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How Long Do Solar Lights Take to Charge?

Written by K. Miller / Fact checked by J. Fussell

How Long do Solar Lights Take to Charge

Times have changed, and more and more people are shifting to solar lighting solutions since they are more economical to use and eco-friendly.

Many homeowners nowadays utilize solar lights to illuminate indoor and outdoor areas adequately. While you may initially spend more, you’ll reap the benefits they offer in the long run. Once installed, you’ll no longer worry about paying steep electricity bills every month.

However, when installing solar lighting systems at home, it is a must to learn more about operating them; including how long do solar lights take to charge, which often take four to twelve hours.

What Do You Need to Learn more about Charging Your Solar Lights?

Solar-powered fixtures work more outstandingly if they are positioned in spots with an ample amount of direct sunlight. In addition, when installing them, you need to keep them away from shadows, tall trees, and high-rise buildings so that they could ensure a full charge.

To be fully charged, most solar lighting products generally require four to twelve hours. Take in mind that solar light batteries offer adequate power to enable sufficient illumination at dusk. Such solar lighting devices provide lighting once they discern low levels of light, usually after twilight.

Is It Necessary to Charge the Solar Lights before Use?

Sure thing, we are always excited to use any new product bought and installed at home. While it is normal to feel impatient using your newly installed solar lights for the first time, brace yourself and charge them before use.

It is not recommended to use solar-powered lights immediately. Manufacturers recommend allowing the solar lighting devices to be exposed to direct sunlight for roughly 5 to 10 cycles. This means you’ll need to charge them in the daylight and discharge them at night.

Meanwhile, when recharging after operating for the whole night, it will take approximately 4 to 6 hours. In doing so, this approach will significantly help the battery to charge to its maximum capacity. After doing this, you will be delighted to see that the solar lights can light up for at least 8 hours, from sunset to sunrise mode.

Can Siting and Panel Tilt Angle Affect the Charging Efficiency of Solar Lighting Devices?


Yes. In general, the solar panels are situated on top of solar-operated fixtures. Even though weather conditions and geographical locations remarkably affect the solar panel’s output, there are straightforward steps to maximize your solar light’s performance.

To fully charge the solar panels, position the solar-powered fixtures in an outdoor spot where there are six to eight hours of direct sunlight exposure every day. Be sure to place them in areas free of roofs, walls, trees, or other shady spots. Note that shady locations can obstruct and reduce the solar panel’s output during the daytime.

Aside from this, the panel tilt angle of some solar-operated fixtures, such as solar spotlights and solar motion security lights can be adjusted to allow more sun absorption.

For instance, in the US, solar light users set the panel’s tilt angle to roughly 45-degrees in winter months and 30-degrees in summer months. Generally, the solar panels must face south.

Do Dirty Solar Panels Affect Charging Efficiency?

Yes. It is essential to regularly clean the solar panels to keep them free of any direct buildup. A filthy solar panel won’t be able to charge the battery fully. Hence, this could minimize the maximum performance and lifespan of the battery.

Not to mention, operating solar-powered lights covered with dirt and debris may cause the solar lighting unit to malfunction. So, to sustain optimal performance, you should clean the panel using warm soapy water and soft cloth regularly. It is also equally important to clean snow off the solar panel in the winter seasons.

Additional Tips to Ensure Efficient Charging

  • Proper Storage Placement

It is beneficial to store the solar-operated fixture to obtain some sunlight or artificial sunlight per day. This is because the battery requires light to sustain a charge during storage.

  • Charging and Discharging

During extended storage, the solar lighting devices must be completely charged and discharged once every month. If it is impossible to do this, consider removing the batteries and changing them when ready for use.

  • Avoid Dark Room or Box Storage

It is not recommended to store the solar lights in a dark room or a box without a light source on the solar panel.

This is because storing the solar lighting units in a dark room or a box can impair or degenerate the battery’s capability to hold a charge.

  • Battery Replacement

As a rule of thumb, the rechargeable battery can be replaced every two years to guarantee its optimal capacity to hold a charge. However, if you live in regions with terrible weather conditions and long winters, it would be better to replace the batteries annually.

Can Freezing Temperature Affect the Charging Ability of Solar Lights?


Yes. Solar-powered lights are not well-outfitted to handle terrible snow and freezing temperatures. This is why it is strongly suggested to store them inside during the coldest seasons. Since winter months cover the solar fixtures with snow, it becomes difficult for the solar lighting devices to sustain a charge.

In the same way, freezing temperatures can affect the battery’s lifespan. Longer nights and less daytime can significantly affect how long the solar lights can illuminate.


Generally speaking, a lot of people utilize solar power to illuminate their indoor and outdoor areas. So, typically, when buying solar lighting products, the thing that worries us the most is if they’re capable of lasting for an extended time. We also often ask, how long do solar-powered lights take to charge?

Are solar lighting systems worth the investment? The delightful news is that investing in solar lighting devices can be more eco-friendly and cost-effective in the long run. Hopefully, the information we provided in this post can help you select the most suitable solar lighting system options for your household.

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