This is provided that we have a valid email address for you and that we have used UPS as the courier. Also, the tracking number will only be emailed once the shipping data has been entered by us into the UPS system. When we enter the data the UPS system assumes the order is being shipped that same day. This is not always true because sometimes the data is entered after UPS has collected from our warehouse that day or when we are busy, sometimes shipping data is entered in advance of the order being packaged and considered ready to ship. Only when the order has been collected does relevant tracking information commence and an estimated date of arrival can then be calculated. Sometimes an error can be made inputting the data into the UPS system and this may result in us voiding that shipment and re-entering the data to create a revised shipment. As these shipments will be issued with different tracking numbers you may receive a tracking number by email, then a void notification and then a new (revised) tracking number. This should not be a concern as this is the standard process in these circumstances. We are not responsible should you not receive a tracking number by email as this service is provided by UPS and we cannot guarantee the arrival of a tracking number by email. Please note, international orders may be shipped by USPS (US Postal Service) and therefore a tracking number may not be supplied or be made available.
Is the credit card information that I submit when ordering online secure?
Absolutely every page in the Solar Illuminations online ordering process that requests credit card information uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption with AuthorizeNet. They encrypt your personal information, such as your credit card number, when transmitting over the Internet using SSL. SSL renders information unreadable should anyone try to intercept it. See our Security and Privacy Policies for more information.
Will Solar Illuminations sell or rent
my e-mail address information to other companies?
Solar Illuminations does not share, sell or trade e-mail address information with other companies. Our policy is to protect this information and use it for communication purposes only. We are committed to ensuring our customers’ privacy. See our Security and Privacy Information.
Product Information & Use
How easy is it to install solar lighting?
Our products are very easy to install. Usually it is just a matter of opening the box and placing the fixture in the garden in your chosen location. No real skills are required and often the only tool necessary is a screwdriver. Operating instructions come with every product. Most solar lights need exposure to full direct sunshine for at least 2 to 3 full days before they are switched on. This ensures the battery is fully charged and at maximum capacity at the outset.
Will the light work immediately?
Usually, our lights work straight out of the box for a quick ‘flash’ test. However, you will need to place the fixture outside in full direct sunshine for at least 2 or 3 days so that the battery initially gets a full charge. If the product has an on/off switch then it’s best to leave it in the ‘off’ position until it has had its first initial charge. After this time the switch may be left on and the light will operate without further attention.
Will the light turn on automatically?
All our solar lights turn on automatically at dusk and operate throughout the hours of darkness. Most solar lights have a small photocell (light sensor) built-in to the fixture. This component knows when the light level is low and switches the light on. Make sure there are no other strong light sources near by that can affect the photocell because if the location is not dark enough. If a solar light is placed near to another lighting source such as a street light, parking lot light, security light or light from the window of a home, then the fixture may not automatically switch on.
How long will the light illuminate for?
This depends on many factors. Your state or country, season and weather conditions all affect solar powered products. Usually, for most months throughout the year there is sufficient sunlight to recharge the batteries daily. Just daylight conditions have some charging effect. The brighter and sunnier the weather the more charge is applied to the batteries and the brighter and longer the light will illuminate for. Many of our lights are capable of operating for up to 8 hours or more. The geographic location, seasons, weather condition and location of fixture or solar panel will all have a factor in determining the illumination time each night.
Can the batteries be changed and is this easy to do?
Many of the solar lights we offerl use regular AA type rechargeable batteries (Ni-Cad or Ni-Mh type). These are inexpensive, commonly found and easily purchased from any good battery retailer or from our web site. We recommend that they are replaced every 2-3 years or as required. Replacement is quite easy to do and instructions provided give more information on this procedure. Some of our floodlight use a sealed lead acid battery. These can sometimes be purchased locally or we offer them at our web site. We recommend using a battery tester or volt meter to determine if a battery is charged, partially charged or discharged. We sell a simple battery tester here at our web site.
How bright are the lights?
As solar outdoor lighting uses batteries as the sole power source and the bulbs are usually one or more LED’s there is a combination of trying to achieve a light output that is as bright as possible but to last as long as possible (from one charge). Solar lighting has become much more reliable and efficient over the years. This type of product is usually used for accent or decorative lighting with a typical light output between 1 to 3 watts. The solar security floodlight that we sell is fitted with a 10 watt halogen bulb but can be replaced with a 20 watt version, if required. Our LED floodlights (fitted with 24, 45, 108 or 144 LED’s) are quite bright for a solar powered fixture and their equivalent output can be found in the product description. As solar lights generally do not produce as much light as an electrically powered light, better effects are noticed when located in no ambient light conditions. If you place a solar light in a partially illuminated or well lit area then the effect would not be so good. For spot lights, floodlights and flag pole lights, the less ambient light, the better the effect and the more noticeable the results. We recommend that a customer carefully reads the product description and technical specifications for the product of interest to determine that the light output will be suitable.
Can the bulbs be replaced?
Almost all of the solar lights we offer use LED’s as the light source. An LED is a Light Emitting Diode. It’s not really a light bulb but an electrical component that emits light. These are proven to be highly reliable components, give off almost no heat and have a life expectancy of up to 20 years. Being an electrical component, LED’s are soldered into place onto a circuit board or module, as replacement is not normally required. The solar security floodlight that we sell has a JC/G4 type halogen bulb that can be easily replaced and you can purchase these from us, when required.
How does a white colored LED visually appear when illuminated?
Solar lights fitted with white colored LED’s are the most popular these days. With many solar accent lights the LED, when illuminating at night time, can appear to have a very slight blue tint or is as referred to as ‘cool white’. The majority of our solar lights use an LED that provides a brilliant white colored light which is between a ‘warm’ and a ‘cool’ color temperature (5000k to 6000k). For more information about LED’s please click on the left orange button marked ‘Information about LED’s’ or click HERE.
Can other lights nearby affect solar light fixtures?
Sometimes a strong, nearby light source can prevent a solar light from switching on because it is still detecting what it thinks is daylight. To overcome this problem, if your fixture has a visible photocell, just apply a very small patch or black adhesive tape over part (typically about half) of the photocell (a 1/4" round panel found on the top of most fixtures). Please click HERE for more information.
I have a question that is not found above can you help?
We will gladly answer any questions or queries you may have. Please telephone us on (239) 461-5522 any time Monday - Friday 10am - 4pm (US Eastern Time). We are closed on all US public holidays. Alternatively you can email us by clicking at the top of the web page on ‘CONTACT US’ or click HERE to send us an email. We will reply to your email as soon as we can.