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5 Main Reasons Why Your Solar Lights Are Not Performing as Well as New.

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on December 2, 2010 in Solar News - Comments: 184 Comments »

What is the life span of solar lights?

Many times the question pops up regarding the life span of solar powered lights. How does one ensure the best performance and prolong the life of solar lights? After a while, you might notice that your solar lights are not as bright as when you first bought them. And without knowing the basics of solar lights, you may become confused about what exactly happened. Could it be that your solar lights got old and need to be recycled or is there something that you just need to know about the maintenance of your solar powered products?

Solar lights need four essential components to function:

1. A rechargeable battery to store the power generated by the energy from the sun.

2. A small photovoltaic cell or solar array that captures sunlight during the day and converts it into electrical energy. The solar array is usually built right into the light fixture. Some light designs have separate solar arrays connected by a thin wire allowing the light to be located in a shady area while the solar array itself is placed in a bright, sunny location.

3. A “charge controller” to ensure the batteries don’t get overcharged in bright sunlight as well as to monitor the amount of light in the surrounding area and turn the LED (light emitting diode) light on and off.

4. An LED (or a series of LEDs) which provides the light.

10-Pack NiCd AA700mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries

10-Pack NiCd AA700mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries at http://www.yoursolarlink.com.

Image by Your Solar Link.

Rechargeable Solar Light Batteries are the major cause of failure in solar garden lights (5 main reasons why your solar lights are not performing as well as new.)

Rechargeable solar batteries will self-discharge which means that over time the batteries will discharge to a point where they no longer work.

It is important to ensure you charge your solar lights at least every three (3) months to ensure the battery stays in good shape and lasts its life span, generally 1-2 years.

Replace your old batteries when they run their life cycle.

When you purchase your solar lights, the rechargeable batteries are often already included in the fixture. After 1-2 years (or a matter of months in some cases) it is quite normal to see their performance decline. Once you notice that the lighting time is considerably diminishing and the lights are not as bright as before, it’s probably time to replace your rechargeable solar garden light batteries.

Another reason of reduced lighting time and brightness can also be that the solar light batteries are not charging correctly.

For the best charging performances the solar panel needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. Dust and other accumulated residues can considerably affect the charging procedure. They form a coating layer on the solar panel and block the sunlight.

10-Pack NiCd AA600mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries

10-Pack NiCd AA600mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries at http://www.yoursolarlink.com.

Image by Your Solar Link.

An easy way to check if the rechargeable batteries are dead is to test them by briefly replacing them with regular batteries, just long enough to check if the light is working. If you are testing the solar light during the day, don’t forget to cover it, or place the light in a darkened room. This will allow the photocell to trigger the light to its “on” position. If the solar light turns on with normal batteries it means that the rechargeable batteries are faulty and you will need to buy a new set.

Important: don’t forget to pay particular attention to the location of the solar lights.

Batteries will not charge properly if the solar panel is in the shade, they rely on the energy of the sun to charge.

There is another simple test you can do before replacing the solar light rechargeable batteries. Place your solar lights under direct sunshine for a day or two and see what happens. If, after this duration, the illumination time is back to normal, it means that the solar panel was not getting enough light from the sun. Commonly, solar lights should be in direct sunlight for at least 4 hours a day to adequately charge the rechargeable batteries.

If you store your solar lights for long periods of time, take the batteries out!

When you had to store your garden solar lights for a long period of time (during winter months, for example), did you take out the batteries? If you did, your solar light batteries will have a longer life span.

10-Pack NiMH AA1000mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries

10-Pack NiMH AA1000mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries at http://www.yoursolarlink.com.

Image by Your Solar Link.

Replacing solar light batteries is not a difficult task.

All you have to do is to locate the solar light battery cover, remove it, take out the defective batteries and replace them with new ones. If no battery cover can be found, the solar light needs to be taken apart, usually with one or two screws. On most models you’ll find the screws on the top or bottom of the light. Once the unit is open you’ll have access to the batteries.

Types of rechargeable batteries.

Most solar garden lights need between 1 to 4 batteries to work. 2 types of batteries are usually used in garden solar lights: AA size – NiCad(Nickel Cadmium) 1.2 V / 500 to 900mA, and AA size – NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) 1.2 V /1000 to 2000mA.

When it is time to change the solar light rechargeable batteries, the choice of battery also plays an important part in ensuring the enhanced performance of your solar lights.

Nickel-metal hydride batteries (NiMH) will have up to three times more capacity than the same size Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) battery, meaning they are capable of lasting longer and more reliable.

NiMH batteries in your solar lights may cost a little extra but they are more environmentally friendly than NiCd batteries. NiMH batteries are more environmentally friendly because they use a dry liquid, which can be disposed of more easily. They will also withstand greater temperature fluctuations operating in temperatures ranging from -20 to 60 degrees Celsius (-4 to 140F). Ni-MH batteries have a “non-memory effect” which means they will continue to charge on cloudy days. The battery performance will not be diminished by these partial charges, as what can occur with lead acid batteries.

10-Pack NiMH AAA900mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries

10-Pack NiMH AAA900mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries at http://www.yoursolarlink.com.

Image by Your Solar Link.

Solar light replacement batteries are standard and can be found easily. If you know these solar lights basics, with minimum maintenance effort you will enjoy your solar powered lights for years.

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  1. Kit Kit says:

    Hi. I bought a solar light from Amazon, having never used one before. I was told that I needed to place it in direct sunlight during the day and that it would then charge up and glow at night. It has been sat on a sunny windowsill (south-facing) for several days, but nary a glimmer.

    Am I doing something wrong? Or is the light faulty?

    • Hello Kit,

      Our first guess at troubleshooting would be to check the batteries. Sometimes when lights are provided by a manufacturer, they will place a small plastic tab between the battery (usually at the button portion / positive terminal) and the contact point on the battery box. Even if the tab were removed prior to you receiving the light and the charge was used up in transit, then it should still charge if the panel is in direct sunlight. Which leads us to our next troubleshoot….

      Try putting a regular alkaline battery (if you have one available) in the light to see if it goes on. If it does, then it is probably a faulty rechargeable battery that your light came with. Be sure to use a rechargeable battery (don’t keep the the alkaline one in there) that has the same specifications as the original. You can use NiMH in place of NiCd (and vice versa). But don’t use a Lithium battery if your lights came with NiMH/NiCd type of batteries. Lithiums have a higher voltage and will fry out the LEDs of a NiMH/NiCd light within seconds.

