Solar lights are a popular alternative for installing cost-effective, quick, maintenance-free, and eco-friendly lighting fixtures. They provide the needed illumination without working on electrical wirings and needing other necessities of an electrically powered light source. Although solar lights are sturdy and resilient, they can also run into some problems, such as faulty sensors, dead rechargeable batteries, or dirty solar panels. In fact, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s 2017 report, photovoltaics had a median failure rate of 0.05%.
So, if you’re using solar lights and they suddenly stopped working or are not performing well, you might wonder what happened. If so, you’ll find the information in this article helpful. With that said, here are 7 common reasons why your solar lights are not performing well.
1. ON Button Is Not Turned ON
Most solar lights come with ON/OFF buttons, and you’ll be surprised by how many people forget to turn on the switch. On the other hand, others come with a pull-out knob that you have to detach before turning on the light.
To resolve this, it’s best to inspect the package and the entire item if you have newly bought solar lights to make sure everything is working correctly. Then, you can go over the user manual that comes with the box so you won’t miss out on important instructions.
2. Sensor Is Faulty
Solar lights work based on sensors that check the amount of light, darkness in particular. Unfortunately, solar-powered lights don’t work during the day, so check if the sensor works during nighttime or simulate darkness by covering the sensor with a cloth or your hands.
If it’s not working in a dark environment, the sensors are defective. However, if it lights up, the sensor is in excellent condition.
3. Battery’s End of Life
A dead battery is one of the most common reasons why a solar light might not work. After all, worn-out batteries don’t have enough power to light a solar lamp, and after its life expectancy, they tend to function poorly.
Therefore, you can check solar battery problems by using regular batteries. If the light works, it’s time to recharge or replace your solar light batteries.
4. Dirty Solar Panels
Check if the solar panels are clear of any debris, dirt, leaves, or dust. This is because dirty panels affect the amount of sunlight received to charge a solar-powered light. Thickened dust also limits the panels from absorbing sunlight.
Therefore, you should remove any possible obstruction that blocks the sun’s rays by cleaning your panel now by wiping it with a damp cloth.
Please, do not make these 5 solar panel cleaning mistakes in the video below:
5. Not Getting Direct Sunlight
Solar-powered lights need enough direct sunlight for their optimal performance. So, placing them in covered areas or the shade without sufficient sunlight affects the amount of energy they get to charge.
With that said, you can position your solar lights in areas that receive sunlight most of the day. Generally, solar light needs to be in direct sunlight for 4-5 hours a day.
6. Water Residue Build-up
Although they are water-resistant, precipitation and water build-up are still possible. Moreover, water build-up can damage the circuits and wirings. Old solar lights are also vulnerable to water getting inside the panels.
Therefore, to check if there is water inside, you can detach the panel head to inspect for precipitation or any frayed internal wirings.
7. Near Another Light Source
Solar-powered lights have photovoltaic sensors that detect light. For example, suppose another light source is within the proximity of your solar light. In that case, the sensor may think it is daytime and will automatically turn off.
So, check the placement of your solar panels and see if there are other light sources nearby. If there is, it would be best to transfer it away from the said light source.
While solar lights are often reliable and efficient, they can still run into some issues sometimes. To resolve these problems, it’s crucial to understand the common problems, as this will help you identify them and apply the necessary solutions.