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Why do my Solar Lights Come on During the Day?

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

why do my solar lights come on during the day

Do you see your solar lights come on in the daytime? When I noticed my solar lights came on during the day, the first thing I did was to search the Internet for possible solutions. Lo and behold, I’ve seen many other people having the same issue.

Now, you might be asking “why do my solar lights come on during the day.” To make things simpler for you, I rounded up the possible reasons and solutions for this question.

The Light Sensor is Dirty and Faulty


Light is likely not to reach the light sensor if it’s dirty. It might be mistakenly sensing the dirt as nighttime. You often encounter this if you haven’t cleaned your solar lights for a long time. Another cause is that heavy rainstorms picked up much dirt and smudged your light sensor.

Debris and leaves that have fallen could’ve blocked your sensors. If you place your solar lights near bushes or trees with wide leaves, this is one of the things you should check out.

Cleaning your solar lights whenever you have the chance is the solution. Ideally, you should clean them once a month. You simply need a water hose and let the water remove all the accumulated dust and dirt.

You can also use a mild detergent or soapy water and a sponge to scrub your lights clean and rinse them using your hose. By doing this, your lights can absorb much sunlight.

There is also a high probability that your sensor is malfunctioning. There might be a manufacturing defect if you’ve only had your solar lights for a short time. You can check the warranty that comes with them.

If it’s past the expiration of the warranty, you can look at the wirings inside because they might have been damaged and resulted in a short circuit. You can only do this by opening your solar lights. Preparing special tools in advance is also recommended.

The Solar Lights aren’t Installed Properly


When you put up your solar lights, you might’ve placed it in an area where there isn’t enough sunlight. As a result, your sensors automatically turn on the lights. It could’ve been installed where a part of a large tree covers it or where there are shadows.

You should keep in mind that before light sensors can be used, they need much sunlight. Thus, placing them under the shade is a bad idea because they will not turn off.

Solar yard lights should ideally be exposed to the sun for at least 6 hours straight. This charging time is enough to fully charge the batteries and make them last throughout the evening.

However, check out my article on the solar light for shade I’ve used that will help you find the right solar lights for you even if you place them under the shade. Moreover, read our latest guide about the top-rated solar string lights and the most favorite solar flagpole light.

The Light Sensors’ Sensitivity is too High, and The Duration is too Long


Check the sensitivity settings of your sensor and make sure it’s not too high. If it is, your solar lights will turn on even with the presence of light shadows. If a bug landed on the sensor, it can automatically sense the bug’s shadow as darkness.

Check the light duration settings of your lights if your model has one. This indicates the time your solar lights are turned on when the sensors trip. Usually, the duration is 10 seconds to 1 hour.

This results in your solar lights turned on for a long time. It’s because the sensor gets repeatedly tripped by the slightest shadow.

The Override Switch is Turned On

Most models of solar lights have an override switch. It can supersede your light sensor and turns your solar lights on regardless if it’s daytime or nighttime. Consider checking if you made a mistake of turning it on.


There are many causes why your solar lights come on during the daytime. As you noticed, all these issues are easy to resolve, so much money or time is not needed. Some of the things you can do to improve your solar lights are as follows:

  • Clean your solar lights regularly.
  • Put them in areas without shade.
  • Check the light sensitivity and the light duration settings, and if the override switch is turned on.

In my solar lights’ case, I just needed to give them good clean. After that, they’ve been working well.

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