Solar Lights

8 things to do if your solar lights aren’t working

Now we are big fans of solar lights, but we do understand that they can cause some people a lot of issues. If you’re struggling with your solar lights then try out a couple of our handy tips to see if you can get them working again.

1. Check that they’re turned on

You would be surprised how often people haven’t realised that their lights have an on/off switch (not all of them do).


2. Check that there’s not a pull tab on the battery

This will apply to newly purchased lights only. Sometimes there is a pull tab on the battery that needs to be removed before the light will function. If your new solar light doesn’t work, definitely check on this.


3. Cover the panel to test the light

Generally speaking, solar lights do not work during the day. In order to test if the light is working, you will need to completely cover the solar panel to simulate darkness.


4. Ensure the solar panel is clean

A dirty solar panel can impact the amount of charge received. See our guide on how to clean your solar panel.


4 more tips follow below…

5. Make sure the solar panel is positioned correctly

The solar panel should be positioned to receive sunlight all (or at least most of the) day, or else it might not be receiving sufficient charge. Do solar lights need direct sunlight to work?


6. Test with regular batteries if possible

In most instances of solar lights not working, it is the batteries at fault. Either they are not receiving charge or they are not holding it. If the lights work using normal batteries then it is clear that the problem is with either the rechargeable batteries or the solar panel.


7. Switch off and leave to charge for 72 hours

Solar lights will still charge if they are not turned on, and by turning them off you actually allow the battery to get a full charge over several days of sunlight. It is an idea to do this regularly with all of your solar lights.


8. Contact the retailer

If all else fails, contact the retailer that your purchased your lights from. All of our lights have a 12 month warranty. So, if you’ve tried the above steps and bought your lights from us within the last 12 months contact us or view our full returns policy.



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  • ddavid1

    I haven’t had brand that lasts much over a year. It’s not the batteries, it’s the solar panel itself. So you can add an extra bucks a year into your budget. Is it really worth it? I’m on my 5th and last set, going 12 or 24 volt this time round, never again Solar burns a hole in your pocket besides the aggravation.

  • Jennifer Nodine

    I have one more to add to your list. If your lights are acting like they have a short, flickering when you move the wire or not coming on at all and you tried everything else on this list, find the very end of the strand, opposite the solar panel. The two wires meet at this end inside a clear rubbery plastic sleeve. Use a pair of needlenose pliers to try to twist those ends around each other a little. One turn was all it took and my lights are great since.

    • Festive Lights

      Thanks Jennifer, great tip! Loose connections can be a tricky problem.

  • Bruce Golden

    I have a problem with many of mine. . The problem is not the batteries . The problem is that the light stays on all day and all night whether I cover the panel or not. It cannot be the diode because the light is always on. So is it the solar panel itself that is defective? How do I test that? Sometimes I have this issue with brand new solar lights. Anybody have an answer? If so please email me at yahoo, mrbrucepaul.