How to Maintain Solar Lights

Maintaining solar yard lights is a reasonably easy and worry-free proposition. Once you have your grand set-up of solar lights and lamps installed and ready for use, just bask in the eye-candy for a couple of nights.  Then, however, start thinking about how you need to go about taking care of them.

First, after a good rain, it’s a good idea to give the exposed lights a quick checking-over. While almost all are made of water-proof material and are supposed to be water-tight, there are exceptions. Also, during drier periods, make it a point to periodically clean excess dust/soot off of the light enclosure, and especially the solar panel covering.

If you notice that one of them is not working at night, do not be quick to throw it away.  It could be something as simple as a defective battery, or possibly one that did not absorb enough sunlight. As a matter of fact, never throw them away—even if they are dead beyond repair. This is especially true of the battery—by throwing it away, you are causing more damage to the environment than you are saving it.

Thorough cleaning

A few times a year, a more thorough cleaning is recommended. Refer to the instruction manual (if you have not lost it, that is). In the event you did misplace it, here are some universal steps that apply to nearly every solar light/lamp:

  • Disassemble the light—this is typically done via taking out screws or just twisting certain parts.
  • Take the batteries out (if they come out). If they don’t, you will need to clean around the edges with a slightly damp cloth—and never, ever put the fixture in water before removing the batteries and all circuitry.
  • If the battery comes out, make sure the battery, its contact leads, and the leads attached to the light fixture are free from oxidation (which typically is a grayish, flaky substance). If you find any, very gently scrub it off using a small, soft brush.
  • Clean the non-electrical parts with warm, soapy water to cleanse it of bugs and dirt, dry with a soft cloth, and let the open parts sit-out to dry even more before returning them to their place in the garden or lawn.

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