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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

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

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

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

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. Sue S. Sue S. says:

    I have just a few of the very inexpensive accent lights that have begun to not ‘light up’ at night.

    My solar lights came with NiCd batteries, can I replace them with NiMh batteries? In other words, is the ‘charger’ capable of charging both types of batteries, NiCd AND NiMh or are the specific to one another?

    Also, can I use ‘standard’ rechargeable batteries or must I use ‘solar’ rechargeable batteries?

    Thank you very much,
    Sue S.

    • Guy Guy says:

      Yes Sue, I have replaced all the nicad and even the generic nimh batteries that come with the lights with the Rayovac brand that you can find any where for $10 for a 4 pack. THey even charge on cloudy days which is great.

  2. That is a really good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!

  3. Karen Karen says:

    Thanks for the helpful and informative article. Just to clarify, are there rechargeable specialty batteries that I need to purchase just for solar lights? I bought a pack of rechargeable NiMH Duracell batteries, fully charged them, and placed them in my solar string lights. No luck with anything lighting up. The solar panel gets full sun.

    • Donna Donna says:

      Hi Karen. Just read your Blogsite. Awesome information which helped clarify alot of things for me. My question is – when I opened the cover of my solar lights, thre was rust at both ends. My lights have failed to work at night for a while. I had the mechanism in full sun all day and had a beautiful display for 4 months. Will CLR be ok to remove the rust b4 I put in new batteries? Thank you.

      • Hello Donna,

        Not sure who Karen is, but….. :)

        You could use CLR as a solvent to help remove excess rust from the battery terminals and battery box contact points. Just be sure not to immerse the light or battery box in the CLR as it may damage internal components such as the circuit board, etc. We recommend using a fine steel wool to try and mechanically remove dirt/rust before using a chemical method (such as CLR, WD-40, etc.) Just be sure that the light is completely dry before putting in the new batteries.

        If you had the lights out for only 4 months and the batteries/battery box became encrusted with rust, then you may want to seal off (as much as possible, anyway) that part of the light after you have done the cleaning procedure and put in new batteries. Solar light batteries should last about 2 years.

        Hopefully this helps and we appreciate your comments.


        Mario @ Your Solar Link

  4. Anne Finegan Anne Finegan says:

    Even though I have replaced my solar lights with rechargeable solar batteries, they only light up for 24 hours. The reason is they stay lighting during the day as well as night time. What am I doing wrong ?

  5. Anne Finegan Anne Finegan says:

    Even though I have replaced my solar lights (several times) with rechargeable solar batteries, they only last for 24 hours. The reason being, the lights stay lighting during the day as well as night time. What am I doing wrong ?

    • In regard to the batteries only lasting for a day, even when rechargeable batteries are used, you may have a defective solar light. You did the right thing by changing the rechargeable batteries, so you are not doing anything wrong there.

      One thing to check is the type of rechargeable batteries that you are using as replacements. Be sure that if your original batteries were NiCd or NiMH (Nickel Cadmium or Nickel Metal Hydride, respectively) that you are replacing with these specifications. Some solar lights use LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate, or Lithium Ion, more commonly). Do not use the Lithium batteries in lights that require NiCd or NiMH. Lithium batteries are more powerful (Voltage) and will fry the components (specifically the LED) in your solar lights in a matter of seconds. We tested this and there is no turning back once the damage is done, other than to replace the LED, which can be complicated and impractical in most cases.

      Another problem with the lights staying on for 24 hours and not recharging may be that the specified duration of the replacement batteries may not be same as your original batteries. You will see this as a measure of mAh (milliAmp hours). This just means that the charged battery will put out energy for a longer duration, with higher mAh ratings lasting longer for a given solar light’s requirements. But this doesn’t sound like a potential culprit to your situation.

      A third problem may be that something internally is wrong with the solar light and it is frying the batteries, regardless of whether or not the correct batteries are being used. In this case, you may want to return the solar light or discard it if your warranty period has expired.

      Once again, thank you for your questions. We hope to have been of some assistance with the solar light. Let us know if you have any further questions, we do our best to help.


      Your Solar Link Team.

      • Angela Cheater Angela Cheater says:

        You say never to use LI-ION in place of NIMH. However, I can’t find a replacement locally (in Phuket, Thailand) for my leaking 3.2V 250mA LI-ION solar light battery, so can I use 1.2V 1200-2000mA NIMH instead? Stepping down the voltage shouldn’t fry the circuitry, right? But would it work??

        • Hello Angela,

          We had responded to your other inquiry regarding your battery situation, so this will be a quick recap….

          You could use NiMH batteries in series. However, to achieve the 3.2 Volts of your Lithium batteries, it will not possible with 1.2 Volt NiMH batteries (2 NiMH batteries will produce 2.4 Volts, which is too low. 3 NiMH batteries will produce 3.6 Volts, which is too high.)

          Using a higher rated mAh capacity won’t make a difference in the amount of energy your lights will store. The original battery only stores up to 250 mAh-worth of energy. A higher rated mAh battery will cost much more and the light won’t necessarily stay on any longer at night per its design parameters (number of LEDs and size of solar panel).

          Hopefully this helps with your battery search and that you are able to get the light up and running again soon.


          Mario @ Your Solar Link

  6. Anne F Anne F says:

    Why do my solar lights stay on day and night, solar batteries used.

    • Hello,

      The photoresistor may be functioning improperly. It (photoreceptor) could also be damaged or obstructed with debris/dirt, which will hinder its purpose of turning the light (LED) off during the day. Once in a blue moon the photoresistor in solar garden lights will “think” it is dark all the time, hence the LEDs are always on. This could be just that the part is bad or that it is not connected to the internal circuitry. The only thing this will do is decrease the life of the rechargeable batteries, so you will need to replace them (probably) once a year.

      Sorry to hear that the light is having this issue, but it should not affect the overall functioning of your solar lights. Hope this information helps with your situation.

      Your Solar Link Team

    • Hello,

      The photoresistor may be functioning improperly. It (photoreceptor) could also be damaged or obstructed with debris/dirt, which will hinder its purpose of turning the light (LED) off during the day. Once in a blue moon the photoresistor in solar garden lights will “think” it is dark all the time, hence the LEDs are always on. This could be just that the part is bad or that it is not connected to the internal circuitry. The only thing this will do is decrease the life of the rechargeable batteries, so you will need to replace them (probably) once a year.

      Sorry to hear that the light is having this issue, but it should not affect the overall functioning of your solar lights. Hope this information helps with your situation.

      Your Solar Link Team

  7. Seth Johnson Seth Johnson says:

    Very good blog, thank you so much for your time in writing the posts.

  8. don asher don asher says:

    is there a special charger for any of these batteries

    • You may be able to charge the batteries in a plug-in device. However, the batteries that are in solar garden lights are meant to stay in the light. The solar panel on the fixture delivers the energy necessary for the batteries to be charged during the day so that they may light up the LED(s) at night. It is recommended to leave the rechargeable batteries in the solar light they are intended for. We hope this helps with your inquiry.

      Your Solar Link Team

      • Steve Steve says:

        Are you saying that you should not recharge the batterys? Your article says to charge them every 3 months for longevity.

        • Hello Steve,

          Yes, you should charge NiCd batteries frequently if they are not in the lights (thus, being used every day). NiCd batteries tend to acquire a “memory effect” where infrequent and incomplete charging will cause them to attain a lower capacity. This will decrease the efficiency and ultimately the life of the battery. NiMH batteries however do not suffer from the “memory effect” and can be stored for longer periods of time without frequent recharging. Typical storage times for NiMH batteries ranges from 3 to 5 years. However, it is recommended with any battery to use them right away (if possible) in your solar garden lights, regardless of the chemistry (NiMH, NiCd, Lithium, Lead Acid, etc.)

