Solar-powered gadgets are great alternatives to regular options as these devices operate on solar energy, which is basically available for free for everyone. There are special solar lights available in the market that you can install in your home or backyard and have free-of-cost illumination forever. These lights are recharged when the sun is up and are activated in the evening or night so that you get free light throughout the night.
While there is little to no maintenance required for solar lights, they do require proper cleaning so that their performance remains intact throughout their lifespan. If you have also installed solar lights in your backyard or garden and observed degraded performance from your lights, it might be time for you to take a look at these lights and make sure they are cleaned and maintained.
But before you can clean your solar lights, you need to understand how to properly clean solar lights. In most cases, you will also need to clean the solar panel which is powering the light to get your lights back to their original illumination level. Hence, you should carefully read our guide on how to clean solar lights so that you can clean these devices easily. We will be covering multiple aspects of cleaning a solar light so that you will have all the information you need right here.
Why should you clean your solar lights?
Electrical devices can get damaged easily due to external factors. In the case of solar lights, you will find that these lights easily lose their efficiency and glow dimmer as time passes if the proper care is not taken. The main reason behind that is the dust and dirt which gathers over the panel in time and blocks the sunlight from reaching the panel.
These factors are completely unavoidable as you cannot keep them lightly covered to avoid them. Hence, the only way to maintain your solar panel is to get it cleaned from time to time.
Depending on your region and the placement of the solar light, you might need to clean your lights either once a couple of months. Once the panels and lights are cleaned, you will find the performance of these lights as good as brand new products.
In regular solar light, there are three major components that are exposed to the environment and require cleaning, namely the light bulb, battery, and the solar panel itself. Today, we will be covering the cleaning methods for these components in detail, so make sure you read this guide until the end.
How To Clean Light Panels and Bulbs?
Cleaning the light bulbs is the easiest part of the complete cleaning procedure. Generally, the surface of light bulbs is very smooth. Hence, the fixated dust and dirt come off of it very easily. To clean your light bulb, follow the steps given here:
- First of all, take a smooth cloth and make it damp with water so that it can easily pick up loose dust from the bulb.
- Now, take the damp cloth and wipe off the bulb surface. Make sure you don’t apply too much pressure as it can easily break the bulb.
- If you see any chrome on the bulb surface, you will have to use dishwashing soap or bathing soap water to get the bulb clean.
- Once you wipe the surface with a soap water cloth, use a different damp cloth to clean off the residue soap. After that, you can either use a dry cloth to wipe the moisture or let it dry naturally.
- It is recommended to repeat this process at least once every couple of months for the best results.
As for the solar panel, you will need to take additional care while cleaning it. If you know how to clean your solar panel properly, you can easily maintain it without needing any professional help.
- Similar to the bulb, the solar panels also have a very smooth surface. Hence, you can use the same cloth to clean the solar panel which was used for the bulbs.
- The very first thing you should do is wipe the solar panel surface with a damp cloth so that it removes any and all loose dirt from the surface. This makes the further cleaning process easier if required.
- Keep in mind that the solar panels are very delicate, and a little extra pressure will easily break the panel. Also, try to wipe the debris in a single swipe from the panel, as it can also leave scratches behind.
- Once you can see all loose dirt is cleaned off, you can use a secondary damp cloth and clean the surface thoroughly with the help of soap water.
- Make sure that you dry the solar panel completely to ensure high performance.
How To Restore Cloudy Solar Panels?
Cloudy solar panels are yet another reason for solar lights not performing properly. The cloudy surface of the solar panel refracts the sunlight before it reaches the panel, which reduces its intensity and causes the panel to underperform. Thus, it is crucial to restoring cloudy solar panels back to their original form.
To restore cloudy solar panels, follow these steps:
- Cleaning cloudy solar panels requires an ample amount of soap and water. Thus, you should cover the plastic area of the panel with tape so that the water does not leak inside the panel. You should put the tape carefully around the borders of the panel first, and then simply cover the entire plastic area with tape.
- You should prefer using painting tape rather than sticky tape as it won’t leave marks behind after cleaning.
- Once the plastic part is properly covered, you can start cleaning the cloudy solar panel.
- Take a sponge and rinse it with soap water. You can also use a drop of liquid soap for better results. Rub the surface of the solar panel with the sponge until the cloudy surface is cleaned.
- To keep the surface clean for a longer time, you can also spray it with lacquer so that it stays shiny and cleaner.
How To Remove Battery Corrosion?
The battery of a solar panel is one of its most important components as it powers the whole unit. Any damage to the battery will cause problems with the light and its performance. The batteries easily get corroded due to external factors such as water contact or moisture in the air.
And, a corroded battery is significantly lower in terms of performance. If a corroded battery is not cleaned in time, the corrosion keeps on increasing, which eventually damages the battery completely.
To avoid this, follow the steps provided here so that you can clean the battery from corrosion.
- Take a look at the battery connected to your solar panel and examine it from all sides. It is possible that the battery might have started corroding from the lower portion, which is not visible from the top.
- A simple indicator of a battery starting corroding is the white powder appearing on the top of the battery.
- If the corrosion is visible, you need to remove it from its slot and disconnect it from the solar light before you can clean it.
- If the corrosion is recent, you can rub it with a soft brush to clean the corroded surface.
- Make sure that there is no corroded surface in the compartment as well. If visible, clean it with the same soft brush.
- In case the corrosion is not recent, it cannot be cleaned with a simple brush. You will need to use sandpaper to rub the surface, which will forcefully clean it.
- If the corrosion has already spread to all parts of the battery and cannot be cleaned, it is time to get the battery replaced. For the new battery, try to avoid corrosion by cleaning it every other month.
Cleaning the solar lights is not a very hard task, as you can see the basic cleaning process mentioned in our guide today. But, the hard part is repeating the process frequently so that it stays clean and safe from damage. If you wish to increase the lifespan of your solar lights, you will have to keep them clean. Generally, cleaning the solar lights once every 3 months should be good if you don’t get a lot of dust in your area. In case you live on a busy street, you will need to clean these lights more frequently.