Solar Lights Winter Storage

Solar garden lights are one of the most popular outdoor lights today. Solar lights not only contribute to a cleaner environment but can also save you money on energy bills.

One of the most common questions from our customers is how to store solar lights for the winter. You may want to store solar lights during winter if you live in a region that doesn’t get enough sunlight during the cold months.

On the other hand, some people aren’t sure whether you can leave solar lights out in the rain and snow.

If you want to find out more about how to store your solar lights, read on.

solar lights storage in garden during winter

Can you leave solar lights out in the rain?

Most solar lights can be left out in the rain and maintain their functionality as long as their IP rating is weatherproof. Solar lights with an IP65 rating can withstand heavy rainy conditions.

You can check the IP rating of your solar lights on the manufacturer’s specifications booklet that comes with your light device, or you can contact the retailer directly for this information.

The minimum IP rating for water protection is IP44, though ideally, you want to get solar lights with an IP65 weatherproof resting for extended protection against heavy rain, snow, and wind.

Read more: Can outdoor lights get wet?

solar lights in the rain

Can you leave solar lights out all winter?

You can leave solar lights out all winter as most well-manufactured solar lights are protected against rain and cold temperatures.

However, if you live in a region where it rains heavily during winter, you should only use solar lights with an IP65 rating. Any outdoor lights with this rating are 100% waterproof and weatherproof and therefore they can withstand extreme rain, wind, and water jets.

Though you can leave solar-powered lights out all winter, you still need to consider whether your solar lights will be able to charge efficiently during the winter months. 

If there isn’t much sunlight where you live then your solar lights won’t get enough charge to work efficiently. If that’s the case, you should consider storing your solar lights during winter.

Read more: Do solar lights work in winter?

solar lights in winter

How To Store Solar Lights for The Winter

If you’re considering storing your solar lights during winter, there are some steps you need to follow to ensure your solar lights don’t get damaged.

Make sure the solar light is switched off

Not all solar lights have an on/off switch, but if your solar lights have one, you need to ensure it is switched off. If you leave a solar light switched on, the batteries will get drained and the light may get damaged. 

Ultimately, it can reduce the solar light’s lifespan significantly. To avoid this, make sure every outdoor solar light is in the ‘off’ position.

solar lights on/off switch

Remove the entire solar light device from the ground

Once you have switched off your solar lights, you need to remove the entire solar device from the ground.

Some solar-powered lights, particularly in-ground path lights can be difficult to find as they may be too buried so ensure you find all the solar devices, including any solar panels.

After you’ve taken the solar lights off the ground, you should always wipe each device with a clean, damp towel. Don’t forget to clean the solar panel also as the solar cells need to be kept clean for the solar lights to work properly.

ground solar path lights

Remove the rechargeable batteries from the solar panel

One of the biggest mistakes, when people store solar lights, is to keep the rechargeable batteries inside the solar panel.

You should always remove the rechargeable batteries from the solar panel when you store your lights during winter. Leaving the batteries inside increases the risk of corrosion that can damage your solar lights.

After you’ve removed the batteries, you can wrap them in bubble wrap or packing paper.

battery inside solar panel

Wrap any glass heads in bubble wrap

The lamp heads on many solar garden lights contain glass, which is extremely fragile.

You should always wrap any glass heads in either bubble wrap or spare blankets to prevent them from breaking or cranking while stored.

bubble wrap for solar garden lights

Wrap the solar panel in bubble wrap or packing paper

The solar panel is just as fragile as lamp glass heads. The panel is the ‘brain’ of the solar lights, which means that if it gets damaged, your solar lights stop working.

Therefore, you should always handle the solar panel carefully and wrap it in either bubble wrap or packing paper. Once it is well wrapped, you can store it together with the glass heads.

packing paper to wrap solar light glass heads

Keep all the parts of the solar lights device in a box

Once you’ve wrapped all the solar lighting parts, you need to keep them together in a storage box.

You can use either a cardboard box or a plastic box to store your solar lights during winter.

cupboard storage box for solar lights

Store your solar lights in a dry place

Finally, you need to store your solar lights in a dry place.

Solar lights are made from materials like metal and aluminium, which can corrode and rust. Therefore, you should store your solar lights in a cool and dry place. 

Great places to store your solar lights for winter include the garage or the attic if it is well insulated.

You should avoid the basement or shed because water can seep through these places and moisture can build up gradually, which may cause your solar lights to corrode more easily.

garage winter storage

Learn more about Solar Lights

If this blog post has answered your question or if you would like to learn more about all things related to solar lighting and garden lights, please visit our outdoor lighting blog.

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