          Just be sure that when recharging the batteries, it is done in the solar light itself. Do not use a home charger (120 Volts) as those are intended for rapid recharge rates and will damage batteries designed for low recharge rate solar lights.

          Hopefully this helps to clarify and we appreciate your comments/questions.


          Mario @ Your Solar Link

  9. Elvis Elvis says:

    Do I keep the switch on “off” only during the first couple of days after I put in a new battery? Is it better to switch the light to “off” every day?

    Could you please explain the “off” and “auto” positions as far as the battery charging up each day?

    • Hello,

      The switch you are referring to sounds like it may need to be in the “auto” position. Depending on the light you have, you may just want to leave it in the “auto” position all the time. Once the light is in use, you don’t need to turn it off every day. That is the function of the photoresistor that is built in to solar lights (larger products have a different system, but for the sake of consumer products, a photoresistor is used). Sometimes a light may stay on during the day as well as the night. This means that there is a problem with either the circuitry and/or the photoresistor. If this happens, the battery life will be cut in half (as it is running during both the day and night) and will need to be replaced more often (probably every year instead of every two years, as would be the case for a properly functioning light).

      Hope this helps with your questions and best of luck with your solar lighting project.


      Your Solar Link Team

  10. Trish Trish says:

    Are there any solar outdoor lights that don’t require a battery? I want to put the panel on the roof and don’t want to gave to retrieve it to recharge batteries.

    • Hello Trish,

      Yes, there are some lights that have a lead (pronounced “leed”) wire that separates the panel from the battery unity/light. The Solar Security Light and the Garage Sensor Light are two that can are capable of mounting the solar panel away from the “operating” unit. But, depending on if the light is to be used over an entry door and your building is two-storeys or more, then the lead wire may not be long enough (it can be extended, but that will require a little wire splicing) for these lights.

      As far as lights not requiring batteries, there are none on the market that we are aware of. The process of solar lights is that sunlight is collected via a solar panel. This sunlight is converted into electricity which is stored in rechargeable batteries. Once the sun is set, a photoresistor built into a solar light unit recognizes that it is dark and automatically turns the LED (light) on, using the energy from the battery to power the LED. During the night, this energy will be used up (the batteries only hold a certain amount of energy, depending on the system) and the whole process repeats in the morning. This is all with the current technology that is available to us as consumers. It may change in time as new methods are developed and newer technologies become affordable.

      Hope this answers your question and best of luck with your solar lighting project! :)


      Mario Villalobos
      Your Solar Link Team

  11. Julie Julie says:

    The solar cell on top of the lights have degraded so much that they no longer work. Can the cells be replaced? And where do I get the cells?

    • Hello Julie,

      Sorry to hear that the solar panel has weathered for the worse. This will happen with some solar lights that use a plastic covering over the panel (as opposed to glass), rendering the panel inefficient and not able to convert sunlight into electricity as it should. (I am assuming the covering is of the plastic variety).

      In response to your inquiry, yes, the cells can be replaced. However, this would be a job for someone who has some circuitry experience and the tools to make it happen. I have seen individual solar panels (small enough to fit a solar garden light) at Fry’s Electronics (if you have one of those types of stores in your area). You would need to get the specifications of the output of your existing solar cells and match it to one that is sold at Fry’s, etc. I checked their website and don’t see it listed, but I have seen them there.

      So, it can be done. It will just need some searching for the part and the time/patience of replacing the solar panel. Depending on the light (quality, brand, age, price, etc.), an alternative solution may be to replace the entire light with a new one. If the light is older and has deteriorated, there may also be problems with the internal workings (circuitry, wiring, photoresistor, etc.) that you may want to replace it entirely.

      If you do end up discarding the light, it can be recycled (the whole thing, you don’t need to take it apart). We refer people to the following for recycling: Merciel Materials, LLC, 106 Cedar Lane Drive, Lexington, NC 27292. Lights can be mailed to them and they will recycle the components accordingly.

      Hope this information helps. We would like to keep people in the loop of sustainability and environmental awareness as much as possible. Thank you for your inquiry and best of luck with your project. :)


      Mario Villalobos
      Your Solar Link Team

      • Randy Randy says:

        Try clear enamel fingernail polish on the panel after cleaning it. This will aid in removing the white film from cracks scratches and being weathered.

      • christie christie says:

        Trick-use clear nail polish over the old plastic. Britens up old dull plastic that won’t collect sun and allows sun to recharge your light again!!

        • Christie,

          That sounds like a good idea. We haven’t tried this method yet. How does the nail polish hold up under the test of time (sun, weather, etc.)? You may have come up with a very effective fix for those lights whose panels are weathered. :)

          Thanks for the tip.


          • Nigel Doherty Nigel Doherty says:

            I have used ‘Humbrol’ model making clear MATT varnish spray on older plastic solar lights that had the panel go dull. I first gave them a light rubbing with really fine ‘wet & dry’ emery paper (800 grade) to allow the varnish to ‘take’ then sprayed 2 coats. been going for the past 3 years, they are now on their 4th set batteries. They are cheap enough but I like to fix things rather than dump them. Hope this helps. The spray varnish gives a nice thin coat that has not weathered so far.

            • Hello Nigel,

              That sounds like a great solution to panels that have become opaque with time and exposure to the elements. Once the panels are gone, then it is an almost guaranteed sign that the lights are rendered obsolete (finding replacement solar cells can be cumbersome). With simple techniques such as yours, solar light owners will be able to extend the longevity of their lights and enjoy them for years.

              Thank you for your comment and valuable experience with keeping the panels operational.


              Mario @ Your Solar Link

  12. Donovan Donovan says:

    Hi solar light expert,

    I just bought my set of solar lights and been using them for about three months now. Its the type with 8 lights and one solar panel. I’ve been noticing that they are really dull recently. They still light up but is very dull compared to how used to light up when new. Its only been a few months since i bought them. Could it be the battery ?

    Thankyou in advance!

    • Hello Donovan,

      It could be that (as you mentioned) the batteries are no longer working at their full capacity. Sometimes when a light is purchased, a span of time has passed since the battery was initially charged, what with time on the shelf at the store, shipping, etc. Typically batteries are pre-charged in store/on-line bought solar lights. The type of battery used also will have an effect on this lag time between charge and use.

      If your light uses Ni-Cd (Nickel Cadmium) batteries, they will acquire a “memory” for their storage capacity and overall life. These are the least expensive rechargeable batteries on the market for solar lights. By memory, we mean that if the battery is charged to half its capacity by a short charging cycle (cloud cover, half-day’s charge, etc.), then the battery will “think” that this is the peak capacity it can carry and will use that as an optimum the next time it charges, even if the solar light is in a full-day’s sun in following days.

      If your light uses Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries, they will not be affected by the “memory” problem as with their Ni-Cd cousins. These will charge to their full capacity when the sun is in their favor. On cloudy days, they will charge to partial capacity. But once Helios rolls through the sky again, they peak at their expected charge capacity. These batteries are a bit more expensive (albeit, not a lot compared to others out there), but are a better alternative that can be used in Ni-Cd accepting solar lights. Note: Do not mix the batteries together (if the solar light uses 2 or more), use either all Ni-Cd or all Ni-MH in your solar lights.

