How To Fix Solar Lights That Come On During The Day

Nowadays, more people are deciding to get solar lights to brighten up their yards without unsightly power cords. They are environmentally friendly, but they also significantly reduce your monthly electricity bill. But if they start malfunctioning, how do you fix solar lights that come on during the day?

Here are nine steps to fix solar lights that come on during the day:

  1. Move the light to a new location
  2. Check for water inside the light
  3. Open the blinds or curtains if they are indoors
  4. Examine the photo sensor for failure
  5. See if they are turned on instead of on auto mode
  6. Replace the rechargeable batteries
  7. Turn the solar lights off for three days
  8. Check the light sensitivity level
  9. Contact the manufacturer for further troubleshooting steps

To better diagnose and fix your solar lights, read through our detailed guide below. We go into each troubleshooting step in depth.

Guide To Fix Solar Lights That Come On During The Day

As with all devices, solar lights will sometimes get damaged or not work properly. The most common problem that can occur is that solar lights turn on during the day. So how do you fix solar lights that come on during the day?

You definitely don’t want them to turn on during the day because they are supposed to be collecting the energy from the sunlight during the day. Then they can use the enrgy during the night.

There are many reasons why your solar light turns on during the day. Luckily, most times you can fix your solar light with very little effort.

9 Easy Steps To Fixing Solar Lights

Here’s a list of ways you can fix your solar lights that keep turning on during the day. We also go over what to do when you can’t fix them.

Step One: Move the light to a new location

How well your solar lights will function depends on where they are in your garden. If your solar lights aren’t exposed to the sunlight enough, it won’t be able to harness the energy in the battery until the sunsets. 

If you’re keeping your solar lights in shade, they will think that it’s night and turn on. Move them to a spot with a lot of sunlight so that your solar lights work properly. Try to find a place that gets a few hours of direct sunlight so that the lights can capture enough of the sun’s rays. 

Make sure you keep your solar lights in different locations during different seasons. In the summertime, the sun is higher than usual, and you will have to place your solar lights someplace where there’s no shade. During the winter the sun is lower, so you will have to find the best location so that your lights get as much sunlight as possible. 

Step Two: Check for water inside the light

Solar lights are produced to resist water since it is used in the garden. However, if you accidentally pour a lot of water over it while you water the grass, or if there has been a lot of rain lately, your solar lights can get overwhelmed.

Usually, solar lights come with a built-in draining device to protect them from water. That being said, cheaper models usually don’t have this feature, and if you have more rain than you usually do, it could destroy your solar lights.

If you suspect that there is water in your solar lights, you will have to check to make sure. You should dry the inside of the light where the sensor is. You will have to take the solar light apart to get to the sensor. Make sure you also dry off any other part that has been affected by water.

Once the sensor and the other parts of the light are completely dry, assemble it again. Then, try to make a room as dark as possible and take the solar light in it to see if it will turn on. If it does, then the water was the reason why your solar lights kept turning on during the day because it caused your sensor to malfunction.

Try placing your solar lights someplace more shielded so they don’t get damaged by water again. 

Step Three: Open the blinds or curtains if they are indoors

Where you keep your solar lights is the most important thing that affects whether your solar lights will work properly. If your solar lights are placed indoors and you put them where they can’t get enough sunlight, they will turn on during the day and work less during the night. 

It’s hard to place your indoor solar lights so that they get direct sunlight. That’s why you should always keep curtains and blinds open during the day so the sunlight can come into contact with solar lights.

This will allow your solar light’s batteries to properly charge. When you keep curtains and blinds open all day, you will minimize how much shadow hits your solar sensors. Any shadows and shade can make solar lights think that it’s night and they will turn on. 

Step Four: Examine the photo sensor for failure

Most times when solar lights turn on during the day it’s because of the sensor, the most important part of any solar light. The sensor determines if it is day or night. If there is not a lot of ambient light, the sensor turns on the light.

When the sensor is not working properly, the solar light will turn on during the day. Or it won’t work at all. There are two things that could be wrong with your sensor. It could be dirty from debris or faulty. 

If your sensor is dirty, it’s really easy to fix. Sometimes, the sensor will gather dust and dirt. So the sensor will have a hard time knowing what’s going on.

Sometimes these particles can create a whole coating on the sensor. In that case, the sensor won’t be able to determine whether it’s day or night. 

Clean Faulty Sensors To Fix Solar Lights When They Come On During The Day

To fix this issue, you will have to take your solar light apart and clean the sensor. Make sure you don’t clean the sensor with anything harsh. Just use a damp washcloth, you won’t need any soap or chemicals, they can damage your sensor.

In case the layer of dirt and dust particles is really thick and won’t come off, you can try using cleaning solvent for car lights. When you’re done cleaning the sensor, dry it off. Then re-assemble the solar light.

Take the light to a dark room and see if it will turn on. If the light turns on, take it back into a bright room. The sensor should turn off when you come out of the dark room into the bright room. If it does, the sensor is working properly again.

Like all things, sensors can stop working just because of old age. The more you use your solar lights and the older they are, the bigger the chance that they will just break down and you’ll have to replace them.

Your sensors can also stop working if they have been damaged. Maybe you’ve knocked it over one too many times. Or your child accidentally hit it with a ball. The sensor can easily get damaged and stop working properly. 

The faulty sensor could cause your solar light to turn on during the day. If the light still turns on during the day even after you’ve cleaned it and dried it, then you probably have a faulty sensor. That doesn’t mean that you have to throw your solar lights away and get new ones, you can simply replace the sensors.

