Are you also wondering if your solar lights are waterproof or not? Solar lights are made waterproof, and you can know how waterproof they are. If you need to know the level of protection from any liquid or moisture, you need to know what IP rating is and how it is a beneficial aspect of solar light.
Are solar lights waterproof?
Water is an inevitable phenomenon in outdoor locations, and therefore solar lights are waterproofed to be used outside. Solar lights are placed outdoors. Therefore, they need a hefty amount of waterproofing to match outside conditions. However, we need to know how to check for the waterproof level of a solar light.
Why do you need to be waterproof?
Before we talk about the levels of waterproofing, let us understand why waterproofing is essential. When solar lights are used for a prolonged period, any liquid such as rainwater, vapors, or condensed dew could seep into the solar light’s structure and damage the circuit, causing damage to the light.
There could be typhoons and hurricanes that could bring water into the storm and destroy the lights as a result. Therefore, solar lights require heavy waterproofing to protect them from any unwanted liquid seeping into the circuit.
What is an IP rating?
IP stands for Ingress Protection, a protection level system that classifies electrical appliances regarding their resistance to dust and moisture, etc. It was drafted by the IEC, i.e. International Electrotechnical Commission. The IP protection level mark or the IP rating is of two numbers.
The first number tells about the level of dust and foreign objects that the appliance can resist. Some foreign objects are the finger of human beings, tools, or other small objects. The second number denotes the appliances’ tightness against moisture or liquid. The more the number, the more is the protection level.
Therefore, IP65 Solar LED street lights have the best IP rating, and it protects the light from dust particles and water from spray nozzles.
Do solar lights work in the rain?
Since solar light is equipped with a waterproof electrical system and a battery to store energy, solar lights can easily work in the rain. However, it does depend on solar light. How many days of continuous rain showers or cloudy days can it go through?
If there is sunlight around the solar light, it will store it and function because of it. This is because light can pass through clouds and rain by getting refracted and reaching the solar panel soon.
Even though it might not be as efficient as direct sunlight, the light through the rain and cloud will most definitely reach the solar panel of the solar light.
However, you must know the battery’s storage capacity and how long it would work if there isn’t ample solar energy left. Also, the IP rating of the light would determine how protected would the light be from rainwater.
Do solar lights get affected by snow?
Winter is a period that does not good for solar power. Snow does affect the performance of solar lights too. Let us see why and how?
- Snowfall allows power generation in the solar lights, especially when it is windy.
- Snowflakes work like a charm in helping the solar lights work to their best potential. What snowflakes do is carry all the dust and dirt along with them.
- Snowflakes also reflect the light present around them and help scatter the photons toward the solar panel. The windy weather ensures that the snowfall doesn’t fall on the solar panel. So the panel gets maximum light.
- Snow or winter weather also ensures that the lights are not overcharged with the sun’s rays and helps ignore overheating issues.
However, some issues do come with snowfalls, which are:
- Due to heavy snowfall, the solar panels could get entirely covered with the snow, disrupting light reaching the panel. This could lead to no energy storage and other detrimental effects on the light.
- Heavy snowfalls could also count as a weight over the solar panel lights, and if they are not mounted strong enough, they could collapse under the weight pressure.
What is the IP rating best for solar lighting for a swimming pool?
All elements such as dirt, dust, and water could tamper with your solar light installed outside and damage the lighting appliance. You must protect it with a protection method that matches the level of damage that could be caused.
For example, a standard solar light on the path would be okay with dust and rainwater but not from being immersed in a liquid. However, a light around the pond or pool would need protection against submersion in water. Therefore, the IP rating for light depends on the location it will be installed. Let us talk about the best IP rating for solar lights around a swimming pool.
The IP rating for Solar lights around the swimming pool is IP68 rating. It will protect the underwater lighting and keep its voltage low and ensure that it can withstand high pressure in the swimming pool
Best practices in fixing solar lights
Solar lights have IP ratings that make them water-resistant however they aren’t susceptible to damages caused by water. Therefore, solar lights could be damaged by submersion in heavy rains, so if that happens, follow the steps mentioned below:
- First of all, make sure that the light is switched off.
- Now open the solar light’s panel and dry off the components of the light but do it gently so that you don’t harm any component. Give extra care to the sensor as it is more prone to getting damaged.
- Re-assemble the light carefully without missing any screws or bolts.
- Place the light on a warm and dry spot to air dry any moisture left in the lights.
- Now test the light and see if it is working or not. Always be careful when removing parts of the light.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a solar bulb get hot?
However, solar light produces little heat, not as hot as the whole bulb.
Are solar lights prone to catching fire?
Yes, they can catch fire as they have explosive Li-Ion batteries.
Can solar lights function during the night?
Solar lights usually work this way. They store energy during the day and use it during the night.
Does solar light work in the rainy season?
Yes, it does, as the rains cannot block the sun’s rays, and the solar panels receive the light even through the clouds.
The Bottom Line
Solar lights have earned the respect of being some of the best inventions humankind has ever seen due to various reasons. It is mindboggling even to imagine how we were using stones to make fire, and now we are harnessing the sun’s energy to power up lights. Solar energy is infinite and presents all around us, so using it is smart and cost, and environmentally friendly.
Keep in mind that solar light checks for its IP rating to ensure that the light can withstand any harsh conditions such as dust storms, rain, etc. It would be best if you determined the IP rating according to the location of the light.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as a Solar Electrical Engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.