Do solar lights (gardens style) wear out?

Janet Darnell
by Janet Darnell
I put out 6 solar lights along my sidewalk after storing them for 3 years. They did not light up last night so I am wondering if they need more time to collect power, are they garbage or can I fix them? Thank you.

  10 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 01, 2018

    there have batteries.

  • Susan Wight Susan Wight on Jan 01, 2018

    Firstly, ensure you turned them on. There’s usually a switch near/inside the lamp. Give them a good full day of full sun for the first charge. Some larger lights suggest 2-3 days. If they still don’t work try replacing the rechargeable batteries. Open the battery housing to check what size and how many you need. You might prefer to buy just enough for one to start. If they were previously used, its probably the battery, if they are new then likely they need to be turned on or given sufficient time to charge. Good luck

  • Elaine Hassen Elaine Hassen on Jan 01, 2018

    yes they do wear out. Most are fairly inexpensive and can be replaced when they no longer work. Some have replaceable batteries.

  • Joan Joan on Jan 01, 2018

    I did an overhaul on my solar lights last summer. Your first step is to make sure that the solar collection panel is not covered or blocked by packaging (i.e., peel-off coating) of some sort. Solar lights have a battery in them. Check that the wires between the solar collection panel and the battery have not become loose or detached. Access is not usually available without a small screwdriver. Check the contacts on the batteries. Clean any corrosion. Test the batteries. After three years the batteries may have reached the end of their shelf life. Some batteries that are totally drained are rechargeable using a battery charger to give them a "kick start." If they were made outside of the United States they may be an odd size that cannot be charged in a typical USA charger. Odd batteries may be impossible to find or may be more expensive to replace than to replace the whole light fixture.

  • Gale Allen Jenness Gale Allen Jenness on Jan 01, 2018

    most do have replaceable batteries, but they still go bad with other problems! The electrical connections can rust and/or break and need to be replaced. Myself, I have bought a lot of solar lights and 2 years is about all I’ve got out of them. Especially if made of plastic after 2 years it’s pretty much had it and ready to be thrown away from fading and cracking if nothing else! I’ve gotten to the point where I’m just not going to buy any more of them! Not worth the hassle or cost in my opinion! If I ever put in any more lights I’ll be putting in 120 volt lights built to hold up in the weather more long term!

  • Kathy Kathy on Jan 01, 2018

    Install low voltage lights if you can. The cheap solar only last a year or two. There is no way to fix them.

  • Itsmemic Itsmemic on Jan 01, 2018

    I find solar lights to be a total waste of time and energy. I honestly have no idea how so many people make these great projects out of them. In a few weeks mine end up in the garbage..broken, not working, cracked...not worth my time

  • Janet Darnell Janet Darnell on Jan 01, 2018

    Thank you so much. I'll give your suggestions a try. Thanks again.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 12, 2018

    We have done both solar a low voltage lighting. If you want light and something that lasts go low voltage.