If someone ever told you that solar lights are maintenance-free, I am telling you today that they lied. Probably because they also don’t know much about how solar lights work or they possibly don’t own one. While their maintenance is minimal, it is very crucial in ensuring that they serve you for long and in the manner they should.
In this post, we will tell you why you need to regularly clean your solar lights. And while this bit is important it is most crucial that we teach you how to clean solar lights.
Why is Regular Solar Light Maintenance Important?
Solar lights are designed for outdoor use. As a result, they are usually exposed to nature’s elements and easily get dirty because of that. It doesn’t matter where your solar lights are placed, whether wall-mounted or simply path lights, they can just as easily collect dirt.
Over time, the accumulated dirt tends to reduce the ability of outdoor solar lights to receive sufficient sunlight. This might make your lights have limited light output at night, shorter periods of nighttime illumination, or in worst-case scenarios not produce any light at all.
There are three major components of solar lights that are all interconnected in order to perform. Even with each of these components having a general maintenance period specified, cleaning solar lights regularly can prolong their lifespan as well as ensuring proper functionality to deliver the highest light output.
After a long time usage, it is not uncommon during the rainy season for solar lights to show signs of water leakage that can easily cause damage once it reaches the internal components. Therefore, the more often you make time to inspect and clean your solar lights, the more the likelihood of increasing the lifespan of your solar lights as well as the time needed before the solar lights will need to be replaced.
How To Clean Solar Lights
In order to maintain the best solar lights, it is important to regularly inspect and clean them. With the number of solar light users increasing compared to those using electricity, there is a growing need to provide a detailed step by step guide on how to clean solar garden lights among others.
Things You’ll Need to Get Started
The good thing with solar light maintenance is that it requires very few basic tools to enable you to carry out an effective cleaning process. These include a few paper towels or a cloth, a soft brush, mild detergent, and a screwdriver. Having a copy of the instructions manual to help you disassemble and reassemble your solar light also comes in handy.
Parts of Solar Lights
To learn how best to clean solar lights you need to learn and understand what key components form the solar light. Here are the three major components of the solar lights.
The solar panel is the actual part of the system that absorbs the sunlight which later is converted into energy through a process known as the photovoltaic effect. To allow for maximum absorption of sunlight, the panel should not be obstructed. The panels are given output ratings in watts. This indicates the maximum output the panel gives under ideal conditions.
Batteries are another vital component in the solar lights. Their function is to store energy that is generated during the day. This energy is then used during the night when the system is no longer generating power.
This is a protective case for the actual light bulbs in the solar light. They are important in shielding the bulbs from the external environment. They are made from different materials ranging from plastic to glass.
Steps for Cleaning Solar Lights
Different products may require different cleaning methods. It is therefore important for you to check the cleaning directions from the manufacturer of your lights carefully in order for you to do the right thing.
Cleaning the Solar Panel
It is advisable for you to clean your solar panel at least once per month in order to get rid of debris or any dirt that may have collected thus blocking maximum absorption of sunlight. Here’s how to do it:
- Using a damp paper towel or clean cloth, wipe the surface of your solar panel clean. Do not apply too much pressure so as to avoid damaging the surface of the panel.
- Pour a small amount of a mild detergent on the surface of the panel.
- Gently rub the surface using a clean damp cloth.
- Using a paper towel, remove any soap from the surface of the panel.
- To prevent any dirt from immediately building up onto your panel surface after the wash, dry it using a soft towel.
Cleaning the Batteries
Solar garden lights are usually exposed all day every day to all sorts of harsh weather and elements. And as such, the batteries are likely to undergo oxidation if not removed on time. It is important for you to check the condition of your batteries frequently to avert chances of them permanently damaging your solar light. Clean your batteries using the following steps:
- Carefully open the battery compartment on your solar lights.
- Check the condition of the batteries inside. The appearance of white powder on the terminals and on the battery is an indication of corrosion.
- Put your gloves on and pop out the batteries.
- Cleaning solar lights with vinegar will help neutralize and dissolve the corrosion. Pour a small amount to the corroded areas and allow it to sit for a minute to soak in.
- Using a toothbrush scrub all the corroded spots in a circular motion to dislodge the buildup.
- Wipe off any remaining dirt with a dry cloth and make sure that the battery housing compartment is completely dry, as further moisture will cause more corrosion.
- After cleaning your batteries put them back in. However, if you notice your solar lights not working even after cleaning, replace the old batteries with new ones.
- Use rechargeable batteries designed for solar lights. Avoid using alkaline batteries as they are prone to corrosion.
Cleaning the Light Cover
When the light cover gets dirtier, the lights change in intensity and will no longer shine as bright as before. This indicates a need to clean your light cover.
- Carefully remove the light cover.
- Using a damp cloth, wipe off all the dirt.
- Use a mild detergent to remove any stains.
- Wipe off any remaining dirt or dampness with a dry cloth.
Once you have cleaned all the solar light components, ensure everything is dried up properly before you start to reassemble. Any moisture that is trapped within the solar light may cause problems. Refer to the instruction manual to guide you in putting all the pieces back together correctly.
Q1: How do you Clean Cloudy Plastic Solar Lights?
Using a soft cloth, wipe off the dust and debris first. Then lightly sponge using mild soapy water. Ensure to wring out the sponge or cloth every time you dip it in the soapy water. Finally, pat it dry or let it air-dry.
A trick to keeping the plastic always clear is to apply a very thin layer of clear nail polish. You can also spray clear lacquer.
Q2: How do you Clean Plastic off Solar Lights that Turn Yellow?
There are a couple of ways you can do away with the yellowing of plastic. You can use 2000 grit sandpaper, headlight restorer, comet cleaner, chloride bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. Either of these should give you instant results.
Q3: How do I know it’s Time to Clean Solar Panels?
When your solar lights start flickering, know that it’s time to give your lights a good clean. Another sure sign is when they start to go off earlier than they should.
Q4: I live in a Rainy Place, is the Rainwater enough to Clean my Solar Panels?
No, rainwater is not enough to clean solar panels. This is because rainwater is not clean; it contains dirt particles and other elements. If you want to confirm this, see how your car looks when it’s dried after being rained on. Rainwater leaves a residue that can be difficult to clean off when left over time.
Solar lights are a great addition to a home, brightening gardens and bringing a sense of attractiveness. As they rely on the light of the sun for power, they do not rack up huge energy bills and are thus sustainable.
However, they can quickly turn out to be a disappointment if not well taken care of. It helps a great deal to clean the solar lights every once in a while and more regularly if you live in a dusty place. The great thing is that cleaning them is so easy and you don’t even have to buy any special tool for the job.
We hope that our guide has been a great eye-opener for you and you are looking forward to teaching your family on how to clean solar lights as well. This can be an awesome family chore.
Last update on 2021-09-05 at 22:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API