Solar Lights FAQ

Nearly every day, we receive questions about solar lights from people all over the world. At Solar Us Shop, we love solar powered lights for their ability to provide bright and functional lighting solutions, all with the free, sustainable energy of the sun. 

With solar products of all shapes and sizes, we have amassed a tremendous amount of knowledge while assisting our customer’s with 

  • Solar landscape lights
  • Solar string lights
  • Solar lanterns
  • Solar fence post lights
  • Solar flashlights
  • Solar flagpole lights
  • And more.

Below, we will answer some of the most commonly asked solar lighting questions.

Need more information? Feel free to read our Solar Panel FAQ or FAQ Solar Inverter FAQ for addiontal, sunny answers. 

Want to chat? You can email us at We are always happy to help create the best solar solutions for any lighting project. 

Can solar lights get wet?

Yes, most solar lights can get wet. Long-lasting designs are typically able to handle ordinary outdoor rainfall. If your solar light has IP65 waterproofing, it will be resistant to rain as well as damaging dirt particles in the air. 

Do solar lights need the sun or just light?

Solar lights work best under direct sunlight, but can also be charged at a less efficient rate with indirect light. Some solar lights may also be able to supplement their batteries with a charge via USB or another alternate power source. 

How long does it take for solar lights to work?

Some solar lights are delivered with a full battery and work instantly out of the box. If the battery is empty, solar lights typically take between 4 and 10 hours of sunlight to fully charge. If they are placed in an area with full exposure, lights installed in the morning will most likely work that night. 

Should you leave solar lights on all of the time?

As maintenance-free devices, it is okay to leave solar lights on all of the time. Most smart solar lights automatically toggle on and off at sundown and sunrise without any manual operation. To maximize the lifespan of your solar lights, you may want to bring them inside or turn them off when not in use for long periods of time. 

Do solar lights charge on cloudy days?

Yes, solar lights charge on cloudy days. Although the battery is not charged as quickly, small efficient solar panels can still generate electricity during partly cloudy and overcast conditions. 

How long do solar lights stay on at night?

Most solar lights run between 6 and10 hours on a full battery charge. This is purposefully designed so that lights can run all night after a day of average sunlight. 

Do you turn off solar lights at night?

In most daily use scenarios, you do not have to physically turn off solar lights at night. Instead, photocell light sensors will activate solar lights when it is dark and automatically shut them off in the morning. For some products, controls can be set to turn your solar lights on and off at specific times each day. 

Can you make solar lights brighter?

Yes, many solar lights have multiple brightness levels to optimize your outdoor space. High-powered devices like solar security lights can easily match the brightness levels of any existing property lighting system.  

Can you leave solar lights out in the rain?

Yes, most well-manufactured solar lights can be left out in the rain and maintain their functionality. Although some units are not completely waterproof, most sealed solar lights with a weatherproof resting of IP65 can withstand extended rainy conditions. 

Can you use normal batteries in outdoor solar lights?

Yes, many outdoor solar lights accept rechargeable AA or AAA batteries to power lanterns or property lights. Not all solar lights accept normal batteries, but many can be charged with another electricity source of some kind.   

How do solar lights turn on at night?

Solar lights turn on at night after detecting the absence of sunlight with a built-in photocell sensor. Lights are activated at sundown and will deactivate in the morning if there is any battery life still remaining. 

How do you install solar lights in hard ground?

To install solar lights in hard ground, you will need to hammer in foundation stakes before placing the lights around your yard. Most landscape solar lights include an installation mount and stake for easy set-up and transferring. 

Do solar lights wear out?

Yes, like all technology, eventually solar lights wear out. The typical lifespan of a solar light is between 2 and 5 years, depending on the area’s weather conditions and the quality of the materials. 

How long do solar lights last?

Solar lights typically last for between 6 and 10 hours each night and operate for 2 to 5 years. By bringing your solar lights inside during the winter, it is possible to extend their expected lifespan. 

Can I leave solar lights out in winter?

Yes, you can leave solar lights out in the winter and there are many solar holiday lights specifically designed for seasonal use. Occasionally, people find that solar lights are not worth it in the winter due to limited sunlight hours and heavy weather conditions. In these instances, solar lights can be brought inside until spring to keep them working at their best. 

Can you charge a solar light indoors?

Yes, solar lights can still be charged indoors with direct sunlight through a window. For some products, it also may be possible to charge solar lights by plugging them into a power source with an included adapter.  

How do you revive a solar light?

Sometimes, too much dust and debris build-up may need to be cleaned in order to revive a solar light. If your light does not seem to be charging even after cleaning the panel, test the light with regular batteries or another power source if possible. 

How do I clean my solar lights?

It is very easy to clean solar lights by wiping the panel and other product parts with a damp cloth. For gritty damage, you can use soap and water or vinegar to safely clean solar lights. 

Can you replace batteries in solar lights?

Yes, for many different products, it is possible to replace the batteries in solar lights to restore and extend the unit’s storage capacity. As the solar panel’s efficiency slowly decreases, it is possible to replace the batteries as many times as necessary so long as the unit continues to function. 

Are solar lights worth the money?

Yes, in most cases solar lights are worth the money when operating on completely free electricity. Ordinary lights consume utility electricity every second that they are running, which can quickly add up to annual amounts far beyond the initial cost of a high-quality solar light. 

What do you do with old solar lights? 

Solar lights are made up of bulbs, batteries, and materials that each must be disposed of separately. Many of these parts can be recycled, which we strongly encourage you to do.