Solar lights are powered by the sun. They collect sunlight during the day and store the energy in batteries. Solar lights can be used to light up walkways, driveways, gardens, and other outdoor or indoor areas.
Solar lights can stay ON for 6 to 10 hours on a full charge depending on the type of solar light, the amount and brightness level of sunlight they receive, the type of batteries (Lithium-ion, Nickel–cadmium (NiCd), AA NiMH, Lead–acid, Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), Nickel–metal hydride (NiMH) ), and the climate (winter, summer, rainy days) in which they are used.
The type of solar light is the most important factor in determining how long a solar lamp will run in darkness. In common practice, solar lights are divided into two main categories, Indoor solar lights, and outdoor (outside) solar lights. The battery technology, capacity, operation principle, and light type (LED, Halogen) are different for these two types. Even under these two categories, there are many more unique solar light classifications available with different run times at night.
Duration of indoor solar lights’ illumination during nighttime
Different types of indoor solar lights stay ON for different numbers of hours at night. The following list summarizes the nighttime operation for each.
- Solar Shed Lights (6-8 hours)
- Solar Desk Lights (8-10 hours)
Duration of outdoor solar lights’ illumination during nighttime
Different types of outdoor solar lights run for different numbers of hours at night. The following list summarizes the nighttime operation for each.
- Solar String Lights (6-8 hours)
- Solar Deck Lights (10-12 hours)
- Solar Parking Lot Lights (10-15 hours)
- Solar Sign Lights (8-10 hours)
- Solar Traffic Light (24 hours)
- Solar Emergency Light (8-10 hours)
- Solar Camping Light (10-15 hours)
Duration of outdoor solar garden lights’ illumination during nighttime
Under outdoor solar garden lights’ classification, there are 20 different solar light types. Refer to the below list for how long outdoor garden solar lights last at night.
- Solar Spot Lights (6-9 hours)
- Solar Flood Lights (8-10 hours)
- Solar Post Lights (10-12 hours)
- Solar Lanterns (6-10 hours)
- Solar Fence Lights (8-10 hours)
- Solar Wall Lights (8-12 hours)
- Solar Driveway Lights (8-10 hours)
- Solar Walkway Lights (10-12 hours)
- Solar Porch Lights (10-12 hours)
- Solar Step Lights (6-10 hours)
- Solar Candles (6-8 hours)
- Solar Pond Lights (8-10 hours)
- Solar Umbrella Lights (6-10 hours)
- Solar Lawn Lights (8-12 hours)
- Solar Street Lights (10-12 hours)
How to make solar lights stay ON longer?
- Use high-capacity rechargeable batteries. A higher capacity battery will have a longer charge and therefore will keep the light on longer.
- Place the solar light in an area that gets direct sunlight for maximum charging.
- Clean the solar panel regularly to ensure maximum charge absorption.
- Purchase a solar light with a larger solar panel. A larger solar panel will increase the charge rate and will keep the light on longer.
- Select a solar light that has an efficient LED light source. LEDs are more energy efficient and will last longer than traditional bulbs.
How long to charge solar light?
Solar light should charge anywhere from 6 to 12 hours depending on the type of the solar light.
Best Solar lights that stay ON all night
- Lemontec Solar Lights
- EZ Solar Pathway Lights
- SolarGlow Garden Lights
- URPOWER Solar Lights
- Aootek Solar Lights
Best solar lights that last 12 hours
- Litom Solar Lights Outdoor, 20 LED Super Bright Motion Sensor Lights with Wider Angle Lighting, IP65 Waterproof Wireless Solar Powered Wall Lights for Garden, Patio, Yard, Front Door, Garage (2 Pack)
- SOLFART Solar Lights Outdoor, 20 LED Super Bright Motion Sensor Lights with Wide Angle Lighting, IP65 Waterproof Wireless Solar Powered Lights for Garden, Patio, Yard, Front Door, Garage (2 Pack)
Should you turn solar lights off at night?
No, you should not turn off solar lights at night. Solar lights automatically turn themselves off when the outside is lit up by the sun.
How long do solar lights last?
The life expectancy of solar lights can vary significantly depending on several factors, such as the type of light, the quality of the solar panel, the quality of the batteries, and the environment in which the light is used. Generally speaking, most solar lights have a lifespan of around 2-5 years. Most outdoor solar lights have a lifespan of 2-3 years.
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”.