      A third alternative are the Lithium Ion batteries. These are the batteries in the brick house (think of the Three Little Pigs) for small-scale solar lights used around homes and gardens. These put out a higher voltage and typically produce a brighter light. But, and this an important point, they are not to be used in solar lights that require Ni-Cd/Ni-MH batteries. Lithium batteries will fry your Ni-Cd/Ni-MH solar light LEDs in a matter of seconds! We’ve tested this and there is no turning back once the damage is done. Well, there is a fix, but you will need some knowhow to change the circuitry/LEDs as well as the parts. It’s not worth the risk, so be sure you replace your batteries with proper specifications.

      A fourth battery on the market is the Lead Acid battery. These are not your typical garden solar light battery and are another ball of wax, but generally produce the brightest light with regard to garden and landscape solar lights. They have the highest Voltage output and store more energy, therefore are the most expensive in the family to replace.

      That all being said (there actually could be more, but we’ll suffice with the above), another problem with the low/quick output of light from your solar lights could be that the solar panel is either obstructed with dirt/dust or that it is partially covered in shade during the day when it should be getting full sun (they will typically need at least 6 hours of full sun to give a good return at night). The final problem could be the quality of the components (circuitry) of the solar lights. A better engineered product will usually last longer (years) than an inexpensive product. Some solar lights on the market are very inexpensive, but with that comes low light output, low battery life and eventual breakdown of the system.

      We hope this helps with your question. Best of luck with your solar lights. Let us know if you have any more questions with your set. We are here to help and inform.

      Thank you,

      Mario Villalobos
      Your Solar Link Team

  13. Richard Faarnbach Richard Faarnbach says:

    Have 2 solar bedside lights – one works fine the other switches on but then goes out. Switch on – switches off. what could cause this. The lighs are the ones from Barefoot Solar Lights provided to African kids but the person I bought from is not connected with business anymore.

    • Hello Richard,

      There are a few things that may be going on with your lights.

      First, if you are switching the light to the “on” position and it is going off (assuming it is on momentarily), then the batteries may not be charging properly. In this case, there are a couple of issues that may be affecting the performance. The wiring may be disrupted, thus the batteries may not be charging to their full capacity during the day, so what you see when switched on is a “ghost” flash of any residual left in the battery. Another battery culprit could be that it is “on” during the day, effectively using up the charge that should be stored for the evening hours/use. This may be the result of a faulty photoresistor, where the light “thinks” it is dark during the day, rendering it as a non-functioning photoresistor.

      Second, the switch for the “on/off” positions may not be making a full connection. This may be tested by wiggling the switch in the dark to see if the light stays on in the dark. Sometimes the circuitry gets worn out with time and use, especially if the switch is manually activated every night.

      Third, the batteries may have expired. Typically rechargeable batteries in smaller solar lights are good for about 2 years of continued/daily use. If you replaced the batteries and tested various batteries with the same result, the problem may be with issues 1 or 2 above.

      We are not affiliated with Barefoot Solar Lights, and so are not able to exactly pinpoint what the issue may be with their line of lights. But, if you are looking for replacement lights, please visit our website at We can ship to countries in Africa if you are interested in our line. We also test our lights regularly for QC and remove any that may be problematic from our store, thus giving customers the best lights on the market at affordable prices.

      We hope to have been of some help with your inquiry and wish you the best of luck with your lighting issues.

      Cheers from California!

      Your Solar Link

  14. Sksingh Sksingh says:

    My solar lights are working ok for the last three years, however one of them I noticed lights up during day and switches off in dark!
    Can I repair it ( or the local electrician), if yes how?

    • Hello,

      We have seen this in the past with some lights. It may be a matter of the life-expectancy for particular lights (think of the expression, “you get what you pay for”. Meaning, a more expensive light will generally outlast a less expensive one; due to materials used and the craftsmanship that was put in to the design and construction of the light.) With the issue of lighting up during the day and going off at night, this sounds like an issue with the photoresistor. It may not be “switching” as it is intended to, thus simultaneously using up the battery charge during the day (to keep the lights “on” when it should kick in at sunset).

      Another issue may be that the photoresistor is being bypassed altogether. This would mean that electricity is going directly from the solar panel, through the batteries and ultimately to the LEDs. This would be fine and dandy if we were lighting up interior lights during the day, but the whole point of solar garden lights is to light up our exterior spaces at night. Those photoresistors can be really pesky….

      As far as repairing, it may be more trouble than it is worth. Solar garden lights are typically not very expensive and are intended to be untampered with. By tampering we mean that they should not need to be fixed. If they do (for situations like these), it may be best to replace them, if that is an option for you. There are stores and websites that sell components of solar garden lights (here, probably you would need the photoresistor). You may try this option if the light is salvageable and you would like to give it a go with fixing it, but it will take some knowhow and above all, patience (the parts are small and not generally easy to work with). However, photoresistors are not always the problem, so it could be something else in the circuitry that is causing the issue you described. But more than likely, it looks to be the photoresistor.

      We hope that this helps with your lighting matter and that it works out for you.



      • SKSingh SKSingh says:

        Thanks for your information it helps to know these things. Just for the sake of trying (the lights are any way bad!) I will check if reversing the photo resister connection works? I will simply cross patch these and see.
        Thanks .

        • SK Singh,

          You are welcome. We are always learning new things and are happy to be of assistance. We have noticed that many comments/concerns are along the lines of faulty photoresistors. We’re not sure if what is coming out of the manufacturer’s warehouses is bad technology or if they are using a system of fabrication that produces less-than-adequate photoresistors.

          Thank you for your reply and best of luck with the cross patch.


          Mario @ Your Solar Link

      • Davisgal Davisgal says:

        I also am having the same trouble. When I got my lights I put them on the on button. I started to notice that they looked like they was on during the day. And when it got dark they went off. So I thought I would turn them all back to off till dark and turn them back on at night. Do you think that will work? These were very expensive metal solar lights. And I’ve lost my recite so I can’t exchange nor refund. One I put my hand on top of it and it came on. So I brought the others in the house when it was dark. And the switch was still on the on button at that time. But, as soon as I brought them in the lighted house. Sure enough they was as bright as can be. So as for now I have them turned off during the daytime. Do you think they will work and be ok if I turn them on in the evening? I know it defeats the purpose of lighting up my walkway. But I can’t afford to go and buy another set :( your opinion would greatly be appropriated. Thank you

        • Hello Davisgal,

          It sounds like there is a problem with the photoresistor (generally now a part of the solar panel component) that is the root of the problem. If your lights are on during the day and go off at night, then the battery is for sure using energy during the day that it should be storing for the evening. So, if it is on (at all) during the early evening hours for a short time and then goes off, then the photoresistor is bad and will render your lights ineffective (the desired effect is to have them on through most of the evening hours.) If you bought them from a big chain store (Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc.), then there is a chance that they would do an exchange given that you no longer have the receipt (if that is within their policies for exchanges of damaged or malfunctioning merchandise.) It may be worth it to give that a chance before going to the extent of manually turning them off and on for each day/night. Manually operating them defeats the purpose as you said, but it is an option if the store won’t do the exchange.

          Sorry to hear that you are having this issue with your lights. It seems to be more common than it should be with garden solar lights. It may be that quality control for many products on the market isn’t up to par and we are seeing the result of this, as many of us are attempting to be more sustainable and eco-conscious with our home products. Don’t give up just yet. If you can, try to do the exchange with the store you bought them from and see if that will remedy the problematic lights.

          Thank you for your inquiry and question with Your Solar Link. We hope you can get your lights up and running again soon!


          Mario @ Your Solar Link

  15. ingrid ingrid says:

    Could you add one more thing to the Info section –
    How to fully charge up your batteries when you buy a new light.
    I was told to put it out in the sun for a day, remove the battery at night. Put the batteries back in the morning and charge up again.
    This is to fully charge up the battery so it works properly.