      Another troubleshoot would be to check if there is an on/off switch concealed somewhere on the light. Most lights have on/off switches in easy-to-reach places. But depending on the manufacturer, they could have put a switch somewhere out of the way so that it won’t be damaged or accidentally turned off.

      The final test would be to try placing it outside for charging. Sunlight going through the window of your home should be sufficient to charge the panel. If you have a screen on the window, that could be enough to block adequate light from the solar panel. But it is worth trying outside just to be sure.

      If you have tested the battery fix, there are no switches, there are no screens on the window and the light still doesn’t go on, then it could be a matter of faulty circuitry/wiring somewhere within the light. If that is the case, it may be best to replace the light from the Amazon seller. It is atypical that a light has internal issues, but it can happen.

      Hopefully this helps and that you are able to get your lights up and running soon.

      Regards,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

      • Sharon Kettelhut Sharon Kettelhut says:

        I have to use a charger when I first get my solar batteries. Usually not when they are in the light already, as your suggestions should get them lighting…but after a while, you can charge them with a battery charger that will help get them going again.

  2. jean wylie jean wylie says:

    Hi,
    I have a path light that looks great except the solar panel is shot (plastic is cracked and crumbly). I like it enough to buy and install a new panel but cannot find any on internet. I think the problem is I need a search term that means ‘little solar panel that fits in a garden light’. Can you suggest the right term so I can get past thousands of solar panels that are meant for roof tops? Thanks

    • Hello Jean,

      We understand the frustration in looking for just the panels for solar garden lights. Sometimes that component is the only part that goes out and finding replacements can be cumbersome. Anyway, we have seen them as individual components at Fry’s Electronics (if you have one of those stores nearby). We found some individual solar cells (that may be a better keyword to find what you are looking for online) on their website. They also have a kit that may be useful to replace other parts of your lights if needed. It may be a matter of finding a matching (or close) size to the one you want to replace. The load capacity (how much sun it will collect and transfer to the batteries) should be comparable to the existing light, so long as the sizing is the same (or again, as close to it as possible).

      Hopefully this information helps and that you are able to get your solar lights back up and running again soon.

      Regards,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

    • Chamqual Chamqual says:

      Ditto!! I am surprised there does not seem to be a bigger market for photo cell replacements on these lights. They are so expensive to buy new, and throwing out a yard full of lights instead of replacing the cells seems like such a waste! :(

      • Hello Chamqual,

        Yes, it is a factor to be considered when purchasing solar lights for the home or garden. Some manufacturers will use a separate photocell component that is built somewhere on the light housing. Others will integrate the feature of light detection (which is all a photocell really is) into the solar panel. Thus, a threshold is reached via the solar panel and the light will either go on or off, depending on the current/load. However, both of these systems have their benefits and downfalls.

        Technology should be to a level where either one will work without flaws, but it does happen from time to time where there is a system failure due to this feature and the lights are rendered useless. But for some reason, the industry hasn’t nailed this one down perfectly just yet. Maybe it’s a matter of a new technology that doesn’t rely on photon detection to turn the light on or off.

        Thank you for your comments and input on this subject. :)

        Cheers,

        Mario @ Your Solar Link

  3. Mike Mike says:

    I replaced the batteries in my solar light. Then placed in sun before turning it on. When I turned it on and tested it, it worked. Light came when I covered panel and of when uncovered. I put it on the flag pole and that night it did not light. Now I check and when I switch from off to auto, when dark, it turns on for about 15 seconds. If I turn off and on again, it turns on for 15 seconds. What could be the issue? It appears to be getting a charge since the light turns on. I did move the light into more direCT sunlight but it did not improve the performance.

    • Hello Mike,

      There are a couple of things that could be happening with your solar lights.

      1. The photocell is working improperly. Some lights come with the photocell as a separate component. Many new lights have that component integrated with the solar panel. The function of the photocell is to detect light. High levels of light from the sun, car headlights or other nearby light sources will keep the light off and direct the flow of energy from the solar panels to the rechargeable batteries. Once light levels are low or non-existent, then electricity flows from the battery to the LEDs. So, problems with the photocell could cause the flow of electricity to go only from the solar panel, through the battery and continue on to the LEDs. Any energy stored will be minimal as it is constantly fed to the LEDs (if this is the case, you may see that the LEDs are “on” during the day.) There could be a loose connection between the solar panel and the circuit board. This is very rare, but nevertheless, it is a possibility.

      2. There is a bridged connection in the soldering of the circuit board that is bypassing the function of the photocell. You might be able to fix this, but it will take some investigating and dismantling of the light. Also, to find the bridge will take further knowledge of electronic circuit boards.

      You may want to (if you haven’t already) test it for the proper functioning of the batteries. If your light uses a standard AA or AAA battery, try putting in a regular alkaline battery to see if the LED comes on full bright as designed. If it does, then it may be one of the 2 issues above that are causing your rechargeables to not retain charge in the evening. If the LED does not come on, then it may be something beyond the 2 situations above that will require further investigation into the connection of the LEDs.

      Hopefully this helps and that you are able to get your lights back up and running soon.

      Thank you for your inquiry with us at Your Solar Link.

      Regards,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  4. Moira Moira says:

    what is the difference between AA solar rechargeables and regular rechargeables? Do i have to buy specifically solar rechargeables to replace existing solar rechargeables

    • Hello Moira,

      The primary difference between “solar” rechargeable and regular rechargeables is the energy storage capacity, which is measured in mAh (milliAmpere-hours). Solar lights will use batteries that range in capacities between 250 to 1200 mAh. There are no differences if a battery is labelled as “solar” or not, so long as the specifications are the same. Those specifications are as follows:

      1. Battery size (in your case, AA).
      2. Voltage (typically 1.2 Volts for NiMH/NiCd batteries and 3.2 Volts for Lithium batteries).
      3. Chemistry (most common on the market are NiMH, NiCd and Lithium).
      4. Energy capacity, as mAh (anywhere from 250 to 1200 for solar garden lights).

      You will want to keep the Voltage and Chemistry the same as your existing batteries. You can replace NiCd with NiMH (and vice versa). We recommend using NiMH whenever possible as they are not susceptible to the “memory effect” that is common with NiCd. Also, Cadmium is considered a toxic material and needs to be disposed of properly. Metal Hydrides can be thrown out in the trash, but we still recommend recycling them whenever possible.

