What To Do When Solar Lights Stop Working: Fixes & Alternatives
Not sure what to do when solar lights stop working?
Solar light also referred to as a solar lantern or solar lamp is a lighting system that is made up of an LED bulb, solar panels, battery, and charge controller.
This device can also be an inverter.
Solar light operates on electricity, which is derived from batteries that are charged through the use of the solar photovoltaic panel.
It is a perfect product to replace other light sources such as candles or kerosene lamps.
Aside from the fact that this light is affordable to use as the energy from the sun is free, it also produces no indoor air pollution.
However, there are times when it fails us.
This solar light can stop operating.
This is a normal phenomenon and should not cause you any trouble.
This post is here to help you with a few things to do as a backup when your solar light stop working.
It also contains how solar light works and what makes them stop working.
How Do Solar Light Work?
Solar light works differently and uniquely from other light sources like candles or kerosene lamps.
This device works with the use of a photovoltaic effect.
Photovoltaic, which is also known as a solar cell, is an essential part of solar light.
This part helps to change sunlight into a direct electrical current.
The solar cell appears in the form of a dark panel and is often found at the top of a solar light.
Photovoltaic is made up of multiple layers of crystalline silicon, as well as chemicals.
These various layers generate layers of positively-charged spaces at the same time, also creating a layer of negatively-charged electrons.
When the solar cell absorbs sunlight, the sunlight excites the negatively-charged electrons and later moves them into the positively-charged spaces.
Afterward, the electrons in the positively-charged spaces are moved through wires located into the photovoltaic to a battery where the electricity is kept until it is ready for use.
During the day, the battery charges using the power that comes directly from the sunlight.
When there is no more sunlight, the photovoltaic converts the stored energy into light.
The light on the solar cell turns on immediately when the photoreceptor detects darkness.
This photoreceptor stops working when in the darkness and the solar cell resume converting the sunlight into electricity.
What Makes Solar Light Stop Working?
There are some situations in which you purchase a solar light, and you notice that it does not work or it has stopped working.
This is a very common situation for many users, and it can be a surprising one for people using solar lights for the first time.
Here are a few things that can make your solar light stop working.
1. Inadequate Sunlight
When your solar light absorbs little or no sunlight, it tends to stop working.
With this, you would only be able to enjoy a slight turn out of electricity from the solar cell.
Therefore, you need to place your panel at a location where it gets direct sunlight.
Your solar cell should enjoy at least 5 hours, converting the sunlight into electricity during the day.
This helps your battery to shine brightly and illuminate your home for an extended period in the night.
2. Dirty Solar Panel
Another way in which your solar light can stop working is when your solar panel is unclean.
Solar lights installed outdoor are often exposed to dirt and debris.
This event, most of the time, leads to a reduction in energy of the solar light.
Therefore, you need to make sure that the panel is kept out of dust and has no dirt after installing the light in your outdoor garden.
Also, this cleaning should be regular.
That is every day or twice four times a week.
It is also essential to keep your solar light in a safe place whenever it is not in use.
By doing so, your device tends to last for an extended period.
Moreso, the dust or dirt can cover the solar panel and prevent it from having direct contact with sunlight.
So, you need to always check your solar panel for efficiency.
3. Ineffective Sensor
The sensor is a component of the solar light that reacts to darkness.
It allows the battery to charge your units when it sees darkness.
Most solar lights come with a little sensor to detect darkness.
When the sensor is ineffective, the solar light would not be able to differentiate the day from the night, as it would only see the light.
To check the sensor during the nighttime, cover it with your hand, cloth, or something.
After covering it, if it brings on light, then it is working fine.
However, if it shows no light, it means it is high time you changed the battery!
4. Uncharged Battery
Another thing that can make your solar light stop working is if the battery of a newly purchased solar light is not fully charged.
You must allow the battery to charge fully for the first time before putting it on.
So, you need to place the solar panel at a specific place where it would have direct contact with the sunlight.
Afterward, you wait for about 24 hours to start using it.
Meanwhile, it is vital to know that you must switch the solar light off in other to get it fully recharged.
Thus, after charging the device fully, and there are no changes in the way it works, you need to contact the vendor and get it fixed or replaced!
5. Unused Buttons
Every solar light comes with one button or several others.
These buttons are made available to help you operate your solar system without any difficulties.
For instance, there is a pull button that is often found with solar lights.
It is for newly purchased items only.
This button needs to be removed before the light is turned on.