    So therefore you need to own a screwdriver, and an alarm clock to take the lights in and out!

    • Hello Ingrid,

      You make a valid point. We had not included that procedure as it is atypical for most garden solar lights sold here in the US (and what we assume the rest of the globe). Generally, solar garden lights sold at stores and online are “ready to go” when you get them. Meaning that the batteries are usually pre-charged so that you can put your lights in place without any “conditioning” of the battery(ies) already installed in the light. Some lights have a little piece of paper that needs to be removed when you buy them from stores. This is just to preserve the charge that is already in the battery while it is sitting on the shelf (for however long the store takes to sell it) and can be used immediately when you get home and put it in your garden/landscape.

      As far as the procedure you described, there are some lights that do need to these steps of preparation in order to initially charge the battery. These are the Lead-Acid variety and are used to store enough energy for the brighter lights out there (Lithium batteries hold a good charge, but they generally don’t need the conditioning procedure. At least, we’ve never heard of them needing it.) Some of the lights at use the Lead-Acid type and will generate the brightest light for the price on the market. But when using these types of lights, it is very important to follow the instructions included with the light to ensure that the battery gets the proper initial charge, as this will determine the performance thereafter.

      In reference to your steps above (charge during the day, take batteries out at night, put them back in next day), you may just need to turn the switch to the “off” position instead of taking the batteries out (usually there are switches to make it easier for users to turn their lights off and preserve battery energy storage). If your particular light does not have a switch, then yes, you would need to take them out. But charging them for a full day should be enough to give them the “memory” (this is typical for NiCd batteries) they need for the remainder of the battery life (about 2 years of continued use). Two days of pre-charging for NiCd/NiMH/Lithium Ion batteries isn’t common practice for solar garden lights here in the USA. Your lights should be ready to go right out of the box.

      We hope this helps with your inquiry and suggestion. If your particular light indicated to take the steps you listed, then it would be best to follow them as directed. Otherwise, you should be good to go with your new lights.



  16. peter peter says:

    I have 2 sets of solar LED string lits from Lowes, one stopped working except for 5 bulbs next immediately following the solar chnarger. I immediately checked batteries, one was low compared to the other 2 (1.2V ea) NiHi so I placed 3 regular 1.5v betteries in to chk any difference. no difference, I then replace the solar batteries and fussed with the batteries, by moving them while in contact, all of a sudden all lites lite up, they stayed on all seemed well, I then screwed the plastic solar panel together and when I was finishing with final screw all but 5 lites were lite and no matter what I have tried theremaining bulbs (I think there are 100 on the set) are out. One would think there is a cut in the wire etc, I find none. I then took a probes from my multi meter and penetrated the wire insulation on the pos. and neg wires and after the last lkite buld I find no current, but there is current up thru the lite bulbs. Any ideas?
    I am scratchig my head as to why they worked and now 95% of the string lamps won’t light.
    any ideas I will appreciate it.

    • Hello Peter,

      It sounds like the batteries and terminals are functioning properly (as you tested with non-rechargeables and had no change in the performance of your string lights; thus eliminating batteries/terminal as a culprit). Being that you tested the current with a multimeter, then it may be that LED #6 could be the culprit. If you tested the last LED (#100) with a multimeter and found no charge, then it could be that there is no electricity running through LEDs #6 to #100.

      If you are mechanically/electrically inclined, you may want to cut the wire after LED #4 and splice it back to, say, just before LED #7 (effectively bypassing anything happening around 5-6 and before 7, as this could be where the break is located). This is only a suggestion and is not to be taken as the only fix to your situation.

      But the most probable fix to this situation may be to return the lights to Lowe’s and exchange them for a comparable (or the same, if they have them) product. This is all assuming they will accept the exchange, but that is entirely up to the store and their policies.

      Hopefully this helps with your string light dilemma. We have not seen this in our testing nor have we heard of it from any past customers/commenters. It may be one of those rare situations that can be remedied with some splicing out breaks in the string. Best of luck with your project!



  17. Laurie Laurie says:

    what happens when you use a 3.2v battery in a 1.2v device?

    • Hello Laurie,

      If you use a higher Voltage battery in a lower-rated device, the circuitry and components will be overloaded and could permanently damage the device. We tested this with a solar light that used 1.2 Volt batteries. When we put in a 3.2 Volt Lithium ion battery in the light, the LED illuminated to an intensity higher than normal, but quickly (a matter of seconds) burned out. Essentially, the LED was overloaded with charge and it was destroyed by the higher Voltage that went through it. There are a number of components that could be affected by the higher Voltage battery, but the one that was noticeably damaged was the LED.

      We recommend that you do not put a 3.2 Volt battery in your 1.2 Volt device. It will render it useless and permanently damaged.

      Hopefully this helps with your inquiry/question. We are happy to help!


      Mario Villalobos
      Your Solar Link

  18. Lowell Gwin Lowell Gwin says:

    I use the stuff that you use to clean weathered headlight plastic to clean my solar lights

    • Hello Lowell,

      We are always learning more every day and your comment is tops. We have heard of several methods (toothpaste, vinegar, etc.) to clean solar panels and the plastic housing for light fixtures. Your solution works very well. We tried it on some of our older lights and they cleaned up quite nicely.

      Thank you for the tip!



  19. Sylvia Sylvia says:

    Hi…I switched my new lights off to charge the battery then went away for a couple of weeks now they dont light up at all….Have I fried the batteries..??

    • Sylvia,

      It is not clear why the lights won’t illuminate at night. It could very well be that the batteries were overloaded for two weeks and we not able to drain as designed. Switching the on/off switch that is designed into lights breaks the circuit between the batteries and the LED. So, if energy was put into the batteries every day for two weeks, they could have been damaged by the overcharging. This is probably the only component in the light that would be affected, so a quick replacement of the batteries should do the trick.

      Best of luck with your lights. If you need batteries, please visit for some of the cheapest prices online (or even in stores).



  20. D.Stone D.Stone says:

    I have pencil style solar light. I have taken it apart as it has stopped working. But inside the round ‘head’there is are two screws, an on off switch. Having removed this I find a small little processor board, but no space for a battery. What is going on? If it works without a battery, why has it stopped now?

    • D,

      We haven’t heard of any light not using a battery. For a solar light to work during the night, it will need to store the energy collected during the day. The only thing that we can think of on the market that stores “light” during the day are products which use phosphorescent materials (think glow-in-the dark products like glow-sticks, etc.) But this is not going to give off light in the way that LEDs do. As for your pencil-style solar light, it could be that the rechargeable battery is not the traditional size or style. Some products use button batteries (like in a watch). Being that your light is small, it may be that the battery is not so obvious and it may actually be incorporated into some other part of the light.

      Hopefully this helps with your question. Best of luck with your light!


  21. M.R. Malacca M.R. Malacca says:

    I bought several solar garden lights , but I plan to store them for a while. I took off the batteries & stored them fully charged. Should I have them fully discharged before I store them? Many thanks

    • Hello M.R. Malacca,

      You may want to leave them fully-charged out of the device (light). This way the charge will slowly drain and may even have some storage left when you eventually install them. When you get to that point, it may be best to install them at night and turn the light “on” so as to drain/use any residual storage before a full-day’s charge. This way you can avoid any “memory” problems that NiCd (assuming that’s what you have) batteries experience.

      Best of luck with your lights and we hope this information helps.


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  22. susan susan says:

    Can I replace the 1.2V ni-mh 600mah rechargeable battery in my solar lights with a 900mah battery? I am having trouble locating the 600.

