Solar watches are a useful gadget that can keep time without daily winding or batteries, and just need one resource to work: solar energy. However, what if you’re in a pinch and need to charge your solar watch, but don’t have access to any sunlight? That leads us to a popular question.
Can LED light charge a solar watch? Yes, LED light can charge a solar watch, although it isn’t as powerful or as fast-charging as natural sunlight. You should try to avoid charging your solar watch with LED light unless you’re in a pinch.
Charging solar watches can be a little more tricky than just setting your watch out in the sunlight, especially if you want to charge one with LED light. To make sure you’re getting the most use out of your solar watch, we’ll walk you through the essential things to know about solar watches and charging them.
Charging Solar Watches: What You Need to Know
Owners of solar watches have often experimented with different ways to charge them. Although solar watches are really relatively simple to charge with natural sunlight, sometimes people can get in positions where they don’t actually have sunlight to charge their solar watch. That’s where alternative light sources come in.
Maybe a certain area doesn’t have enough exposure to sunlight to charge a solar watch. Maybe at the time your solar watch needs charged, it’s dark outside or there isn’t direct sunlight near your home.
Maybe you’re in a pinch and just need a little more power – but don’t have a chance to take your watch off and let it soak up some rays. Maybe you’re secretly a vampire. Whatever the case is, we get it!
Regardless of how you want to charge your solar watch, we’re going to walk you through some of the basics of solar watches and some of the best charging tactics for them. We’ll also discuss how you can charge a solar watch with an LED light, but why it might not be your best or most effective option. Let’s get down to it.
Some basic information about solar watches
You’ve probably gathered this by now, but solar watches are watches that are powered (entirely or partly) by a solar cell.
Back around the 1970’s when solar watches first emerged, it could be pretty obvious that your watch was solar powered; the solar cells were easier to spot and see. Nowadays, solar powered watches are more common and better built; you may see a solar watch without even realizing it’s solar powered.
Sunlight (and yes, artificial light) are absorbed by the solar panel(s) on a solar watch. The solar power converts the sun’s rays into electrical energy, which is used along with a rechargeable cell to power the watch.
Because of their rechargeable cells, solar watches can work day or night, or in low-lit areas and under clothing. The rechargeable cell holds the energy that was absorbed from the sun, giving power to the watch until it runs out of energy and needs to be charged again.
Charging solar watches: natural versus LED light
The cat’s out of the bag by now; you know that both sunlight and artificial (including LED) light can charge solar watches. How can you do it, though? Let’s take a look at charging solar watches with both natural sunlight and LED light.
Charging times: natural sunlight versus LED light
We mentioned before that charging your solar watch with LED light is slower and less powerful than using natural sunlight. To give you perspective, let’s lay the timing out for how long your watch needs to be exposed to light for a full charge and temporary charge.
You’ll see in the tables below that it takes significantly longer to charge a solar watch with LED light than it does with natural sunlight (we’re talking almost 8 times longer!).
Light time needed for a full watch charge
|Light source||Charging time until full battery|
|Natural Sunlight (full sunlight)||20 hours|
|Natural Sunlight (cloudy weather)||60 hours|
|LED Light (artificial)||150 hours|
Light time needed for a temporary (24 hours) watch charge
|Light source||Charging time until 24 hours charge|
|Natural Sunlight (full sunlight)||3 minutes|
|Natural Sunlight (cloudy weather)||9 minutes|
|LED Light (artificial)||3.5 hours|
Charging solar watches with natural sunlight
Let’s walk through the step by step process of charging a solar watch with natural sunlight.
Step one: check your indicator
Solar watches should have an indicator bar that shows the level of charge the watch has left. If your indicator says “zero” or “0,” it’s time to charge your watch!
You may also notice your watch’s time can’t be set or that the buttons aren’t working. Additionally, your second hands may be moving in two-second increments instead of one-second increments. These are also indicators that it’s time to charge your watch.
Step two: place your watch near the light source
If your solar watch does indeed need charging, it’s time to place it near the natural light source. Direct sunlight is best, so window sills are an ideal area.
If you’re driving, you can also place the watch on the dash of your car while driving, or place your hand on the window sill of the car. Just make sure your sleeves are out of the way first.
Charging solar watches with LED light
Charging your solar watch with LED light is mostly the same in principle as charging your watch with natural sunlight. Step one is the same as with charging your watch with natural sunlight; first check your watch’s indicator to make sure it does indeed need charged.
Next, place your watch near your LED light source. The CoolFire Solar Watch Fast Charger from Amazon is an excellent choice. Smaller LED bulbs are best as they are safest for your watch (we’ll discuss this in the next section in more detail).
However, no matter what LED source you choose, place your watch at least 20 inches from the light source and let it charge. This distance will keep your watch from potentially being damaged by the LED light source.
Protecting Your Solar Watch: Charge With LED Light Carefully
There are some potential risks to your solar watch with incorrect use while charging with LED lights. LED light and other artificial light can actually be harmful to and damage your solar watch.
To make sure you’re charging your solar watch safely with LED light, follow these tips!
Keep your watch a safe distance away from the light source
Heat can damage the polarizing film of solar watches, and can cause permanent damage. LED light and other artificial light sources can put off a lot of heat. Because of this, it’s important to keep your watch a safe distance away from the light source. At least 20 inches is a safe bet.
Use a smaller, low lux bulb
Using a smaller or low lux bulb to charge your solar watch with LED light will help with the heat issue. Smaller bulbs and low lux bulbs put off less heat. So, while it may take a little longer to charge your solar watch with these, it’s much safer.
Don’t charge your watch with LED light all the time
Ultimately, the most efficient and safe way to charge your solar watch is with natural sunlight. So, while you can charge your watch with LED light, try to avoid doing it constantly or all the time. Your watch will be safer, last longer, and charge faster!