Solar Light

How Cloudy Weather Impacts the Performance of Outdoor Solar Lights 

How Cloudy Weather Impacts the Performance of Outdoor Solar Lights

The current state of the global environment and climate crisis necessitates turning to green energy resources instead of exhausting fossil fuels. An increasing number of people are turning to solar-powered devices to reduce their carbon footprint. Designers have started incorporating solar lights into their landscaping plans. The steady growth in the sales of solar lights is a testament to that.

Solar lights are affordable, economical, and as versatile as traditional lights. Many people hesitate to purchase them because they fear that cloudy weather might render the lights useless. But does this fear hold any ground? Are solar lights truly ineffective in the absence of direct sunlight? Let us find out.

Outdoor Solar Lights Vs Cloudy Weather 

Outdoor Solar Lights Vs Cloudy Weather

Outdoor solar lights work best when they are exposed to direct sunlight. The performance is superior when the fixture is placed in an area with plentiful sunlight without any overarching shadows. On a rainy or cloudy day, clear sunlight barely penetrates through the clouds.

But you have no reason to worry. Your solar lights will charge up despite the weather. The only difference you might notice is that the lights do not charge up to their full potential as quickly on cloudy days.

How Exactly Do Solar Lights Charge Up?

In cloudy weather, sunlight does penetrate through the sky. It is simply in a more diffused form. Solar panels possess charging components that are extremely sensitive to the intensity of light. These components can generate power by collecting even the diffused light.

Whatever solar radiance is transmitted to the earth through the cloud cover is sufficient to power the outdoor solar lights in your yard. The batteries will continue to recharge. It is just that they might not last entirely through the night if the days are continuously cloudy and batteries remain insufficiently charged for extended periods.

Charging Efficiency of Outdoor Solar Lights

It might be disheartening to learn that batteries of outdoor solar lights recharge at a slower rate on cloudy or rainy days. But this coin has another side. Under direct sunlight, the batteries might recharge much faster. However, the temperature of the panel also increases dramatically. 

This condition is not exactly beneficial to the entire fixture. Cloudy days, on the other hand, prevent the solar panel from constantly heating. The batteries, thus, charge up with better efficiency. Hence, cloudy days are vital to the overall charging efficiency of outdoor solar lights.

Another common concern for homeowners is that after a certain period, solar lights become a bit duller. Most solar-powered garden lights do not compromise on brightness. However, some do lose the sharpness after a few months. But you do not need to worry. Here are two simple ways on how to make solar garden lights brighter:

Clean The Panel

The panel is one of the most important parts of outdoor solar light. Cells that convert solar energy into battery power are stored there. For the device to produce bright light consistently, abundant sunlight must reach the panel. After installation, however, dust, snow, or other such particles settle over the panel in due course.

These particles become obstacles in the path of sunlight. To ensure that plentiful sunlight reaches the solar panel, you must frequently clean the surface. A clean panel results in ample sunlight reaching the power-producing cells. Consequently, the solar device produces bright light consistently.

Check The Batteries

The batteries of solar lights are typically long-lasting. The weather conditions, however, can affect the battery life. If the battery of a solar light device corrodes, the brightness can become a bit dull. If your solar light has compromised brightness, check the batteries.

If corrosion is visible, you have two options. You can either get rid of the corroded particles by brushing the battery with sandpaper, or you can replace them altogether.

Science and technology have been progressing tremendously and continuously over the years. Like any other industry, the lights and illumination industry has also benefited from this constant advancement. Solar-powered lights have been steadily gaining popularity as their conversion efficiency has dramatically improved.

Installation of solar lights is a good investment as it remarkably lowers your expenditure on bills. You can install the solar lights easily, and they do not require much maintenance either. Solar garden lights will bring you a step closer to reducing your carbon footprint.

Marigold Parker
With an M.Sc. in Sustainable Energy from the University of Edinburgh, Marigold Parker has enriched our content with her solar lighting expertise since 2020. Her professional journey includes over a decade of working with leading solar tech manufacturers, where she played a pivotal role in product development and research. Marigold's articles offer a blend of technical knowledge and practical advice, drawing from her experience. Besides her professional interests, she is an enthusiastic gardener, applying her knowledge of solar lighting to create environmentally friendly garden spaces.

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