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Why Solar Lights not Working – Common Reasons

Those of you who are installing lights outside your home or office can consider solar lights. Such solar lights are great for easy installation since you do not need any power connections. These lights are directly powered using solar panels and even work at night thanks to inbuilt batteries.

Although, in some cases your solar light may stop working which can be quite frustrating. Hence, we are here with a complete guide on how to fix solar lights not working. You can also learn all the possible reasons which may have caused your solar lights to stop working by going through this guide till the end.

What are Solar Lights and What is their Functioning?

If you are new to solar lights, then there might be a case where you do not know much about their functioning. In that case, you will be glad to know that these lights are quite simple and easy to install.

Most solar lights will have a light element that consists of multiple LED bulbs. As for powering the solar light, they have a solar light that charges an inbuilt battery so that the light can function throughout the night. Apart from these primary components, a solar light may also have a light detector that automatically turns on your solar lights at night.

Why are your Solar Lights not Working?

Now that you know more about solar lights and their functioning in general, fixing issues like solar lights not working might be easier. And to make things even easier, it is highly recommended to check why your solar lights might have stopped working in the first place. Even though there are multiple possible reasons for the same, the following are the primary ones that may stop your solar lights from working:

1. Solar Lights include a Pull Tab

If you have recently gotten a new solar light, then there is a very likely chance that the battery has a pull tab on it. This pull tab is present there to ensure that the battery doesn’t get consumed during shipping. Although, this also means that the battery and the solar light itself will not work until this tab is not removed from your solar lights. Hence, make sure to open the battery cover and remove any pull tabs that you may see.

2. Check all Switches and Microprocessors

Since solar lights turn on and off automatically, they have to use multiple switches and microprocessors on the inside for the same. Because of this, if any of these switches or microprocessors stop working, your solar light will also stop working. To fix any possible issues with the same, you need to make sure that all switches on your solar light are enabled and turned on.

3. Solar Lights are not getting Enough Sunlight

As solar lights depend on sunlight for their power, they will not work if they are not getting enough sunlight required for operation. Hence, make sure to check that your solar light is installed or placed in a location where it is getting enough sunlight for charging its battery so that it can work properly. You can also try adjusting the solar panel angle in a way that more sunlight falls on it.

4. Checking Solar Panel Cables

Even though solar lights do not require any external power, they still have multiple power cables inside them. These cables are used to connect the solar panel, the light unit, and the battery installed inside. So if any of the cables are accessible, making sure that they are connected is highly important. If you feel any of the cables are not connected properly, then you can strip them and reconnect again for proper connection.

5. Light Sources near your Solar Lights

As mentioned earlier, most solar lights have an inbuilt light sensor inside them. This light sensor detects when it gets dark and turns on the light accordingly. Although, if your solar lights have other light sources around them, this sensor will still think its day and won’t turn on the lights. Thus, if you want to use your solar lights properly, you need to make sure that they are installed away from any other light sources.

6. PIR Dials Motion Detectors

Apart from light detectors, some solar lights may also have motion detectors that turn on the light only if they sense any motion next to them. While these motion detectors work just fine for the most part, they might stop your solar light from working if their sensitivity is not right. Hence, you can try adjusting the motion detection dial in a way that it turns on the night properly when it detects any motion.

7. Light Sensors are Faulty

Since most solar lights have multiple sensors including the light sensor and the motion sensor, there is a possibility that the sensors themselves are not working. In such a case, your solar light will not turn on even if there is motion around your solar light in the dark. Hence, you can consider cleaning your solar light sensors to try fixing them.

8. Batteries are Dead

As a solar light depends on its inbuilt battery for powering its light unit at night, it is quite important that your solar light has functional batteries. These batteries may stop working if they are quite old and have run out of battery cycles. In such a case, you can try replacing your batteries with newer units.

9. Solar Lights have Water Buildup

Just like any other light, a solar light will also stop working if there is any water inside it. This becomes an even bigger issue with solar lights which are usually installed outdoors where they face rain and snow. While you can go with water-resistant solar lights to prevent this, your existing lights may not have it. If you think your solar lights have water inside, then you can try opening it and removing all water from it and drying it up completely before you can try using it again.

10. LED Bulbs are not Working

Another possible issue with your solar lights because of which it might not be working is that the LED bulbs itself are not working. In such a case, even if the solar panel, the battery, and the sensors are working fine, your solar light will not turn on. In such a case, there is not a lot that you can do other than getting a completely new solar light unless the LED bulbs are replaceable.

How to Fix your Solar Lights not Working Issue?

While we have already mentioned some of the most common possible issues for your solar lights not working and how you fix such issues, you might want to know even more possible fixes. In that case, you can consider checking the following with your solar lights and see if it works then:

  • It is highly important to ensure that your solar lights get enough sunlight to ensure that it is being powered probably. You need to install your solar lights in the right location in such a way that the angle is correct and it is getting enough sunlight.
  • You need to regularly clean the solar panel of your solar light since dust and other junk can get collected on it. This can stop the sunlight from hitting the solar panel which can stop your solar lights from working.
  • If there is any other light source near your solar light, then you need to place your solar light away from it. This is due to the reason that solar lights have a light sensor that will turn off the light if there is any other light source near it.
  • In case your solar light does not stay on for long, then it is most likely due to degraded batteries which are not performing well after being used for a long time. You can fix this issue by getting new batteries for your solar lights.
  • The sensors of your solar light can be tested quite easily by putting your hand on top of your solar light. If the light turns on, then the sensor is working fine. If not, then the solar panel is not working properly which is the reason that your solar light is not working.


After going through this complete guide on solar lights not working, you must have a pretty great idea about the same. In this guide, we have already discussed all the possible reasons due to which your solar lights are not working. But most importantly, you can find the solution for those who are facing the solar lights not working. With the help of this guide, you should be able to easily get your existing solar lights working without needing to buy new ones. If you have gone through all the information regarding the solar lights not working issue given above, make sure to share your thoughts in the comments section. You can also post any questions down there if you have any!

One Response

  1. How do you check out the solar light unit itself. Can you check and see if the solar light unit has ohms @ the connector. One probe inside the connector and one probe on the side to make a connection.

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