Solar lights are products that can convert light from the sun and turn it into stored energy in the form of batteries or accumulators to power a light bulb. One of the many advantages of solar lighting in your yard is that it doesn’t cost much to maintain them. One of the things you need to keep in mind, though, is to make sure the lights are clean. So how to clean solar panels on garden lights?
Why Should Solst Lamps Need Cleaning?
Sunlight is made up of many components that work together to perform their roles and distribute light over an area of your yard. Since solar lights are designed for outdoor use, they are exposed to the elements of nature and can easily pick up dirt and yellowing.
It doesn’t matter where your solar lights are placed: wall lights can get dirty just as quickly as solar street lights. Cleaning your solar lights regularly can extend their life, but can also ensure each component is working correctly to deliver the highest possible light efficiency for your garden or walkway.
In general, three main components of solar light need maintenance: the solar panel, the battery, and the plastic or glass housing. Even if these three components have a general maintenance period specified for each, it is best to clean the lights after significant weather events, such as heavy rainstorms.
It’s not unusual even for solar lights with an excellent waterproof rating to show signs of water leakage, which can easily damage the light when it reaches the internal components. As a general note, the more often you check and clean your solar lights, the more likely you are to increase the product’s lifespan.
How to clean solar panels on garden lights?
STEP 1: CLEANING THE SOLAR PANEL
Solar panels are the essential part of the system that absorbs sunlight that can later be converted into energy. Depending on the design of your solar lights, these panels can be parallel to the ground, creating a favorable surface for dust, debris or other things to get on top of it. When solar panels are obscured, they can no longer absorb sunlight effectively because the sun’s rays can no longer reach their destination.
Knowing how to repair and clean the solar panel of your lights is a straightforward process and you should do it at least once per month, even more often if the situation calls for it.
- To clean the solar panels, you can use a damp paper towel or a clean cloth.
- Wipe the surface of the solar panel clean, making sure that you do not apply excessive pressure or apply any force that could damage the surface. If you are cleaning your solar panel free of debris, be aware that the use of force may result in scratching the protective cover of the lamp.
- After the panel’s surface is free of any debris, pour a small amount of mild detergent (regular dish soap should do the trick) onto the surface of the solar panel.
- Take a clean damp cloth again and gently wipe the surface of the control panel. Think of this process as if you were washing a very fragile dish.
- Once this step is done, continue to remove soap from the panel’s surface with a damp cloth or paper towel.
- If necessary, use a dry cloth to dry the solar panel entirely and thus prevent dust from accumulating on the panel’s surface.
STEP 2: CLEANING BATTERY
When dealing with solar lights that basically “live” outdoors, the possibility of the battery lying in a humid environment is very high. As a result, they are prone to oxidation and if not removed in time, they can permanently damage the luminaire.
Generally, you should check your batteries at least every three months, although it’s better to check them more often (especially if you live in a humid climate or rainfall occurs frequently).
- Open the battery compartment on your solar light and carefully examine the batteries inside.
- If you notice a layer of white powder on the metal surface, it is a sign of battery corrosion.
- You must remove the battery from its slot and use a soft brush to clean it. You should also do the same with the inside of the battery compartment, as this fine white powder may also be present.
- If you’re having trouble removing white powder, you’ll need something more abrasive than a brush, such as fine sandpaper. Whatever method you use, you need to ensure that both the battery and the holder are clean from any corrosion.
- Before placing a new battery inside the compartment, you need to ensure that the case is completely dry, as higher humidity will only cause more corrosion.
NOTE: After cleaning the corrosive battery, you can also put it back inside the compartment. However, if you notice your solar lights are not working even after the storm and case have been cleaned, it means it’s time to replace the old battery with a new one. Make sure that the battery you purchase is compatible with your solar light (the user manual should provide all the necessary information in this case).
STEP 3: CLEAN THE LIGHT COVER
Just as the solar panel uses some protective cover that will shield it from the external environment, the actual lamp of the fixture is also protected. This protective cover is called a light cover and as it gets dirty, the light changes in intensity and is no longer as bright as you would like. The steps to clean the lamp cover are the same as the steps to clean the solar panels.
With 3 steps in cleaning solar lights above, BSLG has helped you answer the question: How to clean solar panels on garden lights? In addition to the three main components that need to be cleaned regularly if you want your lights to function properly, you’ll also need to regularly clean the entire lighting fixture.