Do solar garden lights work in the rain and winter and how long should they last?
Solar technology should certainly work in the rain or on shorter winter days, but, as garden expert Matthew Wilson says, “Ultimately, we’re asking a very small solar panel to do quite a bit of work.” It’s better to think of solar lights as soft ambient lighting and have more of them complemented by other light sources, Matthew says.
“The solar-powered lights I have in my yard stay on for about three to six hours after sunset in the summer, but only 30 minutes in the winter — it all depends on how much sunlight there is and how efficiently the solar panel is. you choose.”
How do you clean and maintain solar garden lighting?
A typical solar lamp comes with a solar panel, rechargeable battery and lamp. Some also have a backup USB charging feature. “When exposed to the elements, solar outdoor lights can become damaged, corrode, and their wires can break,” says Matthew. “If your solar light has stopped working, the battery may be worn out, so it’s worth looking into replacing it with a rechargeable battery.”
To get the best out of your light, make sure your solar panel is clean. Brian Davenport of The Solar Center – which recommends Matthew as a quality retailer – recommends cleaning the solar panel occasionally with a soft, slightly damp cloth to prevent the build-up of dirt, debris or snow. Also check that the solar panel is in full sun during the day, as these can easily be knocked over by wind, rain, pets or garden animals.
An average solar collector needs about eight hours of sunlight for best results in the dark. “Bring your lights inside during the winter if you can or if there’s an extended period of inclement weather,” suggests Matthew. “The reality is that solar lights rarely have the kind of high-quality weatherproofing to make them last, so they need some attention if the forecast looks bad.”