Why Do My Solar Lights Come On During The Day

Written by John Ho on June 12, 2021
Why Do My Solar Lights Come On During The Day

Solar lights are undoubtedly one of the most energy-efficient and eco-friendly devices you can install in your home, garage, garden, porch, driveway, etc. Although most people are happy with the efficiency that their solar lights provide them, some folks have a common complaint. And, they complain that their solar lights turn on during the daytime when there is no need for artificial lighting. This unnecessary operation of solar lights during the day is not only really inefficient but also slowly shortens the lifespan of both your solar light and battery, since both of these things run for 24 hours and do not get any time for standby.

If you are also a victim of this unusual yet not so rare phenomenon, then you must be baffled to hear as to how this happens? And also eager to know how you can fix this? Those are the exact questions that I have answered in detail in this article, so keep reading and you will surely be glad that you did.

Reasons that trigger solar lights to come on during the daytime and their fixes

First, I am going to discuss all the reasons why your solar lights might be turning on in the middle of a bright sunny day. Under every reason, I will provide a viable solution so you can learn to fix the problem side by side.

Your solar light might be set on a different mode

I know it's a very obvious thing to point out, but people who are new to solar lights have made this mistake in the past, and there is a chance that they could be making it again. Many solar lights come with a zillion modes, and it is not hard to get confused between them. So, there is a possibility that you might be accidentally set on a mode that does not turn off your solar light during the daytime, and you have to do it manually.

What you can do to fix the problem

The easy thing to do in this case is to read the owner's manual of your solar light and look for the mode that automatically switches off your solar light in the daytime and then set your solar light to that specific mode.

Light's photocell can be malfunctioning

One of the most common reasons why solar lights behave this way is because their photocell is not functioning properly. Now, if you are not in any way knowledgeable about electronic devices, you would definitely be wondering what the heck is a photocell? Well, simply put, a photocell is a sensor present in your solar present which detects whether it is daytime or nighttime and then makes the light function accordingly. If your photocell is faulty, it will not be able to tell the difference between daytime and nighttime and will end up turning your light during the daytime.

You can check if the photocell of your light is what is causing your light to glow during the daytime by placing your solar light under a glowing light bulb. If your solar light does not even respond to the bright light of the bulb, then it is very likely that your photocell is the intruder here

What you can do to fix the problem

After you are certain that the photocell of your solar light is what is triggering your light to turn on during the day. Then, there is only one thing that you can do to fix this, and that gets your photocell replaced. But, before you try to make the replacement, see if your solar light is in warranty, and if it is, then you are in luck. Because the manufacturer will install a new photocell to your solar light without charging anything. And, this is exactly why I recommend buying warrantied products because warranties are so essential and useful.

Your lights are placed in a low-sunlight area

I am well aware of the fact that many of you use your solar lights indoors, and there is nothing wrong with doing that. However, one mistake users constantly make is that they do not put their lights under enough sunlight. This makes the photocell sensor clueless during the daytime, and it keeps the light running assuming that it is still dark.

You can check if your solar light is facing this issue by keeping it under bright light, if it turns off under the influence of light, it means you are keeping it too indoors.

What you can do to fix the problem

It is rather simple to make your light turn off during the day if it is glowing because of less sunlight. Just place it somewhere where enough sunlight is present during the day, like near a glass window, door, etc. In this way, the photocell ( light sensor ) would be able to tell daytime and nighttime apart, and your solar light will not turn on during the day.

The poor build quality of your solar light

Build quality issues in devices have always been there from the start. Some manufacturers take the build quality of their products very seriously, while others do not have any quality check of what they are passing onto their end consumer. And, there is a chance that you might have bought solar light from a manufacturer that is not so keen on its quality. This is where problems start, your solar light could be turned on during the daytime due to its poor wiring, bad photocell, or both of the reasons. Also, since solar lights stay outdoors for their lifetime, they are always exposed to sunlight during the day. And, bright sunlight can definitely ruin the wiring of your solar lights especially when the material used in the wiring is loose.

