Should a Solar Light Switch Be On or Off?

Solar lights are simple, easy to use, and relatively inexpensive to buy. It’s no wonder so many people have chosen to light and decorate their home areas with them. Even though solar lights are easy to use, sometimes the logistics of them can get confusing.

Should solar light switch be on or off? If you’ve got a solar light with an on/off switch, your switch needs to be ON while in use. When storing, not using, or preserving battery life, you can turn your solar light switch to OFF.

If you aren’t totally sure when your solar light switch should be on or off, or if you want some more specifics on solar lights, you’re in the right place. We’ll walk you through the basics of solar lights, and let you know when to have your solar light switch on or off.

All You Need to Know About Solar Lights

Chances are, if you’ve glanced at a neighborhood lately, you’ve seen some solar lights. You may not even have realized it!

But do you know what solar lights really are, or how they work? Do you know what position a solar light switch needs to be in, or that not all solar lights have switches? If you don’t (and even if you do), great! We’re about to discuss all you need to know about solar lights.

The basics of solar lights

Solar lights are a type of light that are powered by the sun. They take the energy from the sun and use it to power the built-in LED light, and viola! You have light with no electricity needed. We can go into a little more detail than that, though.

Solar lights operate on a pretty simple circuit, which is similar to that of a flashlight. Battery terminals inside the light are connected to the LED inside the light with a simple loop circuit. There’s also a circuit that connects the PV (solar) panel on the light to the battery terminals.

Lastly, there’s an internal switching device that’s a tiny light sensor that turns off the LED bulb when the sun is out and while the batteries charge.

Nowadays, most solar lights also have an outer manual on/off switch that allows the light to function at all. It’s important to check your solar lights or any solar lights you look into purchasing as some of them may not have that outer manual on/off switch.

Solar light switches

Just like the switches themselves are fairly simple, so is the answer to if a solar light switch should be on or off.

Remember, like we mentioned, some solar lights don’t have the outer on/off switch for whatever reason. These switches are convenient and easy to use, and if you’re looking into purchasing some solar lights, you should purchase ones that have the on/off switch.

The on/off switch on solar lights allows you to completely turn off the unit when it’s not in use.

Solar lights will still have an internal sensor that tells them when to charge their batteries and turn off the LED bulb. However, if you want your solar light to work at all, your switch needs to be turned to ON.

You can then leave your solar light to its own devices and it should work well for you. After all, they’re pretty self-sufficient.

On the flip side (no pun intended!), you can turn your switch to OFF to completely power down the solar light unit.

The benefits of solar lights with on/off switches

Getting solar lights with on/off switches comes with some good benefits. First, these are great for areas that are excessively rainy, stormy or snowy.

If your solar light doesn’t get a ton of sunlight exposure, or if it needs to be stored away during inclement weather, all you need to do is turn the switch to OFF, power it down, and store it away for its next use.

Turning a solar light to OFF also helps preserve its battery life while it’s not in use. This is great (again) for storage purposes, and for shipping or moving purposes.

Tips For Using Solar Lights

As we mentioned, solar lights are simple, easy to use, and relatively inexpensive. They can be controlled with a simple on/off switch and provide LED light with just exposure to sunlight. Are you ready to get your own? If so, we’ve compiled some tips for getting and using solar lights, like getting your lights ready for their first use, choosing a location to put your solar lights, and maintaining your lights.

Choosing a location for your solar lights

You may already have your desired solar lights picked out, but maybe you don’t just yet. Either way, you can still choose a location to put your solar lights!

Sometimes solar lights are just as much of decoration as they are a useful light source. That’s great, but you’ll want to keep some things in mind to make sure you get the most use out of your solar lights.

When choosing a location for your solar lights, remember the solar panel needs full sunlight. Try to place your solar lights in an area that isn’t shaded (or at least isn’t shaded for a significant part of the day).

If you’re dead set on putting your solar lights in an area that’s pretty shady, don’t worry; you can still put your solar lights there. You just may need to charge your solar lights somewhere else.

You can actually buy a solar light with a remote solar panel. That way, you can charge the remote solar panel in a sunny area and connect it back to the solar light unit once it’s charged.

Try to keep your solar lights away from areas that have a lot of artificial light already – like patio and porch lights, street lights, and garden lights. This may actually trick your solar lights into thinking the artificial light is natural sunlight, which could make them work incorrectly.

Getting your solar lights ready for first use

Technically, you can take your solar lights right out of the box, place them in your desired area, switch them to ON, and let them do their thing.

You may not be getting the full use out of them if you do this, though. That’s because the battery needs a chance to charge fully.

When you first get your solar lights, take them out of the packaging, remove any plastic tabs, turn the switch to ON and leave them in an area filled with sunlight to charge. When the sun goes down, turn your solar lights back to OFF so they don’t shine that first night.

Repeat the process the next day, and then leave your solar lights on for that coming night. That way, the batteries will be fully charged and will last through the night!

Maintaining your solar lights

Solar lights don’t need a lot of maintenance, but there is one thing they will need pretty routinely: clean solar panels. Clean the solar panels of your solar lights with soap and water every so often or as you see them getting dirty. This will ensure they work to their full potential (since the sunlight won’t be blocked by any dirtiness).

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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