What To Do For Trouble With Solar Lights

Solar lights are getting more popular with homeowners. Environmentally friendly, safe and easy to install, these energy-efficient lights provide illumination without any electrical hardwiring. The lamps are available in numerous styles, designs and price ranges. However, many of these lamps are made very cheaply in China and are not designed to be repaired. The cheaper lines of solar lights are also not as bright, may be inferior in quality and will not last as long as better-manufactured lamps. Does this Spark an idea?

Design

Each solar light fixture contains a solar collector panel that converts sunlight into electrical energy. This energy is stored in rechargeable batteries used to light the lamp at night. Most fixtures use two AA rechargeable batteries that should last about two years. The majority of solar lights use non-replaceable light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs which will stay lit for up to 15 hours with fully charged batteries.

Batteries

For solar-powered lights, you will find the Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cad) rechargeable batteries to be the biggest problem. Rechargeable batteries must be used in solar lights, should last one-and-a-half to two years and are easily replaced. For solar outdoor lighting, routine battery cleaning, maintenance and replacement are necessary.

If your lights are not operating properly, make sure the batteries did not come loose during the shipping process. Also, check for corrosion on the battery terminals and/or the battery ends, which will affect the charging of the batteries and may prevent the light from illuminating at night. You can remove the batteries from their holders and clean the terminals at each end with sand paper or by scraping them with a small knife to remove any corrosive buildup.

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Location

Make sure solar lamps are installed where they can receive adequate sunlight during the day. Their small photocells are highly sensitive to light and control when the lamps illuminate. These lights also should not be installed too close to other lighting fixtures, such as security, street or house lights.

Routine Maintenance

To maintain the lights, periodically take the fixture apart. You can usually do this by just twisting the top counterclockwise while holding the base. Recharge or replace the batteries, if necessary. Clean the lamp thoroughly with warm water and dishwashing liquid. Besides the day-to-day dirt that accumulates on the lamp, you may also need to remove any bugs inside the fixture. Reassemble them and enjoy your solar lighting.