    • Hello Susan,

      Yes, you can use a higher rated mAh battery in your solar lights. Just be sure that you stay with the property chemistry (i.e.: if your existing battery is a NiCd, you can replace it with either another NiCd or even a NiMH. Just don’t use Lithium, they are more powerful and will fry out your lights). If you are looking for replacements, has some of the lowest (if not _the_ lowest) priced batteries on the market.

      Best of luck with your batteries and we hope this information helps.


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  23. Amanda Amanda says:

    we have just brought some new solar lights and from memory on the old instructions i had always thought that they need to charge for the 1st couple of days in the “off” position for them to fully charge, but these ones say “to charge leave in the on/auto position” does this sound right?

    • Hello Amanda,

      It would depend on the particular set of lights that you have. If they came with instructions indicating that a 2-day “off” charge was needed, then it may be best to follow this protocol.

      However, most solar garden lights on the market use batteries that are pre-charged and do not need the 2-day step, so they are ready to go out-of-the box (just put the new batteries in your lights and leave it in the “on” position.) From what we know, the only solar lights that need a memory charging are those that use lead acid batteries (some of the security and spot lights on our website use these) and they come with very specific instructions on charging procedures. If your solar garden lights use batteries that are either NiCd, NiMH or Lithium, then chances are that they do not need to be pre-charged before turning them into the “on” position.

      Hopefully this helps with your inquiry/question.

      Thank you,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  24. My solar lights stay on all day My solar lights stay on all day says:

    And go off at night?? I don’t get it, I have the same 2 sets of 3 lights with 1 panel for each, one set works perfectly the other is confused with night and day.

    • Hello,

      Yes, we have been receiving numerous comments regarding the malfunctioning of solar lights with similar symptoms. From what we can gather, it is an issue with faulty photoresistors. Typically this component is built into the solar panel. So replacing a malfunctioning photoresistor would require the replacement of the solar panel. And this can be a tricky feat of electrical knowhow and patience. If you notice that the LEDs are “on” during the day (for the faulty lights), then it is probably the photoresistor.

      Sorry to hear that your lights are not working properly. We hope our information above helps with your light and decision on what to do with them.


      Your Solar Link Team

  25. Brian Brian says:

    I’m in the UK. My solar lights stopped working and I figured that they needed a good charge so I turned them off and allowed a few days charge. When I switched on they lasted for a short while but went off after an hour or so; now they only come on for about a second and go off again. The battery is AA but 3.2v and li lion. I inserted a normal AA battery to see if it would work but didn’t even come on. When I put the old 3.2 back in, it did the same 1 second and gone. do you know a manufacturer of 3,2v AA rechargeable batteries and do you think that the battery is the problem – it is all about 2 years old.
    Best regards

    • Hello Brian,

      From your comment/inquiry, it sounds like your Lithium ion batteries have reached the end of the “life” cycle and need to be replaced. When you put in the other AA battery, they may have been the more common NiCd or NiMH battery that is found in many solar garden lights. These batteries are typically rated at 1.2 Volts. Therefore, it is likely the test batteries didn’t have enough power to illuminate the LED in your light. As for the light only turning “on” for a second with the Lithium battery, then the LED is probably using a residual charge that is left in the battery. Eventually it will not go on for even that last second. 2 years is the expected life of most AA and AAA batteries for solar garden lights, so it sounds like you may have reached that mark with your lights.

      There are replacements for Lithium ion batteries on the market. We do have them on in packs of 10 our website/store, but it may be more cost-effective for you to find a supplier closer to you (we are in San Diego, California, USA) so that you could save money on shipping. But, if you would like to purchase with us, send an email to us at with the specifics and we will put together the best package available for you.

      Hopefully this helps with your battery issue and we appreciate your inquiry with us.


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

      • Brian Brian says:

        Very kind of you to take the trouble to respond to me. You are right of course, the battery is too old and knackered, bit like me really ! ! Many thanks and very much appreciated.

  26. MaryAnn MaryAnn says:

    Thanks. This article was VERY helpful. I wasn’t sure what the battery situation was with my solar glass ball lights but LOVE Them and want to keep them rather than add them to the landfill which too many people do. Thanks again for the fix. I’ll put it to use tonight!!

    • Hello MaryAnn,

      We are pleased to hear that you were able to troubleshoot the battery issue with your solar glass ball lights. Almost all solar lights on the market are designed to have the batteries replaced at the end of their typical 2 year life cycle. It is just a matter of opening the proper compartment on the light to get to the batteries (we have found that some are easier to access than others). :)

      Thanks for your comment and we hope that your solar glass lights are working again!


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  27. Barbara Barbara says:

    I have changed the batteries and they still don’t work one of the problems is I “wiggle” them work. The glass globes also have liquid in them. Should I return them ( oh they also have rust on them). They do work if turned upside down however!?

    • Barbara Barbara says:

      I have changed the batteries and they still don’t work one of the problems is I “wiggle” them work. The glass globes also have liquid in them. Should I return them ( oh they also have rust on the outside). Plus there is moisture inside the glass domes. They do work if turned upside down however!?

      • Hello Barbara,

        In addition to our previous reply to your question, you will need to be sure that the water is completely out of the globe and that it is dry before sealing the wire-to-globe point. Once water is not able to get into the globe, then the LED should illuminate as intended, assuming that the LED and the wiring is not permanently damaged by water.

        Thank you for your questions and inquiry.


        Mario @ Your Solar Link

    • Hello Barbara,

      It sounds like your solar glass globes may have some connectivity problems. Being that there is water in the globe, a short may be preventing the LED from illuminating. If that is the case, you may want to seal up the area where the wire runs into each globe. A good sealant that we have used in the past is silicone gel (can be found at Home Depot, etc.) as it is pretty easy to work with and dries relatively quickly. Be sure to wear gloves when working with silicone gel as it can get a little messy if too much is applied.

      Also, that you have to “wiggle” the batteries may be a sign of occluded battery terminals. If they (terminals) are rusty, you may want to clean them as much as possible with steel wool or another non-chemical abrasive.

      Hope this information helps and gets your lights up and running again. We appreciate your inquiry and questions.


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  28. Joy Joy says:

    I have just bought some solar led’s which can be switched from flashing to static but keep flashing even on the static mode. Any ideas? Thanks.

    • Hello Joy,

      If your lights are flashing regardless of which mode they are in seems to be indicative of a faulty circuit board within your solar garden light. If the light goes on, then you can rule out a faulty solar panel, photoresistor and battery. But being that it flashes in either mode would be something that you may not be able to repair. That being said, you may want to consider returning them to the store where you purchased them for a replacement/exchange (if you are still within that window of opportunity.) It is not common that solar garden lights have this issue, but it can happen.

      Hopefully this helps with your inquiry and that you are able to get your lights into the static mode as intended.


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  29. Tim Tim says:

    Hi I bought a box of lights and after two days they stopped working. I put regular non rechargeable batteries in to test it and they work fine. However when I put the old batteries in another light they also work after recharging for a day. I put new rechargeable batteries in the lights but they don’t go off during the day and also stop working by the next day. Could this be the photoresistor?

    • Hello Tim,

      Yes, it does sound like a faulty photoresistor. We have been receiving numerous inquiries with this problem all too often and are not sure if the materials/components that are being supplied from overseas are not up to standards. We have noticed that many solar light users are having this issue with the LEDs being on during the day, then working for an hour or two after sunset before turning off for the rest of the night. If they are on during the day, then the battery is just using the energy it is collecting during the day to “fuel” the LEDs during daylight. This defeats the purpose of why we all have solar lights in our gardens and patios. It could be an industry-wide issue where quality control needs to be stepped up in order to ensure that we don’t keep having this problem with our solar lights.

