Can Solar Powered Lights Get Wet?

Can solar powered lights get wet?

Solar powered lights are a great environmentally friendly invention that allow you to power your home with a much smaller carbon footprint.

As solar powered lights become more and more popular, questions about their durability are arising. One of the most common questions is can solar powered lights get wet? Solar powered lights will be fine when exposed to rainwater or sprinklers, but there are some precautions you should take to ensure your solar powered lights maintain their efficiency and lifespan.

How Much Water Can Solar Powered Lights Be Exposed To?

Solar powered lights were built initially to be used outdoors. They are designed to be water resistant and will not be affected by:

  • Rain
  • Snow
  • Sprinklers

However, there is a big difference between being water resistant and waterproof and most solar powered lights are water resistant. Water resistance means that the object is able to resist water that seeps into the mechanics of the object to a certain degree. Waterproof means that it can resist all water penetration.

What this means for solar powered lights is that, yes, they can resist normal amounts of water that will eventually run off of the panels with no problem. However, if your solar powered lights are being soaked in water for any reason, the water may cause irreparable damage to your lights.

If your solar powered lights are, for example, placed on the ground in an area that is prone to flooding, then there is a higher risk of water seeping into the battery or the battery terminal. Once water infiltrates these delicate mechanisms, your solar lights are prone to damage that may not be repairable.

There are some ways that can prevent your solar lights from potentially being submerged into water:

  • If there is a flood warning, you may want to remove your lights, turn them off, and safely store them indoors until the weather has improved
  • Try relocating your solar lights to higher ground
  • Secure your solar lights onto a post that keeps them elevated off of the ground
  • Periodically remove excess snow from your solar panels

For the most part, your solar powered lights will work just fine when exposed to regular amounts of water. It is always good to be on the safe side, however, as we cannot control the weather. Be sure to use the tips above to ensure the health and lifespan of your solar powered lights.

Do Solar Powered Lights Work While It’s Raining?

Though it is a common belief that rainfall prevents solar powered lights from collecting energy, rain does not prohibit solar powered lights from charging and outputting electricity. Once there is light in the sky, your solar powered lights will work. They will not be fully efficient, however.

Visible light can still pass through cloud cover and rain and get to your solar powered lights. Clear skies will be the most efficient for your solar lights but any visible light will provide them with enough light to work.

A lesser known fact is that rainfall is actually beneficial to your solar powered lights as it can clean any excess dirt, dust, or debris that may have gathered on your solar lights.

Can Solar Powered Lights Stay Outside During the Winter?

Solar powered lights are engineered to endure many different weather changes, including cold winters. That does not mean that they are indestructible, however. The answer to this question is a little complicated— it depends on where you live.

If you live in a climate that does not get long brutal winters, such as more western or southern areas of the United States, then your solar powered lights should be fine during the winter. If you live in particularly harsh climates during winter times, then it is probably best to store your lights indoors.

Although solar powered lights are weather resistant, long periods of harsh treatment can cause wear and tear, shortening the lifespan of your lights and even damaging the battery. Snow buildup can also cause leaks into the battery and battery terminal which will quickly deteriorate your solar powered lights.

If you find it safer to store your solar powered lights indoors during the winter months, make sure that you turn them off to preserve their battery. This will guarantee that they will have some charge for when you place them back outside for use.

When you begin to use your solar powered lights again in the warmer months, be sure to turn the lights back on and permit several days of charge to allow the battery to regain its full charge for a more effective light.

Tips on Storing Outdoor Solar Powered Lights

If you decide to store your outdoor solar powered lights indoors for more than three days, there are some extra precautions you should take to warrant the efficiency, health, and lifespan of your lights.

  • Make sure to turn your solar lights off
  • Store your solar powered lights in a dry environment at room temperature
  • Secure your solar lights somewhere where it will be exposed to some natural light or artificial light every day
    • Solar light batteries must receive some light to maintain its charge while in storage
  • Never store your solar lights in and box or dark room where there is no light source
    • This will damage the battery and decline their ability to hold a charge
  • Try not to store your solar lights for prolonged periods, such as several months
  • If you must store your solar lights for more than one month, fully drain the battery and charge it once every month
    • Another option would be to remove the battery completely and replace them once they are to be used again
  • If the lamp head is composed of glass, it is advised to wrap the solar lights in bubble wrap or a blanket to protect the glass from possible cracks and breakage

When you are ready to use your solar powered lights again, use a damp cloth to wipe down any dust that may have collected while the lights were in storage. Do not use any chemical products to clean your solar powered lights.

How to Fix Water Damage in Solar Powered Lights

If your solar powered lights become damaged due to excess water, it is not the end of the world for them. Their lifespan will be shortened and their batteries may be damaged but there are some measures that can be taken that may allow them to work for a while.

When there is water damage to solar powered lights, the lights must be disassembled. Follow the instructions that came with your lights to take apart the lights. Once you can see inside your solar lights,

  • Use a clean dry cloth to remove excess water found inside the solar lights
  • Remove the solar light batteries and wipe them gently with a dry cloth to remove excess water
  • Store your solar lights indoors in a moisture-free environment for at least three days to let the lights dry out
  • After you ensure that the solar lights are completely dry, reinsert the battery (or replace it with a new one) and follow the instructions that came with your lights to re-assemble your solar lights
  • Be sure to follow the above instructions on how to properly prepare your lights for use again after they have been stored

This method is your best chance for having a working solar powered light after it has been subjected to water damage. Please be aware that while your lights may be working again, water damage does decline the efficiency and lifespan of solar powered lights.

spgenie

Hi I'm Harris the spgenie! As an engineer, I found myself doing tons of research about solar power, the types of panels, how to store the energy and the best way to finance the project. I thought I'd start this blog to share my findings. I hope you find this useful.

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