Solar lighting is one way to go if you want to achieve a more profound ambiance in your outdoor and garden space. I chose to use solar lights for my outdoor lighting because they are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.
However, a common question among people considering garden lighting is how long do solar lights last? I had the exact before in installed my first solar light. I hope to share what I've learned from personal experience about the durability and lifespan of solar lights in this article.
How Long Do Solar Lights Stay On?
How long a solar light stays on is considerably influenced by the solar panel's ability to absorb the sun's energy. Also, the panels' position relative to sun intensity will further affect the performance of the lights.
One of the disadvantages of solar lighting is that it is hugely reliant on the weather. When there is low sunshine, the lights will only stay on for a shorter period. Furthermore, battery capacity affects how long solar lights will stay on at night.
Typically, solar lights take six hours of intense sunlight to charge fully and stay on for about eight hours. However, factors like battery capacity, weather, and the solar panel will affect how long they stay on. I would advise that you use a timer with the lights, to turn the lights on and off at preset times. This will keep the battery healthy for longer.
How Long Do They Last?
A solar lighting system is made up of many components. One factor that will influence how long the system will last is the lifespan of the individual components. The battery is one of the main components, and it probably will be the first to break down.
Most solar light failures can be traced to the rechargeable batteries. A typical solar light comes with 1-4 rechargeable batteries that will gradually decline over time. With proper maintenance, these batteries should last for 2-3 years before showing signs of decline. However, they can a significantly shorter period if not correctly taken care of.
When you notice that your lights are going out much quicker, it is probably as a result of the batteries dying out. The good news is that these batteries don't cost much and are easy to replace. When changing the batteries, you should choose those with higher charge capacities; they will be more expensive than the ones you had, but you will get good use out of them.
Nowadays, solar lights feature durable LED lights that, unlike the batteries, will last for more than ten years. Compared to incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, LEDs are more energy-efficient, and they won't affect the battery lifespan as much as the formers ones would.
It will take a whole lot to burn out LED bulbs as they do not produce considerable heat. Nevertheless, it could happen, and when it does, they cannot be easily replaced like batteries.
You should know that the placement of the panels can also influence the lifespan of solar lights. When they don't get direct access to sunlight, the battery will gradually weaken, diminishing the whole system's lifespan.
It is really hard to say what the exact lifespan of solar lighting systems is. It is expected that a good solar light system should last for two years at the very least before you are required to change any component. Moreover, the only likely element you will need to change is the battery pack. With adequate maintenance, they will last for a very long time.
Improving the Longevity of Your Solar Garden Lights
With proper maintenance, your solar lights will continuously illuminate your garden and landscapes for many years. Here are some tips that can help increase the lifespan of your solar lights.
Clean the solar panel
At the very least, you should clean the solar panels thoroughly every five months, in between the occasional wiping. When thick dust or dirt accumulates on the solar panel, sufficient sunlight will not get to the panel sensors, and the batteries will not charge as efficiently as they should.
Regular wiping will get rid of the dust, but you should also clean with soap and water occasionally. Avoid using strong detergent or bleach on the panels, and always scrub with a soft sponge, so you don't damage the panel.
Replace batteries as soon as possible
When you notice that the lights are going out quicker than they used to, it is most likely that the batteries are getting weaker. You should replace them as soon as you notice this, so that your lights can stay on for as long as they ought to.
Also, when they get really weak, they can start to erode and leak acid. Replace as soon as they get weak to prevent irreversible damage.
Install panels in direct sunlight
They should be installed in positions with unhindered access to direct sunlight. Batteries will weaken much faster if the panels in the absence of direct sunlight and your lights will stay on for shorter periods. Also, consider other artificial lighting that can affect the sensors and install the panels away from them.
Move lights indoors in winter
In winter, when there is extreme cold, you should move the lights indoors, to protect parts of the solar light from becoming weak and brittle. Typically, solar lights are durable enough to withstand harsh weather conditions, but the components should be moved indoors when the temperature reaches below zero.
It's hard to say an exact period for which a solar light will last. Nonetheless, the highlight is that they are durable and will last for a long time. The lifespan of the individual components that make up the light system will ultimately affect how long your solar garden lights will last for. However, with proper maintenance, you can ensure that they last for long. If you found this article helpful, kindly share it with friends and family. Also, feel free to share your thought with us in the comment section below.