Do you use solar lights to keep your yard or your lawn well-illuminated and secured? If you do, you may be asking yourself so many important questions right now such as the following: “Do solar lights work in winter?” “Why are my solar lights not working?” In case you want to know the answers, keep reading this article as I explain to you further how solar lights actually work and how they may or may not work when the season changes.
How Solar Lights Work?
Solar lights work by getting energy from the sun, storing them and converting the said energy to a direct electrical current, and finally, generating the electric current that is used to emit light during the night.
This process is very much dependent on something called the photovoltaic effect. This photovoltaic effect is also called the solar cell. It is usually situated on top of a solar light designed as a dark panel and is the one responsible for the conversion of solar energy to electrical current.
It is where sunlight passes through wherein negatively-charged electrons become active and are pushed towards the positively-charged spaces. The positively-charged spaces will then transfer the electron stream to the battery as a direct electrical current. The battery is where the energy is stored until the time that the solar light needs it to illuminate your yard.
Obviously, solar lights are very dependent on the energy that they get from the sun. Without the sun, there is a tendency that they will not be able to collect and store enough energy. This is possible as solar lights are engineered with solar cells that stop converting energy when the surrounding turns dark and there is no more sunlight. Most solar lights come with photoreceptors that could sense the level of light and darkness in the surroundings.
Due to this obvious fact, many of you may be thinking that if solar lights cannot work without enough sunlight, then it may not be able to work during the winter, which may or may not be true at all.
Do Solar Lights Work in the Winter?
You have probably already assumed that the answer to this question is “no” although there may be a part of you that wishes it is the other way around especially when you think you have the best solar flood light in your neighborhood. Well, lucky for you, the real and simple answer to the question is “yes”. Solar lights can actually work in the winter.
But there is a catch. Only a certain type of solar light can work when there is no enough sunlight. Not all types of solar light can collect and generate energy in a shady place or in a place where the sun does not exist.
Solar lights can be differentiated according to the panels they have. The type of solar light that can work during the winter is definitely the solar lights that come with amorphous solar panels. The amorphous panels are designed to collect energy better in a cloudy or shady place. Whether there is sunlight or not, it will still be able to convert the energy that it collects into a direct electrical current.
Solar lights with amorphous solar panels are smaller than other types and they can easily move around. If you want your solar lights to work even during the winter, you have to get this type. The only disadvantage is that, since this type of solar lights can generate energy even without sunlight, they are actually inefficient. You will need to have more than one of them to deliver the same amount of illumination that other solar lights normally do in your yard or lawn.
Why Your Solar Light is Not Working?
As I have mentioned earlier, not all types of solar light can work during the winter although solar light manufacturers promise that their products can work as long as their solar panels are able to receive daylight and store energy in their batteries. However, depending on what type of solar light you have, there is a possibility that it will stop working once there is a sudden change in the season or even just a temporary change in the weather.
Your solar light may not be working because they use either polycrystalline panels or monocrystalline panels. Polycrystalline panels are made out of scrap monocrystalline panels which have been recycled. They can still be used in changeable weather conditions, but they actually cannot harness enough usable power in a very low light condition.
This means that it can only work better when it is able to collect enough energy on a broad daylight. They are very much dependent of the energy that the sun can give, and if they don’t receive much, they will inevitably stop working.
Solar lights with monocrystalline panels, on the other hand, are the most efficient of all although they are a bit expensive. It is because they are designed to deliver the highest amount of energy and they have the longest lifespan. The only disadvantage is that they do not really perform very well in shady conditions.
So do solar lights work in the winter? Although solar lights work better during the summer when the sun almost never leaves the sky, the answer is yes, they do. Solar lights can still work during the winter as long as you have the right type of solar light. If you are looking for that, you need to have the solar light with solar panels that can perform even when there is not enough sunlight, and that is the amorphous solar panel.
However, you also need to take into account and accept the fact that any solar lights won’t be able to get the same performance that they usually do when they get enough sunlight during the summer. That means they may not last overnight during the winter or they can only illuminate your yard with a very small amount of lighting.