Why Are My Solar Lights Not Working at Night? (7 Causes!)

There are several reasons why your solar lights may not be working at night. The most common reason is that the rechargeable batteries are not charged. This can happen if the sun has been obscured by clouds during the day, or if the lights have been turned off for an extended period of time.

Other possible reasons include malfunctioning solar panels or a faulty lightbulb. If you troubleshoot the issue and still can’t get your solar lights to work, it’s best to contact the manufacturer for assistance.

If you’ve been having problems with your solar lights not turning on at night, you’re not alone. A lot of people have this issue, and it can be frustrating when your lights don’t work like they’re supposed to.

In this blog post, we will discuss 7 possible causes for why your solar lights aren’t working properly. We will also provide solutions so that you can get your outdoor solar lights up and running again!

How Do Solar Powered Lights Work at Night?

Solar lights rely on one or more small solar panels to generate electricity from the sun during the day. Solar lights charge the small rechargeable batteries installed inside of the housing of the light.

The internal wiring of the solar light is connected to a small diode that only allows electricity to flow in one direction. This ensures that the batteries are only charged during the day, and they can’t be discharged at night.

Once it starts getting dark outside, the solar lights will operate automatically turn on due to a built-in light sensor. The solar panel will stop generating electricity, and the batteries will begin powering the light.

A solar light works best with enough sunlight throughout the day. These devices are weather resistant, so don’t worry about leaving them outside. Just make sure they are in a great spot to receive adequate sunlight to charge.

Battery life and light output will vary depending on the brand and model of solar light and the batteries used. Some lights may stay lit for up to 12 hours, while others may only last for a few hours.

Most solar lights use li ion batteries. These batteries are more expensive than other types, but they have a longer lifespan and will hold a charge for longer periods of time.

Where Is the Sensor on A Solar Light?

The light sensor is usually located on the solar panel or under the LED light panel on the solar lamp. If you can’t find it, look for a tiny “eye” or a small round shape with a different shade.

To test if you found the sensor correctly, place your finger over the area you think is the sensor and if the light turns on then you have successfully found the sensor.

This sensor is very important for solar lights to work properly because it checks for direct sunlight and without it, the lights would not know when to turn on and off.

How Do You Fix a Solar Light Sensor?

If the solar light sensor is not working, the light will not turn on. There are a few things you can do to try and fix the sensor:

First, check to see if there is any dirt or debris blocking the sensor. If so, gently clean it off with a soft cloth.

Next, try resetting the light by taking out the battery and then putting it back in after 30 seconds. This quick tip can usually fix solar lights that are acting up.

If the sensor still doesn’t work, you may need to replace the entire light because in most cases, a faulty sensor cannot be replaced or will be too expensive to replace.

Why Are My Solar Lights Not Working at Night?

Now that we’ve gone over how solar lights work and where the sensor is located, let’s discuss some common causes of why your solar lights might not be working properly at night.

We will go over the most common causes so that you can troubleshoot your solar lights and get them up and running again. These tips are for both newly purchased solar lights as well as lights that have been in use for a while.

1 – The Solar Panel Is Not Getting Enough Sunlight

The solar panel isn’t getting enough direct sun during the day. This is the most common reason why solar lights don’t work at night.

To fix this, make sure your solar lights are in a location where they can get enough direct sunlight for at least six hours a day.

If the location is too shady, the solar panel won’t be able to generate enough power to charge the battery, and as a result, the light won’t work at night.

2 – The Solar Panel Is Dirty

Dirty panels won’t be able to receive sufficient sunlight. This will reduce the amount of power that is generated and stored in the solar light’s battery. A dirty solar panel is one of the most common reasons why solar lights stop working.

The best way to clean a solar panel is with distilled water and a soft cloth. Gently wipe down the panel, being careful not to scratch it.

You can also use a mild soap if the panel is very dirty. Rinse the soap off with distilled water and dry the panel with a soft cloth.

If you live in an area with a lot of dust or pollen, you may need to clean the panel more often to prevent it from getting too dirty.

3 – The Light Sensor Is Blocked

If the light sensor is blocked, the light won’t be able to detect when it’s dark outside. As a result, the light will either stay on all day or not turn on at night.

To fix this, simply remove any dirt or debris that is blocking the sensor. You can use a soft cloth or a toothpick to get rid of any small particles.

4 – The Light Is Not Turned On

This seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes we forget to turn on the switch! If your solar lights are off, they obviously won’t work.

To fix this, simply find the switch (usually located on the side of the light) and turn it to the “on” position.

5 – The Light Bulb Is Burned Out

If the light bulb is burned out, it needs to be replaced. This is usually a quick and easy fix – simply unscrew the old light bulb and screw in a new bulb.

Be sure to buy the correct type of light bulb for your solar light. You can usually find this information in the product manual or on the light itself.

6 -The Battery Is Dead

If your solar lights are brand new we recommend reading our step by step guide on how to charge solar lights for the first time. This will charge the battery correctly.

If your lights are not brand new then your battery could be dead and may need to be replaced. Dead batteries are a bit more difficult than replacing a light bulb, but it can be done.

You need to find the type of battery that is used for your solar light. Once you have the correct type of battery, simply unscrew the battery housing and take out the battery. Then insert the new battery and screw the housing back on.

7 – There Is a Problem with The Wiring

The wiring between the solar panel and the light can become loose or damaged over time. If this happens, the light won’t work properly.

To fix this, you need to locate the problem area and re-solder it or replace the broken wire.

Be extremely careful with faulty and especially exposed wires. These can cause you harm but also make your solar light catch fire in some circumstances!

This is a more difficult fix and we recommend taking your solar light to a professional if you are not comfortable doing it yourself.

Extra Tip!

If you’ve tried all of these troubleshooting tips and your solar light still isn’t working, it might be time to buy a new light. But before you do we have one extra little tip to fix solar lights.

Check for a little plastic pull tab. A lot of people don’t know about this pull tab, but it’s actually a safety feature. The tab is there to prevent the battery from being charged while it’s in transit.

Once you remove the pull tab, the solar lamp should start working! We hope this helped solve your solar light problems.

Final Thoughts

If your solar lights are not working at night, it could be for any number of reasons. Try the above tips and see if you can get your solar lights working again. By troubleshooting the problem, you can usually get them up and running again in no time.

If your solar lights have dimmer illumination than they used to, we found a really handy fix by using clear nail polish! Read our step by step guide and fix your solar lights in a cost effective way.

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