      The “solar” on the battery is probably a method used by the manufacturer to make it more visible when looking for replacement batteries in solar lights. There are rechargeable batteries on the market that have higher mAh capacities and are typically used in remote control cars, phones, etc. So, the “solar” indication means that the mAh is probably going to be in that 250 to 1200 range and are not practical for the remote controlled, high discharge/recharge products.

      Hopefully this helps with your inquiry and that you are able to find the replacement batteries for your solar lights. Thank you for your inquiry/question with us at Your Solar Link.

      Regards,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  5. mark christopher mark christopher says:

    I am buying replacement batteries for my solar powered garden lights. Is there a difference between a rechargeable AAA battery and a “solar” rechargeable AAA battery?

    • Hello Mark,

      There are no differences if a battery is labelled as “solar” or not, so long as the specifications are the same. Those specifications are as follows:

      1. Battery size (in your case, AAA).
      2. Voltage (typically 1.2 Volts for NiMH/NiCd batteries and 3.2 Volts for Lithium batteries).
      3. Chemistry (most common on the market are NiMH, NiCd and Lithium).
      4. Energy capacity, as mAh (anywhere from 250 to 1200 for solar garden lights).

      You will want to keep the Voltage and Chemistry the same as your existing batteries. You can replace NiCd with NiMH (and vice versa). We recommend using NiMH whenever possible as they are not susceptible to the “memory effect” that is common with NiCd. Also, Cadmium is considered a toxic material and needs to be disposed of properly. Metal Hydrides can be thrown out in the trash, but we still recommend recycling them whenever possible.

      The “solar” on the battery is probably a method used by the manufacturer to make it more visible when looking for replacement batteries in solar lights. There are rechargeable batteries on the market that have higher mAh capacities and are typically used in remote control cars, phones, etc. So, the “solar” indication means that the mAh is probably going to be in that 250 to 1200 range and are not practical for the remote controlled, high discharge/recharge products.

      Hopefully this helps with your inquiry and that you are able to find the replacement batteries for your solar lights. Thank you for your inquiry/question with us at Your Solar Link.

      Regards,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  6. Stephanie Stephanie says:

    I have a solar powered flower which was left in the on position when packed for the winter. The 12 other solar powered flowers were packed in the off position and are working fine now. The problem flower had a small illuminated light at the base of the flower which remained on the entire time as long as it was “on”. After leaving it out in the sun all day it does not illuminate at night but the next morning it has the little light on at the base again. I bought a replacement battery thinking that was the issue but it behaves the same way with a new battery.. What do you think the problem is? What else can I do to trouble shoot?
    Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing from you.
    Best Regards, Stephanie

    • Hello Stephanie,

      Sorry to hear that the light is not going on as are the other 12 lights. One troubleshoot that you can try is to put a regular alkaline battery in to see if the LED illuminates the same as the other 12. This test should work if your existing batteries are NiCd/NiMH chemistry with 1.2 Volts per battery. If your lights use Lithium batteries, you will need to test it with a Lithium battery (they have a higher Voltage of 3.2). Be sure not to test a NiCd/NiMH light with a Lithium battery. The higher Voltage of Lithium batteries will fry out the LED in a matter of seconds (we have tested this). Be sure not to leave an alkaline battery in the light for nightly operation. If an alkaline battery is in the light during the day, current will flow into the battery via the solar panel and will damage the battery and cause corrosion to build up on the terminals (we’ve seen this in the field).

      If the light still doesn’t work after the troubleshoot above, then it may be something along the circuitry of the light that is causing the LED to not illuminate as much as the other lights. At that point, the light is not going to function properly and you will continue to get the performance that it currently is exhibiting.

      From the situation you described, it sounds like you may have NiCd batteries. These are prone to what is known as the “memory effect” and may perform as you described for light 13. If you had the 12 lights in the off position, they may have had a full charge prior to being turned off. So, if they were only off for the winter season, then that charge will slowly trickle down. So, when recharged for this season, they will continue to illuminate as intended. NiMH batteries do not have the problems of the “memory effect” and can be charged/discharged at irregular intervals without suffering from these performance issues.

      Hopefully this information helps and that you are able to get light 13 back up and running again. Thank you for your inquiry/question with us at Your Solar Link.

      Regards,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link.

  7. jay jay says:

    Hi my new solar orb was working fine then we had rain and now it wont work have replaced with new battery completely dried it out any suggestion as it was expensive

    • Hello Jay,

      It may be that the circuitry within the light was damaged by the rain. If there was a leak, it could have made contact with the circuit board in such a quantity to have permanently damaged that component. If you have dried out the light and it still doesn’t work, then it may be that this situation has occurred and the light is damaged. Replacing the circuit board will be very difficult (finding an exact match as well as installation).

      If possible, you may want to contact the store from where you purchased the light to see if there is a way to exchange it for a new one. Hopefully you will be able to get a replacement and have your light up and running again soon.

      Regards,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  8. Angela Cheater Angela Cheater says:

    I bought a dual function light / UV light (insect killer) garden solar lamp, followed all set-up instructions and it didn’t work. Cause: leaking 3.2V 250mA LI-ION battery You say never to use LI-ION in place of NIMH. However, I can’t find a replacement locally (in Phuket, Thailand) for my LI-ION battery, so could I use what is available, namely 1.2V 1000-2000mA NIMH instead? Stepping down the voltage shouldn’t fry the circuitry or the bulb, right? But would it work??

    • Hello Angela,

      Sorry to hear that your new light is not working. A leaky battery is never a good thing.

      As for the replacement batteries, you will want to stay with the Lithium batteries as they are going to fit in the battery box of your garden solar lamp. You could pair up multiple NiMH batteries in series (as in a line configuration) to achieve a higher Voltage. However, doing so will create too high of a Voltage and may damage your lights (each NiMH is 1.2; so if multiplied by 3 batteries, you will end up with 3.6 Volts. This is too high for your light.) If you only put 2 NiMH batteries in series you will end up with 2.4 Volts. This won’t be enough to energize your light.

      With regard to the mAh rating, you only need a 250 mAh capacity battery; so using a high mAh rated NiMH series won’t make a difference in performance. That figure represents the amount of energy (capacity) the battery can store from charging. You will want to stay at or as close as possible above 250 mAh when looking for a replacement. Using a much higher mAh battery will just end up costing more and not necessarily keep your light on longer each night.