Check to see if the other parts of solar lights are still in good condition and if they are, contact the manufacturer to ask if they offer replacements. This is the most cost-effective way to fix a faulty solar light.

Step Five: See if the lights are turned on instead of on auto mode

People are very busy nowadays and they move from one task to another for the whole day. While they are doing one task, the other one is already on their mind, which is why sometimes it’s possible to forget to even turn on the solar lights.

If you notice that your solar lights are turning on at odd times, check if they are switched on. 

Step Six: Replace the rechargeable batteries

The second most common reason why solar lights get turned on during the day is that something’s going on with the rechargeable battery. Before you start checking your battery, always check the sensor first and try cleaning and drying it..

It is more likely that the sensor is causing the problem instead of the battery. If your solar lights still aren’t working after you’ve cleaned the sensor, then check the battery. 

Replace Batteries To Fix Solar Lights When They Come On During The Day

One way you can tell that it’s time to replace the solar light battery is that your solar light won’t stay turned on for long. When the battery is working properly, the light will be on the whole night, however, when you need to replace the batteries, the light will be on for only a few hours.

The fault rechargeable battery can mess up how the solar light is working. It can cause it to turn on during the day. 

If you notice that the solar light isn’t working anymore, that means that you have to replace the batteries.

If you suspect that the battery is causing you to have problems with solar lights, just buy a new battery. Since there are many types of batteries that can be used for solar lights, check the owner’s manual to see whether it says which type to use. 

Step Seven: Turn your solar lights off for three days

When you’ve tried everything else, replaced the battery and the sensor, and your solar light still comes on during the day, try giving it a break. Turn off or unplug your solar light for 3 whole days.

It would be good to take out the battery so that it can’t turn on. After 3 days you can assemble the solar light again and see if it works properly.

Step Eight: Check the light sensitivity level

Light sensitivity level tells your solar light how dark it has to be before it turns on. There are different levels of light sensitivity, and your solar light might be on the highest one. This means that even if there’s only a little bit of shadow, your solar light will turn on. 

Steph Nine: Contact the solar light manufacturer

If nothing you’ve tried works, you can try contacting the manufacturer. Maybe your solar light came with a faulty part and the manufacturer will send you the replacement for that part. They may also have additional troubleshooting steps that they can share.

Understanding How Solar Lights Work

Solar lights work by capturing the sunlight and keeping it. It uses sunlight to power the light during the night. Solar lights are made out of photovoltaic cells that collect the energy from sunlight.

They do this by letting photons release electrons from atoms, which results in a flow of electricity. The battery stores the electricity so that the light gets an even source of power.

The best solar lights come with an intelligent charge controller. It is the part of a solar light that doesn’t let the solar panel overcharge the battery.

When it’s dark outside the controller will realize that it’s night and it will turn on the LED lights. These lights are able to emit the light that has been gathered during the day efficiently. 

Solar Lights Are Environmentally Friendly

Solar lights are very durable which means that you can use them for a very long time. They are 100% environmentally friendly since they don’t use electricity and they don’t produce any harmful gasses. This means that they produce clean energy. 

The sun recharges the battery every day. They are able to convert the sun’s energy even when the sunlight isn’t hitting them directly. It’s easy to install solar lights and they are very reliable. They are stand-alone which means that you can use them almost anywhere. 

Different Types of Solar Lights

Now you know how do you fix solar lights that come on during the day. So let’s talk about the different types of solar lights:

Solar path lights are used to provide light to a part of your property, such as a driveway. It both looks great and will let you walk more safely because you see what’s ahead of you.

Decorative solar lights, light solar flagpole lights, are used to make your home look better. Some of them are made out of colorful glass. You can also get string lights and lanterns. 

Solar spotlights are the brightest type of solar lights on the market. The light that they make is close to that of a 40-watt incandescent bulb. There are also some solar spotlights that come with motion-detection. They will turn on as soon as they detect any motion, which can be a handy feature both for safety and when it’s really dark and it’s hard for you to find the light switch.

Solar Lights Are Easy To Install and Maintain

Solar lights are great not only because they save you money and are environmentally friendly, but also because of their mobility. You don’t have to run any cords to power them, you can just pick your solar light and put it wherever you want.

This allows you to control how much sunlight your solar light is getting. You should move your solar lights depending on the season so they get as much sunlight as possible. You can even take your solar light in the car and travel with it. 

Solar lights are very low-maintenance, you only have to replace batteries about every 5 years. However, battery replacement is sometimes needed earlier if it is faulty. That is one of the ways you fix solar lights that come on during the day.

You don’t have to be worried about your child or a pet getting electrocuted by these lights, or anyone tripping over the cords. 

Solar Lights Can Be Recycled

Solar lights lower your monthly energy bills, but they are also environmentally-friendly. They don’t use fossil fuels and they leave less carbon footprint. When you’ve tried everything you can but the light just won’t work properly, it’s time to say goodbye to it and throw it away.

You can throw it away in the trash can. But if you care about the environment, you might want to recycle the solar panels. All parts of the solar lights are recyclable and reusable to make new solar lights. 

If you want to recycle your solar lights, you can take them to your local recycling center. That being said, there are many solar light recycling centers around the country where you can take your solar light and be sure that it be recycled efficiently.

Another benefit of recycling solar lights at solar light recycling centers is that you get a coupon that you can use the next time you buy solar lights. 

Recycling solar lights consists of first trying to fixing the light. And if they can’t, they will try and find as many usable parts they can that will later be used to produce new solar lights. 


I'm trying to make the world a bit greener every day, whether that's through my day job or helping others make green choices for their homes.

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