How To Make Solar Lights Brighter In 8 Easy Steps

If you have solar lights as a landscape feature in your yard, you may be wondering how to make solar lights brighter. We pulled together eight tops to make your solar lights brighter.

Here are eight quick fixes to make you solar lights brighter:

  1. Ensure the batteries have been activated by removing the protector strip
  2. Validate that you have the correct battery size and capacity
  3. Clean dirt and debris buildup off the solar panel
  4. Check to see if there is anything obstructing direct sunlight to the solar panel
  5. Clean the photo light sensor to make sure it comes on properly
  6. Make sure all solar panels are facing South
  7. Examine the components to find faulty wiring
  8. Check the settings to see if it is set to a dim mode

For more details on how to make your solar lights brighter, read through our guide below.

How Solar Lights Work

Solar lights are lights that capture the energy from the sunlight during the day and use it during the night. The photovoltaic cell, also known as a solar cell, is their main part. The cell is responsible for converting the sunlight into an electrical current. 

The solar cell is in the shape of a panel on top of your solar light. The photovoltaic cell is made out of many layers of crystalline silicon and chemicals. These materials produce layers of electrons that have a negative charge and spaces that have a positive charge.

When the sunlight hits the solar cell, it activates the electrons that have a negative charge, and they move to spaces that have a positive charge. These spaces transport the stream of electrons in a form of a direct current of electricity to the battery. 

In the evening, the photovoltaic cells stop converting sunlight because there isn’t any. 

Solar Light Charge Controller

Another very important part of every solar light is an intelligent controller. This controller stops the solar panel from overcharging the battery. When the sun sets, the controller will realize that it’s nighttime, and it will turn on the lights. 

This process is repeated every day. When the sun comes out, the solar cells convert the sunlight into energy, which gets stored in the battery. When the sun sets, the battery powers the solar light. 

You will need enough sunlight to power your solar light. This shouldn’t be a problem during the summer, as long as you don’t place your solar light in shade. However, during the winter it’s possible that your solar light won’t be able to get enough sunlight to keep the solar light on during the whole night. 

How To Care For Your Solar Lights

Solar lights are very durable and you can use them for a very long time if you take good care of them. You will have to trim any shrubs and plants that are blocking the sunlight from reaching your solar lights. Most people do this once a month.

You will also have to clean the solar panels on your solar lights. If there’s a layer of dirt on your solar panel, the solar light won’t charge. Dirt and debris can also make your solar light last much shorter. You should also clean all the globes and fixtures that your solar light has. 

Types of Solar Lights

You can choose between many types of solar lights. Three types are most commonly used.

Decorative lights are used to create a better atmosphere. Use them on balconies, terraces, and other places where you relax. They also come in colors so you can use them as Christmas lights. You can get them in the form of string lights or lanterns.

Solar path lights are a great way to light up your driveway or the path in your garden. You won’t have to worry that you’ll bump into or trip over something and you will also be able to see if anyone is messing around your house. Burglars are less likely to try and rob a house that is well-lit. 

Solar spotlights are also a great option if you’re worried about security. They will turn on as soon as they detect movement. They are also one of the brightest types of solar lights. 

All types of solar lights start to shine less bright and become less vibrant over time. However, there are many ways you can try and fix them. 

Solar power is environmentally friendly because it doesn’t use any electricity, emit harmful gasses, or leave a carbon footprint. Many people believe that we will switch to using mainly solar power in the future. By switching to solar lights, you are not only saving money but also helping preserve the Earth. Getting solar lights can be a pricey investment, but it will save you a lot of money long-term.

Another great thing about using solar lights is that you don’t have to worry about where you’ll bury the electrical wires. However, if your solar light is separate from the solar panel, there will be a wire that connects them. Keep your pets away from this wire so that they don’t chew on it. 

How To Make Solar Lights Brighter

When your solar lights become dim it can get really annoying, but luckily, there aren’t any consequences to it. 

Here’s a list of 8 steps you can take to fix your solar lights and make them shine bright again.

1) Ensure the batteries have been activated by removing the protector strip

Sometimes you can forget to pull a ribbon out of the battery or turn the solar light on. This happens more often than some people would like to admit, so make sure you check if your solar light is activated before moving on to other steps. Usually, there’s an on/off switch at the bottom of your solar panel. If it’s switched on, then see if there’s a pull tab under or around your battery. 

2) Validate that you have the correct battery size and capacity

If your battery is the wrong size or capacity, you could have dim lighting. It would be good to know the difference between NiCd and NiMH batteries. Some solar lights need NiMH batteries since they have the ability to have high capacities.

Outdoors solar lights collect the energy from the sunlight through a panel and solar batteries, which are small batteries that have LED bulbs. It’s quite normal for solar lights to lose their brightness and become dull over time because of old age and the environment in which they are placed.

A good way to reduce the chance that your solar lights will become dull is to keep them indoors during the winter. You solar light can be damaged by cold temperatures, which will cause them to stop working before they’re supposed to. Solar lights are durable and last quite long, but that’s only if you take good care of them.

Fixing battery problems

Don’t get fooled by thinking that you can’t have battery problems if your solar lights are new. The battery can become tarnished or corroded if you don’t take good care of it. The battery is one of the most important parts of solar lights, so you will have to fix it if there are any problems with the current one. 

Look at your rechargeable battery and see if there’s any dirt, signs of aging, or rust. If you notice any corrosion, you will have to remove it. 

Remove the battery from the solar light to remove the rust. You will need a piece of sandpaper and a toothpick to scrape the corrosion from the battery pack. 

