7 Tips for Best Use of Solar Panels of Your Outdoor Solar Lights

Adding outdoor solar light to your landscape is one of the easiest ways to take advantage of this clean, completely free source of energy while giving your garden a majestic night-time scenery.

It wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that the solar panel is the heart of the whole system. And if you want your fixtures to be well functioned and has a long lifespan, you need to make the best uses of the solar panel.

1. Charge It First

Don’t be overexciting when receiving your new solar light from the deliveryman. You should take your time and begin to charge the battery until it reaches its maximum capacity. Make sure you give the fixtures at least 10 to 12 hours of full sunlight before installing it.

This will optimize the battery performance and it would have better recharge cycles later on. With that being said, your outdoor solar light could last for at least 8 hours over the night.

2. Adjust the Angle

Most outdoor solar lights will allow you to adjust the solar panel angle and position. So, in order to get the best out of it, we recommend you install your solar light with the panel facing direct sunlight. Also, make sure that there is nothing blocking it from direct sunlight. The direction is variable depending on your geographic location.

For example, if you’re in the middle of the Northern Hemisphere, you would want your solar panel to face south as it will receive more sunlight that way and vice versa. But if your location is close to the Equator, then it really doesn’t matter where your solar panel is faced.

3. Locate Your Solar Light

Although your solar panel depends a lot on your geographic location or the weathers in order to produce its energy, there are still a few things that you could try to optimize it. Most lights will have their panels located on top of them, so it is important to keep yours in an open area will the average sunny hours of 6 – 8 for maximum charging.

Also, pay attention to the surrounding objects which could greatly affect your solar panel performance. Any trees, fences, or walls around it might reduce the amount of sunlight it receives. You might not notice this, but the sunlight’s angle changes over time during a day. Your solar panel might not be affected because of the wall next to it in the noon, but as time passes, the wall might block all your sunlight off. So be sure to keep that in mind.

4. Stay Away from Street Lights

Most outdoor solar lights panels are equipped with a light sensor that allows them to detect the surrounding light levels. It is why your solar light could automatically turn on when the night comes and off in the morning. Chances are if there are other artificial lights close to it, your solar light will not turn on even when it’s midnight.

So keep your solar light away from other light sources to make sure it functions well. Moreover, don’t place your solar lights too close to each other, since the lights coming from them could also be mistaken by the sensor. Keep this in mind if you want to create a solar-powered walkway.

5. Enhance the Sunlight

If you’re using a solar light with inclined panels, this trick could greatly improve the sunlight condition. So you know that not all light coming from the sun will be converted by your solar panel. Most of them will be absorbed by your surrounding in the form of heat and it would be a waste for that to happen.

So what you should do is to install a mirror horizontally in front of your solar panel. It will reflect the sunlight to your panel and increase the total amount of electricity it can produce. This method proves to be quite effective, especially on hazy days.

6. Deal with a Cloudy Solar Panel

The most important component of every outdoor solar light is the solar panel which will gather the sunlight and turn it into electricity for your fixtures. The clearer it is, the more energy its product, and your devices will be likely to receive more power. But for most panels, the top covers tend to become cloudy and fuzzy over time, which will prevent the panel from getting enough sunlight.

So what you want to do is to use your regular clear spray lacquer and apply it directly onto the panel. Leave it there for about two minutes and then use a clean rag to wipe off the residues. If you don’t have spray lacquer, nail polish remover would make a good alternative. After that, your solar panel should look a lot clearer.

7. Prevent Cloudy Solar Panel

Although the method above is quite effective, ideally, you would want to prevent all that from happening. In case you haven’t known yet, the reason your solar panel become all cloudy and foggy after an extended time is because of the UV light from the sun has oxidized the cover. What you should do is creating a UV coating that prevents the oxidation, so you won’t have to worry about this again.

We would recommend that you this method on any of your newly purchased panels for the best result. Start by cleaning the transparent cover, use your regular glass cleaner to get rid of all the dirt or defects. Then use the headlight coating spray and apply it on the surface of your solar panel. Make sure you don’t miss any spot.


Hopefully, you will find our simple tips helpful at maintaining and using your outdoor solar light panels. Let us know if you have any questions by leaving your comment in the section below. Thank you and see you later.

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