What you can do to fix the problem

Poor wiring can be painful, but it is still curable. If your solar light turns on due to its poor wiring, then you should definitely take this up to the manufacturer. Try contacting the manufacturer, and tell them the issue that your solar light is facing, and politely ask them to change your wiring or give you a new solar light. If your solar light is under warranty, they will surely replace your light or fix the current one. However, if your light is not under warranty, then it totally depends on the manufacturer if they will replace it or not. If they refuse to, then you consult a local electrician and ask them to change the wiring of your solar light. There are two lessons that you get from this whole procedure. The first lesson teaches you the importance of buying from a trusted brand even if there is a small price difference, and the second lesson here is that a product under warranty will always have a neck up over unwarranted products when it comes to maintenance.

Uncleaned solar light

Another reason why solar lights often turn on during the day is because of the dust that the light sensor is covered in. Solar lights stay outside for their lifetimes, which makes them most exposed to dust, and other dirt. And, when you leave your solar light untouched for a few days or months depending on the amount of dust in your area. The photocell of your solar light gets covered in dust, and when your solar light is dusty, the light sensor present is unable to function properly, thus making the solar light turn on during the daytime.

What you can do to fix the problem

The obvious thing that you can do to make your light sensor work again is to clean it. Giving your solar light cleaning once in a while when you see it covered in dust will set you free from seeing your light turn on in the daytime. However, there is a certain procedure that you have to follow when you are cleaning your solar lights, and if you miss any instructions, you can end up ruining your light. Now that you know what is at stake, let's discuss the procedure. First, fill a bucket with water and add some detergent or cleaning soap in it as detergents and cleaning soaps help remove dust. Now, take a cloth, dip it in the solution that you have just made in your bucket. And, then gently rub your cloth on the solar panels of your solar light. Remember, to take special care while rubbing, because a harsh rub can malfunction the solar panels. Once you are done cleaning with the wet cloth. Then, use a dry cloth to wipe any water droplets from the solar panel, and you are done, your solar lights should be clean, by now.

Your solar lights could be water effected

If you experienced that your solar lights started turning on during the day after you received rainfall or showers in your area. Then, there is a chance that your solar lights have water inside of them, and that is why they have been acting weird. And, if you are wondering, wait, my solar lights are water-resistant, this could not be the issue in my case. Then, you can't be more wrong. Even though every other manufacturer throws a water resistance rating on their solar lights, there still is a chance of water getting inside of these solar lights as solar lights are most exposed to rainfalls. And, your solar light can be affected when there is water present inside of it.

What you can do to fix the problem

If you are also certain that there must be water present on the insides of your solar panel because of the recent rainfall that has happened in your area. Then, here are two things that you can do to save yourself from the unconventional behavior of your solar light. First, the thing that you should do is get the water from your light. And, it is quite simple to do this, just open the cover of your solar light, and if you see any moisture inside, wipe it out using a cloth. And, in case you see a lot of moisture or little that can't be wiped out by a cloth, use a vacuum cleaner to do the job. Once you have cleaned water from the insides, put the cover back on, and charge the solar light a little longer than you usually do, then use it. If the problem is gone, kudos.

However, if you still have the problem, then there is a chance that the water has permanently damaged the insides of your solar light, and you will need to do the second thing, which is if your solar light has a water resistance rating, immediately call the manufacturer, tell them that your solar light got water damaged despite a water resistance rating and ask for a replacement.

Your solar light's battery might have seen its days

After you have tried everything from cleaning your solar light to replacing your sensor and had no luck. Then, your last resort might be the battery of your solar light. What happens is that sometimes the battery of your solar light is not functioning as it should, and that stops your solar light from working like it should, resulting in unusual activities like your solar light turning on during the daytime, turning off in the middle of the night, etc.

What you can do to fix the problem

We are all aware of the fact that batteries don't last forever, and at some point, we have to change them. And, that is exactly what you should do in this case, too. Get a new battery that is compatible with your solar lights and similar in specs to your old one. Install it, and you should be good to go.



Solar lights can be really inefficient and a waste of solar energy if they stay turned on during the day. That is why, if your solar lights go through this, you should definitely try different remedies to fix the problem. Remedies include ensuring that you are set to the right mode, cleaning your solar panels, taking out any moisture, switching your light sensor, changing any defective wires, and in the end if all fail, replacing the battery.

Article written by John Ho
Our goal is to provide you with comprehensive and thorough solar-energy product guides, which will leave you confident that you have made the right purchase decision for your home.

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