One of the simplest ideas you can easily implement to accentuate your yard during the night is to install solar garden lights.
They are usually low cost and for under USD 50, at current market prices, you can get yourself a set to add a beautiful warm glow to the garden at night.
Unfortunately, several of these lights tend to have a high failure rate!
It’s not uncommon for them to stop working after only a few weeks of use.
In this post, I shared my experience and thoughts on why some solar garden lights don’t last and what you can do to get them to work longer.
Why Solar Yard Lights Dont Last (4 Reasons)
If your solar yard lights stop working after a while, perhaps they fail after a short period or the lights die down after a few ones, it may be because:
1. They may be made from low-quality materials. This is probably the most overlooked reason.
To get lights that last, only purchase solar lights made from quality materials. Keep away from lights made from plastic. Go for those made from glass instead and stainless steel.
You can find out what materials they’re made from by reading the product descriptions (online) or what’s on the packaging when buying from a physical store.
You can also ask the store what they’re made from before buying them.
This way you avoid getting yourself a set that degrade with daily exposure to the sun and regular exposure to rain.
Lights may be poorly designed. In addition to the materials used, you may end up with a poorly designed or manufactured set.
Always check other user reviews. Make sure they are genuine user reviews.
Avoid brands where there’s feedback like “lights stopped working after a few weeks” like a plague!
2. They may have been damaged or not properly installed
If the yard lights stop working, inspect them for both signs of physical damage or wrong installation.
Should there be cracks or find that the lights are not mounted properly for example, then you can have water seeping in and damaging the internal circuitry.
3. The rechargeable batteries may not be fully charged. It is possible that the inbuilt batteries are drained flat and therefore the lights are not able to light.
Are there any objects such as leaves that may be covering the solar panel?
Remove any leaves, branches, or dust that may be covering the solar panels and blocking them from receiving sunlight.
4. The batteries may have failed and need to be replaced. If the lights have been in use for about a year, it’s possible too that the rechargeable batteries need to be replaced (depending on the lifespan of the batteries used).
I usually check if the lights last for a shorter time.
For example, if they’ve been lighting for 10 hours and only last for 5-6 hours with the same amount of sun exposure, then it’s likely that the batteries are aging and need to be replaced
Consult the user manual on how to access the battery holder and replace the batteries with another set of quality batteries with the same capacity (mAh) and type (mAh or NiCD).
How Long Solar Yard Lights Last For
A quality set of solar garden lights should be able to provide light up for anywhere between 8-11 hours with about 5-6 hours of exposure to the sun.
Solar lights made from quality materials can last for 3+ years before they need to be replaced.
And even then it’s the batteries that fail sooner and need to be replaced.
How to Make Solar Garden Lights Last Longer
Before Buying the Lights
This starts with the right purchase – check how many hours they light for.
If they can light for 10-12 hours then that’s a good set to consider for purchase.
After Buying the Lights
Install the lights where they receive about 5 hours of sunshine (as much as possible) for the batteries to charge fully. This is necessary for them to provide 10-12 hours of sunshine.
You may need to clean the solar panels periodically if covered with dust, or remove any leaves that are blocking them,
If the solar garden lights do not last it may be a bad quality batch you bought, they are damaged, the solar panels are not receiving enough light or the batteries need to be replaced.