Nowadays, many industries and even houses are installing solar panels on their rooftops to get energy from a natural source and also help save a lot of money.
Yes, I know that installing a solar panel is a costly step but take it as a one-time investment, and after that, you can get many advantages in terms of money and resources.
Solar panels need a direct source of sunlight to charge them and to work the whole night, but many people want to know whether solar light can pass through windows or not.
However, with the help of my research, I could be able to solve the queries that many people have regarding solar lights and indoor space.
How long does solar light need to be charged?
Typically, a garden or motion-activated wall-mounting new solar light will take 4 to 6 hours to charge.
If you have installed solar lights outside of the house, then their batteries can be run for up to 3-4 years without any problem or hindrance in their functioning.
Even the LEDs installed in them can last for 10 or more years if maintained properly. However, it would be best to keep in mind that many factors affect the shelf life of a solar light. Take a look at it.
What are the factors that affect the lifespan of solar light?
If you have solar lights that are situated outside your house and you want to make sure that it keeps on working for upcoming years, then here are the points that you need to keep in mind:
- The placement of the light. It is vital you situated the solar light under direct sunlight, it would be best for the solar rays as they will get all the necessary charge.
- Make sure that the solar lights don’t locate near a street light or house lighting as it can cause some problems in the sensors of the solar rays.
- Cleanliness also affects the solar panel if you keep the sensors and lights clean, it will benefit you in the long run.
- If you live in a place where the weather changes frequently, it’s better to cover the solar lights when rain or snow. You can find many other factors that affect solar panels here.
Can Solar Lights Charge through the window?
The answer is yes, the solar panel can be charged through windows.
It means you can use solar lights even in a house, greenhouse, glass room, or conservatory.
According to my research, if you pull the solar equipment near the window, it will start charging through indirect sunlight. It means you are free to use solar lights even in a conservatory or greenhouse.
For many years, people have stated that you need a direct sun source to use solar light or any other equipment.
You don’t need to place an object below the sunlight to charge or use it as you can put it near a window or any other panel through which sunlight can pass.
However, do you know that solar light can work without the presence of the Sun too?
If you bought a small and lightweight solar light like a table lamp or bulb, it could charge itself through a window, but to charge a large piece of equipment, you need to place them under the direct source of sunlight.
Here, you can see how I have placed my one-of-motion activated solar light near the window.
This window actually gets a good amount of solar light for 2 to 3 hours per day. They were not directly incident to the motion of solar lights.
But they are enough to keep these lights alive. I’m using these lights for more than 3 months here.
You can see in this photograph; they were not permanently mounted. It’s because I wanted to see, the sunlight around the window is enough to charge my solar lights.
The above photograph shows another setup I’ve been testing in my house. This garden solar light is in an indoor plant setup which is near a door.
Most of the houses may not have this kind of setup. However, if you do have one, then I wanted to say that this approach works too.
All you need to do is check the area around the door will get a good amount of light for at least 2 to 3 hours.
I wanted to show you two solar lights that I installed in my house in this video. They were close to a window and a door.
They are not exposed to direct sunshine. However, they do get 2 to 3 hours of sunlight per day.
It appears to be sufficient to keep these lights on. Remember, not all windows and doors will be good as this is.
How to charge Solar lights without Sun?
Here are some tips that you need to keep in mind that help you charge the solar lights indoors when the Sun is not present, or there’s a change in weather.
- Cleaning of Solar Panels
It would help if you cleaned the solar panels regularly so that the sun’s rays can charge the solar lights immediately. In the case of cloudy weather, it will take more time than sunny weather as in cloudy weather; the sun’s rays got disturbed by the surrounding clouds, which results in increasing the charging time.
- Placing the panels and receiver of solar panel in the best position
Place the solar panels directly under the Sun so that even if there is limited sunlight, the solar panel will be able to charge ideally. People usually take this step during the winter season because, at that time, the sunlight is minimal, and the weather becomes cloudy.
- Using a mirror to reflect the sunlight
If the solar panels are placed below a shadow or any area where you can’t get proper sunlight, you need to use a mirror that will help reflect the sunlight in your desired direction. Use a mirror twice as size of the solar panels to reflect more sunlight toward the panel.
- Use an Artificial lighting bulb
The best way to charge the solar panel in the absence of sunlight is with the help of a lighting bulb. You can change the panel using an incandescent bulb as you need to place the bulb near the solar light. Make sure that you put the panel close to the light as it will charge in less time.
Do you need direct sunlight to charge the solar lights?
As we discussed earlier, there is no rule that you need to place the object under the sunlight to charge them. Solar light needs power in any form, whether it comes from sunlight or artificial light, like with the help of bulbs and LED lights.
Hence, we can say that solar lights can be charged even in the absence of sunlight.
The Bottom Line
With the information mentioned above, we can conclude that solar lights can be able to charge through windows or any other surface through which sunlight can pass. Even if there isn’t any sunlight, you can charge the solar lights through various methods.
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”.