Many users, especially those using this device for the first time, usually leave the pull button on, and it prevents the solar light from working to satisfaction.
Therefore, you should check the pull button if your newly-bought solar light has just stopped working.
What To Do As a Backup When Solar Lights Stop Working
1. Cover the Panel
The sensor that comes with solar light only stops to convert the sunlight to electricity and begins to charge your devices if it sees darkness.
One of the ways to trick the lights into thinking nighttime has arrived early is by covering the panel with your hand, cloth, or something else.
Solar lights get their electricity during the day from the sunlight and do not work during the daytime. The energy derived at this period is then used at the night to charge your devices.
Therefore, when you cover your solar panel with your hands or a cloth, the solar lights might start working if there is no other source of light reaching the panel.
Meanwhile, a subtle tweaking of where the solar panel is fixed can help to solve the situation and allow your solar lights to work ideally as it always does.
2. Adjust the Batteries
The batteries in the solar light are a significant component that should be taken proper care of.
These batteries are, most of the time, rechargeable, and they last up to about 2 years or more even though some do not last up to a year.
The electricity or energy derived from the sunlight during the daytime is saved in the battery.
This is why they are often left off in the day, and at night, the batteries are active.
When you notice that your devices are not charged up to your expectations, it might be that the batteries, for some reason, are out of their charging capability.
Therefore a thorough check on these batteries is essential.
If you adjust them and they still cause the lights not to work, it means that it is high time you replaced them!
3. Leave No Room For Shadows.
One of the best ways to keep your solar lights effective and durable is by charging them for an extended period.
Meanwhile, you might have kept your solar light outdoor for about 5 hours or more, and you found out that it has only absorbed little or no electricity.
There is no cause for alarm as the panels might have been blocked by shadow.
Therefore, you need to place your solar light at a specific place where it would have direct contact with the sunlight.
If your solar panel is left under the shadow, it often results in less absorption of the sunshine by the panel.
A panel with inadequate sunlight would provide your devices with little or no energy.
4. Accurate Angle
Placing your solar panel at the right angle is one of the best means to backup your solar light when it stops working.
This is because the sunlight is not predictable.
It could get blocked by the clouds or could go hidden, especially on a rainy or foggy day when the sun is hardly seen.
Therefore, it is advisable to adjust your solar lights to a forty-five-degree angle.
This is because the fourth five-degree is one of the most productive angles, and it would allow your solar panel to enjoy more energy directly from the sunlight that it would have absorbed in other corners.
Solar panel adjustment enhances the proper functioning of your solar lights.
5. South Facing
Like a satellite dish, a solar panel works most effectively if it is facing in the right direction.
That is, a solar panel will be at its most productive angle if it is facing the west.
This is because the sun goes up in the east and sets down in the west.
Therefore when you place your panel on the south side, it will enjoy full coverage of sunlight from dawn until dusk.
Although your solar panel might still function perfectly well if they are not facing the south, the panel may not work to its full potential if it is either facing the north or east.
6. Water Intake
Even though many solar lights with higher ratings are often regarded as waterproof models, most of the solar lights on the shelves today are most of the time prevented from working effectively when they take in water.
Therefore, when your solar panel takes in water, you need first to place it under the sun or hot temperature to get rid of the wetness.
After that, a thorough check on the battery is another crucial step to take.
If you found out that the water has damaged the battery, then you might need to change the batteries as soon as possible.
If the batteries are still good to use, your solar lights should start working back after a day or two!
7. The Lux Sensor
The Lux Sensor is a device that detects how dark it is for the solar lights to get active.
The Sensor Lux is expected to ignite the solar system during the nighttime.
This component might not work; it may still think that there is light outside if there is any other source of light from which the panel is getting energy.
Therefore, a proper check on the Lux sensor is essential to enable the solar light to work effectively and efficiently.
You can check your Lux sensor by using your hand to cover the panel.
If it brings light on, it means there is another source of light apart from the sunlight.
If it does not, you would have to check for the vendor to fix it or replace it.
Finally, we are sure that this article has provided you with excellent knowledge of how the solar lights work, what can make them stop working and what to do as a backup when it has stopped working.
Solar lights not working is a frequent problem that many users often face.
Thus, when you are in this kind of situation, do not panic!
All you need to do is to follow these steps, and we are sure the problem will be solved.
If you have any suggestions for what to do when solar lights stop working, feel free to let us know in the comments below.