      If you keep having this issue and you just purchased the lights, then you may want to consider returning them for an exchange/refund from the seller. If you do an exchange and the new lights have the same issues, then it could be that the batch of photoresistors that were used in that particular light/manufacturer are bad. In this case, you may want to get a refund and try to find another supplier/manufacturer to continue your exterior illumination projects and additions.

      Hopefully this helps with your inquiry and question.


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  30. Glen Glen says:

    I have lights that will come on but will stay on only a few minutes. With multimeter, I know the batteries are charged. When I remove the battery and re-insert, the lights will come on again but again only for few minutes.

    • Hello Glen,

      If your batteries are charging during the day and exhibit a reading with the multimeter, it may be that they are being drained during the day. We have received numerous inquiries regarding lights that are on all day and then last for a short time (usually an hour or so) after sunset. If you notice that the light (LED) is on during the day, it could be that the lights have a faulty photoresistor. In this case, the batteries are simultaneously charging and discharging during the day, which is why they will only last for a short duration at night.

      To test this, check the charge of the battery just before sunset. If the charge is at full capacity, then it is not the photoresistor (otherwise, the battery would be drained down to the lower end of its capacity). If the battery is fully charged and the lights are not on during the day, you may have a faulty connection between the battery terminal and the circuit board/LED.

      One last troubleshooting you may consider is the age of the batteries. Typically, solar light batteries will last up to 2 years with regular use (If you keep your lights out all year long).

      Hopefully this helps with your battery situation and that you are able to get your lights back on again soon.


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  31. Mike Pozniak Mike Pozniak says:

    Got some solar lights a Canadian Tire. Batteries are 3.5 volt. They don’t handle them if they ever did. Can’t find any anywhere. Anyone know where I can get some.

    • Hello Mike,

      If the batteries you have are the typical AA size (2 inches long), then you may be looking for Lithium Ion batteries. Typical Lithium batteries have a Voltage rating of 3.2 Volts (not sure why there are the extra 0.3 Volts on your batteries) per battery. Check to see if your batteries specify the Lithium chemistry. If so, we have the 3.2 Volts on our website at under the Rechargeable Batteries tab.

      Best of luck with your search for the replacement batteries.


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  32. SMiller SMiller says:

    Where can I get a replacement 2-AA battery holder with the little diodes & stuff in it? Bought a bear holding a solar lantern last fall and the battery holder got wet and corroded beyond repair (I tried)while in storage over last winter. I hadn’t even put batteries in it, not wanting to do that till this spring when I put the little guy in the garden. Something like this shouldn’t be this hard to find, but I haven’t found one anywhere. Help?

    • Hello SMiller,

      If you are looking the change out the battery holder, you may want to check online using Google and the Shopping tab for Battery Housing.. We were able to find various configurations using that tool, but you may want to navigate a little to see if one of those will fit for your solar bear lantern. Just be sure that all of the specifications for your existing battery housing component match with what is available online.

      Best of luck with getting your bears back on for your garden!


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  33. kevin kevin says:

    I have a 40 led solar garden spot light…. after a hard rain I noticed it wasn’t working right… after I checked I noticed the solar panel was full of water… after I drained it, it worked ok for the first hour… then started to flicker… strobe like. What can be done to fix this flickering effect?

    • Hello Kevin,

      If your fixture has become compromised by water damage, the best solution would be to remove it from future water sources (rain, sprinklers, etc.) and let it dry out completely (say, a week or so. This depends on your local climate conditions.) Keep the light in the “off” position to preserve the battery charge during this time. After the drying period, turn it back to the “on” position. If the flickering has stopped (as all of the water should have evaporated from the panel), then you may want to put a little bit of clear silicon (you can get it at most hardware stores, Home Depot, etc.) around the housing of the solar panel and where the wire leads out of the panel out to the spot light (remember to wear some type of latex gloves or similar when working with the silicon, it can be quite sticky and is a pain to wash off of skin). Basically, you will need to reseal all the potential openings where water might penetrate into the light at the solar panel as well as the spot light fixture itself. You may want to also do this procedure for the battery compartment, as water may have infiltrated that component of your solar lights.

      If, after the drying period, the light still flickers, you may have a short somewhere in the circuitry. This will require a little troubleshooting by removing rust from battery terminals, on the circuit board and anywhere else that looks like it may have water damage. If it still flickers, then it may have permanent damage in one or more of the components. In which case, you may need to replace the light entirely. But a little troubleshooting and patience may be enough to get your light back up and running. Also be sure that your rechargeable batteries are current/up-to-date (they have a typical life-span of about 2 years).

      Best of luck with your solar lights and we hope to have been of some help.

      Thank you,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  34. Mike G Mike G says:


    I have invested in A LOT of new solar/battery lights in the last 2 months: some are less than a week old. A set of 8 I purchaed at Home Depot &/or Lowes use rechargeable batteries. Lately, thet go off after a couple of hours past dusk, some almost simultaneously. However, if I tap several of them a few time – bingo! – they light up fine & bright: but only for a couple of minutes. Then out again. These are all new, as noted. I played with removing, adjusting, wiggling & cleaning the contacts – or slightly adjusting the (+) & (-) contacts, too … Same problem returns. Some models work ok, as it goes, but there are always one or two that quickly fail. All attempts to tweak them, as noted, still result in many of the set of eight going out totally after a short time. They are all too new for just a bad rechargeable set of (various) types of rechargable batteries. I really have tried everything; and will continue to do so – I love my patio at night! But – many of these well-sun drenched lights go off, depending on which set/brand, now. Some – like the big-panel spots fail to light up for more than an hour or two. Not what is advertised. I am disappointed, sure. I don’t want to take them all back for a (big) refund. But am running out of ideas. As noted, I have tried many of your advice ideas, and will try a few more. Why would tapping many of these suddenly result in bright white LED illumination, only then a few minutes later, off they go again! Any further advice will be GREATLY appreciated!!! Thanks!

    • Hello Mike G.,

      It sounds like it is probably the rechargeable batteries that are the culprit of this situation. As you mentioned, you had cleaned the battery terminals and are still having the same problem of a short working duration at night (if any illumination at all). Some lights that are in stores may have been there for some time. Additionally, they may have been in transit from China (a typical supplier of many lights in stores and online) and could have been on the warehouse shelf for a period of time before reaching Home Depot/Lowes here (assuming you are in the USA). Depending on the battery chemistry, they will retain some charge during this resting period. Pre-charged batteries are typically installed in solar lights for consumers, but the charge will trickle and drain (to what level depends on the resting period).

      If the batteries are NiCd chemistry and you are having the issue of a short nighttime illumination period, then you may want to replace them. NiCd batteries tend to develop a memory, so if they were sitting in the light for all that time with no charging, then they could be in need of replacing as the memory will only charge to a lower level that is not the designed or desired capacity of the batteries. NiMH tend to not have the memory effect. So, we recommend perhaps changing the batteries on one of the problematic lights to see if this will remedy their situation. When changing batteries, be sure that the chemistry and ratings are the same as the originals. For instance, if you have AA NiCd 1.2 Volt 600 mAh rechargeable batteries, use replacements with these specifications.

