1. Is the light turned on?
Many solar lights have an On/Off switch. Verify the lighting is turned to the “On” position. To reset the light panel, turn the switch to the “Off” position and return to the “On” position. You need to cover the ENTIRE solar panel to test the unit.
2. Is the fixture in a dark spot at night?
Is the solar unit installed in a location that receives ambient light from another source? If the solar unit is located near another light source ( patio/house light, spot light, another fixture, etc.), the unit’s photocell will not switch the light on or it may turn on and off sporadically.
Generally speaking, solar lights do not work during the day. In order to test if the light is working, you will need to completely cover the solar panel to simulate darkness.
3. Is the solar panel receiving enough light during the day?
If the solar panel is not receiving enough sunlight, the performance of the unit will be affected. Ensure that the solar panel is in an optimum position to receive the maximum amount of sunlight. Cloudy days and the time of the year may affect and alter the performance of the unit. To test if the unit is not receiving enough light, remove the fixture from its current location and temporarily place the unit in the most optimal location for the maximum amount of direct sunlight for 2-3 days.
Important: don’t forget to pay particular attention to the location of the solar lights.
Batteries will not charge properly if the solar panel is in the shade, they rely on the energy of the sun to charge.
4. Are the batteries working?
The most common problem with solar lighting is the batteries that are supplied with the product. Before you received the light, the solar unit and its batteries may have been sitting in a dark box for several months. Depending upon the amount of light the unit receives upon being installed, it can take up to one week for the unit and batteries to cycle to full capacity.
It is important to put the Solar lights under direct sunlight for 12 hours before you start to use them. Some products need to turn on the SWITCH before the solar panel start charging. Please follow the instruction on the protective film on solar panel.
To test if the problem is from the solar unit or from the batteries, temporarily replace the battery with a new one. You need to cover the ENTIRE solar panel to test the unit. If the LED light turns on, the batteries will either need to be replaced or the unit may need more time under sunlight to charge the batteries to full capacity.
How long should I expect the batteries to last?
The batteries supplied in the unit from us, may only last 12-36 months. New replacement rechargeable batteries should operate for approximately 1000 cycles (nearly 3 years).
5. Are the batteries in the correct direction?
It may seems simple, but product have been known to ship with the batteries installed in the reverse direction. Verify the batteries are installed tightly in the correct direction. Typically, the light panel will have (+) and (-) markings to verify the correct direction for the batteries. Ensure the markings on the battery are aligned with the markings on the solar unit. If no markings are found on the unit, the smooth/flat end of the battery should be placed in contact with the spring of the solar unit. The end of the battery with the “knob” should be placed in contact with smooth/flat clip of the solar unit contact.
Some basic knowledge about Solar Lighting
Many times the question pops up regarding the life span of solar powered lights. How does one ensure the best performance and prolong the life of solar lights? After a while, you might notice that your solar lights are not as bright as when you first bought them. And without knowing the basics of solar lights, you may become confused about what exactly happened. Could it be that your solar lights got old and need to be recycled or is there something that you just need to know about the maintenance of your solar powered products?
1. Solar lights need four essential components to function:
1. A rechargeable battery to store the power generated by the energy from the sun.
2. A small photovoltaic cell or solar array that captures sunlight during the day and converts it into electrical energy. The solar array is usually built right into the light fixture. Some light designs have separate solar arrays connected by a thin wire allowing the light to be located in a shady area while the solar array itself is placed in a bright, sunny location.
3. A “charge controller” to ensure the batteries don’t get overcharged in bright sunlight as well as to monitor the amount of light in the surrounding area and turn the LED (light emitting diode) light on and off.
4. An LED (or a series of LEDs) which provides the light.
2. What is the life span of solar lights?
Solar panel can last upto 10 years; Charge controller can last over 8 years; LED inside the solar light can last over 20 years; The rechargeable battery inside the solar light can last 1-3 years. Rechargeable Batteries are the major cause of failure in solar garden lights Rechargeable solar batteries will self-discharge which means that over time the batteries will discharge to a point where they no longer work.
It is important to ensure you charge your solar lights at least every three (3) months to ensure the battery stays in good shape and lasts its life span, generally 1-3 years.
3. What type of batteries should be used with solar lighting?
All of the solar lighting sold from Yinghao Solar require Lithium or AA/AAA Rechargeable Batteries. Different product has different type and different capacity battery. The battery we are using now are:
AA or AAA Ni-Mh battery(Nickel-metal hydride battery,generally can be charged 500times )
Lithium Ion battery(been popular used in laptop,PDA,cellphone etc,generally can be charged 1000-1500 times).
We recommend use the same type of battery suggested in the specifications of each product. AA / AAA Ni-Mh batteries can be found at most specialty hardware stores, Lithium battery can be purchased from us directly or buy at AMAZON.COM.
4. Replace your old batteries when they run their life cycle.
When you purchase your solar lights, the rechargeable batteries are often already included in the fixture. After 1-3 years (depending on different type of battery used), it is quite normal to see their performance decline. Once you notice that the lighting time is considerably diminishing and the lights are not as bright as before, it’s probably time to replace your rechargeable solar garden light batteries.
Replacing solar light batteries is not a difficult task.
All you have to do is to locate the solar light battery cover, remove it, take out the defective batteries and replace them with new ones. If no battery cover can be found, the solar light needs to be taken apart, usually with one or two screws. On most models you’ll find the screws on the top or bottom of the light. Once the unit is open you’ll have access to the batteries.
You can find the instructions of how to replace the battery in the manual of each product. The manual is included in the package of every product. The manual is also available at this website for you to DOWNLOAD.
5. Ensure the solar panel is clean
An important reason of reduced lighting time and brightness can also be that the solar light batteries are not charging correctly.
For the best charging performances the solar panel needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. Dust and other accumulated residues can considerably affect the charging procedure. They form a coating layer on the solar panel and block the sunlight.