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 OF SOLAR LIGHTS:
· Place in a sunny location (with 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 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 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 installing.
- 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 unit have an ON/OFF, ON/AUTO/OFF or AUTO/OFF switch. Follow the manufacturer's instruction 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 best results.
- In the first few days, some units may not turn on at all, may be dim, may flicker or may only stay on for a short periods. Be patient, batteries are charging.
- 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, spot lights or porch lights), they may not turn on, may be dim or may turn on and off intermittently.
- Turning the switch to “OFF” can disrupt the charging discharging cycle. Give you your lights a full day to reset.
- Advance solar lights will still charge on partly cloudy or cloudy days, however these conditions may limit the charging times and affect your lights’ brightness and run time. Give your lights time to reset to 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 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.
- 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. 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.)
- Swap batteries between functioning units and non-functioning units to test if it is a battery issue. Then allow to charge 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 steps above to check for battery issue.
- 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 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, spot lights, etc.
- 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 units for maximum performance and many years of use. All rechargeable batteries are not the same and cannot be interchangeable. Check the manufacturer's requirements for best results and to prevent damaging your units.
- NiMH (nickel metal hydride) are 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) batteries.
- Voltage is also important. (Example: a 1.2V Lithium Battery will not work on a unit requiring a 3.2V Lithium Battery.)
- The mAh rating (milliamps) determines how long the batteries will run on a full charge. It may also determine how long the batteries will last before needing replacement. Higher number is usually better.