Going for outdoor solar lighting is a good idea. You can make use of the sun’s energy to light up your garden at night without having to worry about the electric bill, or switching the lights on and off. If you’ve noticed your solar garden lights are not as bright as they used to, there are several tricks to make solar lights brighter you can try to see if the situation improves.
Why are My Solar Lights Dim?
Before we look at the things you can do to make your lights brighter, let’s first look at some common reasons why you are having this problem, to begin with. Dim solar lighting could mean a lack of enough power, which could be a result of the solar panels not absorbing enough of the sun’s energy to convert to electricity. Dirt, debris, snow, or other things can accumulate on the surface of your solar panel in time, blocking sunlight from reaching the solar cells. It then makes it difficult for the cells to absorb sufficient energy of the sun to convert it into battery power.
The other reason your solar lights are dim could be the batteries. These vital components store the sun’s energy and they power the bulbs inside the solar fixture. With time, their effectiveness may be hampered by corrosion, or they may just stop being useful and need to be replaced.
Things to Do to Improve Your Solar Lights Brightness
Here are some of the things you can try to make your solar lights brighter:
- Cleaning the solar panel
- Checking the batteries
- Improving sunlight exposure
Cleaning the Solar Panel
Cleaning the panel will ensure they are exposed to as much sunlight as possible throughout the day.
You’ll need the following supplies:
- Soft bristle brush
- Damp cloth
- Mild detergent (Dish soap)
Follow these steps to clean the solar panel:
- Start by removing your lights to the ground to have easier access to the solar panel if they are mounted up high.
- Use a soft bristle brush to remove any excess dirt or debris that is stuck on the surface of the solar panel.
- Using a damp cloth and some mild detergent, gently scrub the solar panel’s surface.
- Once clean, use a clean cloth to wipe off any excess water and detergent off the surface of the solar panel.
- Then, put the solar lighting back in their original position.
The light panel could also be dirty, making your lights lose brightness. This is the protective cover shielding the light from the external environment. Try cleaning the light panel following similar steps as above.
Cleaning or Replacing the Batteries
- Fine-grit sandpaper or a brush
- Dry cloth
- Replacement batteries
- Take out your solar garden lighting manual and check to figure out the location of the battery compartment.
- Remove the batteries from the compartment and examine if they have any white powder around the metal part.
- Using fine-grit sandpaper, remove any powder that may be on the battery and the compartment.
- Then, put the battery back, or alternatively, you can choose to replace the battery with a new one especially if you haven’t done so in a while.
- Before putting the batteries back, use a clean and dry cloth to wipe moisture and humidity from the battery holding compartment and the batteries. This will prevent corrosion.
Checking sunlight exposure
Generally, solar lights need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight exposure to light for another 6 hours. But it’s best if they get 8-10 hours of direct sunlight.
To check the sunlight exposure:
- Examine each cleaned light during the day. You are watching the light reach.
- Take note where your solar light is getting direct sunlight throughout the day.
- If you see it is mostly in the shade, you need to find a spot where it can sufficiently absorb the energy it requires to work in the evening.
- Also, ensure that flowers or bushes debris are not blocking the solar panel’s efficiency.
- Once you understand the sunlight exposure, put your lights in direct sunlight for the highest exposure possible.
If you can’t get the right sunlight exposure, you can check out this guide we made on how to charge your solar lights without the sun.
While solar lights are generally low maintenance products, they are exposed to all kinds of environmental factors, including dust and debris. It helps to clean them every once in a while, otherwise, the light may start to appear more faded than the way it used to be. Try the above tricks and see if it helps make the LED lights brighter.