7 Solutions for Solar Lights not in Working Condition

By Matt •  Updated: 03/23/22 •  7 min read

Are you also a solar light user, and have they gone out completely on their own? Now you must be wondering what must have happened to the lights. Solar lights usually resist the weather changes easily and are destructible as well. But that doesn’t mean that they cannot be used again. We can properly maintain them before we completely chuck them out.

 This article is completely focused on what could have caused the lights to not work and 7 possible solutions to rectify those causes. By reading this, you might be able to identify what exactly is the cause for your solar lights not working.

Solar Inverter
Solar Inverter

7 Solutions for solar lights if they are not working properly

Check if water has not leaked inside the solar lamp: Due to rain, sometimes, water could seep through the solar light and get into the electrical system, damaging the wiring and everything. Therefore, you must clean the solar panel and the lamp post to keep the water from seeping inside and damaging further. Keep the solar light dry at all times to ensure great efficiency.

Therefore, after every rain shower, make sure to wipe all the solar panels with a dry cloth or put some kind of coat over them to prevent them from getting drenched in the rain.

  • Relocation of solar light from the other sources of light:

Sometimes, a solar light could be placed near a streetlight which could overshadow the effect of sunlight and instead add to insufficient light reaching the solar panel. Therefore, position the solar lights in such a way so that it does not cover the light from the sun. Keep in mind shady areas should also be avoided.

You should place the light away from the streetlights where you feel the solar light would get the best of sunlight.

  • Keep the solar panels clean every day:

Dirt accumulation over the solar panel could lead to hindrance in receiving light on the solar panel. Therefore, clean the solar light panels every day to ensure that the solar panel receives sunlight in abundance.

Dirt and debris can even damage the solar lights as they could lead to erosion and all of such issues. Therefore, dirt has to be cleaned out every day so that your solar lights can work in the best way. You can dust the debris off and then clean it with a cotton cloth and glass-cleaning solution or just a simple detergent and water solution.

  • Check the sensors:

Sensors sometimes could be faulty, which is why they must not be sensing the environment outside and not switching on and off automatically. Change the sensor and check if they are working or not.

Sensors would need to be replaced completely to ensure that they can sense when there is light around them and when they need to turn off to save battery.

  • Replace batteries:

Batteries are the most important part of solar lights. Therefore, they need to be used the most. However, you should always change or replace the batteries after every three years. You can even check the batteries and see if they are working or not. Usually, NiMH batteries or Li-ion batteries are used, and they are such great batteries that they will work for a long time before they lose their efficiency. Batteries might even get damaged if they get overexposure to the sunlight. Therefore, you should also take care of that.

  • Positioning of solar light in well-lit areas:

You must place the light in areas where there is ample light to ensure that the solar panel of the solar light gets an adequate amount of sunlight to charge the lights properly. Therefore, you must place the solar lights in areas where there is no shade due to any tall trees or any tall buildings casting a shadow over the solar lights. You must also see if the panels are not covered with fallen leaves that might be blocking the sunlight from shining over them.

Possible causes why the solar lights stopped working

Solar lights are designed in a way to show their resilience. They are made with elements that can withstand harsh environments as solar lights would be placed outside the house only. You will never know what kind of conditions your environment could be in. therefore, they are designed in such a versatile manner that they become the favorite mechanism for offices, cars, and even homes.

Solar lights, as compared to any lighting device, are very beneficial. They are extremely cheap and do not promote any pollution in the environment. Also, they exhibit an incredible amount of energy. But what could cause them to stop working? Let us see all the possible causes for that:

  • There is a scarcity of sunlight around them

If solar lights are placed in a shaded area covered by buildings or trees, their working efficiency reduces to zero since they don’t receive enough sunlight. Even though you don’t have to place the solar light in direct sunlight, the light should still get enough light to get charged fully and function properly. 

Solar lights that are put outside charge their batteries in about six hours of exposure. It does depend on how intense the sunlight is, what kind of batteries are used, etc. For instance, if the area around your house is covered by trees, then the solar lights may only get a small amount of sunlight which doesn’t guarantee that they get enough light.

  • Solar light batteries are running out of life

Usually, this is the most probable cause of solar lights not working. The solar light batteries wear out, which leads to the solar lights going dead. Even though solar lights use Nickel Metal Hydride batteries (NiMH), their performance would gradually degrade across time.

Usually, as time goes by, batteries start eroding, which leads to acid getting leaked out. This leads to permanent damage to the electrical parts of the battery. The batteries also need to let go of the energy it keeps to keep the batteries working as batteries don’t have enough charge to hold the energy. However, dead batteries could be the reason for the solar light’s inability to work.

  • The sensor of the solar light is faulty

If the solar light’s sensor is unable to go off during the day and get on at the night. It means that your sensor has some issues. However, it is difficult to decipher what could cause the sensor not to work. Therefore, if your sensor is defective, you will have to get it changed.

  • There is dirt on the panels of the solar light

Sometimes, solar lights outside are subjected to all kinds of weather such as windy weather, dust storms, rained. Therefore, the solar panels could have been storing dirt over them which would be stopping adequate sunlight to get through.

Sometimes, there are fallen tree leaves that could be blocking the sunlight from getting through.

  • Water droplets on the panel

After a rain shower, water could build up over the panel, which could seep inside the parts of the solar panel and damage its wiring and circuit. So you must ensure that the panel head must be detached from the wall post to be cleaned.

  • Other lights are too close to the solar lights

Solar lights have sensors that have photovoltaic cells that detect light or any kind of light. Therefore, lights such as street lights garage lights must be shining on the solar panel, which could be causing the lights not to work properly.


Solar lights are the most economical and cost-friendly ways of lighting up whichever area you want. However, there are ample reasons why they could stop working, such as dirty solar panels and damaged batteries. The article aims to explain how you can rectify those solar lights that are not working at all. The cause of it and the solution is there itself.

We have also compiled a list of solutions that you can follow to rectify this issue and get your solar light to work again. The solutions are easy to carry out, and you can follow them right away. You must maintain the solar lights yourself to get the best input from the lights and for a longer period.


I’m Matt, a computer and electronic embedded system developer. Currently, working as an electronic engineer. In my leisure time, I do love to blog about technology stuff. Specially, new advance high tech devices. Portable solar systems are one of topic that I love to investigate. They are becoming more powerful day by day which keep me alert.