Gone are the days when the world was all about electricity. Days when in every home, you would find every item plugged into an electric source. Times have changed, and people are now embracing solar and understandably so given its many benefits.
Today, people use solar to light their outdoors, give their gardens that glow, and illuminate pathways. Though it’s an option that will cost you more, it’s still worth every penny. Additionally, solar lights are your environment’s best friend.
Due to these factors, people now wonder, do solar lights last long enough to have been worth the expenditure? The good news is you’re better off buying solar because, in the long run, it turns out to be cheaper.
Do Solar Lights Last Forever?
They say nothing good lasts forever, and no matter how glorious they are, solar lights are no exception. So, how long do solar lights last? When it comes to batteries, expect a run of up to four years. This shelf life means no replacement hassles for years. However, when the day to replace them comes, batteries are cost-friendly, and putting fresh ones is relatively straightforward.
What’s more? LEDs can serve you up to 10 years. Imagine a decade of not having to think about spending money. These two combinations on longevity give solar light an edge over other sources of power.
The beauty of solar lighting is that you can leave your lights on the whole night. The ability to illuminate your outdoors this long only works well if you ensure the lights get strong enough sunshine the following day. In most cases, the energy will be sufficient if the panels get eight hours of sun.
But you have to remember that only good care will give you the best results. If you’re reckless with your lights, forget these years of service. How then, you wonder, can I make my solar lights last longer? There are a couple of secrets to getting the most out of your solar lights.
Tips to Make Solar Lights Last Longer
1. Establish Your Needs
Though solar lights generally come with many benefits, not everything in the market is the right fit for your home. Therefore, one thing that can save you from making a costly decision is getting the right lights.
All this depends on factors such as the size of the place you want to illuminate. For instance, if you have a large garden, it goes without saying that you should settle on a strong solar plan.
2. Keep It Squeaky Clean
Your solar panels need regular cleaning if you want to get the most out of them. How long do solar lights last if they are always dirty? Not long. Please keep this in mind, dirt blocks your panels from sun rays. If sunlight can’t find its way to the panels, your battery will get drained faster since it did not soak up enough light, if any.
Another thing you can avoid by keeping your lights clean is dim lighting. If you want sparkling lights for your garden or walkway, wipe the solar panels at least twice a week.
Also, if possible, place your lights around the perimeter wall of your home. Apart from providing all-rounded lighting, this can help keep your lights away from dirt and debris from plants.
3. Install in an Open Place
You can’t put your solar panels in a shady place and expect to get maximum lighting. One way to extend your panel’s shelf life is to put it in a place where the sun rays are not blocked. Remember, as discussed earlier, if your lights don’t get enough sun rays, they won’t shine bright.
To solve this, reposition your lights. You can do it yourself or have an expert install the lights in strategic positions.
Secondly, you can clear the overgrowing bushes or plants around your lights. Why? One of the reasons you installed the lights is to prevent people from stepping on your beautiful garden at night.
4. Correct Settings
Depending on where you want to use your solar lights, settings will be crucial.
The wrong setting can cost you more money or damage your solar lights. How? By getting the settings wrong, you can cause the battery to die fast through excessive consumption. Further, if the parameters are incorrect, you can illuminate the garden or pathways too brightly, which would be unnecessary.
5. Protect Your Panels
You probably don’t live in a place where the sun always shines, but you still need your solar panels for cheaper energy. Therefore, you’re wondering, do solar lights last long in winter? Not if you leave them outside. The safe storage rule also applies to other extreme weather conditions, such as when there is a storm out.
If it’s freezing outside, you have to put your solar lights indoors. Cold weather is harmful because it is likely to leave your lights weak.
To correctly store your lights when winter starts, remove their batteries and keep them away safely. Next, use paper to wrap your panels. The trick is to keep them dry.
6. Turn Off to Preserve
A rainy day can ruin your lights. Why? If it rains continuously, the panels don’t charge as efficiently as they should. Therefore, the lights put a strain on your poorly charged batteries, and destruction is inevitable.
To conserve the batteries, switch off the lights on days when the rain doesn’t let up.
7. Pick The Right Bulbs
As in the case of any other bulb you buy, either for the house or outdoors, it is essential to check the watts. If you use bulbs with a high watt, you will be kissing your batteries goodbye before long.
Why do solar lights last long if they have low-watt bulbs? The truth is, bulbs with low watts consume less energy, therefore preserving your batteries longer.
8. The Darkness Factor
Solar lighting is all about location. Once you get the site right, you have a shot at prolonging its lifespan.
Why? Solar lights work through a sensor. Thus, the sensor needs to detect that an area is dark for it to trigger the lights to go on.
Therefore, if you place your lights next to artificial light, the sensor will not prompt the bulb to light. If this happens enough times, there is a risk of damaging your sensors, which might cost you a new one.
The secret is to install the units away from artificial light.
9. Throw Out Drained Batteries
If you notice your lighting is dim, it could be your batteries. These essential items, which are the heart of your unit, do not last a lifetime. Should they grow old or get corroded, the result is a dimmer light or one that does not work.
Why do solar lights work on a good battery? The trick is in their importance in storing energy. Therefore, they should be your first go-to when you suspect your lighting has a problem.
One tip that always works if you want optimum use out of your solar lighting is to get rid of the battery as soon as you need to. It helps to buy some extra batteries the day you purchase the unit.
Why Is Your Solar Light Not Working?
1. You Forgot a Button
If you’re new to solar lighting, you’re probably wondering why your unit won’t work. Check all the buttons to see that they are on.
2. Battery Not Fully Charged/Dead
A solar panel whose battery doesn’t have sufficient charge will not work. Please make sure you give your battery time to charge fully before use.
3. Damaged Sensor
How do you know the sensor has a problem? Simple. Because darkness triggers the sensors to light the bulb, you need to create such an environment to test your sensor. Cover the sensor, and if the light is still off, your sensor has a problem.
4. Too Little Sunshine
If you’ve not been exposing your lights to proper sunlight, the result is an inefficient unit. Ensure your lights get enough sun rays to power them through the night.
Sometimes it could just be that a small animal knocked it over, and it’s not sitting correctly. The result is a solar light that’s facing away from the sun.
5. Clogged by Dirt
Dust or debris can spoil your solar lights. They also block the panels from sun rays. So, check to see if it needs cleaning.
6. Something Is Up with The Wires
The wire might also have been tampered with, therefore not working as it should. Rust also damages wires, which means your unit will stop working. Check the cables to ensure they are still in good shape.
Do you want to make that garden glow or light up your home’s pathways and corridors? Then, solar lights give you the efficiency you need. Acquiring them can help you kill two birds with one stone by beautifying your home and saving the environment.
Even though they would require a hefty initial investment, you’ll realize they are worth it. With these tips on caring for the light, the good news is that you can enjoy their illumination for years.