How Do I Charge Solar Lights Without The Sun?

How Do I Charge Solar Lights Without The Sun?

How Do I Charge Solar Lights Without The Sun? The best solar lights come with an abundance of benefits, more specifically, they are the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to receive light. However, not much is known about them. For example, when most people think of solar lights, they simply think of panels being charged by the sun.

But what happens when the sun isn’t available? Do you have to give up on electricity until you can find better access to sunlight? If you happen to be in this situation or are just plain curious, here are some quick tips for how you can charge solar lights without the sun. But first, it’s important to understand what solar lights even are. 

What are solar lights? 

What are solar lights? 
Image Source: Pixabay

Basically, solar lights work by converting the light that enters the top of the solar panel into energy that is stored until it is needed. This is done through photovoltaic cells which use semiconducting materials to create this energy. This power is then transferred to the battery of the solar panel. When the sun is no longer charging this battery, it then produces the light for our bulbs until the battery is drained. 

How Do I Charge Solar Lights Without The Sun?

Cloudy days 

First things first, even on a cloudy day the sun can still effectively charge solar lights. This lighting system is made to capture any energy from the day and transfer it into its own energy, and even when the sun is hidden by dark clouds, there is still a beam of light strong enough to affect your solar light. However, even though you can still charge, the battery will have less energy stored which means energy for fewer days before you need to charge it again. 

Incandescent light 

Incandescent light 
Image Source: Pixabay

As counterintuitive as it may seem to charge solar lights with artificial light, sometimes no form of the sun may be available and an emergency strikes. Luckily, strong incandescent light will still provide enough illumination for the solar cells to soak up. It’ll take about 2 to 5 hours longer to charge, but placing the high wattage bulb a few inches from the panel will still do the trick. 

LED light works even better 

In the same vein as the incandescent lights, LED lights may work even better. This is due to the fact that they use significantly less energy when turned on while producing the same amount of light input as an incandescent light bulb. It’s even possible to use a flashlight to emit this light, even though it may not be the strongest artificial way for charging.

No light at all? 

Some Solar LED lights come with a charging opening for a USB cord. Through this charging method, you just have to attach the cord and plug it right into the wall in order for the electricity to directly charge your panel. While this way of charging is good if you have no sun or no lightbulbs near you, it can be the pricier option. 

How to charge more effectively 

Now that you know the different ways you can actually charge your solar lights without the sun, here are some tips for how to most effectively charge your solar panel even when the sun is present.

Remove dust from solar panel 

While it’s inevitable that dirt, dust, and other natural elements will fall on your solar panels, it is important to keep the surface as clean as possible in order to receive as much energy from the sun as possible for charging. Cleaning the panel with a microfiber cloth and warm water or gentle soap is the best way as using detergent may cause streaking, which will make it even more difficult for the panel to charge. 

Reposition solar lights 

It is important that your solar panels are in the best position to receive the sun. So, this means making sure they are angled towards the area in which the sun directly shines. Also, if you notice that your lights may not be in the sunniest spot, such as under the shade of a tall tree, it is smart to move them to the sunniest area possible in order for them to receive more light.  

Use a mirror 

Use mirrors that are bigger than the solar panel in order to redirect and reflect the sunlight straight onto the panel. This is a manual way to help ensure stronger sunlight and, for the best results, you will need to reposition the mirrors throughout the day in a way that best reflects where the sun is shining at that moment.  

Turn off your solar light for 72 hours 

Turning off your solar lights for around 72 hours once or twice a month can help give your panel a break and allow for the battery to run more efficiently when it is on. 


Overall, solar panels are a great way to store natural light in order to be able to use it at night or whenever light is not present. And luckily, the sun isn’t the only method needed in order to charge them. Hopefully, these hacks and further tips on how to most effectively use your solar panels have set you up for a pretty successful understanding of how to charge solar lights without sun. Now go out there and get your shine on!

Written by Isabella Kiene 

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