Why are my solar lights not bright?

why are my solar lights not bright

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If you have solar lights installed at your home/garden but seems like they are not very bright and this question is hovering in your mind: Why are my solar lights not bright? than this post is for you.

In this post I have listed down the possible reasons why your solar light is dim and how this problem can be solved. So let’s read it.

why are my solar lights dim?

There can be 9 possible reasons for your solar light to be dim. These nine reasons mostly affect the brightness of your solar powered light. These factors are:

1. Old Led Lights2. Lumen Range3. Faulty Battery4. Faulty Solar Panel
5. Wiring Malfunction6. Old Age of Equipment7. Incorrect Placement8. Dust
9. Protective Film On Panels

1. Old LED lights

The first reason your solar light is not shining brightly can be because of age of LED bulbs.

Since LEDs use semiconductor for illumination, as they start ageing their power to shine decreases and they starts getting dimmer. This is commonly called as LED degradation[1].

2. Low lumen range

Lumens is the measurement of the amount of brightness a LED can emit.

Outdoor solar lights come in the lumen range of 12-1300[2] lumens. So if your lights are dim one of the possible reasons may that lumen range of your solar lights LED bulb might be low.

Related: How do I make my dollar store solar lights brighter?

3. Faulty Battery

Third important factor affecting the brightness of solar powered lights is a faulty battery.

As I have talked about this fact in this post why do solar lights need batteries? that solar lights use rechargeable batteries to function.

It may happen that your solar lights battery has become faulty or throwing out less electrical charge after charging.

Related: Can I replace NiCd with NiMH in solar lights?

4. Faulty solar panel

If battery is the heart of a solar light than solar panel will be its soul. If any one of them will malfunction the whole apparatus will not work properly.

If the solar panel installed with the solar lights has become faulty(became old, generating less electric charge) than it will have a great impact on the brightness of the LED bulbs.

5. Wiring issue

In any electrical appliance wires are used for connections and flow of electricity. If the solar powered light that you possess have faulty wiring than it is possible that may be battery will not charge or the bulbs will not work properly.

6. Old age of appliance

Solar lights work best when they are new. As they start ageing they experience wear and tear due to environmental factors like rain, wind, etc. and as I talked above in point number 1 about the age of LED bulbs, the whole equipment will show a decline in performance.

7. Incorrect placement of solar powered lights

In my post where I have talked about the direction of solar lights I have mentioned how important is the placement of solar lights for their optimum performance.

If your solar lights are placed in such area where obstruction like shade is coming on the panels than it is 100% possible that they are not charging up to their maximum efficiency.

8. Dust and oxidation on solar lights

Weather conditions like wind and air contains dust particles which get suspended on the solar lights. This slowly gets converted into thick layers of dust over the appliance.

With a layer of dust the panels will generate less electric charge, the batteries will charge less , and ultimately the brightness from LEDs will be less.

Due to sun’s UV rays solar lights panels get oxidized and a cloudy chalky layer gets formed on them.

Also layer of dust on the solar lights will prevent the light from the LED bulbs to come out as clean and bright.

9. Protective film on panels

You might have noticed that solar lights contain a protective film on their panels.

This is provided to protect the solar powered lights panels from scratches. If the film will be there it can also cause the panels to generate less electricity leading to less charging of the batteries.

Is there a way to make solar lights brighter?

Possible ways include replacing the old LED bulbs, battery, checking for faulty wires, cleaning the solar light at periodic intervals and time, and removing the protective film.

1. Replacing the old LED bulbs

First thing you can do to make your solar lights brighter is replacing the LED bulbs with new ones.

Changing LED bulbs in a solar light is easy and fast. You can use my article on how to replace bulbs in solar lights?

2. Install higher lumens bulbs

If your solar light battery has sufficient load bearing capacity than you can consider upgrading the LED bulbs with higher lumen bulbs.

3. check faulty wires

If you are feeling that your solar light is dim than it is also a good option to take your solar light to a electrician or DIY to check for fault in wire connections.

4. periodically clean the equipment

It is my personal advice to you which I always follow every week is to clean the solar lights with a clean cloth.

5. Remove the protective film

Check if the protective film is still there. If it is remove it to let the sunlight reach the panels directly without any distraction.

Check my tutorial on how to remove protective film from solar lights to remove the film safely.

why are my solar lights so dull? conclusion

Solar lights can be dull because of age of LED bulbs, malfunction of panel, battery or wiring , and dust on the equipment.

It is advisable to look for these malfunctioning in the device and correct them for best performance out of your solar lights.

For more such information on solar lights check here: solar lights brightness


  1. https://www.aboutspace.net.au/blogs/happenings/how-long-do-leds-last
  2. https://www.homedepot.com/c/ab/how-many-lumens-needed-for-outdoor-lighting/9ba683603be9fa5395fab90170e343cd