Can Solar Lights Charge on Cloudy Days —Tips To Increase Efficieny

Last updated on October 17th, 2023 at 09:07 pm

Are you looking to illuminate your patio or garden without shooting up your electricity bill or running wires across the yard? Solar lights are the answer! Solar lights are now a hot item on a homeowner’s list. Solar lights are a brilliant solution to glow up your patio without struggling with wires across the yard. But if you live in a place with frequent cloud cover, you may consider whether this investment is worthwhile. Do solar lights even work when it’s overcast? Do Solar Lights Charge On Cloudy Days?

The short answer is – yes! Although straight sunlight is key to charging solar panels, they continue to set even on cloudy, and heavy days.

Charging Solar Lights on Cloudy Days How it Works:

A solar light is one that captures the sun’s flashes and stores them to charge the light when it becomes dark. Seems smooth, right?

Cloud blanket diffuses the strength of the sun. However, overall daylight is still transmitted through solar irradiance coming from the sun. Solar irradiance is the estimation of the brightness of the entire Sun as a wavelength of light. This allows the system to charge even during low sunlit days.

How Does Solar Lighting Work Without Sunlight:

Light Sensitivity of Solar Cell:

All solar panels are made of solar cells that are called photovoltaic cells. These photovoltaic cells are made of silicon. These tiny silicon cells are extremely sensitive to light and convert sunlight into electricity.

Upon direct connection with sunlight, electrons separate and flow through the cell. This flow causes electricity to flow.

Charging components are very sensitive to light density or luminous intensity. This light density is sufficient for the solar cells to collect energy and begin their process.

Light Density on Cloudy Days

Cloud covering on cloudy days blocks the direct sunlight, while solar-based lights are still receiving a charge. That cloud blanket keeps on diffusing the strength of sunlight, but solar irradiance keeps on transmitting from the sun to the earth.

In the case of puffy cumulus clouds coving the blue sky, sunlight will manage to penetrate through clouds from time to time. Once it happens, the solar panels absorb the direct sunlight as well as the sunlight reflected by the cloud.

Sunlight or luminous intensity is enough for charging in cloudy conditions.

Do Solar Lights Charge on Cloudy Days —Tips To Increase Efficieny

Determining Light Quality

You must define light quality while considering solar lights. Light quality is the uniformity of light provided by solar lighting systems.

For example, a parking lot or a street often has patchy bight and dark areas. Though the human eye is adaptable to light shifts from day to night, it gives up when dealing with bright and dark areas at the same time.

Traditional bright lights are so bright that they make it difficult to adjust for the human eye.

And ever-advancing technology, led light can offer more uniform illumination with better quality than high-intensity traditional lights.

Light Level Guarantee:

Because of LED improvements in solar LED lights can provide light levels recommended by illuminating engineering society. Solar LED lighting systems qualify for recommended standards for street lighting, parking lots, pathways, and security applications.

Also, Read This: Day better LED Lights Not Working. Why?

Charging Efficiency in Cloudy Weather

Cloudy days are still suitable for charging, although the rate will be slower. On a cloudy day or when in the shade, the irradiance may only be half or one-fifth of what it is on a sunny day.

The good news is that charging effectiveness may be enhanced on overcast days. When charging, the solar panel heats up quickly from direct sunshine, which lowers the charging efficiency. On the other hand, the temperature is much more likely during the time when cloudy conditions result in very efficient solar panel charging.

Clouds That May or May not Effect charging:

Here are some types of clouds that won’t weaken your solar lights’ ability to charge:

  • Cirrus: delicate, feathery clouds high in the sky
  • Cirrostratus: thin white clouds that hang overhead like a veil 
  • Cirrocumulus: patchy, thin, sheet-like clouds

And here are some types of clouds that may eradicate the sunlight. 

  • Altostratus: thick gray clouds that cover the whole sky
  • Nimbostratus: dark gray clouds that blend with precipitation
  • Stratocumulus: patchy gray clouds that often come before a storm with limited
  • The lights won’t be able to produce much power at all if there is a thick layer of clouds. They may still have enough energy stored to turn on automatically at dusk, but they won’t likely glow for as long as they would on a sunny summer day.

    How to Charge Without sun- Few tips To Enhance Efficiency:

    • When Using Solar Panels in Overcast Conditions, Clean Them

    Even though it won’t be as strong as in sunny weather, sunlight will however reach your solar lights under gloomy conditions. Your solar lights will therefore charge more quickly and utilize the sunlight that is available more effectively if any dust, filth, or grime is cleaned off.

    Be very gentle and avoid using detergents while cleaning the solar cells.If you are living in some area if there is a lot of dust, pollen, sandstorms, or fires, wash off the sheets of dust, pollen, or ashes with a hose.

    • Re-position the Lights

    As the sun crosses the sky, position the solar panels in that direction. You can place them in the middle of the yard, or reposition them if they are under some tree.

    • Use Mirrors to Redirect Sunlight, if Needed

    Place a mirror close by to reflect sunshine onto the solar panels if they are situated beneath a shadow.

    • Turn off the Lights and let them Charge More Efficiently for 72 hours

    When solar lights are off, they will charge significantly more effectively. Make sure to position them outside so that they can receive as much sunshine as possible.

    • Use Artificial Lighting

    You can use incandescent bulbs to charge solar light, although not as effective as natural sunlight. 

 Related: Why Solar Lights Stay ON at Night? Top Methods.

Final words:

Solar lights are the economic solution for lighting the Patio, pathways, parking lots, and street lights. It is definitely a one-time investment, and the sun will not charge any bill for using its light. Right?

It is a sustainable and eco-friendly energy source, to light up your decor while being thrifty. You should go for it if you are thinking of installing solar lights in your home.