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Trying to save money on electricity is difficult, especially when it comes to lighting. No household can go without lighting, but a constantly burning bulb can swiftly run up an electric bill. When the price gets too high, it might be time to check out solar lights.
Solar lights may seem like a futuristic advancement not suited for the home environment, but they are becoming more and more common in houses throughout the United States! Solar lights are especially popular as outdoor and garden lighting.
Using just the power of sunlight, solar lights can provide illumination without hooking up to your power grid, but what about when they’re brand new? How do you charge solar lights for the first time?
Using a simple step-by-step process, you can get your solar lights fully charged for a first time usage. The steps are as follows:
- Examine Your Solar Lights
- Power On Your Solar Lights
- Charge With Sunlight Or Other Alternatives
How Do You Charge New Solar Lights?
In order to charge new solar lights, you need to follow a few important steps.
1. Examine Your Solar Lights
When you first take your solar lights out of the packaging, it’s always a good idea to give them a thorough once over. Every brand and model of solar light is different, but don’t worry. There should be an instruction manual with the packaging.
You’re going to want to look for a few important things on your solar light before you charge it for the first time.
- Whole, Clean Panels
The most delicate part of your solar light is undoubtedly the glass panel. This is where the solar light takes in all of its light energy to charge, which means it will take up most of the structure of the solar light.
Check this panel over carefully for any cracks or blemishes. Once you’ve made certain that your solar panel is whole, it’s a good idea to give it a quick wipe down to insure it takes in the maximum amount of light possible. Dirty panels don’t absorb as much light!
- On/Off Switch
No two solar lights are identical. Some have no switches at all, meaning they are always ready to charge and light up at night. Others will have an On/Off switch or an Auto On/Off switch.
With a regular On/Off switch, the usage is pretty self explanatory. When switched on, the solar light will be illuminated once it’s dark outside. If it’s placed in the off position, the panel can still charge, but the light will not come on at night.
Automatic On/Off switches will automate this process for you. Instead of a sensor to determine a time to turn on, an automatic switch will turn your solar light on and off at set intervals. This means your solar light won’t turn on and waste battery if the panel falls into shadow during the day.
- Charging Ports
Most solar lights lack any sort of cable or plug, but some of them have USB charging ports! This may seem like a waste, since solar lights charge with light and not electricity, but being able to charge without sunlight can prove quite useful.
For instance, if you’re taking your solar lights camping, you don’t want to chance them not being fully charged for your trip. Being able to plug in your solar lights and charge them so you are positive they are fully charged can be a significant benefit!
2. Power On Your Solar Lights
Now that you’re familiar with your solar lights, you’ll know exactly how to prepare them for their first charging.
If your solar light has an On/Off switch or Auto On/Off switch, turn it to the On position. Otherwise, no powering on is required.
3. Charge With Sunlight Or Other Alternatives
Now it’s time to charge your solar lights. The most effective method of charging is out in the sunlight, but solar lights can still charge when it is overcast outside.
If it isn’t workable to charge your new solar lights outdoors, there are other alternatives. Any household light can charge a solar light. Simply bring your solar lights indoors to charge under any lamp or ceiling light.
If your solar light has a charging port, you can also charge them this way, though it may be tedious if you have multiple lights.
How Long Do New Solar Lights Take To Charge?
New solar lights should be charged for a full 12 hours. After that, 4-6 hours of full sunlight should be sufficient to charge them day to day.
If you aren’t using sunlight, these charging times will be longer. The only charging method that may be faster than direct sunlight is USB charging.
Do Solar Lights Come Pre-charged?
Solar lights may come pre-charged, but often only to 50% or less.
For best results, always fully charge your new solar lights before use, especially if you plan on using them for an important task, like camping or hiking. Don’t rely on a pre-charged battery!
Do you charge solar lights on or off?
Solar lights can be charged on or off, but they won’t light up unless turned on.
Can you charge solar lights with a flashlight?
Yes, solar lights can be charged with a flashlight, but it is very inefficient.
Are solar lights weatherproof?
Most solar lights are weatherproof, but it will vary brand to brand and model to model.