The concept for solar-powered lights have been available for several years now but it has only been made available in a commercial and residential scale for the last couple of decades. The technology that has been inspired by the phenomenon called the photovoltaic effect is actually quite straightforward.
But while its technology is simple, the materials used for its construction are inexpensive and sometimes almost disposable. The really important parts of the solar light, though, are the solar panel and the bulb itself. Both are usually not replaceable; and if they were, it’s actually more practical to just buy a brand new solar light. But, if you know how the light works, you can just fix the minor issues and avoid having to buy a brand-new light.
If you are familiar with an entire photovoltaic system that generates enough electricity to power a building, a solar garden light is just like a miniature version of that. The only thing missing is the inverter because it won’t be necessary to convert the energy output into alternating current.
In most solar light designs, the panel is attached to the top of the fixture and is directly connected to a rechargeable battery. The energy is stored in the battery which is how it powers the LED lamp at night.
How to Fix Garden Solar Lights
- LED lamp won’t turn on or light properly.
After some time, the LED will stop lighting. In most cases, the issue is the LED lamp itself.
- Step 1: Every solar light has a switch which is usually located right next to where the battery is. You have to make sure that this switch is on. For new fixtures, be sure to remove the plastic tab in the battery compartment.
- Step 2: Solar lights are designed to function using two rechargeable batteries, could be AA or AAA. In some cases, the lamp stops turning on because the batteries need replacement. Pre-charge new batteries before removing the old batteries and putting the new ones.
- Step 3: If you have been using the lights for quite some time now, the panels are probably already filled with dirt or frosted over. All you need to do is clean the panels. Soap and water will do. For frosted panels, using clear nail polish should do the trick.
- Step 4: One of the reasons why your garden solar light isn’t performing as well as you expected is because it doesn’t get as much light as necessary. If it’s located in a shaded area, you have to relocate the lights to a spot where it gets direct sunlight.
While solar lights can be easily repaired, prevention is still better than cure. That being said, you need to consider the features of the solar light units you’ll be purchasing, to ensure that they’re the best you can find in the market for the value of your money. You may have to spend more than what you expect but if it means that you’ll get a product that performs very well and lasts for a long time, then it’s definitely worth it.
What are Solar Lights Made of?
There are four essential components that make up a solar light and enable it to function properly:
This solar cell is designed to capture the sunlight during daytime and then convert it to electricity, which powers the bulb at night. This cell is attached directly to the light fixture. In some models, the solar cells are connected separately.
This is where the energy from the sun is stored.
Just like regular batteries, solar batteries also have the tendency to get overcharged. The charge controller is designed to prevent this from happening.
LED or Light-emitting diode
This is the part that provides the light.
Other Good-to-Know Things about Solar Lights
Solar lights life span
A regular solar light that you can find on the market usually lasts for 6 months to a year. However, if you choose a reliable brand, there are some models that can last for up to 2 years.
Some solar lights have batteries that are good for a certain number of recharges. This is usually the case for Nickel Cadmium batteries. NiMH batteries are more recommended. Aside from performing better when it comes to recharges, they’re also not harmful to the environment.