Are Solar Lights bad for Plants?

written By Matthew Joseph Nandirio   Reviewed by Dinu Sri Madusanka, PhD •  Updated: 12/21/21 •  7 min read

Solar devices are the best invention in the history of humanity. One such solar device is solar lights. Solar lights are usually used for gardening purposes, for lighting up landscapes as well as pathways, etc. They help not only in lighting up the area but are very cost-efficient too. However, one question remains that is if they affect the plants around it badly or not?

Since solar lights also work using the sun’s light, one would imagine if solar lights are giving more than the required light and whether it affects the process that goes through in plants. But to affect the plants badly, a lot of concentrated solar power will be needed to cause any actual damage. 

Let us read through the article to understand this phenomenon better.

How does solar light work?

Trees or plants use sunlight as food to be used during photosynthesis. Solar lights are extremely energy efficient as they are cost-efficient. Since solar energy or the sun’s light is an unlimited source of renewable source of energy, solar devices have been using it as much as they can since they are the future of our world.

Solar light is made of solar panels, a battery, a controller, and a light source. The solar panels take the sun’s energy and convert it to electrical energy stored in the battery. The controller regulates the current and its flow and charges the batteries. The solar panels that are available in India are of monocrystalline silicon or even polycrystalline silicon. 

Solar lights are the perfect way to promote sustainable development, especially for those that cannot use electricity. Solar lights can be used both indoors and outdoors. You can choose from various styles and sizes of lights.

How does light affect the plants?

Solar light’s main purpose is to provide lighting to all those trees and plants that don’t get enough lighting in the places they’re kept. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that plants are affected badly.

Solar lights produce less light than sunlight. Therefore, we can assume that they hardly affect the plants that could prove to be bad for them. However, if they use UV lights or infrared lights, it could produce a different effect.

The plants have a streamlined process in which they receive the sunlight; it gets absorbed by the plant and then is used for the process of photosynthesis. However, only a certain amount needs to be absorbed, and if that amount of sunlight is more than what is required, it could affect badly.

If the plants are too close to the light, then it could dry out the leaves. But usually, the solar lights are placed way above the plants for them to be affected badly. Solar lights use the light spectrum the same as what the plants use. Hence, it is beneficial for the plants. 

The main point that you can derive from all of this is don’t focus the light on the plants too much, or it could lead to something. Therefore, position the lights so that they provide ample light to plants without harming them.

How the solar light must be used?

Solar light also uses the visible spectrum of light, the same as the sunlight. However, solar power is very stronger than solar lights for obvious reasons; however, if you keep the solar light focused on the plants for too long, it might affect the plant badly. Therefore, all you need to do is position it in a way that provides ambient light for the plants to use and does not affect it badly.

We just need to provide enough light for the plants to use for the process of photosynthesis. However, artificial light can help, here’s how.

Why should you use solar lights?

Solar lighting is getting famous because of its styles and looks and how sustainable it is if you consider the environmental impact it leaves. There are so many reasons as to why they’re suddenly so popular.

  • One such reason is that they are compared in every sphere compared to regular lights. They’re also wireless, so you don’t have to worry about the shabby wiring system or get wet in the rain.
  • Since they are placed between solid containers, they are safe from windy weather and can be placed under shade to avoid rain showers.
  • There is an unlimited supply of power sources, i.e., solar power is infinite. We could probably perish, but the sun would still be there, so you can easily use it.
  • It is cheaper than any other alternate since there are no electricity charges. You just get it installed once, and you’re good to go.
  • Its maintenance is very minimal as it is easy to clean and requires no fixing in the wiring.
  • These solar lights come in so many sizes and styles. You can use them as streetlights, around the fence, path lights, etc.
  • Since there is no electricity involved, there is no hazard involved. There is no other hazard involved; hence it is safe to use.
  • It is also environmentally friendly as it uses solar power as its power source, and that is an infinite source of energy.


Q1. Can I put a solar light in my garden?

Yes, you can. It will provide great illumination during the night for the plants.

Q2. Does outdoor light affect a plant’s physiology?

Yes, it can, as the plants would be receiving more than the required amount of lighting.

Q3. Do solar lights work in the rainy season?

Of course, they do because they still receive the sun rays that reach out to them through the clouds and the rain.

Q4. Can solar lights catch fire?

Yes, since the batteries could overheat if the lights are constantly under the sun and the batteries get overcharged, it could be combustible.

Q5. Should I put solar lights in the pathways?

Yes, it will provide illumination to your plants at night, and you can easily design your pathway irrespective of the direction of sunlight.

Q6. Does solar light help a plant to grow?

It allows the plants to control the light and how much it gets the light according to its requirement.

Q7. Should I put the solar lights away in winter?

In case of heavy snowing, it is always better to take the solar light out of the ground as shoveling or to get them out could be a difficult task.

The Bottom Line

Solar lighting is the most beneficial invention that has been made in the history of humankind. It is not only efficient but a smart way of using the only thing that is infinitely present to us; solar energy. 

Solar lighting falls in the visible spectrum as that of the sunlight; therefore, plants can be recognized as a visible source of energy. However, the solar light is not as harsh as the actual sunlight would be. Therefore, it is safe to say that solar light does not affect plants in a bad way.

Therefore, we can conclude here that solar light is safe to use for plants and can be used to provide light for those plants that sit in shady areas.

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