Solar lamps are an attractive, relatively inexpensive way to make your garden “shine” at night without adding to your electric bill. Proper care and maintenance will help extend the life of the lamps, making it possible for you to enjoy your environmentally friendly lighting solution for several years.
Consider what you want lighted and the purpose the light will serve before you purchase solar lights. Solar garden lights are not as bright as other, more traditional lighting sources, so they may not be the best solution for certain areas, for example, lighting outdoor stairs.However, if softer accent light is what you’re looking for, shop away. There are several basic shapes and sizes of solar lights available, and more decorative, ornamental solar lights appear on the shelves every spring.
Dust or clean the outside of the panels before you “install” the lamps.
Take them apart once each season and dust or clean the inside of the fixture with a damp rag. You’ll be amazed at the dust, dirt, pollen and bugs you’ll find in there. Keeping them dirt-free will extend the life of the lamps.
Observe the brightness of your lamps at night. If your lamps have been exposed to a full day of sun, the batteries should be fully charged. If, under those conditions, the lights are dimmer than usual, it’s time to replace the batteries.Some manufacturers claim that the batteries are designed to “withstand a minimum of 1,000 deep discharges,” which is equal to around a thousand nights of light. In truth, you may have to replace the batteries after a year or two. Fortunately, these NiCad rechargeable batteries are available wherever the lights are sold, and they are quite inexpensive.
Store your lights inside during the winter if you live in a place that gets lots of snow. Solar lights are reported to be designed for all types of weather; however, if your lights have glass panels, they may be affected by snow and extreme cold. If you decide to store them, be sure to turn the switches to the Off position to save your batteries, and store them in a closed box or other dark place.