Wondering why your outdoor solar light is going dim or not working even though it is all sunny? Well, the simple answer to your questions might be that your solar light just needs a bit of cleaning and maintenance.
Solar lights are a great way to light up your home, trees, and garden. But, like any other solar products, they need to be cleaned from time to time to keep them working properly.
By its name, these solar lights are used outdoors as garden lights, for walkways, and for landscape lighting. They are exposed to rain, snow, and other elements that cause them to be dirty and in some cases could cause some malfunctions.
In fact, one of the top reasons why many solar lights are not working is due to dirty panels, bulbs, and batteries. Below are simple steps on how to clean outdoor solar lights so they will continue to give you years of enjoyment.
Let’s Get Down to the Steps of the Cleaning Process:
Step 1: Prepare the Things You Need
The first thing you need to do is to gather all of the tools and materials you will need. These include a soft cloth, a brush, sandpaper, a toothbrush, gloves, and a clean towel. You should also have a mild soap, such as dish soap, some distilled water, clear lacquer, and tape.
Step 2: Remove It From Its Mounting
Once you have gathered everything you need, the next step is to remove the solar light from its mounting. This will allow you to access the other components like the solar panel and the batteries. You can work on the site where your solar light is located to look for a shade.
Step 3: Clean the Solar Panel
The solar panel is the heart of your solar light. These solar panels are where the energy from the sun is collected. With a dirty panel, maximum performance will not be achieved. The panel should be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure the maximum amount of sunlight is collected.
There are several ways to clean the solar panel. You can use a rag or soft cloth or a toothbrush to brush away any dirt or debris that may be on the solar panel. Be careful not to damage the solar panel.
If the dust is too thick, you can use a sponge with one part or a drop of vinegar to loosen the layer of dirt and grime buildup on the panel’s surface area. Use a paper towel or dry towel to wipe out the scum. Make sure to dry it completely.
Another method used for hard-to-get grime buildups in the system is to use a solvent such as acetone. Use acetone in small parts with proper care because using too much might damage other areas of the solar light.
Additional tips, keep in mind though that it is best not to use a detergent product or soap solution to remove dirt as they will leave soap scum or scales on the panel later. Use soft water or warm water instead.
Step 4: Add Protective Coating
One way to extend the life of your solar panel and at the same time protect the glass from collecting dirt is to apply a clear coat. Before applying, cover each side and other areas with tape except for the solar panel.
Once the panel is clean and free from any dust or powder, spray a layer of clear lacquer to coat the panel. This will restore your panel’s appearance and make it look good like its new. The coat protects your panel, in a way extending its lifespan.
Before taking this step, please take note to read the label of the clear lacquer for more information on the preapplication.
Step 5: Clean the Other Fixtures
Aside from cleaning the solar panel, might as well clean the other fixtures at once. The globe, the case and cover plays a vital role in protecting your solar light. They protect your solar light bulb from untoward motion from the surrounding environment.
These parts also need regular cleaning as dirty covers might reduce the amount of illumination. For the cleaning process, mild soap in a damp cloth can do the job.
Most of the fixtures and housing are made of metal or plastic. You can also choose to spray the appropriate coating to restore its luster and beauty.
Step 6: Clean the Batteries
The batteries are where power is stored, so you can use them during the night time. Over time, dust, dirt and corrosion could also build up reducing its ability to hold a charge, thus decreasing the overall efficiency of your solar lights.
Like any electronics, cleaning the batteries of your solar light should also be done regularly. To clean the battery, you need to remove the batteries from the solar light. Use gloves to protect yourself and the batteries as well.
Check the battery compartment and terminals for any signs of corrosion. Battery corrosion is indicated by a white powder formation. Mild corrosion can be removed using a brush or sandpaper with a little pressure.
If corrosion is very evident and can not be removed by cleaning, then it obviously needs replacement.
Step 7: Assembly
Once all parts are cleaned, you can now put the solar light back together. Be sure to put the batteries back in the solar light and then screw the solar light back onto its mounting.
In the end, to keep your solar lights in optimal condition, it is important to create and maintain a cleaning schedule. This schedule should take into account the type of solar lights you have, as well as the environment in which they are placed.
There you have the simple steps on how to clean your solar lights. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your solar lights will provide years of trouble-free enjoyment.