SOLAR LIGHT TIPS AND TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE:
THE BENEFITS OF SOLAR LIGHTS ARE:
- Easy to install, add to, and move
- No wiring or electrical bills
- Low maintenance
REQUIREMENTS FOR SOLAR LIGHTS:
- Place in a sunny location (where the solar panels can receive direct sunlight )
- Place away from very bright lights at night
- Replace batteries as needed
Solar lights, once fully charged will turn on automatically at dusk and will stay on for at least 8 hours each night. Many of our lights will stay on till dawn. The more time and intensity of sunlight the solar light panel receives will ensure maximum brightness and run time. Time of year, weather conditions, and location will affect the brightness and run time. For best results, place your solar light unit in a sunny location during the day (where it can receive direct sunlight) and away from other bright light sources at night.
HOW DO SOLAR LIGHTS WORK?
Solar lights are designed with a built-in or connected solar panel, LED bulbs, and rechargeable batteries. During the day, the solar panel (also known as the solar collector), harnesses the power of the sun to charge the rechargeable batteries that are included with your lights. At dusk, a built-in sensor detects the level of light and turns on the LED bulbs. At dawn, the lights will automatically turn off and the cycle begins again.
CAN SOLAR LIGHTS BE PLACED IN THE SHADE?
If the solar light comes with a connected or detachable solar panel, then as long as the solar panel is placed in direct sunlight, the solar lights themselves can be placed in a shady or indoor area. The solar panel, whether built-in or connected by wires, must be placed where it can receive direct sunlight. We recommend at least 6 hours of direct sunlight for best results. Otherwise, your lights may be dim, flicker, or only stay on for a few hours.
HOW LONG WILL SOLAR LIGHTS LAST?
Solar lights can last many years with little to no maintenance. Included rechargeable batteries can last 1-2 years before needing replacement. Many models with higher capacity batteries can last 3-5 years before needing battery replacement. LEDs will last up to 100,000 hours. Most of our solar lights will stay on for 6-10 hours after sunset. Some will even stay on till dawn.
FOR MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE:
Your solar lights come pre-installed with rechargeable NiCad, Ni-MH, or Lithium batteries. The batteries will need to fully charge and discharge to reach their maximum performance. This means your solar light will reach its maximum brightness and duration. Place your lights in a sunny location as soon as you receive them so they can fully charge before installation. Note: Only use the manufacturer's recommended rechargeable batteries in your lights. *Do not use alkaline batteries. Alkaline batteries can damage your lights and void the warranty.
- Make sure your lights are placed in direct sunlight in a sunny outdoor location. We recommend at least 6 hours of sunlight for best results.
- Some units have an ON/OFF, ON/AUTO/OFF, or AUTO/OFF switch. Follow the manufacturer's instructions when charging the lights.
- Turn the switch (if any) in the ON or AUTO position. (The lights will not turn on if the switch is in the OFF position. Some units may not charge if the switch is in the OFF position. *Follow the manufacturer's charging instructions for the best results.
- In the first few days, some units may not turn on at all, maybe dim, may flicker, or may only stay on for a short period. Be patient, batteries are charging.
- Flickering lights usually mean the batteries have not received enough sunlight to charge, or the sensor is not able to determine if it is nighttime. (Example: if under trees or shrubbery--at dusk, the amount of light is not constant, therefore light may turn on and off.)
- Batteries usually arrive partially charged. Some higher-capacity batteries can take 3-10 days of direct sunlight to reach a full initial charge. After, that they should be fine.
- Check the location of your lights at night. If the solar panel is too close to bright lights, (such as street lights, spotlights, or porch lights), they may not turn on, maybe dim, or may turn on and off intermittently.
- Turning the switch to “OFF” can disrupt the charging-discharging cycle. Give your lights a full day to reset.
- Advance solar lights may still charge on partly cloudy or cloudy days, however, these conditions may limit the charging times and affect your lights’ brightness and/or run time. Give your lights time to reset to the full charging/discharging process.
- Solar lights may not charge in shade or on rainy or snowy days.
IF LIGHTS DO NOT TURN ON:The battery is the most common problem with solar lighting and the easiest to fix. When testing the battery, make sure to cover the solar panel completely or test it in a dark room so the unit will turn on.
- If your lights have an on/off switch, make sure it is in the “ON” position. Switch it to the “OFF” position, then back to the “ON” position, and leave it in the “ON” position. (Follow manufacturer instructions, for the best results.)
- Make sure your lights are placed in full sun for at least 3 full days. Some lights with higher-capacity batteries can take up to 10 days to fully charge. After the full initial charge, they will work normally every night.
- Check the amount of shade throughout the year as it tends to change naturally.
- Open the battery compartment carefully and check to make sure the batteries are seated correctly. (Batteries may come loose during shipping or installation.)
- Make sure batteries are installed tightly and in the correct direction. Verify the (+) and (-) markings on the unit with the direction of the batteries.
- To test: Replace the batteries with regular alkaline batteries for a few minutes only. Cover the solar panel. If the lights turn on and stay on—then your unit needs a new set of rechargeable batteries or may need more time to charge under sunlight. (Note: This test work may not work on units using Lithium batteries. DO NOT leave alkaline batteries in your lights. This is for testing purposes only.)
- Swap batteries between functioning units and non-functioning units to test if it is a battery issue. Then allow charging for at least one full day.
- If replacing batteries make sure you are using the correct type of rechargeable batteries.
- NiCad and Ni-MH batteries are interchangeable. We recommend Ni-MH over NiCADs.
- Units using Lithium batteries will not work with NiCad or Ni-MH batteries.
- Correct voltage is also important for your lights to perform correctly. Using the incorrect voltage may damage your lights.
- For best results, follow the manufacturer's instructions and battery recommendations.
- NOTE: DO NOT place alkaline batteries in the unit permanently. This may damage the unit and void the warranty.
IF LIGHTS DO NOT STAY ON:
- Follow the steps above to check for battery issues.
- Make sure your solar panel is receiving enough sunlight. (Cloudy days, shady areas, and the time of year may affect the performance of the solar unit.) To test if the unit is receiving enough sunlight. Move it from its current location and place it temporarily in a sunny location for 2-3 days.
- Make sure your lights are not near other bright light sources such as porch lights, street lights, spotlights, etc. (If the area is too bright, the sensor on the solar light may think it is daytime and not turn on.)
- Make sure the solar panel is clean and free from dirt, debris, or other materials that can prevent sunlight from charging the units.
BATTERY REQUIREMENTS & INFORMATION
Make sure to use the correct rechargeable batteries for your lights to maintain maximum performance and many years of use. All rechargeable batteries are not the same and cannot be interchangeable. Check the manufacturer's requirements for the best results and to prevent damaging your units. *Do not use alkaline batteries. They are not rechargeable and can leak or burst, causing damage to your solar lights and may void the manufacturer's warranty.
- NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) rechargeable battery is similar to NiCad, but with 2-3 times the capacity.
- Li-Ion (lithium-ion) batteries are not interchangeable with NiCad (nickel-cadmium) or NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) rechargeable batteries.
- Voltage is also important. (Example: a 1.2V Lithium Battery will not work on a unit requiring a 3.2V Lithium Battery. Using the wrong voltage can damage the solar components.)
- The mAh rating (milliamps per hour) determines how long the batteries will run on a full charge. A higher number is usually better as long as your lights are receiving enough sunlight to charge the battery to its full capacity.