4 Reasons Why Your Solar Lights Are Not Working (and How to Fix Them)

Bird droppings, dirt, dead batteries, and low sunlight can be why your solar lights are not working. Knowing the cause can lead you to simple solutions.

In other words, there’s a chance you might not have to replace your solar panels and lights. Instead, a simple adjustment and regular maintenance can get your solar lights back up and running again.

This article outlines common causes of solar light problems and the best way to fix them.

Here’s what you should know.

4 Reasons Why Your Solar Lights Are Not Working

Whether your solar light emits dim light or stops working altogether, there might be a DIY hack to fix them. The trick lies in figuring out the source of the problem.

Here are some reasons why your solar lights aren’t performing well:

Lack of Sunlight

Typically, solar lights need at least six hours of direct sunlight to fully charge their batteries. The optimal duration might vary depending on the intensity of the sunlight, battery power, and the angle/type of solar panels installed.

You can find more info here.

If overhanging branches or a shade surround your solar lights, they might not receive an adequate amount of sunlight. These objects either block the sun completely or cast a shadow on your solar panels/lights. Due to this, these solar-powered devices don’t receive sufficient energy during the day.

Other setbacks come in the form of rough weather. For instance, cloudy days, rain, and snowstorms might also prevent the lights from getting enough sunlight. It’s why your solar lights won’t work well at night.

How to Fix This?

Relocate your solar lights (or panels) in a non-covered area. Ensure that they are placed at a good angle from where they come in direct contact with the sun. Also, survey your yard and trim overgrown trees/bushes. These alterations will ensure that your light gets charged properly and work efficiently.

A Faulty Sensor

Solar lights come with built-in sensor systems that detect changes in the environment. The automated feature controls the solar lights. It responds to the environmental signals by switching the light off during the day and turning it on at night.

Suppose the sensor stops working. Then the lights would stay on during the day and gradually drain all the solar energy stored in the batteries. Uneven outdoor lighting and poor light emission are signs of a faulty sensor.

How to Fix This?

A simple switch is all you need to fix this issue. Replace the malfunctioned sensor to restore proper activity and environment detection.

Excessive Buildup On/Underneath Solar Panels

Excessive Buildup OnUnderneath Solar Panels

Solar lights might not need as much upkeep as other lights, but they sometimes need some TLC. Continuous exposure to the environmental elements might lead to dirt and dust accumulation. Bird droppings, nests, and twigs on the surface of solar panels are other reasons why your light won’t work.

Besides dry debris, your solar lights might malfunction when it comes in contact with heavy rainwater or due to moisture intrusion. Both dirt and moisture accumulation can happen for weeks, months, and sometimes years. It all depends on the size of your solar lights/panel and the duration of exposure.

How to Fix This?

Yearly (or monthly) maintenance and weekly cleaning can limit buildup. You might have to call professional cleaners if the debris and moisture intrusion is excessive. That’s because solar panels and sensors are highly sensitive. They might require proper handling to ensure that you don’t damage it any further.

Dead Battery

Solar light batteries lose their charging capabilities over the years. The progressive wear and tear might lead to acid leakage. If you don’t replace old batteries in time, the toxic leakage might damage the electrical parts of your solar-powered lighting system.

Due to this, your lights might fuse or stop working completely.

How to Fix This?

Most solar light batteries last a year or two. Consider replacing them after their warranty time ends. Look for signs of reduced battery power to intervene in time. Flickering lights, reduced lighting time, and lower light intensity are all signs of diminishing battery life.

A quick replacement can ensure that your solar lights work for years.

Broken Cables

If you have remote solar lights, you will find that they have solar panels that are connected via cables, separating them from the lamp. If by any means, the cables get loosened from the point of connection, the panel will stop charging the batteries and it will ultimately result in dim lights.

It can frequently happen to your cables if you live in close proximity to wildlife. Squirrels and other animals may cause damage to your cables that’s certainly annoying.

How To Fix This?

If you timely find and assess the damage that occurred, you can repair it with electrical tape. However, sometimes does not happen and you got to know about it when the cables have been damaged to the extent that electrical tape won’t help. Then, you need to contact a technician who can replace the cables or your manufacturer to use the warranty.

In a Nutshell

The reasons why your solar lights are not working can vary significantly. You can either inspect your solar panels and light fixtures independently or call an expert. Use this guide to find the underlying problem with the light or panels and resolve it with a suggested solution. If the problem persists, you can ask manufacturers and service providers for warranty repairs and replacement.

However, consider this as a last resort. Consider repairing and modifying your solar panels and solar lights setup first to check if they work. There’s a chance your solar lights might need a costly repair after all.

Thank you for reading!

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