      If you have a light that uses AA NiMH 1.2 Volt 800 mAh rechargeable batteries, replace with those specifications. And so on. But be sure not to use Lithium batteries in a light that requires NiCd or NiMH. Lithium batteries (generally) have a higher Voltage rating and will fry out the LEDs and circuitry of NiCd/NiMH lights in a matter of seconds. Batteries are relatively inexpensive and are most commonly the culprit of operational issues with solar lights. We do have NiCd and Lithium batteries on our website here if you are looking for replacements. We do not have NiMH at the moment, but you can use NiCd in lights that originally had NiMH. The difference between the two is the memory effect, the toxicity of NiCd (they require recycling at drop off locations at places like Best Buy, Target, etc.) and the price (NiCd are typically less expensive). They all have a life of about 2 years of continuous use.

      Hopefully this information helps and that you are able to get your lights up and running again soon. Thank you for your comment and inquiry with us. We are here to help.


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  35. Ralph Dusi Ralph Dusi says:

    Thank you so much for bringing this to our minds eye. This is a good article piece with a lot of information, good content!

  36. danski rhamos danski rhamos says:

    Hi Sir,

    My solar light last only for 2 minutes, what seems to be the problem eventhough they are charging in full bar during daylight.

    Pls help me, appreciated thanks

    • Hello Danski Rhamos,

      There are a few things that could be causing your lights to go off after only 2 minutes. One is that the photoresistor is not functioning properly and is causing the charge to go directly from the solar panel during the day through the battery and into the LED. If this is the case, you will see the LED working (light will be on) during the day. So, the energy isn’t storing as it should in the battery during the day to energize the LED at night.

      The second issue may be that the battery is at the end of its life-cycle (typically about 2 years for rechargeable batteries in garden solar lights.) If you have had the lights for about 2 years and have never changed the battery, then it may be time to do so if your light isn’t staying on during the evening hours.

      The third possibility could be that the solar panel is occluded and needs to be cleaned. Some people use a clear lacquer to create a non-occluded surface directly on the solar panels. Others have used clear nail polish. Both of these methods will enhance the surface through which sunlight penetrates into the silicon panels below. There are other ways to clean/enhance the solar panel surface, so it may be a preference for each person.

      It also could be a combination of all of these circumstances above. Usually the batteries are the primary cause of solar lights not staying on during the evening (assuming they are on for at least a short time after sunset.) But a little troubleshooting should help you to figure out what is causing the short duration of illumination at night.

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


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  37. Gary Gary says:

    hello – can solar garden lights be charged up indoors under the low voltage but very bright strip lights under my kitchen light pelmet if I sit them on the worktop for a few hours?

    • Hello Gary,

      Yes, solar garden lights can be charged with indoor lights. The solar panel would need to be placed as close as possible to the indoor light source and for most of the day in order to get a noticeable charge. It won’t charge as effectively (or as much) as if it were in the sun, but it will work to a degree. The sun is hard to beat when it comes to photons, but if it is cloudy/stormy out, then an indoor light will charge solar garden lights (again, to a certain degree).

      Thank you for your inquiry and best of luck with charging your solar lights! :)


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  38. Judith Judith says:

    I have solar lights that also use rechargeable batteries, my lights can change by a flip of a switch from clear to multi color, I have had them only 6 months. When we put Christmas lights out , I changed to the multi and they haven’t worked since. I put new batteries in just to so I could test and see if it was the batteries and they still don’t work. Now before I put the battery in I had it turned upside down and touched it and they would work , as soon as I put it back on post it won’t work, any suggestions ? Thanks you

  39. Dave Dave says:

    does anyone know where i can purchase spare large screw solar bulbs to go in a solar lamp post please.

    • Hello Dave,

      In reference to suppliers for solar lamp post bulbs, you may need to check with the company from whom you purchased the lamp post. If it is just a standard incandescent screw-type bulb and you want to upgrade to a solar bulb, you may find those (typically) at the big-box stores or online. However, if the manufacturer of the post designed the system to take a specialized bulb, you may want to contact the company directly.

      Best of luck with finding your replacement bulb. LEDs are a very efficient, and at the moment a bit more expensive, light bulb that will outlast their incandescent predecessors.


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  40. Leta Leta says:

    from what I am reading – I think you are saying – not to recharge the colar rechargeable batteries in an
    electric charger, which I use for other AA batteries –
    we have had so little sun this winter – and almost all the batteries could use a boost

    • Hello Leta,

      It is an option to use a home charger for solar light batteries, however, we recommend not using that as it may damage the battery. Home chargers will generally recharge at a higher rate, whereas solar garden lights typically are designed to charge batteries during a full day of sun (say, 8 hours). Wall chargers may have a cutoff to where it doesn’t overcharge batteries, but as a rule, we recommend using the intended device (solar garden light, etc.) to recharge your batteries for such devices. If anything, it might be best to change the batteries out of the solar light with the unused/shelved batteries for one cycle if you would like to maintain a charge. After that is completed, replace them with the original batteries.

      Also, if you have NiMH rechargeable batteries, they have a typical shelf life of anywhere between 3 and 5 years. However, they may lose their initial charge by about 50% after 6 months in storage. So, to get them back to the 100% capacity, simply charge them under a full day’s sun. Note: this applies to NiMH rechargeable batteries. NiCd rechargeables may acquire what is known as a memory effect and could charge to a lower capacity if not used on a regular basis.

      Hopefully this helps with your inquiry and that you are able to get your batteries charged accordingly.

      Thank you,

      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  41. nikki nikki says:

    Why solar light doesn’t change colors? It just glows white

    • Hello Nikki,

      Some lights on the market are designed to switch between a steady white light and a changing color light. If yours is of this design and the switch is not activating the color-changing mode, then it may be an issue within the circuitry of the light. It could also be that the color-chaning LED is bad/broken. In this case, you may need to replace the light if you are looking to have the color option. Changing out an LED is tedious and not always an option (especially a color-changing LED).

      If the white LED does work, then it is not an issue with the solar panels, batteries or battery box. It is either the switch or the LED itself for the color-changing mode.

      Hopefully this helps with your question and that you are able to get your light replaced.


      Your Solar Link Team

  42. Pam Pam says:

    I have a lovely copper solar light that I would like to keep but it has quit working. I have changed the batteries, cleaned it and all of that but it still doesn’t work. Do the lights or light bulbs quit working and can they be replaced?
    Thank you.

    • Hello Pam,

      It sounds like you took the right steps to trouble-shoot the copper solar light (they look so nice with copper finishes). As for the next step, you may want to put in a regular battery (non-rechargeable) with the same specifications of mAh, Voltage, chemistry just to see if it is getting electricity/current from the battery to the LED (bulb). If the LED does not illuminate after this test, then it may be something along the path from the battery terminal to the LED that needs to be addressed. Generally, circuitry issues are not something that most people are familiar with in order to fix the light. It may also be more trouble than it’s worth to replace circuitry as those parts are specialized to each light design and may be very difficult to find.

      Yes, you can replace LEDs, but it isn’t going to be easy. First, you will need to find one that is similar to what is in your light. Second, you would need to have the tools (and patience) to take the light apart and solder the new LED in place. LEDs generally don’t go “bad” on solar garden lights. They are rated (typically) at 50,000 hours of use, which is about 11 years at 12 hours per night operation. However, there is always the unlikely possibility that the components within the light have gone bad, thus rendering the light expired. If this is the case, then the next best option may be to replace the light altogether (if the store you purchased it from still has them available).

      Hopefully this helps with your question/inquiry and that you are able to get your copper solar lights back up-and-running again.


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  43. Deenie Deenie says:

    I am looking for replacement battery “pack” for our solar sensor lights…not the small kind that you put in the ground but these are mounted on the exterior of the house. These particular batteries come in a “pack” that is 4 batteries wrapped together and have wires connecting all the batteries together and have a wire with a plug in that connects inside the housing of the light….please give advice where I might find them….

