Why aren’t those solar lights working?

Solar is safe for pets, too.
Solar is safe for pets, too.

It is so frustrating.  What can we do when something breaks down?  We spend hard-earned money on things and they just go kaput after a couple of months, sometimes even less.  Aren’t they supposed to last longer?  All the time and energy spent to make the thing, and it just calls it quits for no apparent reason whatsoever.  Well, there may be underlying reasons.  It could be a quick fix and inexpensive solution that will get your things back up and running.  We received a question recently regarding a fellow solar light user and would like to share it with you, in case you are experiencing the same problem:


Hi solar light expert,

I just bought my set of solar lights and been using them for about three months now. Its the type with 8 lights and one solar panel. I’ve been noticing that they are really dull recently. They still light up but is very dull compared to how used to light up when new. Its only been a few months since i bought them. Could it be the battery?

Thank you in advance!



It could be that (as you mentioned) the batteries are no longer working at their full capacity. Sometimes when a light is purchased, a span of time has passed since the battery was initially charged, what with time on the shelf at the store, shipping, etc. Typically batteries are pre-charged in store/on-line bought solar lights. The type of battery used also will have an effect on this lag time between charge and use.

If your light uses Ni-Cd (Nickel Cadmium) batteries, they will acquire a “memory” for their storage capacity and overall life. These are the least expensive rechargeable batteries on the market for solar lights. By memory, we mean that if the battery is charged to half its capacity by a short charging cycle (cloud cover, half-day’s charge, etc.), then the battery will “think” that this is the peak capacity it can carry and will use that as an optimum the next time it charges, even if the solar light is in a full-day’s sun in following days.

If your light uses Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries, they will not be affected by the “memory” problem as with their Ni-Cd cousins. These will charge to their full capacity when the sun is in their favor. On cloudy days, they will charge to partial capacity. But once Helios rolls through the sky again, they peak at their expected charge capacity. These batteries are a bit more expensive (albeit, not a lot compared to others out there), but are a better alternative that can be used in Ni-Cd accepting solar lights. Note: Do not mix the batteries together (if the solar light uses 2 or more), use either all Ni-Cd or all Ni-MH in your solar lights.

A third alternative are the Lithium Ion batteries. These are the batteries in the brick house (think of the Three Little Pigs) for small-scale solar lights used around homes and gardens. These put out a higher voltage and typically produce a brighter light. But, and this an important point, they are not to be used in solar lights that require Ni-Cd/Ni-MH batteries. Lithium batteries will fry your Ni-Cd/Ni-MH solar light LEDs in a matter of seconds! We’ve tested this and there is no turning back once the damage is done. Well, there is a fix, but you will need some knowhow to change the circuitry/LEDs as well as the parts. It’s not worth the risk, so be sure you replace your batteries with proper specifications.

A fourth battery on the market is the Lead Acid battery. These are not your typical garden solar light battery and are another ball of wax, but generally produce the brightest light with regard to garden and landscape solar lights. They have the highest Voltage output and store more energy, therefore are the most expensive in the family to replace.

That all being said (there actually could be more, but we’ll suffice with the above), another problem with the low/quick output of light from your solar lights could be that the solar panel is either obstructed with dirt/dust or that it is partially covered in shade during the day when it should be getting full sun (they will typically need at least 6 hours of full sun to give a good return at night). The final problem could be the quality of the components (circuitry) of the solar lights. A better engineered product will usually last longer (years) than an inexpensive product. Some solar lights on the market are very inexpensive, but with that comes low light output, low battery life and eventual breakdown of the system.

We hope this helps with your question. Best of luck with your solar lights. Let us know if you have any more questions with your set. We are here to help and inform.

Thank you,

Your Solar Link Team

Solar Path Lights
Solar Path Lights from www.yoursolarlink.com

So, don’t worry.  There is a reason that your solar lights may not be working properly (or at all).  We are here to help walk you through the fix and find a solution.  It may be a silly expression, but it all works out in the end.

Solar Stone Light
Solar Stone Light from www.yoursolarlink.com



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