Why Aren’t My Solar Lights Working?

Posted On: April 12, 2017

Investing in solar lights can be incredibly beneficial. Not only will you be reducing your environmental footprint, but the use of solar lights can greatly reduce your monthly energy costs – to the point where they can eventually pay for themselves.

However, as effective and efficient as they can be, you may still experience some problems with them. In fact, there might come a point where you find that your solar panels don’t work at all! Fortunately, it doesn’t mean all is lost.

The following are five reasons why your solar lights aren’t working and what you can do about it:

  1. The solar panel thinks it’s day out – Solar lights generally stay off during the day while they are converting light into energy to be stored in their batteries. This energy is then used at night to power the light. If it’s night out and the light hasn’t come on, try covering the panel. There’s a chance that a nearby light source was tricking it into thinking it was still day.
  2. The batteries need to be replaced – Solar light batteries charge by day and then discharge by night. Over time, the batteries will begin losing their charging capability. You can usually tell if this is happening if your lights are exhibiting a reduced run time in the evenings – even after particularly sunny days. Most high quality batteries will last upwards of two years, but will need to be replaced soon after that period.
  3. The panel is covered in shade – There’s a chance that your solar light isn’t working because not enough energy is being absorbed during the day. Check the panels during the middle of the day when the sun is high up. There’s a chance that a nearby object has cast its shadow directly onto the panel, thereby hindering its ability to absorb sunlight.
  4. The solar light has been exposed to moisture – A well designed solar light shouldn’t suffer from water ingress issues. In fact, these days, they are designed with that issue in mind, allowing any water that hits the panel to drain away without it reaching any of its more sensitive electronic components. However, there is still a rare chance that it could happen. You can try removing the cover that holds any present moisture in place and store the light indoors to allow it to dry. Reassemble it and give it another shot to see if that was the problem.
  5. Animals have gnawed on the wiring – Your solar lights may simply not be working because the wiring has been gnawed on by a hungry squirrel. Check the wiring for any visible damage – if you see any, then odds are this was exactly what happened.

Contact Jaffe Electric

In some of these cases, you may be able to fix it yourself. However, if you can’t or you are having other issues with your solar lights, then be sure to contact us at Jaffe Electric.

Call us at 301.253.3778 or fill out an online contact form.

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