Solar lighting devices are eco-friendly and operate automatically, turning on when they sense darkness and off at the start of dawn; thus, they are off during the day and on at night.
This not only makes your backyard a breeze but also helps with electric bills and maintains a healthy environment. However, when solar lights come on during the daytime, there is something wrong with the lighting system.
If you’re presently experiencing that with your solar lights, we undoubtedly believe that you will find this article helpful. We’ve highlighted some of the most common reasons why solar lights turn on during the daytime and how to fix them.
Why do solar lights come on during the day?
Just like other lights, solar lights might misbehave once in a while. You’ll find this irritating, but the good news is that there are ways to get your problem fixed, including lights that turn on during the day. Even though some problems might require specialized kits or professional help, some of them are simple to fix.
Here’s why your solar lights won’t turn off during the day:
1. They are not exposed to enough daylight
If you use indoor solar lights, they are probably not receiving sufficient sunlight from the window panels where you place them to charge. On the other hand, if you experience the same problem with outdoor solar lights, they are not in an ideal position to receive enough sunshine, especially if shadows fall on your yard, where they are located.
Solar lights do not only require adequate sunlight to turn on but also for them to turn off on their own. Thus, the reason your solar lights might come on during the day is that shadows cut out your sunlight.
2. A dirty solar panel has blocked the light sensor
If dust and other debris accumulate on the surface of a solar panel, this will block the sensor, making it think that it is nighttime hence lighting up. This happens to outdoor solar lights that are somewhere where debris like tree leaves and other objects fall.
Solar panels that are totally covered with dirt not only prevent direct sunlight and charging but also confuse the light sensor, which cannot tell whether it is daytime or nighttime. For the light sensor to turn on and shut down the LED effectively, it needs adequate solar energy.
3. They might have a defective sensor
Even after cleaning up your solar lights, do they still come on during the day? The light sensor might be damaged or faulty, and it is time to check. Solving this can be tricky, especially if the sensor is not broken. In this case, replacing it with a new one is the way to go. At some point, a sensor may simply stop working when it has been in use over time.
Another cause of a defective sensor is that it is damaged in some way. Probably it has been hit with something hard or knocked over several times making it not work as expected.
4. Water penetration
Did you recently clean your solar lights, and with time you started noticing them light up during the day? Probably moisture or water penetrates inside affecting the light sensor.
Water could also get inside your outdoor solar lights during high humidity levels and heavy rains even though they are built to withstand any weather conditions. Since they’re exposed to the elements, water could gradually get inside, especially if the seals or casing are compromised.
In some cases, water penetrates the solar lamp because it is poorly manufactured. You can easily tell solar lights that are of low quality, as even a little water will cause them to malfunction. Typically, manufacturers put stamps of IP ratings (waterproof) on their solar lights, and the high-quality ones are usually IP44, IP65, IP66, IP67, and IP68.
5. They have faulty wires
Your solar lights are probably not functioning normally because of faulty wiring. This is common for outdoor lights because they are exposed to things like squirrels and other small animals that might bite the wires on their little adventures.
Another cause of faulty wires is poor manufacturing, wherein in this case, you’re supposed to contact the seller instead of fixing it yourself.
6. Your solar lights might have a faulty battery
A damaged or faulty battery can significantly cause your solar light to stay on during the day. If you haven’t figured out the reason why it is failing even after checking, troubleshooting, and cleaning the sensor, check the battery.
The overall performance of batteries tends to decline over time, and it might be the reason your solar lights won’t switch off during the day as they should.
6 Tips to fix solar lights that come on during the day
If you know how to fix your solar lights whenever something goes wrong, you’ll save time, energy, and unplanned expenses. Now that you have an idea of why your solar lights are coming on during the day, we’ll take you through ways to fix them. As a result, they can serve their original purpose, which is to light up only at night!
1. Place solar lights where they can receive adequate sunlight
The placement of solar lights is the key if you want them to function well. Since at night is when you truly need more light, ensure your solar lights recharge fully and don’t waste any light by turning it on during the day.
While it is obvious that outdoor solar lights need to be placed where they can receive direct sunlight, it can be a bit challenging for indoor lights. So, to ensure proper sun ray penetrates the house, you need to keep both curtains and blinds open. By doing that, the batteries will charge fully, and there will be no shadow or shade hitting the sensor, making it believe it’s nighttime and hence turning on.
2. Regularly clean the panels of your solar lights
Prevent dust and dirt from accumulating on the top of solar panels by cleaning them often. You can also reach the light sensor and wipe it. If you have never done this before, it is pretty easy and won’t take much of your precious time.
Fill a bucket with water and add a mild detergent to make it soapy. Then using a soft cloth, give the solar panels good scrubbing. Keeping in mind that this is the most delicate component of solar light, be gentle and extra care to avoid causing any damage.
If there are any stubborn stains, use a toothbrush to remove them out. Once done with the scrubbing, rinse the lights with clean water and avoid immersing them in the bucket. After doing that, the solar lights will now absorb sufficient sunlight.
3. Replace the light sensor
Other restoration hacks did not bring your lights back to functionality? It’s time you replace that sensor, as long as your solar lamp is in good condition. This is a practical and cost-effective solution for you to stop your solar light from turning on during the day.
Alternatively, if the manufacturer of your solar lights included a warranty and has not yet expired, contact them to send you a replacement of the exact model. You’ll also be lucky if they offer to come and fix it for you.
4. Dismantle the solar light and dry it off
It’s simple to do this by yourself. Carefully open the cover and wipe off the moisture. Once done, don’t close it immediately, allow it to dry for a few days, and then put it back together. Ensure that the batteries are intact, let them charge longer, and then test the results.
For those with newly purchased solar lights, please contact the manufacturer to avoid interfering with the warranty terms and conditions. They always provide the necessary replacements. Solve this case only if the warranty has been surpassed.
5. Fix the broken wires
Use a fuse or electric tape to patch wires that were bitten by squirrels back in working order. You don’t have to be an electrician to fix broken wires, so take it easy, as this is not rocket science but just a minor issue that requires a little bit of patience.
6. Try new batteries
Did you try other troubleshooting methods, but all were unsuccessful? Buy new suitable solar batteries and replace the old ones. Ensure they are compatible with the unit and are durable enough to serve you long.
Solar lights are designed to turn on at night and switch off during the day. But when they operate otherwise, you’ll find it frustrating and completely useless. If you experience solar lights that come on when it is daytime, something must be wrong. There are several valid reasons why that could be happening.
Having read this article, you probably know the answer to your question, “Why do my solar lights come on during the day,” and the good news is that you can fix it without spending a dime! It is common for solar lights to malfunction, and there is always a solution to most problems, including this particular one.