      There are companies online that sell single Lithium batteries (if that is all you need). We have them at Your Solar Link (with the exact ratings you need), but in packs of 10. So this may not be advantageous for you to purchase 9 additional batteries to get your light up and running again. We have seen the single batteries on onlybatteries.com and they are pretty reasonable with their shipping charges.

      Hopefully this helps and that you are able to get your light/bug zapper up and running soon.

      Thank you for your inquiry with us at Your Solar Link.

      Regards,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

      • Angela Cheater Angela Cheater says:

        Thanks, Mario. I also tried checking whether the light circuitry is okay by using an ordinary, non-rechargeable AA battery (new), but that didn’t work either, so I’m wondering whether I should use give up?!

        • Hello Angela,

          Sorry for the delayed reply to your follow up question. If you did go through the circuitry and nothing appears to be bridged or out of place, and the battery test didn’t work, then it sounds like it may be something within the circuit board that has failed. It could be that the LED has also failed. Either of these two conditions will essentially render the light damaged and fixing it will cost more time and money than it may take to simply purchase a new light altogether. Sorry we couldn’t help troubleshoot the issue with your light, but these steps should be enough to fix a light that is fixable. Beyond that may be more trouble than it is worth to get the light up and running.

          Thank you again for your questions and for your patience in getting back to you.

          Cheers,

          Mario

  9. Lesley Lesley says:

    Hi, I have two lots of fairy lights in trees in my garden, I left them switched off for a couple of days as instructed on the box. I then turned them on and for the first night or two they lit up and looked lovely then on the following night only one set worked and the following night both sets stopped working. Ive turned them off again so they might re-charge but still nothing…can you help?

    • Hello Lesley,

      Our apologies for the delayed response to your inquiry. In reference to the procedure of charging your batteries prior to energizing the LEDs (2 days of charging with the switch in the “off” position), it sounds like the batteries may have had residual charge prior to your 2-day procedure. When the lights were on at night, they may have just used what energy was left in them from the factory. This conclusion is made due to the fact that the solar panels should have collected sunlight during the “on” days and stored the energy in the batteries. However, if the batteries are old and no longer operational, then a full day’s charge won’t make a difference in the battery function.

      A test you could run would be to get a rechargeable battery (if just one is available to you) to see if the light collects and discharges electricity in the new battery on a day/night cycle. If the new battery still doesn’t hold charge, then there could be a break in the circuitry that is impeding the flow of electricity. That break could be anywhere between the solar panel/battery, battery/circuit board or circuit board/LEDs. It sounds like the lights in the string all worked (at least on the first night), so it doesn’t seem like there would be a break between the LEDs in the string that is causing the problem.

      Rechargeable batteries have a typical lifespan of about 2 years. But that is for daily usage. If your fairy lights have NiMH rechargeable batteries, they have the potential of sitting on the shelf (not in use) for anywhere between 3 to 5 years, depending on the brand of battery. But generally NiMH batteries do not need to be conditioned (with a 2-day cycle) as would a Lead-Acid rechargeable battery solar light.

      Hopefully this helps and that you were/are able to get your fairy lights back up and running again soon.

      Cheers,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  10. Oinc Oinc says:

    Is it worth increasing the MAH up, say from 600 mAh to 800 mAh on battery replacement or is this just a waste of money? Solar cells can only produce so much power during the day. What about if you have room, soldering your own pack together, going from 2 AAA to 2 AA, same volts, mAH rating?

  11. Can we recharge AA rechargeable batteries, intended for solar lights, with electric battery chargers?

    We have several AA operated indoor led candles, in addition to the many garden and gutter solar lights that we have outside.

    Thanks!

    • Hello Steve,

      Our apologies in the delayed response to your inquiry/question. We recommend not using a home charger to charge your AA rechargeable batteries intended for solar lights. The solar panel should be enough to provide electricity to the batteries. If it doesn’t, then the light isn’t operating as designed and will require outside charging for each night of use, which is cumbersome and against the original intent of the light.

      Some home chargers may not have an internal cutoff switch, thus the potential of overcharging (and ultimately heating and damage of) the batteries may occur. As above, it is best to charge only within the solar light, as it will provide the right amount of charge, is a low-voltage charger (thus, safer to use) and doesn’t require the removal/replacement every night that the light is used.

      As for the indoor LED candles, specifications on home chargers vary. From what we have seen, this range (for AA rechargeables) usually starts at around 1500 mAh and goes up from there. So, if you were to put a 600 mAh battery in this example of a home charger, you may overheat the 600 battery as it will charge faster than would a 1500 battery. It would depend on the particular home charger you are using whether or not there is a safety feature built into it to ensure that it shuts off should a battery become charged to capacity and avoid overcharging/heating. If the indoor LED candles use rechargeables, you may want to stay with whatever specifications they came with.

      There are solar chargers on the market (that way you wouldn’t need to take the batteries out of a light after it was charged to be placed into the candle) that may work to charge a battery intended for solar lights (mAh range is anywhere from 300 to 1000). This option may help to give you peace of mind to avoid the high voltage home charger issues and to reduce the amount of replacement in and out of your solar lights, should you choose to stay off-grid with your energy generation for the LED candle batteries.

      This is a very interesting question you have asked and we hope to have been able to provide some information that is useful for your LED candles. Thank you for your patience in getting back to you. Hopefully you are able to get all of your lights up and running again soon.

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  12. Lana Lana says:

    Do you know where I could find Nimh aa 1800 mah 4.8v? I can’t seem to find them anywhere. Thanks Lana

    • Hello Lana,

      It sounds like you may have a battery pack (4 x NiMH AA 1800 mAh connected in series to give you the 4.8 Volts). These packs can be found online with a quick google search (just put in the specifications you have and there should be several options that come up). There are also online stores that sell these packs such as OnlyBatteries. However, they may charge a premium for their packs, so you may want to again check through google to see what best pricing you can find.

      Thank you and hopefully you will be able to find the correct pack for your lights.

      Cheers,

      Your Solar Link Team

  13. Mary Mary says:

    How do you clean the plastic disk covering the solar panel? It is cloudy and the lights don’t stay on as long now; what do I do to clean it?

