You need a considerable amount of electricity to light up all the garden lights and light inside your house. Using solar lights will decrease your electricity cost as they use the energy of the sunlight which is free. So now using solar lights is very famous among solar energy users. But as every electrical equipment solar lights also do not last forever. What we can do is to maintain them properly to last them longer.
The lifetime of solar light depends on the lifetimes of each component of the solar lights. By following proper maintenance methods you can get the most out of your solar light. In this article we hope to explain why your solar lights do not last for a longer time and what can you do to extend this lifetime.
Why do solar lights not last long?
Solar light has several major components:
- Solar panels
- Connecting wires, fuse, etc.
Any damages that happen to these components or the end of the lifetime of any of these components will stop the solar lights completely or decrease the ON time. So it is better if you have basic knowledge about what can go wrong with your solar lights. So without going any further let’s see some problems associated with solar lights.
Reasons why solar lights not working at all.
This can be due to the end of the lifetime of the solar battery. Normally a solar battery has 5 – 6 years of life. But due to misuse of the solar light the battery’s lifetime decreases.
If the battery is working without a problem, it is mostly due to the lamp. As a normal bulb in your house, this lamp also can be burnt. If you use a LED bulb you can use it for around 15 years. But if you use metal halide, CFL, HPS, OR LPS bulb you can not expect that much of a lifetime.
Also, this can happen due to any faults of wiring such as a loosely connected wire. You can simply repair these kinds of errors.
Also, a blown fuse can stop the current flow into your system. You can repair this by simply replacing the fuse.
Reasons for the decrease in ON time
Mainly it can be due to a problem associated with the battery. So you can simply replace the battery.
Also, this is can be due to poor maintenance of the solar panel. If there is a dirt layer or snow layer on your panel it will decrease the amount of sunlight reaches your panels. So this will decrease the charge stored in the battery. So there will be not enough charge stored in the battery to light up the bulbs during the whole night.
How do you preserve solar lights?
To extend the lifetime of your solar light you must maintain each component properly.
- Regular checks – by doing regular checks of solar panel you can detect any physical damages happened to the solar panel and any potential errors. By doing so you can prevent the worsening of any problem and can repair the damages with less cost. Most of the time repairing physical damages such as cracks, wiring problems, or ruptures on your own is not possible. It is wise to have professional help.
- Clean panels – cleaning panels and keeping them dirt/snow-free will increase the lifetime of the solar panel because dirt/snow and much other debris can damage your panel. Also, it helps to increase the efficiency of your solar panel because dirt/ snow layers will block the sunlight.
- Make sure that your solar light has a charging controller. This charging controller prevents any overcharging and charges the battery at a regulated rate. This definitely helps to increase battery life.
- If you store the sola light inside make sure to take the batteries to take out from the solar light before storing them.
- Do not let your batteries be uncharged for a long period.
- Once in a while when charging, switch off your solar lamps (by manual switch) and let them get a full charge over 2 – 3 days.
Also in extreme weather conditions such as snowstorms, hurricanes, and heavy rain, it is wise to store your solar lights inside to prevent any physical damages to them. when you are storing them away make sure they are switched off by the manual switch.
What to do when solar lights stop working?
After using for some time like any other electronic equipment your solar panel also can get problems. If they stopped working you do not have to be agitated about it. You can try the following steps and try to find the cause of the problem.
- First, you have to make sure your solar light is ON. Yes, solar light ON/OFF switching is an automatic process. But most solar lights have a manual switch too. So if the manual switch in the “OFF” position the light will not work.
- Even though you figured out that the light is not working in dark, you have to check it out at a place where there is light. Cover the sensor and simulate it with dark and check again whether is it a one-time problem or still not working.
- Then you have to check your panels. For that clean your panels. Then positioned the solar light where there is abundant sunlight. Then check whether the solar light is working now.
- Check the battery compartment to check whether there are any damages such as broken wires, water damage, corroded battery terminals, etc.
- Then check your battery has corroded or is it fine.
- Switch off your solar lights manually, clean properly, and let them charge under sunlight for around 72 hours. By doing so you let the battery get a full charge. Then try placing the solar light in dark and check the light.
- To make sure there is nothing wrong with the lamp, you can put a regular alkaline battery and place it in a dark place.
- If all these are not working it is better to contact your service provider. Do not try to repair it by yourself if the solar lights are still under warranty period.
How can you make your solar lights brighter?
After buying and fixing the lamps some get problems with the brightness of the lamp. This can happen from day one or this can happen after using lamps for some days. Without further ado let’s see the basic reasons for low levels of brightness and how to correct them.
- Before purchasing you should check about the specification of the solar lights that you are going to purchase. Power of the lamp (if it is a LED lamp it is better), battery capacity, and the power of the solar panel are the ones that decide the brightness. So make sure that these specifications are matching with your needs. Make sure to get professional help if you do not have proper knowledge about this.
- Make sure that the panels receive enough sunlight to charge your batteries. Without enough power stored in the batteries, the solar lamps won’t light up brightly as they used to be. Try placing them where there is abundant sunlight or try to angle the panels to increase the amount of sunlight they receive.
- Make sure there is no dirt/snow any other debris on the panels. You should try cleaning them because these dirt/snow/debris block sunlight. So this may decrease the brightness of your solar lights as the batteries are not charged properly.
- If the area you are placing the solar panels is dusty or have tall trees, both dust particles in the air and the trees will block the sunlight the panels received. So this will reduce the charge stored in the battery. So the lamp will not light up brightly as you need.
- Replace the battery. If your solar lights are not lighting up as they used to be it can be a problem for the battery. You can replace the battery. Before replacing it you can check it with a regular battery to make sure that the lamp is working properly.
- Go for higher quality lights. So if all the above-mentioned tips are not working it is better to replace the solar lights with higher quality ones. As this cost more for you, it is better if you can buy the best quality solar lights at the beginning. If you do not know much about this, it is better to get professional help.
10 Tips for makes your solar lights last longer
1 .Always try to buy the best quality solar lights as they are working properly for a long duration.
2. Try to choose the batteries with the specifications that match your needs (battery capacity, panel power, lamp power, etc)
3. It is better if you can buy solar lights with LED lamps as they last longer.
4. When installing the lamps make sure to fix them in an area with abundant sunlight, less dusty, and have less tall trees.
5. Fix the panels with an angle, as it will increase the amount of sunlight it receives, and also it will keep the panels clean as the rain washes the debris on it.
6. Make sure to clean your panels and keep the snow, dirt, and debris free.
7. Before switching on your solar lights for the first time, let them charge with the switch at OFF position for around 72 hours to let the battery to get a full charge. Try to do this once a while to let your battery get a full charge.
8. If there is an adverse weather condition such as a snowstorm, hurricanes, or heavy rains it is better to store the solar lights inside to prevent any physical damages. When storing them make sure to take out the batteries.
9. Do not use regular batteries for an extended period by doing so it can corrode your battery compartment and permanently damage your solar lights. But you can use regular batteries for checkups.
10. Do regular checks on solar lights to prevent the worsening of any small damages and prevent potential damages.
| Conclusion |
Even though you think that using solar lights will make your life easier and will save you a hefty amount of cash it is not so simple as that. If you want to get all these advantages solar light must last longer and should work efficiently. Choosing the best quality solar lights, proper use, and maintenance will make sure that the solar panels last an extended period. So as you can see by that you can enjoy all the advantages of using solar lights, to the fullest.