Buying Guides

Solar Lights Explained

Written by: Ben Naughton

With no power sockets, energy bills and great illumination, solar goes hand in hand with garden lighting. Read on, as we explain the most commonly asked questions about solar lights.

We’ll start with the basic ingredients: we’ve got the sun, the solar panel, and the solar fairy lights. The sun gives out energy in the form of light, the solar panel gladly accepts this energy, and the fairy lights light up.

But why does my light have batteries in it?

All solar lights have a battery inside. The panel soaks up the sun's rays which charge the solar battery inside. This energy is then stored in the battery to illuminate your lights.

Do my solar lights need constant sunlight to charge?

Yes. We’re not saying you have to relocate to the Bahamas if you want solar lights in your garden but they do need direct sunlight to charge. We all know that British weather is unreliable at best, so help your lights by making sure the panel is not in a shady spot. During winter months it can be dark by 4pm until 8am the next morning, so ensure you're all set with all season solar lights.

How long will my lights illuminate for?

In spring and summer after a full day's charge you can expect from 6-8 hours of shine time. The rest of the year the illumination time really depends on the amount of sunlight your solar panel can absorb. If you are using a multi-function light opting for a flashing or twinkling function can enable your light to charge quicker.

How long will my solar batteries last?

Every battery in any solar product will eventually need replacing. On average they last for up to 600 charges so you’ll find that usually within 2 years a replacement is needed. If your light has stopped working most of the time changing the battery can be the simplest solution. To test if it's your battery or the light which needs replacing you can pop in a regular alkaline battery and see if your light illuminates.