    • Hello Mary,

      We may have answered this question in our post above. Just to recap, you will want to clean the cover with a small amount of dish soap and water. Once the soap is rinsed off, apply a light coat of either a clear spray lacquer or clear nail polish. This will help to create a clear surface through which sunlight will pass and efficiently reach the solar cells below. Also, you may want to consider (if your lights are around 2 years old) replacing the rechargeable batteries. If you have a clear panel surface and the lights are not as bright or staying on as long at night, it could be that the batteries need replacement.

      Hopefully this helps and that you are able to get your lights back up and running in top shape again soon.

      Regards,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  14. Mary Mary says:

    How do you clean the plastic disk covering the solar panel

    • Hello Mary,

      There are a few quick and easy ways to clean an occluded solar panel cover for your garden solar lights. The most effective we have seen (and tested) is to rinse it first with clean water to clear off any mud that may have built up over time. While the panel is still wet, use a soft cloth or sponge with a small amount of dish soap (so as to not harm the plants around the light, if it is being cleaned in place) and gently rub the surface to clean off any excess dirt. Then a quick rinse with water should do the trick.

      For older lights, it may be beneficial to put a clear coating of clear lacquer (spray is the easiest) or clear nail polish on the panel cover. Doing this step of a clear coating treatment will create a more efficient surface through which sunlight can pass and effectively reach the solar cells below. Some solar lights have a glass cover over the solar cells, so they won’t necessarily become occluded. However, there are lights on the market that have a clear plastic cover, and this component can (and usually does) become opaque over time. This will affect the efficiency of the solar light by letting in less sunlight (less sun = less activity in the solar cells = less energy generated to be supplied to the rechargeable batteries).

      Hopefully this information helps and that we were able to answer your question. Also, if your batteries are the originals that came with the light, and you’ve had the light for 2 years (or close to it), then it may be time to change that component out as well. Batteries typically have a lifespan of about 2 years regular/daily use and can usually be replaced.

      Thank you for your inquiry with us at Your Solar Link.

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  15. David Diaz David Diaz says:

    Do I have to manually charge replacement battteries before using them?

    • Hello David,

      Our apologies for the delay in getting back to you. In reference to manual charging before use, no, you do not need to pre-charge your batteries before putting them in your solar lights. We recommend putting new batteries in the light during pre-dawn hours just to ensure that you get a full charge for the first night. But we strongly recommend against charging the batteries in a home charger. One thing that could happen in a home charger is that the battery overcharges and that the charger (which may not have a built in safety feature) will overheat and potentially burst the battery that is intended for solar lights.

      Solar lights on the market are designed where the batteries will get all the charge they need from the built in solar panels for each light. So, you will not need to turn the light “on” or “off” each night (unless you are saving charge for a party or event where you want to guarantee that you have enough battery storage for the event) and you do not need to pre-charge the batteries before use. The only lights where we have seen a battery that requires pre-conditioning before its first use is a Lead Acid battery light. They are not as common, but they often require a 2 to 3 day charge (with the light in the “off” position) before being switched to a permanent “on” position.

      Hopefully this helps and thank you for your patience in getting back to you.

      Regards,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  16. Pat Pat says:

    Help please. Can I replace my solar light batteries which are a mixture of 1.2V Ni-Cd and AA Ni-Mh 500 with 1000 mah AA. I am very confused.

    • Hello Pat,

      One thing to keep consistent with your solar lights is the battery chemistry. You can replace NiCd with NiMH (and vice versa); but if your light uses two or more batteries, then you will want to make sure to use only one type of chemistry in the light. Another thing to keep consistent is the mAh rating. If you keep the chemistry the same but use different capacities in the light (of 2 or more batteries), then they won’t charge to their optimum performance. Furthermore, it could decrease the life span of one (or both) batteries if their mAh ratings are different. We recommend using new batteries (and not mixing up old and new batteries) when replacing the originals. This way you know that they are equal in their capacity of energy storage and output to the LEDs.

      You can use higher rated mAh batteries as replacements, but again, be sure that they are the same capacity if the light uses 2 or more batteries. So, you would want to use 2 or more of the 500 mAh in your light. Equally so, you would want to use 2 ore more of the 1000 mAh, if that higher rated battery is all that is available to you as a replacement for your 500 mAh light.

      So, things to keep the same (consistent) are:

      Voltage (in your case, 1.2)
      Chemistry (either NiCd or NiMH)
      Capacity (mAh rating)
      Size (again, in your case, AA)

      Hopefully this helps and that you are able to get your lights up and running again soon.

      Cheers,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  17. Wendy Wendy says:

    Hello I have been using solar fairy lights for 2 months and now both sets have stopped working completely,they are getting enough sun,I have tried a normal battery in one of the sets and the bulbs did light up so I put in a rechargeable battery but is was a bit higher it is 1.2v but a 500mAh then the one that was in the set.The one in the set being NI-MH AA 300mAh 1.2v I can’t find in any shop,I am hoping it’s just the batteries!

    • Hello Wendy,

      Sorry for our delay in getting back to you regarding your questions on the solar fairy lights. You did the right thing to test the lights with a regular alkaline battery to be sure that it was an issue with the old battery and not the other components in the string (LEDs, wiring, solar panel, circuit board). If your lights originally came with a 1.2 Volt battery, then you will definitely want to keep the Voltage the same. But you can use a higher rated mAh (milliAmp hour) battery. So, if your original batteries had the NiMH AA 300 mAh 1.2 Volt specifications, you could use a 300 or higher mAh rechargeable battery as a replacement. Typically (here in the US anyway), replacement batteries come in 300, 600, 800 and 1000 mAh capacities. The 500 you mentioned should work, however if it is also an older battery, then it may not perform as intended (the average life span of rechargeable batteries in solar lights is about 2 years with nightly use).

      So, if you are able to find a new set of rechargeables (again, 300 or higher mAh rating), then that may be your best bet in order to get your fairy lights up and running again. If you are going to use a higher rated mAh battery, try to stay as close (above) to the original 300 rating. You can use a 1000 mAh battery, but it will cost more than say a 600, and it won’t necessarily make your lights stay on any longer at night. They just have the capacity to hold enough energy for a 1000 mAh light.

      Hopefully this helps. Again, our apologies for not getting back to you sooner.

