Solar lights blink due to low battery power, faulty components, or poor connections, often signaling a need for recharging or maintenance.
How to fix flickering solar lights
Your lights might be flickering due to one of the following reasons.
The Light Fixtures
The light fixtures might be the reason your solar lights are flickering. First, replace the light bulbs and observe if the flickering stops. There might be another issue if it does not stop even after replacing the lamp.
The batteries are not charging
Sometimes the weather is not ideal for battery charging. Check the weather in intervals, and if you notice the sun is blocked most of the time, that is why your solar panel is not charging.
Sometimes the battery is not charging because it has aged. Replace the batteries if they are aged.
Trees are Blocking the solar panels.
Check if trees are blocking your solar panel from charging correctly.
If you live near a dusty road, your solar panel might be blocked by dust. Therefore, clean and proper sanitations of the solar panel should be done at least once per year.
Faulty solar controller.
Check the controller indicator flashing and use the manufacturer’s manual to find the fault. Then, repair the controller before it causes more problems.
Sometimes the flickering is a result of poor quality lamps. So don’t rush to buy your lights without a quality check.
Why are my solar lights blinking red?
As discussed above, normal blinking results from dirt on the solar panel. What about when my solar lights are blinking red? Have you checked the brand? Some brands make that blink red.
If not the brand, your batteries might have served their time and need replacement. Inside the battery, the component is rechargeable batteries. Open and replace them.
Your solar lights might be blinking red when the batteries have no power. Let the batteries charge for 2-3 days and observe if the red blink stops. If it does not, then your batteries are not charging.
Observe the voltage of the battery both in the morning and evening. If the voltage is the same both times, the batteries are not charging.
In other circumstances, the battery might be protected. For example, the battery is protected if it is over-charged or undercharged. Suppose the overcharged battery blocks the solar panel for a few days to release the protection.
If the battery is undercharged, charge the batteries for 2-4 days to see if the red blinking stops.
How to check if there is an issue with the light sensor
Sensors and LED causes similar problems to the solar panel. So when checking for a defect on the solar panel, check the LED also.
There are ways you can check if the light sensor has issues:
- Check for dirt: Dirt can cause your light sensor is not to work.
- Check the condition of the coating on the light sensor. A coating protects the sensor from exposure to the sun. If the sensor is made of cheap materials, it turns opaque. If the layer is damaged, replace it with scotch tape or plastic wrap.
- Replace the sensor or Led: if the above problems are not there, your sensor is dead. Remember, light sensors and LED cause the same problem. So if you replace the sensor and the lights are still off, replace the LED.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why do solar lights quit working?
There are several reasons why your lights might not be working correctly. For example, your batteries might be drained or damaged. Your solar panel is covered by dirt. Or, some fixtures are damaged.
How can I make my solar lights last longer?
Cleaning and proper sanitation of the solar panel will influence the durability of your solar lights. For example, if the solar panel is clogged, it does not charge the battery causing it to be too weak.
It would help if you also protect your solar panel during the winters. Cold weakens the battery life. Your solar light sensor might also be damaged. Constantly check if the coating covering the sensor is intact.
How often should I change my batteries?
With a proper supply of sunlight energy, your batteries can last up to four years without a change. Again this depends on the quality of the solar lights. Cheap solar lights are usually of poor quality. You might find yourself changing the batteries regularly.
Do I leave the lights on at night?
Solar energy is free and environmentally friendly. If you want to illuminate your garden at night, solar lights can last a whole night. However, there are occasions when you don’t leave the lights on at night.
In case there is less sunshine. If you use the small saved energy at night, you will drain the batteries.
Another scenario where you should not leave the lights on the whole night is in the case of a weak solar panel. For example, a fragile solar panel cannot illuminate a large garden the entire night. Instead, invest in high-quality solar lights if you want to harvest enough energy to last you the whole night.
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”.