How To Charge Solar Lights Indoors

Written by John Ho on February 18, 2021
How To Charge Solar Lights Indoors

The age-old question that solar lights users or people who are interested in installing solar lights ask is that if they can charge solar lights indoors? Logically speaking, it does not even make sense to think that solar lights which use solar energy can be charged in indoor areas due to the absence of direct sunlight. So it might sound unconvincing to hear from someone that you can charge solar lights in indoor spaces, but it is definitely possible by pulling some strings and using some tricks, you would not require charging solar lights in the traditional way.

I found out about these methods of charging solar lights indoors back when I was facing a lot of overcast days in my area which led me into researching and looking into alternatives of juicing my lights. However, one thing that you should keep in mind is that although all of these methods might work in your case, they are definitely not efficiency-driven and therefore not recommended unless necessary like camping, or any other desperate situation.

Below you will find all the methods on how to charge solar lights indoors.

How does a solar light work?

To know how it is possible to charge solar light in indoor areas. It is essential to first have a basic understanding of how a solar light works. Simply put, the solar cells that you see on a solar light are there to extract energy from the sunlight waves. Once the solar cells extract the energy, it is then transferred to the battery of the solar light where it is stored for later use. Except for the fact that solar lights have solar cells, they are not much different from traditional lights in both design and working.

Method 1 - using incandescent bulbs

Apparently, a really good alternative to charging solar lights from the sun is incandescent bulbs. Since incandescent bulbs produce similar light waves to the sun and their light waves also have the same characteristics and heat as sunlight so it is totally possible to charge solar lights with their artificial light. The process might take a little longer due to less intensity but it is doable.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can use incandescent bulbs to charge solar lights in indoor spaces.

Step 1

Power a high wattage incandescent bulb that can produce a decent amount of lighting with high brightness.

Step 2

Take your solar light and put it as close to the incandescent bulb as possible with the photovoltaic cell facing towards the opening of the light source.

Step 3

Give the light a few hours and then check to see if it is charged.

Advantage

The best thing about using an incandescent light to charge a solar light is that it does not take much time and the solar light almost charges similar to the rate at which it charges to the sun.

Drawback

Charging solar lights from incandescent bulbs is surely not efficient as they use grid power to charge solar lights, which has its carbon footprint.

Method 2 - using LED lights

Solar light, not limits to being charged from incandescent bulbs only. You can also use LED lights to charge them indoors.

Step-by-step instructions on how you can charge solar lights using LED lights.

Step 1

Light up a high-wattage LED bulb with the capability to produce enough light.

Step 2

Now bring your solar light as close to the lit LED bulb as possible in a way that the solar cells face the light source.

Step 3

Give the solar light a few hours and then see if the batteries are charged.

Advantage

LED bulbs are a lot more efficient compared to incandescent bulbs so by using this method, you can reduce power consumption.

Drawback

Apart from the fact, there will be power consumption to some extent, I do not think that there is any other major drawback of using LED bulbs to charge solar lights.

Bonus tip

You can also use a flashlight to charge the batteries of solar lights similarly. Rechargeable flashlights would be ideal for this job. The charging time would also rely on the size of the battery.

Method 3 - using a charger

This feature is not equipped with every solar light, but some solar lights come with ports through which you can charge them using a charger.

If your solar light also has this feature and you want to learn how you can use it, below is a step-by-step guide that you can follow to carry out the process.

Step 1

Find the port on your solar light, it is usually situated on the backside of the light.

Step 2

Look for a compatible charger, sometimes the charger comes with a solar charger. But if it is missing from the box of your solar light, then make sure that you get one that is compatible with your solar light. An incompatible charger can cause damage to your solar light's battery, and may also result in a slow charge.

Step 3

Connect the charger into the port and then connect it to an electrical outlet.

Step 4

Disconnect the charger once the battery of your solar light has reached its maximum capacity.

Advantage

By charging your solar light through a charger, you would not have to put any effort, thus, it is the most convenient method to charge solar lights and does not need any indirect sunlight.

Drawback

The problem with this method is that you can't use it with every solar light.

Method 4 - keeping close to windows

One method through which you can charge your solar lights in indoor areas that most people look over is the window method. What differs this method from the other methods of charging solar lights indoors is that in this method, you actually charge your solar lights with solar energy without needing to get your lights out in the open.

If you are wondering how is that even possible? Then follow the instructions in the step-by-step process given below,

Step 1

Find a window that receives sufficient sunlight in the indoor area in which you want to charge your solar light.

Step 2

Once you find a window that receives a decent amount of sunlight, fully open it so that the sunlight can enter the indoors.

Step 3

Now place your solar light just at the opening of the window in a way that the photovoltaic cell is facing the window where the light is coming from.

Step 4

Once the solar light is charged, you can move it back to wherever you want.

Advantage

The greatest advantage that this method offers is that it does not require any power consumption. You can directly charge your solar light using solar energy while staying indoors.

Drawback

One drawback is that it is not necessary that every indoor area might be receiving sufficient sunlight through some windows. So this method is not practical in every case.

FAQs

Summary

There is a ton of misleading information about solar lights constantly circulating that discourages people from using them. One of these misconceptions is that solar lights are purposeless in indoor spaces. In reality, there are a couple of methods out there that let you charge solar lights even indoors and are also not that hard to get by. So to clear the air, I listed and explained all the methods which you can use to charge solar lights indoors. However, there is a catch, the sole reason why people choose to install solar lights is to protect the environment from harmful emissions. But, when you are charging solar lights indoors, most of the methods require electrical energy generated from fuel emissions so it totally defeats the true purpose of a solar light. What I think is that people should not overuse these charging solution (s) and must try to use solar energy to charge solar lights as it is the way to go if you came into solar products for the environment in the first place.

Article written by John Ho

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