“How long do solar lights last?” is a question that is often asked by people who are considering buying them. Solar lights can be an excellent alternative to conventional electric lighting, but how much time will they spend providing free light each evening before turning off and just how long will they last until you need to replace them?
We take a look at both of these questions…
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Solar lights are designed to provide light for a certain amount of hours each evening, but how long the lights will stay on is dependent upon a number of factors including how exposed the solar panel is to the sky and sun. The brighter the environment where they’re placed, the longer they’ll last before turning off automatically.
Many solar lights will take about 6-8 hours in order to fully charge during the day. There are some that may be designed with a rechargeable battery, as well so they can collect light for up to 12-24 hours before turning off automatically. But how much time does it take for these batteries to completely recharge will depend on how old they are and how often they are fully charged and emptied.
The specification for how long solar lights last at night will vary from one manufacturer to the next because of how much light that they emit. The brightness and the number of hours before turning off automatically is dependant upon how powerful it can be, which is determined by how many watts are being used in conjunction with how big a battery bank is powering it.
The how long do solar lights last is also dependent upon the quality and power of light that they emit, which can have an affect on how dark it will be at night when you’re outside and how bright your outdoor living space will look by turning off all those conventional electric lamps.
The higher the quality of LED, the more efficient it will run and last longer on the power provided by the rechargeable batteries. Our selection of the best solar lights currently available will help you decide from a carefully curated collection.
Solar powered lights only provide light at night when the sun shines on the panel that stores the charge for their use at night. This means that how long they last depends on how bright the sun is and how quickly it moves across the sky in your area over the course of a day over the panel. The longer it has stronger sunlight, the longer the lights will last up to their designed limit.
The how long do solar lights last is also dependent upon how well the solar panel can absorb light from the sun. If it’s been cloudy for several days and you’re not able to recharge your battery, then they will only run for a short time at night.
Solar panels that have an anti-reflective coating on them will perform better than those that do not have one.
The highest quality of solar panel is a mono-crystalline unit.
There are two different types of solar panels that you can choose from when purchasing a new set for your outdoor lights: amorphous and mono-crystaline. The how long do solar lights last will vary depending on which type they’re using, as well as how old the system is or how well it’s maintained.
Amorphous panels are cheaper to produce and less efficient than mono-crystaline, which means that they will provide free light for a shorter amount of time each evening.
The duration that solar lights last is also affected by the angle of the panel that comes with the . Solar panels that are slanted will face more sunlight and charge faster, which means they’ll provide light for a longer time period before turning off automatically.
Most battery powered solar lights operate with an automatic dusk to dawn functionality, that allows the stored power to light the LEDs until a complete discharge of power or the photocell sensor closes the power off when the sun rises in the morning. So yes you do leave the lights on all night as they are designed to be self autonomous and not controlled via a switch. However, some do come with a hand held remote for complete control.
How long do solar lights actually last before needing some maintenance or need replacing? Although solar lighting is reasonably low cost compared to electrical lighting and their installation costs, it is still an investment in time and money that needs to be of value.
Low cost mass produced imports always have some doubt over whether they will actually last the test of time, especially when exposed to the elements outdoors all year round.
Solar lights can last anywhere from one to five years, depending on how well they’re taken care of. You will have long lasting solar lights with a well maintained system and a well chosen product.
So, how often should you maintain your solar lights to make them last longer?
Factors such as how often you use your solar lights, and the quality of LEDs that are being used can influence the lifespan. Here are some tips on how to make solar lights last longer.
Look for a mid range price wise product at the very least and read the reviews. We recommend lots of solar lighting that should stand the test of time.
Replacement batteries can be used within solar lights to maintain your light for years. LEDs are solid state electronics, built to last for years so it will more often be the power supply that needs maintenance and not the LEDs themselves.
Solar outdoor lighting use internal rechargeable batteries that have a finite amount of charge cycles before starting to loose their capacity for storing power and eventually it will so short you will need to replace them.
The health of the batteries can be sustained longer with proper charge and discharge cycles. This comes with the better weather and longer daylight, but also the efficacy of the solar panel to convert that sunlight. A dirty solar panel will impede the charge efficiency and potentially even stop the charge altogether.
Learn how to clean solar lights, and maintain the panels with a wipe of a cloth over them to keep them clean for longer lasting solar lighting with an efficient charge.
Cold weather will also affect how long your solar lights last. Extremely cold temperatures can be detrimental to the performance of a your rechargeable battery, and may even stop it from charging at all. However if you do live in an area with colder climates during winter then there are specific types of outdoor lighting which use batteries that will work better than others in these conditions.
“How can I maintain my charge during winter for outdoor lighting that use rechargeable batteries?”
If you can, winter your solar lights in a shed or garage but always remember that the health of the batteries is dependant on keeping charged. They should have a full charge and discharge at least every fortnight, so why not place them where they can receive some sunlight and allow them to turn on and off even if the lights themselves are stored in a box and the light isn’t seen.
You can also charge solar lights without sun to maintain the health of your batteries in the darker months of the year, check out our tips by following the link.
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