Make sure you scrape gently. Be very careful so you don’t end up damaging the battery. Check for any corrosion in the place where the battery is plugged in. The corrosion forms there because of rain and it can reduce the lifespan of your solar light. 

When you’re done scraping the corrosion, put the battery back in and assemble the solar light. 

It would be a good idea to buy some batteries when you first get your solar lights so you have some backup. Usually, you will have to change the batteries every 2-3 years.

3) Clean dirt and debris buildup off the solar panel

You should check every section of your solar light when trying to figure out what’s making it shine less bright. This way you can also see if there’s any dirt buildup that’s preventing your solar light from working properly. You might think that dirt buildup is normal when you’ve had your solar lights for a long time, but it’s not at all harmless. 

Sunlight can’t reach the solar panel if it’s covered with dirt. This means that the panel is not absorbing light. So no energy is being stored in the battery. Since there’s no energy being stored in the battery, the light won’t shine during the night. 

You will have to clean your solar lights from dirt so they can shine bright again. It’s very important that you clean your solar lights every once in a while to keep them working properly. 

4) Check to see if there is anything obstructing direct sunlight to the solar panel

If you’ve tried all the steps from above and your solar light still isn’t shining brighter, then try this. 

Check each one of your cleaned solar lights that’s shining less bright a few times a day to see if there is anything block light from hitting the solar panel.

Keep an eye on during which time of the day the solar light is getting direct sunlight. In case your solar light is in shade during most of the day, you will have to place it somewhere where it can get a lot of sunlight so it can harvest the energy it needs to shine bright at night.

Watch whether any leaves fall on your solar lights or that any bushes aren’t blocking your solar panels. When you find out which parts of your garden are shady, place your solar lights where they will get direct sunlight. This doesn’t mean that you will have to move them to the other side of your garden, sometimes it will be enough to just move it a few feet.

Watch The Solar Lights At Night

Make sure you check whether your solar lights are working during the night. You should notice that they are shining brighter. If you see that some lights are shining brightly while others are dull, turn the lids on the dim lights 180-degrees. 

Keep in mind that your solar lights charge even when they are in the off position. You could try leaving your solar lights inside for a few days to give them a break and once you bring them outside, don’t turn them on. Solar lights will charge when they are in the off position. This can help preserve a full charge.

5) Clean the photo light sensor to make sure it comes on properly

Most solar lights have a feature that turns them on automatically when the sun goes down. They do this by using a photo light sensor. This sensor detects light. When it gets dark, the light turns on.

But dirt could block this sensor. In this case, it would have the light always be on. This would prevent the battery from adequately charging.

So it will never have enough power to make the lights turn on. Simply cleaning off the sensor will help it work properly.

6) Make sure all solar panels are facing south

If you like in the northern hemisphere, the sun will always be predominantly on the southern sky. Your solar lights may be dim because they are not fully charging during the day.

Check the direction that each of the solar panels are facing. If they are not facing toward the southern sky, adjust them so that they do face south.

7) Examine the components to find faulty wiring

If you’ve done all the steps from above but nothing has worked, it’s time to take your solar light apart. Luckily, solar lights are ridiculously cheap and you can find them in most dollar stores. This allows you to experiment with making your lights shine brighter. 

Usually, these cheap lights are around 2-5 volts which isn’t enough to make your solar lights shine bright. However, you can follow these steps to make your solar lights shine brighter.

How to make solar lights brighter

Start by taking your solar light apart and make sure you disconnect everything. Look at the size of the battery and get a new battery that is about double as high in volts as the original one. If you have a small size, you can use 500mah batteries.

You should first check the voltage that the model of your solar light is able to handle and then get a battery. If you put a higher voltage than your light can take, you might damage it. 

All circuits have an inductor, the part that is responsible for how light or dim your solar light is. You can try making some modifications to your circuit and adding more light bulbs. To do this, you will need wire tighteners to secure two lights and connect their positive and negative ends. When you modify the circuit, you will change the value of your inductor which will make the solar light shine brighter. 

Reconnect the battery pack. Put the lid back on when you’re done modifying the circuit.

Take the circuit apart and remove any plastic parts that aren’t necessary so that a bigger amount of sunlight can reach both the battery and the panel. To create your own battery holder, glue two springs in the places where the usual battery configuration would be.

You will have to cut a square in the place where the sunlight will hit your solar lights. This is usually on the top of your solar lights. When you’re all done with cutting your solar light, put it back together and leave it outside to recharge.

An easier method to make solar lights brighter

If this method seems too complicated, you can try another, simpler one. 

Take off the top lid of your solar light. It is often that the lid blocks the sunlight, which makes your solar lights shine less bright. When you’ve taken the lid off, twist the housing counterclockwise. 

If you suspect that the battery might be causing your lights to be dull, now would be a good time to put in a new one. 

Next, you should seal it. In case you’ve made the light on your own, you can seal it with any materials you want, such as a hot glue gun or super glue. Make sure that what you’re sealing with doesn’t end up on the battery or on the panels. 

When you’re done putting it back together, take it out to see if it’s shining brightly. If it is, put it back where it belongs.

8) Check the settings to see if it is set to a dim mode

There may be a brightness setting on your solar lights. Check to see if it is set to a dim mode. If so, change it to maximize the brightness.

What does not cross a lot of people’s minds is that the lights that are in their solar lights might be described as dim. You can check out some customer reviews to see this or see whether their specifications state that the light is dim. Dim lights are softer by design.

If all else fails, call support

You should call support only when you’ve tried all other options.

It would be better if you could go into the store where you’ve bought your lights. If something needs to be fixed, they will know how to do it. If they can’t fix it, they will probably give you your money back. 


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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