New Solar Lights Not Working -What To Do

new solar lights not working

It is very frustrating to find out that your new solar lights are not working. But did you know you can fix it with simple tricks?

Solar lights are trending these days. Not only they are cost-efficient but also help you in doing your part in saving and conserving Mother Nature.

But we do know that at times the solar lights may not work as they should and depending on the time of day they fail, could cause you a lot of inconveniences. The good thing is, these issues can be solved even if you are not a tech-savvy person. We will take you through some tips and tricks that may come in handy if your new solar lights are not working.

Common Troubleshooting Tips

1- Check if they are turned on

Solar Light with on/off switch
A Solar security light model with an on/off switch

Many times, the simplest things are the ones that go unnoticed. So, if your solar lights are not working, ensure it is switched on. However, not every solar light has an on/off switch. In that case, it should automatically switch on when it is dark. If it doesn’t, let us move on to the next tip.

2- The pull tab on the battery


Most solar lights come with a pull tab on the battery. The light will function only if this tab is removed. So, ensure to remove the pull tab found on the battery compartment of your solar light.


3- Cover the solar panel

The mechanism of the solar light is to recharge in the morning and work at night when it is dark. So obviously the lights do not work during the day. That being said, you may want to check if the light is working during the daytime to simulate darkness. You can do so either by covering the solar lights with your hand or you could cover the lights using a dark cloth.

4- Clean your solar panel

Solar panels absorb the sun’s rays and charge the batteries that power up the lights. So, if the panel is covered in dust and dirt, it makes a huge impact on the amount of charge the battery receives, which in turn affects the lighting. Therefore, the solar panel must be cleaned on a weekly basis. You can use a damp cloth to wipe your solar panel clean.

5- Change the position of the solar panel

The position of the solar panel plays a significant role in the performance of solar lights. The solar panel must be positioned in such a way that it can absorb sunlight throughout the day or at least most of the day. To ensure that the light performs to its full potential, you must position the solar panel in a way that it faces the south. This way, the sun rays can be absorbed throughout the day from sunrise to sunset.

For more information, check out our guide: Frequently asked questions about solar power systems

6- Replace the batteries

Most of the times, solar lights do not function due to faulty batteries. Either the batteries are not receiving the charge or it is not holding the charge in. To test this, you can replace the batteries with regular ones. If the light works with the regular batteries, then you can go on to establish whether the problem is caused due to the rechargeable batteries of the solar lights or due to the solar panel.

7- Let it charge for 72 hours

So if none of the above tricks works for you, then you can try the “deep charge” technique. All you need to do is to switch off the solar light and let it charge for a couple of days or up to 72 hours. The light will charge even if it’s turned off. It is recommended to follow this technique regularly even if your solar lights are working fine. This is because it helps the light gets a full charge since the panel absorbs sun rays for several days.

8- When All Else Fails, contact the retailer

This is the last resort. You can call your retailer over the phone and ask them for help. Each brand has a specific function that can be looked at only by the manufacturer. They can look into the product and decipher the problem and find a way to fix it quickly.

At any moment you feel you are not doing it right you can always consider seeking the help of a professional to make things work faster. Ensure that you check the warranty for the solar lights while purchasing them. Most reputed brands will provide you with a 12-month warranty.

You don’t have a warranty or you prefer to get things fixed by yourself as I do? – Check out this YouTube video to learn what went wrong:


  1. My solar lights are staying on after I change the batteries??

  2. Author

    I’m not sure if I understand your question.

    If you’re asking about changing the batteries as a measure of figuring out the cause, then yes. Try to replace your current batteries with regular ones. Just make sure they have the same voltage. If the problem persists, then either there is a power shortage or you’ll have to replace the LED light itself.

  3. My solar umbrella lights quit working. I have:
    replaced the batteries
    cleaned the panel
    replaced the solar panel
    Turned the power switch on
    Left it to charge for more than 72 hours
    Still not working

    I also tested the original solar panel on another umbrella and it worked fine. Where is the u-tube on how to take apart the switch or find a short in the wiring?

    1. Author

      You might have issues with power connections. On the other hand, the circuit board gets rusty which causes shortage or disconnections. For your convenience, I have added a YouTube video to the end of the article that you may find useful.

  4. If you bought your solar lights at the dollar tree, and they don’t work when you get them home after you charge them up, it is a very easy fix. There is a paper tab you are supposed to pull and remove from light before use, but sometimes that tab doesn’t come all the way off. Get a tiny screwdriver like one for glasses. And one good AAA battery for testing. Twist the top of the light about half a turn and it should come out from the clear plastic cover. Look for two tiny screws on the bottom and unscrew them. Gently take off the bottom. You should now see some wires and battery. Most likely, even though you pulled off the paper tab, you will now see part of the tab still at the end of the battery. Gently pry up the battery on that end and take the rest of the paper tab out. Put the battery back in and it should light up. If it does not, remove the battery all together and put in the good AAA battery to see if it lights up. Note: Make sure that you have charged the light in the sun first. Try to use the batteries that came with the light since they are made for the light and are rechargeable and I am unsure how other types of batteries might affect the longevity life of the solar light.

  5. What if the light solar Fence it’s just 1hour working I the evening what is the problem with that…

    1. Author

      It means the battery needs to be replaced. I recommend you always look for a larger Ah battery for your product to guarantee longer working hours – Ah stands for Amper per hour

    1. Mine when you cover the solor panel with your hand it lights but when you install them on the wall it refuse to come on what could be wrong

  6. Hi,
    I have a question…..I purchased the “cheap” solar lights from Walmart, for my sidewalk. I put new batteries in them and they worked for maybe 2 nights, I checked them with newer batteries and they worked great for about 2 nights. So I bought some very expensive lithium (AA) batteries, and they only worked for about 2-1/2 nights. The lights work great if I put new batteries in them every other night! My question is #1 should I be using rechargeable batteries, if so, what kind? # What am I doing wrong?

  7. Solar lights from dollar tree store only work for about 2-3hrs.same thing next day.why..”leave message for me thanks like the way they work when lit. Only 1 week old.

  8. Hey Donald,
    You wrote a great post will definitely help me understand the different types of solar lights
    I would like to read more of you in the coming month, keep up the great work.

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