Ideas / / Winter Solar Lights: How to Maintain Your Solar Lights in the Cold Months

Winter Solar Lights: How to Maintain Your Solar Lights in the Cold Months

Posted in: | September 29, 2022

UPDATE – Originally posted February 21, 2018

Winter solar lights work perfectly even in snow and ice as long as they get enough sunlight each day to fully charge. One major benefit of purchasing and installing outdoor solar lamps and lamp posts is how easy they are to maintain, even in winter. In fact, after installation, the solar light fixture requires little routine maintenance, regardless of your climate.

Check out our blog on Commercial Solar Lights staying lit in bad weather to learn more on how Commercial Solar lights can power through different weather conditions.

What do You Need to Know About Solar Lights in Winter?

A frequently asked question we receive at Gama Sonic is whether your solar light fixture will still work during those cold and icy winter months. And the answer is, YES! Our solar lights are designed to operate in a variety of different climate regions and to withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain and snow.

Here is everything you need to know this winter for keeping your solar light fixture running smoothly

Will My Solar Light Work on Cloudy Days or in the Snow?

For those that live in areas known to have heavy snowfall during the winter, worry not, your solar lamp or lamp post will continue to function. The solar light will still build-up a battery charge with light snow coverage (since snow and ice are transparent) on the solar panel. If snow, ice, or debris builds up on the solar panel, take a dry towel, and wipe it away; do not use cleaning chemicals on the solar panel.

Generally speaking, severe weather will have little-impact on high quality solar lights. If the solar light receives approx. 4 hours of direct sunlight to charge it can withstand cloudy or rainy days.

A Gama Sonic typical Commercial Solar LED Post Light will require approx. 2.5 hours of sunlight to power the light through a full 12-hour night, and a 4-hour charge is enough for 2-full nights. So, even if you had one heavily cloudy day for every sunny day, the commercial grade solar post light would still work as expected. Moreover, a fully charged Modern Commercial Solar LED Post Light or the Centennial Commercial Solar LED Post Light may last 4-nights straight (in High Mode) and up to 8-nights straight (in Low Mode), ensuring the light stays on even when you get a few severe weather days. Read here to learn more on how our commercial solar lights stay lit through bad weather.

Premier Garden Dual Light 239002 in winter

How Long will my Solar Light Shine in Winter?

Our solar lights are designed to work year-round. As a rule of thumb for Gama Sonic solar light fixtures, every hour of charging results in 2-3 hours of illumination. During winter, because the Northern Hemisphere tilts away from the Sun, it results in fewer daylight hours. Meaning, that there are fewer hours for your solar light fixture to harness sunlight to charge its battery. Depending on what part of the region you live in, the decrease in sunlight for most is roughly only one to two hours.

Additionally, Gama Sonic Solar Lights use high-quality Lithium-Ion batteries. Please keep in mind that during the winter (especially below 32 F degrees), all batteries are not as efficient in cold temperatures, therefore you may experience shorter duration than normal.

How Does Solar Panel Placement Affect Solar Lights in Winter?

As the Earth rotates on its axis around the sun, the position of the sun at noon changes during the summer and winter months. Although the change is minuscule, it could affect whether your solar light fixture is absorbing enough direct sunlight depending on where it is installed. Without direct sunlight hitting the solar panel, the light will not function as designed. If you notice the duration of the light decreasing, consider moving the solar light or panel into a spot with better access to direct sunshine.

Can Solar Lights Stay Outdoors in Winter?

High-quality solar lights like Gama Sonic’s can stay outdoors in winter. With weather resistant and rust resistant fixtures, they are designed to withstand all types of weather, including rain, snow, hail, ice, and wind.

How Should I Store my Solar Lights?

If you plan on storing and sheltering your solar lamp or solar lamp post, please be advised to turn the light “OFF” and properly disassemble the light. Store it somewhere dry, like a garage, basement, or utility shed. If the lamp head contains glass, we recommend wrapping the solar light with bubble wrap or any spare blankets to prevent breaking or cracks in the glass. If you are planning on storing the solar light for 2-3 months, it is advised to also remove the batteries. When you are ready to put the solar light back out, just take a damp cloth (do not use chemical products on the solar panel) and wipe down any dust that may have gathered during storage. Check out our guide for lighting your home for the holidays.

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