Solar lighting is an eco-friendly way to illuminate outdoor areas—parks, parking lots, paths, yards, you name it. Unlike other light fixtures, which harness power from direct electricity, solar lights harness their power from the sun.
But just like any other kind of light source, solar fixtures require cleaning and maintenance to function at their best. Maintaining them is key to maximizing their longevity and potency. Fortunately, maintaining your solar fixtures is a remarkably quick and easy task. Here are four must-know tips for maintaining solar-powered lights.
Clean Panels and Covers
You'll want to occasionally clean your solar panels and covers with soapy water and a nonabrasive cloth. For stubborn debris, you can also safely use a soft-bristled brush. Cleaning your fixtures keeps them looking great and functioning at full capacity. And while you're cleaning them, you can look for damage—dented metal, cracked glass, and so on. Catching damage early makes repairs less intensive and costly.
Check the Batteries and Wires
The next must-know tip for maintaining solar-powered lights is to inspect the batteries and wires. Most solar fixtures use solar batteries, which convert sunlight into DC energy and store that energy for future use. Solar batteries can last a remarkably long time, but they don't last forever. Every so often, you'll want to check your solar batteries for signs of corrosion (which appear in the form of white dust on the battery housing) or failure. If your fixture is much dimmer than it used to be, can't stay on for long periods of time, won't work at all, or has heavily corroded batteries, swap out the old batteries for new ones.
You'll also want to check your fixture's wires, assuming they have them. Wires are an attractive treat for outdoor animals, which makes inspecting them for damage a crucial part of every routine maintenance plan.
Reconsider the Location
Are your fixtures not working as effectively as you'd like? They may be in a bad location. Your solar lights need uninhibited access to the sun to work properly, and any small amount of shade can affect how much solar energy they collect. If you're worried your fixture is broken or malfunctioning, try changing the location before taking more drastic measures. A simple relocation can make all the difference!
Keep the Area Around Your Fixtures Clean
Ideally, you want to keep the area around your fixtures as clean as possible. Dirt, leaves, twigs, and other natural debris can block your solar lights’ access to the sun and limit their power. By pruning nearby shrubs and trees and picking up fallen debris, you can keep your fixtures working at peak performance.
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