      Cheers,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  18. Claudia Wines Claudia Wines says:

    I want solar lights that charge outside during the day and can be used inside during a power outage. I want at least one that is powerful enough to read by, as there isn’t much else one can do during a power outage after dark. I have just spent two hours on the Internet and can’t find the answer. What brand, what are the specifications, and where do I buy some.
    Thanks for your help

    • Hello Claudia,

      This is a very good question as most solar lights on the market are for a fixed location. There are several options, but the best ones would be the Solar LED Reading Light or the Solar Camping Lantern.

      The Reading Light is ideal for concentrated light on an surface of about 3 feet by 3 feet, so it works great for large books, newspapers, etc. that need to be opened or spread out onto a table top. This light also can sit/rest on the table surface or clip to the edge of a table, post, rail, etc.

      The Camping Lantern is a great option for multiple spots around the lantern, but also serves to illuminate more than a flat surface. The Lantern has a collapsable hook feature built into the top, so it can hang from the top of a tent ceiling or other overhead hook.

      These can both be found on http://www.yoursolarlink.com under the Solar Products category (or in the links above in this post). Both come with new rechargeable batteries (installed), so you shouldn’t need to replace the batteries for a couple of years.

      Hopefully this helps with your inquiry and that you are able to get your indoor/outdoor lights soon.

      Regards,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  19. Lorraine Lorraine says:

    Should I leave my solar lights switched on during the day or turn them off?

    • Hello Lorraine,

      You will want to keep your lights in the “on” position during the day. One reason you may want to turn them “off” is if you are perhaps going to use them for an event or party where you want to be sure that they have enough energy to illuminate the LEDs for the event. Otherwise, solar lights on the market are intended to always be in the “on” position and the sun will do the rest. :)

      Thank you for your inquiry/question with us at Your Solar Link.

      Cheers,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  20. X-NYr X-NYr says:

    Just want to say THANK YOU! This is the best written website I have ever encountered. I can’t believe I found a place that has exactly the Q and A that I needed on a topic as obscure (I thought) as why my solar lights stopped working and how do they work and whether the batteries need to be re-charged or replaced. Congrats to the team that not only knows the subject area but also knows the problems real non-experts encounter and can write clearly to describe the answer completely. BRAVO. I don’t know who you all are, but I commend the writers, engineers, editors involved in the site.

    • Kenny Millar Kenny Millar says:

      Agree entirely with your comments regarding this website. Here in Bonnie Scotland I had similar problems with a solar garden ornament that I put out for this summer. Came across their site. Problems solved! Excellent.

  21. Jerome Jerome says:

    Hi, I’m just wondering what should I do with my solar lights over the winter. Should I turn them off and leave them in the garden, or should I remove the batteries and leave the lights in the garden. What’s the best approach.
    thanks !
    Jerome

    • Hello Jerome,

      Depending on the weather conditions (if you don’t have snow that will cover the lights/solar panel), you should be able to leave lights up all year long. If your concern is the battery performance as a result of freezing/thawing, then you could take them out for the duration of the freezing months just to assure that they don’t attain any damage from repetitive freezing cycles and possible moisture build-up in the battery compartment (thus, rust development). Also, if the weather conditions are so extreme that the entire light gets buried in snow, then it may be a good idea to bring it in just to avoid any issues with these types of environments (rust, cracking plastic components, freeze/thaw of circuitry, etc.) and to prolong the overall life of your lights.

      Even though sunlight is at a lower angle of incidence during the winter, it will still charge the batteries (albeit not as efficiently as in the summer months, but a charge nonetheless). Hopefully this helps and that you are able to keep your lights out for the winter.

      Thank you for your questions/inquiry with us at Your Solar Link.

      Cheers,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  22. maximus maximus says:

    can i use normal rechargeable batteries in the place of solar rechargeable batteries

    • Hello Maximus,

      The typical rechargeable batteries sold in stores are for high demand devices. Therefore, the capacity of these batteries ranges from the mid 2000s (for AA cells) up to 12000 (for D cells) mAh. Most solar lights on the market use AA and AAA size batteries with a range from 250 to 1200 mAh. So, you could use a higher capacity battery, but it won’t necessarily make your lights stay on any longer at night and will ultimately end up costing more with no added benefit.

      Just be sure to keep the chemistry consistent with your replacements. For instance, if your light came with NiMH or NiCd, then do not use Lithiums as a replacement. NiMH and NiCd can be used interchangeably with solar garden lights. Just be sure that if your light uses 2 or more batteries, to use 2 or more NiMH; or use 2 or more NiCd. In other words, don’t mix NiMH and NiCd batteries in the same light. As for Lithium, their Voltage rating is much higher (for the purposes of solar garden lights) than NiMH/NiCd batteries and will burn out the LEDs in a NiMH/NiCd light in a matter of seconds.

      Hopefully this helps and that you are able to get the batteries you need to have your lights operate properly.

      Cheers,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  23. paul paul says:

    I’me trying to understand if I can use a higher capacity battery. Existing is 600 mAh. Would a 1000 damage the charger?

    • Hello Paul,

      Yes, you can use a higher capacity (mAh, or millAmp hour) battery in your solar lights. It is essentially the amount of energy the battery is capable of storing for usage at night. So, if you were to use a 300 mAh battery in your light, it will hold enough charge to energize your LEDs for a lesser amount of time. Using a higher rating won’t necessarily make your light stay on longer, as the factors of solar panel size (amount of energy supplied to the battery during the day) and number of LEDs (amount of energy drawn from the battery during the night) will determine the optimum capacity of your battery. Generally, manufacturers will install the optimum battery in lights when you buy them from stores or online.

      What would damage your light is an increase in Voltage. If your lights use NiMH or NiCd chemistries, then the Voltage is 1.2 Volts per battery. If your lights use Lithium chemistry, then the Voltage is 3.2 Volts per battery. Lithiums will burn out the LEDs in a NiMH/NiCd light in a matter of seconds. We have tested this in a NiMH/NiCd light and it took about 5 seconds. The light was significantly brighter, but then it was forever damaged due to the excess power from the Lithium battery.

      Now, if this is for charging solar light batteries, then you will want to use the light itself for all charging. We recommend not using a home charger, even if it is a smart charger. They are generally rated for batteries at 700 mAh (on the lowest end we could find) and above. Even though it may be a smart charger, there is the potential of overcharging, which will damage and possibly leak the batteries. The solar panel on your lights is the ideal source for charging and it will not overcharge the battery.

      Thank you for your inquiry with us at Your Solar Link.

