Solar fairy houses have become increasingly popular over the last 3 years. As night falls and the lights switch on, it reminds us of our family members arriving home each evening. The empty house is suddenly filled with childrens laughter, a mothers cooking, a fathers story-telling. The warm glow in the windows inspires pictures of a fairy family, gathering for a meal and sharing their adventures.

Lighting is particularly effective in fairy gardens and the introduction of solar fairy houses into the Australia marketplace a few years ago was instantly successful. However, we have found ourselves offering product care advice that appears to conflict with the product use instructions of the solar fairy houses. As a result, I have put together this detailed information page. (Don’t shoot the messenger!)

History & Geography Lesson

Fairy gardeners have been around forever. Generations of people have been creating little landscapes and enjoying the company of the fae. In the early 1980’s, developments in polymer resin, agglomerate stone and casting techniques saw a dramatic change in the way ornaments and collectibles were manufacturered. Cold casting and injection molding techniques opened an oportunity for large scale production of ornaments with fine detailing. This opened the door for fairy garden ornament manufacture. The US market warmly welcomed these new products and Europe followed. Australia was late to the mass produced fairy garden ornament game, but its late arrival did nothing to deter the Australian public from embracing it with open arms. 

While the products were used with success in the US and Europe, they had not been tested in Australian conditions. We quickly realised this and begun field testing. Product designs and colours were initially limited to darker, earthy tones so we commissioned a small run of products in a vibrant purple. Our initial test results lead us to immediately publish care guidelines. Further testing allowed us to refine those guidelines.

Our findings: Prolonged exposure to UV radiation had an adverse effect on the painted surface. This effect was able to be controlled and limited by reducing exposure. Application of liquid polyurethane products at regular intervals was found to further limit adverse effects, however, it was ineffective as a stand alone method of UV protection.

The Introduction of LED’s

The timeline of light bulb invention is a facsinating read if you are into that kinda thing, however lets skip it and get straight to the point. LED’s (light-emitting diode) came along and changed the world. They are cheap to manufacture, small and able to emit light in a particular direction which meant they didnt need reflectors and diffusers. Simultaneously, solar panels were getting better and smaller. One amazing day (it might have been a Wednesday), some bright spark combined the two and we were intoduced to the wonders of solar powered garden lights. A brilliant invention by anyones standards!

Of course, the leap to solar powered fairy houses was inevitable from that point, and this is were we hit a wall. Because, in our little corner of the world, the very thing that powers the light is the same thing that deteriorates the product that it is contained within. That puts us into a bit of a pickle.

We initially delayed the introduction of solar fairy houses to our range. However, in the real world businesses survive by listening to their customers, and we began stocking them. Their loveliness is not in dispute here, we love twinkly things and the dazzeling array of designs and colours in the range.

Here is the thing about care instructions: people usually read them after their products are damaged from not reading them in the first place.

My advice

I stand by our product care guide and the advice contained within it is solid. I also stand by our customers and their right to make informed choices.

If you wish to position your solar fairy house in a fully exposed area where it can soak up all the sunlight, then that baby is going to shine bright every night and your heart will be filled with the warmest fuzzies for a couple of years (max.)

If you wish to position your solar fairy house in a shaded area that will protect its facade, then it may get enough sunlight to shine bright for a short time each evening and your heart will be filled with the warmest fuzzies for a lifetime.

Solar Fairy House Instruction & Troubleshooting

A temporary battery is included in your fairy house. Please replace with a new battery prior to use.

CHARGING AND OPERATION

STEP 1. Set the switch to the “OFF” position.

STEP 2. Charge the solar product by placing it under direct sunlight for at least 8 hours.

STEP 3. Change the switch to the “ON” position. It will now charge automatically under direct sunlight during the day and illuminate at night.

NOTE: In order to verify that the switch is in the “ON” position correctly, cover the solar panel with your hand and check that the light comes on.

IMPORTANT:

  1. Place the solar product in an area where it will be exposed to direct sunlight.
  2. Leave the switch set in the “ON” position. (Item will not light up until DARK)
  3. Select an outdoor location away from other light sources such as street lights and security lights. They may stop the product from lighting up automatically at night.
  4. Duration of light will vary depending on the amount of sunshine the item is exposed to, geographical location, weather conditions and the hours of daylight.
  5. Designed to go outside, will weather rain, but do not let the item sit in water, this may damage the product.

MAINTENANCE, TROUBLE SHOOTING AND BATTERY REPLACEMENT

  1. Keep the solar panel clean.
  2. If the solar product does not light up, replace the rechargeable battery as it may be weak or worn out. This product uses one “AA” 1.2V 600mAh Ni-Cd battery. When replacing, you must replace with a battery of identical specification.
  3. Open the battery compartment cover and replace the battery with the recommended equivalent only. Be sure to observe the correct polarity. CAUTION: Do not pull the lid off all the way or wiring may break. Open gently so as not to damage the circuit board or wiring. Close the lid back and make sure it is properly sealed.
  4. SHARP POINT WARNING: Use caution when handing this product. Part of the product contains sharp points.

CAUTION

INSERT THE BATTERIES INTO COMPARTMENT ACCORDING TO THE CORRECT POLARITY SYMBOLS (+/-). TO AVOID EXPLOSION OR LEAK, DO NOT EXPOSE THE PRODUCT AND BATTERY TO FIRE. IF THE ITEM WILL NOT BE USED FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, REMOVE THE BATTERY AND STORE IT IN A COOL AND DRY PLACE. EXHAUSTED BATTERIES SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM ITEM.