    • Hello Deenie,

      You may be able to find the replacement packs online via Google Shopping, etc. There is a website called (link to their pack selection here: can be a bit pricey, but this gives you an idea of how to word your google search for the exact pack (mAh, voltage, etc) that is specified on your existing battery pack.

      Hope this helps to get your lights back up and running.

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



  44. Brian Brian says:

    I just purchased a set of 8 solar lights and they came with 400mah NIMH batteries. Can I replace these with 600mah NIMH rechargeable batteries. I was told at Lowes I could but I did not want to damage the LED. Please respond quickly as I am somewhat ‘in the dark’ right now.

    • Hello Brian,

      Yes, you can replace the 400 mAh capacity batteries with 600 mAh batteries. One thing to keep consistent when replacing batteries is the chemistry. For example, you can use NiCd batteries in a light that came with NiMH batteries (and vice versa). If your light uses 2 or more batteries, be sure to keep the chemistries the same (say, use either 2 (or more) NiCd, or 2 (or more) NiMH. Not one of each). As for the mAh capacity ratings, you can use a higher rated battery. It’s generally a bit more expensive to do so, and the light probably won’t perform much (if any) better by using a much higher rating. Reasons for this are that the solar panel may not be large enough to collect a higher capacity of energy and the LEDs won’t be any brighter.

      As for Lowe’s answer to your question, they are correct (in that you can replace a 400 mAh with a 600 mAh battery(ies).) You wouldn’t damage the LEDs by using a higher mAh capacity. The thing to watch out for (as far as damaging the LEDs) is the Voltage. Your lights from Lowe’s may use the typical 1.2 Volt batteries that are common on the market. However, if your lights were to use Lithium batteries, then the Voltage rating would be 3.2 Volts (NiMH and NiCd batteries used in solar garden lights use the 1.2 Volt rating). If you were to use a Lithium battery in your light, then the LEDs will certainly burn out (in a matter of seconds. We have tested this.) In that case, the light would be rendered damaged and would need to be replaced. In short, using Lithium batteries with a higher Voltage would be the only way that you could damage the LEDs in your lights.

      For your type of lights, we recommend using NiMH whenever possible. They are not considered toxic, as are their NiCd counterparts. Furthermore, NiMH do not acquire the “memory” effect that is typical with NiCd batteries. So, NiMH are more reliable and safer for the environment. And just an FYI, Your Solar Link does carry the NiMH batteries, if you are looking for replacements for your lights (if you haven’t already purchased replacements.)

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


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  45. diane diane says:

    Can I use a regular battery instead of a rechargeable one?

    • Hello Diane,

      Our apologies for the delayed reply. In reference to your question, no, you should not use regular (alkaline) batteries as a permanent replacement in your solar garden lights. Alkaline batteries are intended for slow discharge over a long period of time. This is in contrast to rechargeable batteries that are designed for repetitive (and relative to alkalines, rapid) discharge. By using alkaline batteries in a solar light, the reverse of load (toward the battery) by the solar panel will disrupt the natural process of the alkaline’s discharge direction. The batteries will eventually die out and may develop a large amount of corrosion at the terminals and in the battery box of the solar light.

      Hopefully this helps and that you are (were) able to find the correct rechargeable batteries for your solar lights.


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  46. Vincent L. Vincent L. says:

    Hello, reat info here1
    I have a number of solor lights that have on the switch on bottom (off,6h,&10h) listed. Im assuming the (h) stands for hour,but not sure and i wonder why i wouldnt always opt for the (10h) all the time.

    • Hello Vincent,

      Our apologies for the delayed reply. As for your inquiry, the option to set your lights at 6 and 10 hours of operation (as well as simply “off”) sounds like a feature that will maintain the light’s autonomy. This means that on a given charge, the light will have enough energy (if at the 6 hour setting) to operate for a second night, assuming that there was inclement weather on day 2. Otherwise, if all the energy was used on night 1 (setting at 10 hours operation), then a cloudy day the following day may not generate enough electricity to be stored in the batteries for night 2. We haven’t seen this option that often for solar lights on the market. It may come in handy in situations where you want to conserve electricity for a “guaranteed” night’s illumination by using the 6 hour option. Also, it allows for the light to turn off (at the 6 hour setting) when most people are asleep and not able to enjoy the benefits of nighttime illumination.

      Hopefully this information helps and we appreciate your patience with our response.


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  47. Patty Patty says:

    We just bought new batteries for solar lites….we have had 2 bright sunny days…..still not charging. What can we do…The lites were a pricy set. HELP! Thanks

    • Hello Patty,

      Our apologies for the delayed reply. As for your inquiry, it sounds like it may be an issue with the type of batteries you are using. Typically, the more expensive lights on the market use Lithium batteries for storage. They run at a higher Voltage (usually 3.2). So, if you replaced the batteries (assuming the light uses Lithium) with NiCd or NiMH rechargeables, then there is not enough Voltage to active the LEDs as NiCd/NiMH run at 1.2 Volts. Doing the reverse (putting Lithiums in a NiCd/NiMH light) will actually burn out the LEDs in a matter of seconds. So be sure that you are using the right chemistry when replacing the batteries.

      You can interchange NiCd for NiMH (and vice versa). If your lights use 2 or more batteries, be sure to use 2 (or more) NiCd, or 2 (or more) NiMH. Don’t use 1 NiCd and 1 NiMH (2 batteries total) in the same light.

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



  48. glenn glenn says:

    Hiya all.
    Regarding the garden led light staying on even though it’s daytime.
    I myself had this issue with one of my outdoor lights.
    When I took the light apart to investigate, I found that two of the
    four legs which came from the led had a slither of solder shorting
    them,as soon as I cut this away every thing worked fine.
    Its just something I think happened during production.
    Hope this helps.

  49. Michael Lynch Michael Lynch says:

    Hello. I’m having a problem with some of my solar garden lights. I noticed that they’re turning on during the day and shutting off at night. What could be causing them to do this???

    • Hello Michael,

      This is a recurring issue that we have been receiving comments on regarding the designed operation of solar lights. What may be happening is that the charge is going directly from the panels through the battery and further illuminating the LEDs during the day. This causes the LEDs to be illuminated for only a short time after sunset (if at all) with residual charge, which defeats the purpose of the light. It is a design issue where the photoresistor is integrated with the solar panel (High load in the day, energy stored in battery. No load at night, energy redirects from battery to LEDs). Some lights come with a separate photoresistor that is built into the housing on the light. So the issue of integration is eliminated and the separate photoresistor can do its job of turning the LEDs on at night and saving battery energy as intended.

      There may be other issues, but this seems to be the most common. Hopefully this helps and that you are able to get your lights up and running soon.


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

  50. two of my 3.2 volt solar lights do not come on at dusk even though the batteries are fully charged.i remove the batteries and put them back right away and they come on again.What could be the problem?

    • Hello Linda,

      If you are seeing the LEDs come on immediately after replacing the batteries, only to have the light go off again shortly thereafter, then it could be that the battery is using trickle charge to get that last bit of energy to the LEDs. Our first guess would be the battery life. If you have had the light for about 2 years (typical lifespan of rechargeable batteries), then it may be time for their replacement.

      But, if the light is going on and staying on after you have replaced the battery (3.2 Volts, sounds like you have Lithium rechargeables), then it could be that the battery is falling out of its position in the battery box when you turn the light into its upright position. If this is the case (lights on when upside down, lights off when right side up), then you may want to try placing a small piece of styrofoam (or something similar) between the battery and the battery cover. This will help keep the battery in place and it should stay on, assuming that is what is happening.

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


      Mario @ Your Solar Link

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