solar lights in rain

Solar Lights Not Working After the Rain: Causes and Solutions

Solar lights are a popular and eco-friendly way to illuminate outdoor spaces. They rely on the power of the sun to charge their batteries during the day, and then automatically turn on at night.

Solar garden lights are designed to be waterproof and able to withstand various weather conditions but sometimes rain can cause issues such as reduced battery life or damage to internal components.

In this article, we will explore the causes of solar lights not working after the rain and provide solutions to fix them. By the end of this article, you will be able to troubleshoot and repair your solar lights like a pro.

Understanding how solar lights work

Before we delve into the causes and solutions, let's first understand how solar lights work. Solar lights contain three main components: the solar panel, the battery, and the LED bulb. During the day, the solar panel absorbs sunlight and converts it into electricity, which is stored in the battery. At night, the battery powers the LED bulb, illuminating your outdoor space.

Causes of solar lights not working after the rain

Water build-up

Water build-up is one of the main reasons why solar lights may not work after rain. When it rains, the water can accumulate on the solar panels of your lights, preventing them from receiving the maximum amount of sunlight necessary to charge the batteries.

The solar panels in solar lights are responsible for converting sunlight into energy that is stored in the batteries. However, when water accumulates on the panels, it can block the sunlight and decrease the amount of energy that the panels can absorb.

This decrease in energy can result in a decrease in brightness or a complete lack of light. In some cases, the solar lights may not work at all until the water is removed from the solar panels.

Short-circuiting of the battery

Another cause of solar lights not working after the rain is short-circuiting of the battery. When water enters the battery compartment, it can cause a short circuit, which can damage the battery or render it useless. A damaged or dead battery cannot store energy from the solar panel, and thus the LED bulb will not light up.

Blocking of the solar panel

A third cause of solar lights not working after the rain is blocking of the solar panel. When rainwater or dirt accumulates on the surface of the solar panel, it can block the sunlight from reaching the solar cells, reducing their efficiency. A less efficient solar panel means less energy is generated, and hence the battery may not have enough power to light up the LED bulb.

solar garden lights in the yard

Solutions to fix solar lights not working after the rain

Remove any water from the battery compartment

One solution is to check the battery compartment and remove any water that may have accumulated. You can do this by opening the compartment and using a dry cloth or paper towel to soak up the water. Once you've removed any excess water, leave the compartment open to allow it to dry completely before replacing the batteries.

If you find that your solar lights are still not working after trying these solutions, there may be other issues at play. For example, the battery may be old or damaged, or the solar panel may be faulty. In these cases, you may need to replace the battery or solar panel to get your lights working again.

Replace the battery

If the battery is dead or damaged, you should replace it with a new one. You can purchase a replacement battery from the manufacturer or a hardware store. Be sure to choose a battery with the same voltage and capacity as the original one. By replacing the battery, you will ensure that the solar lights have enough energy to power the LED bulb.

Clean and dry the surface of solar lights

Clean and dry solar lights thoroughly. You can use a soft cloth or a sponge to wipe off any dirt or water from the surface of the solar lights. Be sure to dry the solar lights completely before turning them back on. This will prevent any short-circuiting of the battery and increase the efficiency of the solar panel.

Install the solar lights in a sheltered area

To prevent rainwater from accumulating on the solar panel and battery compartment, you can install the solar lights in a sheltered area. For example, you can place them under a porch, awning, or tree canopy. This will also protect the solar lights from other weather elements such as wind and hail.

Apply a water-resistant coating

Another solution to prevent rust and water damage is to apply a water-resistant coating on the metal parts. You can use a spray-on or brush-on coating that is designed for outdoor use. This will provide an extra layer of protection against rainwater and other weather elements.

solar light next to a bush

Does rain ruin solar lights?

Rain does not necessarily ruin solar lights. In fact, most solar lights are designed to be waterproof, meaning they can withstand rain and other outdoor elements.

However, if the solar light is not properly sealed or constructed, rainwater may seep into the light's internal components, causing damage or even rendering the light inoperable.

Additionally, if the solar panel on the light becomes covered in dirt or debris due to rain, it may not be able to effectively charge the battery, reducing the light's overall performance.


In conclusion, solar lights can be a great addition to your outdoor space, but they can stop working after the rain due to rusting of metal parts, short-circuiting of the battery, or blocking of the solar panel.

By understanding how solar lights work and implementing the solutions mentioned in this article, you can troubleshoot and repair your solar lights to make them work like new again.

Remember to always read the manufacturer's instructions and safety precautions before handling or repairing solar lights.

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