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What is a fairy garden?



Useful tips and ideas



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Care guide and information



Learn about our product range



Coming soon!

Upload Your Fairy Garden Photos

Guidelines, Policy & Tips

We love to see your photos and hear your stories. On this page, you can

  • Learn how to upload photos to our fairy garden community gallery
  • Read our Minimum Requirements
  • Read our Image Use policy
  • Read our Best Practice guidelines
  • Get tips to improve your fairy garden photo quality
  1. Select “View & Upload To Gallery” from the main menu
  2. Click “Create A Gallery”
  3. Select upload type (Photo or Video)
  4. Use the “Title” field to name your fairy garden
  5. Use the description field to tell us about your garden
  6. Select the appropriate category
  7. Click the “Create” button
  8. Select a file from your computer (or drag and drop)
  9. Ignore the “Add a link” field
  10. Congratulations! You have created your gallery.

Photo submissions must be HD quality (min. 1080p). Smart phone images are ok.

Photo’s need to be clear and MUST feature your fairy garden. We are unable to accept blurred/low quality images and they will be removed.

You must be logged in to your account to upload, edit or delete images. Your first name will be used to credit you as the author where Fairy Gardening Australia uses your image outside the gallery, examples include inclusion in our national newsletter or sharing to our social platforms.

Use the title field to name your garden. Use the description field to tell us about your garden. Why, when, what, how – your story is important to us!

Images with added text, borders or image layers (e.g. emoji’s) will not be accepted and will be removed. Please add comments, quotes etc. in the provided fields only. Subtle filters are acceptable. Read more about this in the photography tips tab. 

Gallery image submissions will be displayed in the public community photo gallery hosted by Fairy Gardening Australia. By submitting your image, you are authorizing Fairy Gardening Australia to use your fairy garden photo on our website, newsletter and social media platforms. Where possible, credit is given to the image author. 

Fairy Gardening Australia will NEVER provide your images to third parties without your express permission, however, once your image is published, we are unable to control image lifting and sharing. Further, we accept no responsibility for images appearing on unauthorized third party websites and platforms.

Fairy Gardening Australia reviews all submissions to the gallery. Images that do not meet the minimum image requirements will be removed. Upon submission, our system automatically generates a watermark on images which will appear in the top left corner. The purpose of the watermark is to identify the original source of upload.

From time to time, we receieve image requests from media outlets (TV, newspaper, magazine, blogs) to accompany our editorial contributions. If we feel that your photo would be suitable for a project or campaign, we will contact you and request written permission to use your image. This is entirely optional.

Your photo will appear in our gallery for an undetermined period of time. We may remove your image without notice or our system may auto remove your image if our gallery is reaching the maximum limit to free up space for new submissions. Once it is removed, it will be stored in our database for a period not exceeding 7 years.

You may remove your image at any time. Please contact us if you need assistance.

Our team will not provide an explanation and no correspondence will be entered into where a decision is made to reject or remove an image submission. Reasons may include but are not limited to submissions that are inappropriate, poor quality, off topic or any other reason that may make a photo unsuitable for addition to the gallery. 

We require you to have gained permission from all individuals included in your image prior to submission. (Guardian permission for persons under 18 years old). We assume that you have those permissions at the time of upload. If your personal image appears in our gallery and you did not provide authorization, please contact us immediately. Additionally, please ensure the fairy garden appearing in your image is actually yours. Image theft is the leading cause of bad juju.

We optimise space in our gallery and a maximum 20MB restriction applies to each member account. If you are close to exceeding your limit, please contact us. We will transfer your image to an archive gallery. 

We love to see the beautiful smiles of our fairy gardeners! However, if you do not want your/your childrens photo to appear within our gallery or our associated social platforms, please do not upload them here. Once images are published, we have no control over image lifting and sharing. Please refer to our Image Use Policy.

A field is provided for you to write a short narrative which will accompany your image. The content will appear in the lightbox which opens when the gallery image is clicked. Please do not include personal or contact details in this field. The contents of this field should be limited to HOW, WHEN, WHAT, WHY. Members of this website can comment on your photo. Please check back regularly and respond to comments. 

Social share icons appear in the lightbox of your image. We encourage you to use these links to share your images with friends and family across your platforms.

By keeping the tips , requirements and policy in mind, you are assisting us to maintain high quality content in our gallery. (Thanks in advance!)

upload photos to our gallery, photography tips

Landscape orientation tends to showcase gardens more favourably. We will accept portrait orientated images, however thumbnail images that appear via widgets across our website may incorrectly display your image.

Your fairy garden (or favourite part of it) should be centred in the image.

Best angle: We recommend you try 2 angles – level and 45° to find which works best for your garden.

Upload photos that feature your entire garden or your just your favourite part. Adjust your distance from the subject to find the best view. It is always better to move than to zoom.

If surrounding items do not add to the aesthetic of your garden, remove them or try adjusting your angle. Alternatively, crop them from the image prior to upload.

Refrain from adding borders, emoji’s, image and text layers or collages. They distract the eye of the viewer and do not enhance your image. You are welcome to use a filter to enhance tone or clarity, but it is best to keep this minimal. Image colour quality can be effected by a number of factors and a colour enhancement filter can correct this. Fairy Gardening Australia will not adjust, add filters to or crop gallery images. We will automatically apply a watermark to the top left corner of your image for the purpose listed in our Image Use Policy.

 

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