Received mine yesterday (2 sets), and installed them around noon.
I noticed while assembling them that they all lit when turned upside down once the light sensor was in the dark, so they were all 'pre-charged' (NiMH)-- at least minimally. Placed them around the pool and in full sunlight for the remainder of the day and when it got dark (around 6pm) they all lit up as anticipated.
So, all that to say:
1) batteries appear to be 'fresh'
2) the light is a pale blue (fine for my use around a pool)
3) the spot light will not allow you to send up the bat signal, but they did light the 7-8 ft palms I put them at the base of faintly, yet still well enough to see the tops on a dark moonless night like yesterday
4) instructions claim you can get about 1000 cycles from Ni-Cd, 500 from NiHM, 800 from NiMH LSD (low self discharge... not THAT LSD), and clearly state you may use higher capacity batteries.
5) Surprisingly, lights stayed on overnight (12 hours) with no noticeable dimming.
6) replacement batteries can be had cheaply from Harbor Freight, especially if you watch their sale flyer and apply a 20% off coupon on top of the sale price. Plus you will be able to get a FREE 25' tape measure, utility scissors, screwdriver set, LED flashlight, or multi-meter with another coupon!
7) Each light worked out to about $2 since the $5 shipping was spread out over several items ordered all on the same day.
As always, YMMV...
I realize this will most likely never get read, but thought it might come in handy if these ever come up again (and if they do I am in for 3 sets this time!)