      Cheers,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  24. Kenny Millar Kenny Millar says:

    From what I hve read you guys are based in the US. I had problems similar to some described on your site when I put a solar garden ornament out for the summer here in Bonnie Scotland. Your site is extremely well written and informative, the amount of knowledge on your site is incredible. Well done!

  25. Shayna Shayna says:

    Yes yes, I am having this problem too!

  26. Patricia Schmidt Patricia Schmidt says:

    My garden lights worked great for months. Now they are dark but if you turn them upside down, they light up! Not all, but one, two, three maybe. What’s up?

  27. viswash viswash says:

    I brought a sensor solar light from amazon and after 13 days it stopped working I dont know why I think because I think I have over charged it.
    can this also happen if yes then plz tell me the solution

  28. Cherise Cherise says:

    what’s the difference between solar lights and fairy lights?

    • Solar lights are lights that use the sun to generate electricity which is stored in rechargeable batteries for later (nightly) use.

      Fairy lights are typically lights on a string. These can be either grid-tied (electrical) or off-grid (solar) lights.

      Thank you,

      Your Solar Link Team

  29. Romeo Romeo says:

    Please im having an issue with my solar led garden light.when i turn it on it just blink for 1 sec and its off.when i try again it wont light up even for the sec.what do you think is the problem?

  30. john john says:

    my solar light has 5 batteries in a hump connected together do you stock them.

  31. Mike Mike says:

    I bought a 4 Pak of solar fence lights. Very sparse instructions. I left the lights on a chair on the covered porch for a few hours assuming they needed some exposure to sunlight for charging. The next day I installed them on the vinyl fence surrounding the patio garden. The lights came on just after dusk. The next morning I checked and some of the lights were still on at 5am, though most had turned off. That was 10 hours. The following two nights the lights haven’t lasted for 3 hours after dusk. Any ideas why? I live in Florida so sunlight shouldn’t be a problem although today it was overcast for the first half of the day.

    I’m wondering if there is an optimum amount of time the lights need to be exposed when they are first put in use. I saw another product online that said it took up to 5 days for the lights to be exposed to enough sunlight to operate at peak performance. Could this be the case with mine? They are a 4 Pakistan of Paradise solar aluminum fence lights purchased from Costco. I also see them at eBay and Amazon.

    Thanks for your insights.

    • Hello Mike,

      It sounds like the solar panels are not making a firm connection to the batteries. If the lights worked on the first night, it is likely that they had enough charge left from the factory (most batteries are pre-charged with some loss of charge over time, depending on how long they are on the shelf at the store, etc.) Being that they only last about 3 hours now after dusk, they may not be getting a full current from the solar panels during the day. It is also possible that they just didn’t get enough charge due to the cloud cover. But if that was only for 1/2 of a day, then the lights should have stayed on for more than 3 hours.

      As for optimum light on first use, most rechargeable batteries on the market don’t need to be pre-charged prior to use. Some lights that we have encountered used lead-acid chemistry rechargeables, which required 2 days of sunlight with the light in the “off” position. However, that chemistry has slowly been phased out and replaced with Lithium chemistry which does not require the 2-day pre-charging cycle. If your lights have either NiMH or NiCd rechargeables, then no pre-charging is necessary.

      Another issue that may affect the performance is that the batteries are close to their expiration. NiMH may last around 3 years in storage, but it is likely that lights sold in stores (especially Costco) are not that old and will have newer batteries already installed it them. If the lights come on for any period of time, then it is a good sign that there is a solid connection between the batteries and the LEDs. So that part of your light is in proper operational order.

      You may want to purchase a small pack (for instance, we have 5-packs on our website) of rechargeables to see if that fixes the duration issues with your lights. If they still don’t stay on for more than 3 hours on a full charge, then it may be that the lights are having connectivity issues and may need to be returned to/exchanged from the store where you purchased them.

      Thank you for your inquiry and we hope you are able to get your lights up and running again soon.

      Your Solar Link Team

  32. Valerie Johnston Valerie Johnston says:

    Where do you get the batteries or buy them

  33. Che Che says:

    I place solar lamp in the sun do i need to turn on the button of (off/automatic) to charge.Thank you

    • Hello Jazzlyn,

      Once your solar garden lights are installed, you will not need to turn the switch “off” in order to charge the battery. Just be sure that it is in the “on” position when you install it. Solar garden lights are designed to stay in the “on” position during regular use, so long as it is in its intended location. The only time you would turn it “off” is if you were to put the light away for the winter or if there were inclement weather that may damage your light (say, in heavy rain/winds that may knock it over or freezing temperatures).

      Thank you for your inquiry with us at Your Solar Link.

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  34. Jerry Bohannon Jerry Bohannon says:

    I bought 30 6×4 solar paver lights 2 years ago and they worked well until I started to replace batteries. Now I have 5 that will not light up with a new battery installed. I am using the same kind of battery 1.2 v . The pavers will not light up even after sitting in direct sunlight for a few days. Is there something else I should check to keep them viable?

    Thanks

    • Hello Jerry,

      You have the correct Voltage specification, so that is a good start. There are two chemistries on the market with that Voltage: NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) and NiCd (Nickel Cadmium). They can be used interchangeably, but we recommend using NiMH whenever possible as the Cadmium in NiCd is classified as a toxic material and should be recycled / disposed of properly.

      One test to see if it is the battery (and not the solar panel) is to put a regular Alkaline battery in the paver. If the LEDs turn on at night (or where the solar panel is covered from light) with an Alkaline battery, then you have a good connection between the battery compartment and the LEDs.

      The second test would be to place a rechargeable battery (from a working paver) in one of the 5 non-working pavers to see if it turns on for two consecutive nights. This will help determine that the solar panel is collecting and transferring energy effectively to the battery.

      If the second test doesn’t prove successful, then you may have a break somewhere in the line between the solar panel and the battery compartment. A loose wire may be the culprit, but it will take some investigating by carefully dismantling the light. This is a bit tricky as soldering of loose wires would be necessary to make a proper connection (should there be a loose wire at all) and to where the wire needs to be soldered on the circuit board.

      Also, be sure that the solar cells are visible through the covering (assuming it is glass or a transparent plastic film) of the solar panel. If your pavers have the plastic covering (and it is opaque) and you have cleaned it with clean water, then you might be able to apply a few layers of clear lacquer or nail polish to ensure a clean “window” through which sunlight can pass through to the solar cells.

