How to Make Solar Lights Shine Bright Again

2 Materials
10 Minutes

I love solar lights and have them everywhere! I tend to get really disappointed when they no longer work. Sometimes, the panel on the top just needs a good cleaning! Here is an easy, inexpensive and foolproof way to make those lights shine again!

This solar lantern was only a couple of years old when it stopped working. I tried everything: clear nail polish, a cleaner for plastic, etc. Nothing worked!

The panel (or lens) on the top was cloudy from being baked in the sun. This happens to all solar light panels.

All it took was a bit of 800 grit automotive sandpaper dipped in water to restore the panel. I tried a finer grit to buff the panel but that seemed to make it cloudy again... 800 grit is what worked the best and it can be found in any auto parts store.

With another small tweak (see the blog post for more information), the light shines bright again just like it did when I first bought it!

I still love this light and hope to use it for at least another couple of years!

Resources for this project:

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Karen
    on Jun 8, 2019

    I can’t find your blog post to get the further information.

  • Cait
    on Jun 8, 2019

    Read your blog but still don't know what the 'tweak' was to make the solar light work again. What did you do to finish the project please. Thanks.

    • I washed it with soap and water after buffing and replaced the center cylinder with opaque mylar because the plastic yellowed ... Hope this helps!

  • Lyn
    on Jun 25, 2019

    There are a lot of these out there, and everyone has this problem with theirs!! Wonder why manufacturers don’t use some other kind of material that withstands UV rays!!!!????

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