The top is metal and the poles are hard plastic. The lantern is thick glass. The tiny light reflects off a shiny surface to cover a wider area. They last about four hours, so far. I put four in the yard for Halloween. Even though it was an overcast day with light rain, the batteries still charged, and they lasted long enough for the few trick or treaters to see their way safely along our walkway. It's been ten days, and they still come on every night at dusk (rain or shine) and, so far, last about four hours. We put two more around some plants in the backyard about a week ago, and they are doing the same. Everything in the packaging looks to be in good shape. We still have four more to assemble. Screwing the two plastic pieces together to form the base of the glass lantern is a little tricky, but my daughter was able to do it on the one that gave me trouble. It has to be tight so the lantern doesn't wobble on the stand. As for instructions, they have a diagram, but that one plastic piece that attaches to the reflector needs an arrow to show you which end is up so you don't try to screw it on upside down the first time. It's not obvious which is the right way until after you screw it on. For $3.50 a piece, they are a bargain. If you want something to be on all night, this isn't it. If you want something to light a path when you walk the dog or have company coming, this will do fine. Consider the fact that they will last longer into the night in the spring and summer months than in fall and winter.
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