      Hopefully this information helps and that you are (were) able to get your pavers up and running again.

      Thank you for your inquiry with us at Your Solar Link.

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  35. Duncan Duncan says:

    Hi, I have four solar charged string type fairy lights and after a year of use non are operational. There is obvious water ingress into the unit housing the panel and charger with some and on others it may be the batteries have come to the end of their life.
    I looked into getting replacement panels but its just too hard so I decieded to cut the wires off at the panel and connect it to a battery holder
    Problem. the original unit runs off 3 AA batteries, battery cases to hold 3 batteries are unavailable from the electronic store so I to get a case for 4 batteries.
    When I installed 3 batts it failed to illuminate, when I installed 4 (all alkaline non rechargeable) every other bulb lit( 1 on 1 off 1 on) with the bulbs being a lot brighter than they originally were. Could you tell me what could be the cause of this .
    Thanks

    • Hello Duncan,

      It sounds like it may be a manufacturer design issue with the gasket (if there is one at all) that is supposed to keep out water. If the circuitry gets wet, then it may cause the lights to fail down the road (from your description, only 1 year after use). Batteries should last 2 years under nightly use, so it may not be that component which is causing the issue.

      If you are running 4 batteries through the string, then you are putting 4.8 Volts into the system. The original 3 batteries (assuming they are 1.2 Volts each) had a total of 3.6 Volts. This is why the LEDs are brighter as more force (Voltage) is running through them. Higher Voltages may cause the LEDs to fail, so you may want to stick with the original 3 battery configuration. Aligning the batteries in series (where the positive terminal is connected/touching the negative terminal of the next battery; essentially if you were to have them in line it would be one long battery) results in an additive Voltage rating, and it sounds like your lights’ optimum Voltage should be 3.6 Volts.

      You could use Alkaline batteries in the lights if that is all that is available, but just be sure not to let them sit in the sun during the day as the current running from the solar panels to the Alkaline batteries will cause them to “leak” and a residue will develop at the terminals. Alkaline batteries are not meant to be recharged, and the solar panel will produce enough current to cause the leakage.

      A possible reason for the alternating LEDs illuminating with the 4 battery configuration could be a matter of the circuitry being damaged from the water. It is not common that LEDs would stagger in their connections (in other words, they should all be aligned in series with a bypass wire on each LED so that if one goes out, then the rest still have current running through them), so we are not sure why you are getting a 1 on, 1 off operation. And why they don’t work with the original 3 battery configuration makes it even more of a conundrum for which we cannot find an explanation other than circuitry damage due to water exposure.

      Hopefully you are able to find some use out of the lights and that they continue working with the batteries you have on hand.

      Thank you for your inquiry with us at Your Solar Link.

      Cheers,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  36. Betty Betty says:

    Hi, I’ve been buying Homebrite solar pathway lights for many years because I love the warm white light they came out with before most other companies. I bought NiMh bats to replace the older Ni-Ca dead ones this year and only on the older ones do they work correctly. On the newer ones they lights come on but wont shut off and I’m baffled. I’ve been rebuilding these and adding to my collection every year and I can’t figure out where the sensor is and if its a sensor problem or what could be different. Any comments or help would be appreciated. I can’t understand the problem.

    Thanks,
    Betty

    • Hello Betty,

      You can use NiMH and NiCd interchangeably for your lights. Just be sure that if the light uses 2 or more batteries that the replacements are the same chemistry (i.e.: 2 x NiCd OR 2 x NiMH, not 1 x NiCd and 1 x NiMH). Both of these chemistries have a Voltage rating of 1.2 Volts (which is important to keep consistent in the operation of your lights). In contrast, Lithium batteries on the market are rated at 3.2 Volts, which is much too high for your lights (and the excess Voltage in a Lithium battery may permanently damage the LEDs in a NiMH/NiCd light). Just some FYI to keep in mind.

      As for the lights not working with new batteries, you may want to do a test with a regular Alkaline battery in the light to make sure the LED turns “on” (when the solar panel is covered or in the dark). This will ensure that there is a good connection between the battery compartment and the LED. Make sure that you remove the Alkaline battery (don’t put it in the sun) as the current that runs from the solar cells during the day will “overcharge” the battery (Alkaline batteries are not designed to be recharged) if left in the sun over time.

      If the battery troubleshooting proves positive, then the next test will be to put a working rechargeable battery into a non-working light for a 2-day / 2-night cycle. This will ensure that the solar panel is collection energy during the day and storing it in the battery for use at night. Each night, the battery will probably use up all of its energy. The the 2nd day of charging should bring the battery to capacity for use on night 2. If this test doesn’t work, then it could be that there is a break in the connection between the solar panel and the battery box. There is also the potential that something in the circuit board is bad, thus breaking the current flow from solar panel to battery.

      In regards to your lights not turning “off” during the day, that is a recurring issue with many lights on the market. Some lights use a separate component (photoresistor) that regulates the functioning of the LED by directing which way electric current is running in the light. Other lights might control the current flow via the solar panel by integrating the photoresistor function into the solar cells. During the day, Voltage is generated by the sun via the solar cells and carried for storage in the rechargeable batteries. Once the sun sets, this load diminishes to zero (in total darkness), and the current switches direction in the battery to power the LED. There is a possibility of one (or both) of these methods malfunctioning and the current is in a constant direction toward the LED, thus the light is on during the day.

      We have seen some lights that exhibit this malfunctioning operation one day, and then work fine the next. It could be that the electrical components within the lights are crossing connections, causing the staggering of working and not working. It would take some investigation into your lights to determine what exactly is causing this issue, but it may get a bit involved and tedious where the solution is to change batteries when they expire early (due to the lights being “on” all the time) or to dispose of the lights. But if they are working at night, it is best to keep them until they no longer work at all to be sure you get the most out of them.

      Unfortunately there is no facility (that we know of) in the USA that recycles solar garden lights. So, when they completely expire, it is common that they are thrown out and batteries are recycled (some stores, such as Best Buy, will take old rechargeable batteries for recycling). Depending on the materials of your lights, it may be possible to dismantle the expired lights to their material components of housing, electronics, etc. for proper disposal. Some facilities offer services where they accept scrap metal for recycling, but this will depend on what is offered in your area.

      Hopefully this helps and that you are able to get your lights up and running.

      Thank you for your inquiry with us at Your Solar Link.

      Cheers,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

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