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Do Solar Lights Require Direct Sunlight?

By receiving direct sunlight, solar lights offer illumination. The solar panels absorb and convert the energy of the sun into power. When it receives more sunlight during the day, it can provide better illumination at night. It can provide illumination for almost 15 hours with full sunshine of 8 hours.

However, without direct sunlight, they will not be able to work efficiently. This can be due to many factors like the placement of the solar panels, rain, shade, or cloudy days. All these can impact the working time by up to 5 hours. Therefore, it is important to place the solar lights in a location that receives more sunlight. It must not be blocked by any element be it debris or vegetation.

How do Solar Lights Utilize Sunlight?

Solar lights used solar panels that have photovoltaic cells. These cells absorb and convert solar energy into electrical energy. Sunlight makes the solar panel charge the cells. In doing so, it is attracted to positively charged cells and removes the negatively charged cells.

These cells then convert light energy into electric energy. The energy is further transferred through copper wires. It stores the energy in the battery. Solar lights also come with photoreceptors that can turn on the light by detecting darkness.

Will Solar Lights Work Without Sunlight?

Solar light requires direct sunlight for charging. However, it does not mean that it will not work at all in the shade. Solar lights can work in shade but will not be much effective. As the photovoltaic cells receive reduced light, they will not be able to charge effectively. This makes it generate low energy when compared to direct light. If the light is in complete shade, it will not be able to convert solar energy into electrical energy.

How do I Charge Solar Lights Under Shade?

  • Clean solar panels:One of the reasons that can impact the absorption rate of cells(solar) is dirt. Dirty solar panels reduce the efficiency of charging. You will have to clean solar panels regularly with clean water and cloth. Get rid of the dirt without using detergents. Do note that detergents can lead to streaking which can reduce the solar panels’ capacity to charge.
  • Redirect light using mirrors:Mirrors can be a great solution for areas that are incomplete shade. It helps to pass out the light. You need to get a mirror that is double the size of the solar light. Place the mirror in such a way that makes it reflect the sun’s rays.
  • Using artificial lights:Even artificial light helps to generate lighting power in solar lights. By placing the solar lights under an incandescent bulb, you will be able to recharge them. You can even use LED flashlights to recharge the solar lights.

How Much Sunlight is Needed for Solar Lights to Work Efficiently?

As the name indicates, solar lights need sunlight for a maximum to provide illumination. It is recommended that you need to give direct sunlight for 4 to 10 hours. 4 hours of sunlight can give a charge of up to 6 hours. You can have up to 15 hours of charge with direct sunlight of 8 hours.

Do Solar Lights Need Sunlight or Any Light?

In solar lights, you will find solar cells that can absorb natural as well as artificial light. These cells help in light generation. By absorbing the sun’s natural light, it can convert it into electric energy. These cells can also absorb artificial light from bulbs to convert it into the current. This means that solar lights can work from any light form and not just sunlight. However, artificial light can generate less power when compared to direct sunlight. Also, it will be less efficient.

What are the Different Issues with Solar Light Shading?

Shading can impact a lot on the performance of solar lights. As solar lights have photovoltaic cells, keeping them in a shade will reduce their efficiency. Without direct sunlight, the batteries will not be charged fully and it can affect the lifespan. Some of the shading concerns of solar light are

  • Trees: When a tree grows, it can increase the branches. This will impact sunlight penetration. To prevent it, you will have to trim the branches so that there will be no effect on the solar lights.
  • Poles: Although poles do not cause big threats, it can take away direct sunlight. You must position the solar light away from the poles.
  • Buildings: A building can easily block sunlight from any direction. Unlike trees, you will not be able to trim off the branches. You will have to keep the solar panel in a location that is not shaded by buildings.

Why do Solar Lights Need Direct Sunlight?

Whether it is natural or artificial light, solar panels absorb the light for lighting power. Solar panels come with cells that can generate power. Batteries help to store power. Sunlight has a higher intensity than other light rays. It can lead to high power generation compared to artificial light.

With artificial light, the solar panels can take a longer time to charge. You can say that solar lights require direct sunlight more than artificial light. This helps to increase the longevity of solar lights and makes sure there will be complete charging.


We now know that solar lights can be charged with both sunlight and artificial light. However, sunlight makes sure there will be efficient performance. Solar panels can quickly absorb light from sunrays with their photovoltaic cells. The battery stores the power that lets you use them in the form of electric energy. Exposing the solar light to the direct sun will charge the battery faster. You will have to prevent shades and use the above tips for using solar lights in shade.

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