how to charge solar lights

How to Charge Solar Lights: Tips and Methods

Solar lights are an effective way to light up your outdoor surroundings without having to worry about high electricity bills and affecting the environment. We are all aware of how to charge solar lights: you leave the panel under direct sunlight, and you’re good to go.

However, there are times when it is cloudy or rainy. Maybe you live in an area where there is a lack of sunlight. So, what can you do? You will be surprised to know that you can charge your solar lights even when there is indirect sunlight and even when there is no sunlight at all!

How to Charge Solar Lights? 

As mentioned earlier, you can charge your solar lights when there is indirect sunlight or if there is no sunlight at all. Let’s tell you how you can do that.

Charging with Indirect Sunlight

Here are some great tips to charge your solar lights using indirect sunlight:

  • Clean the Solar Panels

Make sure that your solar panels are clean when you use them in cloudy weather. Cleaning the dirt, dust, or grime from the surface of the panel will help the solar lights charge much more efficiently and even ensure that some amount of light still reaches the panel; thus, making better use of the limited sunlight.

Cleaning the solar panels is something you should do every two weeks or a month for it to work efficiently.

  • Adjust the Panels

You will find that most solar panels can be adjusted so that they can face close to the path of the sunlight. Ideally, direct the panels to the face of the sun as it moves across the sky. This becomes especially important during cold weather when there is lesser sunlight throughout the entire day.

You can also place the light itself in a position where it can attract the most amount of sunlight.

  • Using Mirrors

If you have placed your lights underneath a shadow, then you can also place a mirror near it. Mirrors can reflect light, so this can help the panels receive some amount of sunlight. Make sure that the mirrors you use are at least twice the size of the solar panel.

Do note, though, that this is not the most efficient solution and should be used as a last resort only if you cannot move the solar light to another position or if adjusting the panels also are not as helpful.

how to charge solar lights
  • Deep Charge the Batteries

When you switch off your solar lights for at least 72 hours, it will continue to charge the battery. This is referred to as deep charging.

Deep charging will make the battery fully charged and will make the light work better. If you do this, make sure that you are placing the light in a spot where it can receive as much light as it possibly can.

Deep charging is something you should do at least every two months for the battery to be efficient.

Charging Without Sunlight

You can charge your solar lights without sunlight by using an:

  • Incandescent Bulb

The light from an incandescent bulb will help the battery to charge, but it may not be as effective as natural sunlight. If you do so, make sure that you are placing the bulb as close as you can to the solar panels.

How long it takes to charge the battery fully depends on the model of the bulb you are using. We recommend though that you leave it under the light for at least 12 hours.

  • LED Light

Incandescent bulbs only make sense if you are around your home or a power source. However, if you are in a place where there is no power source, for instance, when you’re camping, you can make use of a battery-operated LED light or an LED flashlight to charge your solar light. For this, you have to leave the LED light as close to the solar panel. Leave it to charge for a minimum of 10 to 12 hours.


All of these methods using indirect sunlight or other sources are ways to charge your solar light, but none of them are going to be as efficient as charging the solar panels under direct sunlight. You have to be prepared that the light may not be as bright as it would normally be or not last as long as it usually would have.

While trying to charge the lights without sunlight, make sure that you do not place them under porch lights or street lights. These tend to have high-intensity lights in the evening, and when you place a solar panel under them, its sensitivity will decrease over time. It would be better to place your solar lights as far as you can from any artificial lights when you use them in the dark.

We hope the tips we provided help you understand how to charge solar lights better. Whichever method you opt for, make sure you do it correctly so that it does not affect your solar lights and leave them working inefficiently.

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