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The whole point of purchasing solar lights is that they are supposed to stay off during the daytime and come on at night. This helps with electric bills, the overall health of the environment, and simply makes lighting up your backyard a breeze. But when they start coming on during the daytime, you end up with quite a big problem on your hands.
How to fix solar lights that come on during the day:
- Solar Light Needs More Sunlight (Switch Locations)
- Make Sure There is No Water Inside
- If Indoors, Keep the Blinds and Curtains Open
- Check the Sensor (Dirty Sensor or Faulty Sensor)
- Make Sure They are Turned On
- Replace the Batteries
- Turn it Off for 72 Hours to Charge
- Call the Manufacturer
Knowing how to fix your solar light at home will save you time, energy, and costs. We’re going to discuss some of the different problems that may be affecting your solar light and how you can quickly get your solar light back on track to serving its original purpose: to light up the night!
Solar Light Needs More Sunlight (Switch Locations)
One of the biggest impacts that affect the functionality of solar light is where it is placed in the yard. A solar light that doesn’t get enough direct sunlight won’t be able to send energy to the battery for harnessing until the sun goes down.
- Solar lights that are in the shade too often may confuse the shade for nighttime, and thus turn on. That’s why it is so important to find a good, sunny area for the sensors to do their work properly.
- The location should offer several hours of direct sunlight, the more, the better. Take a good look at where your solar light is placed. If you notice that your light is not in a good area for capturing the sun’s rays, then move it to another location.
- You may need need to change the position of your solar light depending on the season. During the summer, the sun may be higher than normal, and you will need to find a spot that doesn’t succumb to shade. On the other hand, winters bring lower sunshine, and you should find an ideal location where even the winter sun can reach it.
Make Sure There is No Water Inside
Since a lot of solar lights are placed outside in a person’s backyard, they are built to withstand rain and water. However, that doesn’t mean that solar lights can’t get overwhelmed with a hefty amount of rainfall and end up not working.
Most solar lights are designed with a built-in draining device, so they do not become damaged by water. However, some models aren’t as lucky to have this special input. If there has been such extra heavy rainfall in an area where rain isn’t very likely, it could cause devastation to the solar light.
Check for water damage. If you think that water may be affecting the use of your sensor, and thus it started to turn on during the day instead of at night, then you need to check that out. Drying off the inside of the solar light where the sensor is located is a great way to start.
Disassemble the solar light as needed until you reach the sensor. Dry off all of the accessories, paying extra close attention to the sensor. Thoroughly dry off the sensor and put it back together. Take the solar light to a dark room to see if it turns on. If it does, then water was the cause of the sensor malfunction that led to the solar light turning on during the day.
If Indoors, Keep the Blinds and Curtains Open
Recognizing the importance of solar light placement is key when ensuring the light works properly. A solar light that’s placed in a bad position will end up turning on during the day, giving you less light at nighttime when you truly need it.
We know that outdoor solar lights need to be in direct sunlight as much as possible, but what about if your solar light is located inside the home? It can certainly be a bit more challenging to ensure proper sun ray penetration.
The best solution is always to make sure the blinds and curtains are open. Doing so will allow the sun to come in contact with the solar light, allowing for the proper charging of the batteries. It will also reduce the amount of shade and shadow that hits the sensor, which can ultimately disrupt the sensor into believing it’s nighttime and turning on.
Check the Sensor (Dirty Sensor or Faulty Sensor)
The biggest reason why your solar lights may come on during the day is due to the sensor.
The sensor is one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle when it comes to solar lights. It essentially controls how much overall sunlight is going to be transferred to the batteries to be used when dusk and darkness comes.
Without a properly working sensor, you will more than likely see your solar light coming on during the day or not working whatsoever. What’s the troubleshoot?
A Dirty Sensor
One major occurrence that is a super simple fix is a dirty sensor. When dust particles and dirt get lodged on the sensor, it can be a challenge for the sensor to know exactly what’s going on. The dirt and particles can put a complete coat on the sensor, in which it won’t be able to tell when it is nighttime or daytime.
- First and foremost, always make sure the sensor is perfectly clean. You may have to disassemble the solar light a little bit, but it will be worth it for a properly functioning solar light that doesn’t come on during the day.
- Remember to be careful when cleaning the sensor. A damp washcloth without any soaps or chemicals should do the trick. If you notice a thick layer of debris on the sensor that simply won’t come off, you might find that a solvent used for cleaning car lights may be helpful.
- Once the sensor has been cleaned, dry it off completely before reassembling the solar light. Then you can take the solar light into a dark room to see if that did the trick. If the light comes on in the dark and turns off again when you hit the bright room, you should be all set with a properly working light once again.
A Faulty Sensor
Sometimes sensors simply stop working. The most common reason for a sensor to become faulty is for the simple fact that it’s older and needs to be replaced. Much like everything else in life, as something is used often, over time, it’s going to breakdown and eventually break and need to be replaced. The same is true for sensors on your solar light.
Another reason for a faulty sensor is that it may have been damaged in some way. If it has been knocked over too many times or hit with something rather hard, the sensor can get jarred and end up not working properly, leaving you with a faulty solar light.
A faulty sensor is one of the main reasons why your solar light might be turned on during the day. If you have thoroughly cleaned and dried the sensor and you’re still having the issue of it turning on during the day, it may be faulty.
