How Long Do Solar Lights Last?

Solar lights are a very popular solution to illuminate outdoor spaces, from gardens and patios to balconies and decks. They’re not only environmentally-friendly, but they also allow households to save money on energy bills in the long term.

If you’re considering this lighting solution for your home, you might be wondering how long solar lights actually last.

Though the answer to this common question will depend on several factors, such as the quality of your solar lights and where you live, we can give you an idea of how long solar garden lights tend to last.

solar garden lights outside

In this quick guide, we will answer some of our customer’s most common questions about solar lights.

We will look into how long solar outdoor lights usually last, how long solar lights take to charge and how long you can expect these lights to last at night.

So, let’s get straight to it!

How long do solar outdoor lights last?

Solar lights, like most rechargeable devices, eventually run out of power and need to be recharged. But, how long do solar outdoor lights last?

On average, solar lights last between 1 and 2 years before you need to replace the rechargeable batteries inside the solar light’s panel. This is the equivalent of 300 to 600 continuous charges.

The exact amount of time that your solar lights will last depends on the batteries that you use for your solar garden lights.

If you use NiMH rechargeable batteries, you can expect your solar lights to last over 2 years. This is because NiMH batteries have a high storage capacity, which means that they can power your solar lights for longer periods of time, consequently requiring less charges. 

NiMH solar batteries to make lights last longer

On the other hand, if you opt for NiCad batteries, you can expect your solar lights to last only 1 year. This is due to the common memory problems experienced by this type of battery, as they tend to forget the ability to achieve a full charge over time.

How long should solar lights last?

Now that you are aware of how long solar lights typically last, we will discuss how long should solar lights last. This means how long can you actually expect your lights to last without replacing their batteries. 

So, how long should solar lights last?

Your solar lights should last between 6 months and 2 years, depending on the type of rechargeable batteries that you use. As a manufacturer’s guarantee, solar lights that use NiCad batteries should last between 6 months and 1 year, whereas solar lights that use NiMH batteries should last between 1 year and 2 years.

solar garden light with a solar panel

It is important to know how long solar outdoor lights should last so that you can easily identify any issues with your lights. For example, if your lights stop working only 1 month after you started using them, it will likely be due to a problem with the solar light’s system. 

On the contrary. If you’ve been using your solar lights for over 1 year and they slowly stop working properly, it usually means that your solar batteries need to be replaced.

How long do solar lights last at night?

The amount of time that solar lights last at night time will depend on where you live and the time of the year. 

On average, solar lights will last between 4 and 12 hours at night, depending on the rechargeable batteries that you use, the country where you live and the season of the year.

If you live in a warmer area, like Southern Europe or South America, solar lights can easily last 10 hours at night all year round. 

If you’re based in a Northern European country, like the UK, or North America, solar lights will usually last less time at night during Winter months. In these countries, you can expect solar lights to last 6 hours on average during Winter.

solar lights at night 

There are some things that you can do to ensure your solar lights last as long as possible, such as utilising NiMH batteries, using larger, high-quality solar panels, and placing your solar lights in direct sunshine away from shadows.

How long do solar garden lights take to charge?

Solar lights usually charge during the day, when there is enough sunlight. Solar garden lights work efficiently by using the sunlight absorbed during the day, which is then converted into electrical energy. This electrical energy powers the solar lights at night.

The amount of time that solar garden lights take to charge will depend on the time of the year. During winter, solar lights take longer to get a full charge due to the reduced amount of sunlight. On the other hand, during Summer months, solar lights tend to get a full charge much faster.

So, how long do solar lights take to charge?

On average, solar lights take between 8 and 12 hours to charge completely. The exact amount of time that it takes for your solar lights to charge will depend on the quality of your solar panel, where you place your solar lights, the batteries that you use and, most importantly, the time of the year.

How long do solar lights stay on?

You can expect your solar lights to stay on between 4 and 12 hours. The amount of time that your solar lights stay on will depend largely on the time of the year. 

During Winter, there is less sunlight so lights will stay on for a reduced amount of time. From October until March, solar lights typically stay on for 6 hours on average if you live in a cold country. 

On the other hand, during Summer months, your solar lights will typically stay on for a long period of time due to the abundance of sunshine. Your solar lights can stay on for 12 hours during hot months. This will usually be between April and September.

solar lights staying on

To ensure that your solar lights stay on for as long as possible, it is fundamental to ensure your solar lights and their panels are high-quality. Choosing the right outdoor lights will make a huge difference.

Solar Lights That Last

Now that you know everything about solar lights, you’re likely asking yourself where you can find the highest quality solar lights that actually last. We have the answer!

As a rule of thumb, the more you pay for your lights, the better quality they will be, which means they will last a longer time. 

Of course, if you’re on a budget, you can buy extremely cheap options from Amazon, but unfortunately these lights tend to be low quality. Consequently, they will either give you a very reduced light output with a low brightness, or they might break more easily.

So, if you’re looking for high-quality solar lights, you can find below the best solar lights that last:

Solar Spotlights

If you have a big garden or outdoor space, then solar spotlights are a great lighting solution that last a long time. If you choose a spotlight in the medium to high end range, you will have an efficient light that emits decent levels of brightness all year round.

At OutdoorLights, we offer a warm solar LED spotlight option to add a cosier atmosphere to your garden. If you prefer the more traditional bright spotlights, you can also get our bright white solar LED garden spotlights.

Premium Solar Fairy Lights

When it comes to browsing for solar fairy lights, you need to be extra careful if you want to find a solar fairy light that will last. You will find many cheap options at popular retailer websites like Amazon and eBay, but unfortunately these lights tend to use very low quality cells in their solar panels, which means they won’t last that long. 

Therefore, you should look at premium solar fairy lights instead. These lights are usually a bit more expensive but they use larger and higher-quality solar panels that absorb sunlight more efficiently. As a result, these solar lights tend to last a long time.

An example of this is OutdoorLights’ premium 200 colored solar garden lights or the 200 warm white solar fairy lights.

Solar Decking Lights

Solar decking lights add an element of luxury and security to your outdoor space. Due to these lights being considered a high-end item, usually most decking lights are durable and use high-quality panels to give a great amount of light output all year round.

If you’re looking for a lasting solution that will add character to your decking area, you can check out OutdoorLights’ color changing solar decking lights.

color changing solar decking lights

Remote Control Solar Wall Lights

Our final recommendation for solar lights that last is a remote control wall light. Though these lights are more difficult to find, they usually last longer due to the efficient use of solar panels.

In addition, you can enjoy the convenience of a remote control to switch the light on and off, or choose a different lighting mode.

Learn More about Solar Lights

Solar lights are a great alternative to mains-powered lighting. They are not only a great green solution but they can also be a great long-term investment. The truth is when it comes to solar lights, it can be hit-or-miss. You will find many ‘good value’ solar lights that are low quality but won’t last a long time. 

Therefore, it is extremely important to look at the different properties of the solar lights when you’re browsing.

Additionally, you can also look at the reviews to check whether existing customers are happy with their lights.

Finally, if you have a good budget, sometimes it is better to opt for more expensive, high-quality solar lights that will last years to come.

If this blog post has answered your question or if you would like to learn more about all things related to solar lights, feel free to visit our specialist blog about lighting.

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