Solar

Lights

Solar

Lights

Solar

Lights

Solar

Lights

Solar

Lights

Solar Lights

With summer on its way (hopefully), the days are getting longer, and you’ll soon be itching to sit outside and enjoy the evenings, marvelling at the results of your labours, maybe inviting some friends or family over for a BBQ, embracing the outdoors, grateful that the weather’s finally caught up with the season. Before you know it, it’s ten o’clock, and the path to your house is no longer visible, and it’s not necessarily due to the new craft beer you’ve been introduced to; it could simply be the sun’s disappearance escaped your notice until now. Lighting can be a tricky process in the garden, but solar lights are the answer to all your prayers… at least, you’d think so. You’ve done your research, dropped by your favourite garden centre – thank you – and rushed home to set up your new purchase, but when the sun goes down, nothing. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d bought a faulty set, and there’s a small chance you did, but there could also be a number of other reasons for your new lights’ apparent malfunction. Maybe you bought your lights last year and had no issues whatsoever until you reinstated them this year; it might not necessarily be that your lights are not working, it could be that they’re not quite as bright as you were expecting; not quite as bright as they were last year. Either way, it might not be the end of the line for them, so to save you a lot of time and anguish – and potentially, an unnecessary trip – we’ve had a chat with our solar light experts and come up with a list of the most common reasons for seemingly faulty solar lights to ensure summer doesn’t lose its appeal, and your lights don’t get thrown out with the empties.

      

IS THERE AN ON/OFF BUTTON, AND IS IT TURNED TO ‘ON’?
It might seem like an obvious point, but you’d be surprised by how many people miss the on/off button. Most solar lights are equipped with one, so let that be your first port of call, and make sure they are indeed turned on. If your lights are fresh out of the box, there’s every chance the ON/OFF switch is secured by a removable plastic tab; be sure to remove that too.

  

MAKE SURE THE SOLAR PANEL IS CLEAN AND WORKING
Being outside, the solar panel may well get dirty, and this could affect your lights’ performance. Dust and all manner of garden residues can affect the charging process by covering the solar panel and blocking the sunlight, and without sunlight, there’ll not be enough charge to light your evenings. Check your lights regularly, and clean the panel when necessary.

      

TEST THE SENSOR
Solar lights don’t work in daylight, although they obviously need daylight in order to work later in the day. Sensors tell them when it’s getting dark, and once they’re on, they’ll stay lit until dusk. To check their performance, you’ll need to simulate darkness by covering the sensor with your hand, cloth or something similar. If the light is turned ON when it’s covered, but it’s still not working, the solar light battery may need to be changed. In general, the batteries will need to be changed every 1-3 years if the output quality decreases: ALL solar lights have batteries, and they are batteries specifically for solar lights; regular rechargeables require a charger, and the sun is not it, so when replacing them, ensure you have the correct product.

    

ENSURE YOUR SOLAR LIGHT GETS DIRECT SUNLIGHT
The location of your solar lights could also impact their performance. If the solar panel is not getting the required sunlight, the LED won’t work as well as you would expect. To give it the best possible charge, make sure you place your light in a location where it gets direct sunlight. Ideally, a solar light should get 4-5 hours of direct sunlight daily to effectively charge the batteries enough for the light to last the evening. Check the solar panel is not being obstructed by foliage, garden structures or shadows; even the occasion leaf from a neighbouring plant blowing across the solar panel in the wind will hinder the amount of charge your light receives. Bear in mind, solar lights will not perform as effectively in winter months compared to summer, no matter the quality; although the sun may not be as prevalent, they’ll still charge to some extent on cloudy days, but they may not shine as brightly.

            

TEST THE LIGHTS WITH ALKALINE (NON-RECHARGEABLE) BATTERIES
Whether your new solar lights come with rechargeable batteries or you have to buy them additionally, they will need them; it’s unlikely, however, the batteries will last the lifetime of the lights. Typically, rechargeable batteries last a couple of years, but of course, that time is not guaranteed. If you’ve tried everything else, and your solar lights are still not working or the brightness is inadequate, it’s worth testing the batteries. Rather than splashing out on new rechargeables, test the lights with alkaline (non-rechargeable) batteries first. Simulate darkness again, and if your lights work, new rechargeable batteries are needed. Along with a huge range of solar lights, we sell rechargeable batteries at Brookside too.



Don’t be tempted to leave alkaline batteries in your solar lights because they are not rechargeable, and you’ll be back to your lights not working.

CHARGE THE BATTERIES FOR ONE WHOLE DAY
With newly-purchased solar lights, the batteries will need to be fully charged before they’ll work effectively. Place them in a suitable location – in direct sunlight, away from shadows and foliage – with the switch turned to OFF, and leave them to fully charge for 24 hours before turning them on.

STILL NOT WORKING?
Lastly, if you’ve tried all the steps above and your solar lights are still not working, you can bring them back to us here – so long as they were purchased here – and we’ll check them for you.

Solar lights should add ambience to your outdoor space, not aggravation, so if you feel your temperature rising as the sun’s setting, take a few moments to check the essentials and don’t let a misunderstanding dim your enthusiasm.

    


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