The good news is that they can almost always be replaced. If the rest of the solar light is in good condition, you can call the manufacturer and see if they offer replacements. This is not only a simple fix for a solar light that comes on during the day, but it’s a cost-effective solution as well.
Make Sure They are Turned On
This may seem like something that doesn’t need to be said, but you’d be surprised. The way technology runs these days; it can be hard to overlook the little things, like flipping a switch or plugging in solar light.
If you notice that your solar light isn’t working or it’s coming on at strange times, the simplest fix you can try is the following:
- Make sure the solar light is turned on. Some solar lights come with an off and on the switch, and needless to say, if it’s not switched to ‘on,’ it’s not going to work properly. Try flipping on the switch and checking to make sure the sensor is working properly.
- If there’s a plug, make sure it’s plugged in. Notice that your solar light isn’t coming on in the day or not? You need to check the outlet. Sometimes plugs can get snagged out of the wall by accident, and a simple solution is to plug it back in and let it do its magic.
Replace the Batteries
The main reason for a solar light coming on during the day is due to a dirty or faulty sensor. The other biggest reason for solar lights that come on during the day is problems regarding the battery, whether they are rechargeable or not.
First, always check for a problem with the sensor before turning to the battery. As a dirty or faulty sensor is the most common problem for solar lights coming on in the day, that is where you should always start off. If you’re still having problems, it’s likely due to the battery.
A battery that is malfunctioning with cause a variety of different things to go wrong with your solar light:
- The battery won’t hold a charge for long. If the battery needs to be replaced, you will notice that the solar light doesn’t stay lit for very long after dusk. You may only get a few short hours if even that when before you would have light throughout the entire night.
- The malfunctioning battery causes the solar light to turn on during the day. Sometimes a battery that needs replacing will start messing with the overall functionality of the solar light, causing it to turn on during the day when it’s not supposed to.
- The solar light doesn’t work at all. We all know what happens when the batteries die: the product dies with it. If you notice that your solar light isn’t working at all, then it’s a good sign that you may need a new battery in your solar light.
If you think that your battery may be the culprit of your solar light not working properly, the best solution is to buy a new battery. There are a few different types of batteries to choose from, so the best place to start is with the instruction manual. Inside you will find the right type of battery you need.
Most of the solar light batteries are going to be cost-effective, meaning you will be able to fix your solar lights for less.
Turn it Off for 72 Hours to Charge
Your solar light is working hard to convert sun rays into transferable energy that holds in the battery until nightfall. That being said, sometimes, you simply need to give your solar light a ‘break’ to recharge and get its strength and energy back.
This is, of course, the last resort when trying to fix your solar light from coming on during the day. If you have tried everything else and it still seems not to work properly, then try giving it a rest for about 72 hours.
Completely unplug/turn off the solar light. You may also want to remove the battery from the solar light and keep it in a darkened area so it won’t have a chance to start charging up again.
After 72 hours, you can try putting the solar light back together and see if that was the solution to your solar light coming on during the day.
Call the Manufacturer
When all else fails, you can always call the manufacturer. This is a great option for those who have tried everything and still aren’t seeing any positive results with their solar light. It may be due to a malfunction with the piece of equipment that was sold to you, and the manufacturer should be able to send you the proper replacement parts.
If It’s Time to Replace My Solar Lights, Can They Be Recycled?
One of the major benefits of using solar lights is reducing your overall energy bills each month. But what a lot of people are drawn to is the fact that solar lights are better for the environment, leaving less of a carbon footprint and reducing fossil fuel use. That being said, a solar light owner may wonder if they can recycle their solar light to further benefit the environment.
If you have tried everything to fix your solar light and it’s simply time to buy a new one, you will be glad to know that almost all of the parts that make a solar light can be recycled and reused. In fact, in many cases, these recycled parts can be used to make new solar lights.
Solar lights can be recycled in any recycling center with ease. However, if you want to make sure that all of your solar light parts are going to be recycled in an efficient manner, you can head to one of the many new solar light recycling centers that have been opening up across the country.
If you’re thinking about recycling at a specific solar light recycling center, one major benefit is that a lot of these centers offer coupons to their customers for their next solar light purchase. This is quite an incentive for consumers, not only because their solar lights benefit the environment, but they’ll be saving even more money on their next purchase. Win-win!
A lot of special recycling areas will also offer rebates to customers who send in their solar lights. This equates to a bigger bonus and payoff for the consumer who is doing their part to try and help the production of solar lights and help the environment.
Recycling of Solar Lights
Solar lights are recycled, much like any other electronic device. The company will first and foremost try and salvage as much of the light as they can in order to create a new solar light with ease. If the solar light is too messed up to be recreated they will instead harvest as many useful pieces as possible to add to new solar lights being created.
Whether being used as a whole or scavenged for parts, you can rest assured that your solar light will be recycled and put to good use. Solar lights are designed to help the environment, and recycling will only do that much more to help the world.
Having a solar light that comes on during the day is basically useless. Being designed to turn off during the day for light output at night, it’s important to find the cause of the malfunctioning solar light. Nine times out of ten, the malfunction is caused by dirty or faulty sensors, although sometimes it can be the battery, positioning, or another issue.
Title image by Ken Whytock