We use outdoor solar lighting on many occasions. Some of them are garden lights, security lights, patio lights, and festive/ holiday lights. With the advancements in solar technology, we can find outdoor solar lights made for every occasion we mentioned above.
As we all know rain is one of the biggest challenges/ factors that affect the performance and the lifetime of outdoor solar lights. But there are many ways that you can protect your outdoor solar lights from rain. A few of them are, purchasing waterproof outdoor solar lights, and purchasing items from a qualified manufacturer. Check the solar lights from time to time and good maintenance.
In this article, we discuss how the rain affects the outdoor solar lights and how to protect these outdoor solar lights from the rain.
How does an outdoor solar light work?
Same as any other solar light, outdoor solar light has five main components;
- Solar panels
- Charging controller
When the solar panels are exposed to the sunlight, PV cells convert the sunlight into electricity. The produced electricity is given as DC voltage. This power is used to charge the battery. Battery charging is controlled by a charging controller. Then the inverter converts the DC voltage power to AC voltage and it is used to light up the bulb.
Why solar lights are good for outdoor solar lighting?
Outdoor solar lights are good for your outdoors than conventional outdoor lights due to many reasons.
As outdoor solar lights do not connect to your home electricity;
- You do not have to worry about an increased electricity bill at the end of the month.
- As there is no need for wiring and extension cords, there will not be any fire hazards, trip and fall hazards, or short outs/ short circuits.
- As these outdoor solar lights are stand-alone equipment the installation is easier.
As most outdoor solar lights are either waterproof or water-resistant they are protected from water and moisture. So you do not have to pay extra for rain shields. Also, as there are no extension cords you do not have to worry about purchasing extension cords designed for the outdoors.
How does rain affect outdoor solar lights?
Mainly rain affects the efficiency and the lifetime of a solar light.
As we said earlier solar lights get power from sunlight. During rainy days the amount of sunlight received by solar lights (solar panels) will be decreased. Although solar lights work even in rain, the brightness and the light-up time will be decreased as the power converted by the panels will decrease on rainy days.
What are the things you can do to protect your outdoor solar lights from rain?
- Use waterproof outdoor solar lights (IP 65 waterproofing can withstand wet weather and long-lasting rain.)
- Make sure the lights are made of high-quality materials.
- Make sure to purchase the products from a qualified manufacturer (even though this can be expensive if you purchase less quality cheap products from an unknown brand the efficiency and the lifetime of the outdoor solar lights can be less. Also, as they may not have proper waterproofing they can get damaged by rain).
- Make sure there are no objects such as tree branches that can fall on the lights.
- Make sure to install the panels at a well-lit location (if the location you want to place your lights does not get good sunlight, install panels at a well-lit place and use long connecting wires to connect panels and light).
- Properly maintain the solar lights (e.g. – make .sure to remove any debris/ dust collected on the panels as it can accumulate moisture and also obstruct sunlight).
Water-resistant vs. waterproof;
What to do to your outdoor solar lights during the extended rainy season?
During extended rainy seasons without the slightest sunlight, it is better to store the lights inside as they can be damaged if they are not in use for a long period.
You can use an adapter to charge them using house electricity and use them.
How can you use solar lights if there is no slightest sunlight?
As we said earlier you can use an adapter to charge the battery using house electricity. Then you can light up the solar lights using the stored power.
How can you protect your outdoor solar lights from a flood?
The best way to protect your solar lights from a flood is to choose the right location for installation.
Do not use low ground that has a high chance to flood. Also, make sure that the area does not have obstacles and has space for proper water flow to avoid any water accumulation.
If there is a high chance of heavy flooding, store your solar lights inside.