Solar Lighting FAQs

Why go solar powered? 

Outdoor lighting doesn’t just provide a pretty illumination for your garden, they’re a green, environmentally friendly and energy-efficient lighting solution that doesn’t require wires or outdoor power. They are a cost saver over the long term and a hassel free, low maintenance lighting solution. All that is required is a good sunny spot for the panel to soak up the light. 

Solar lights will also lessen your carbon footprint, and are portable for those who may rent or when camping or staying away. Weave around nearby trees, drape  from balustrades, place in a lantern on your outdoor table or simply just pop them on the ground in a pile and watch your little bulbs glow!

Another added bonus is you can easily install them on your own – no professional electrician is required.

Do Solar lights need sun or just light?

The best source to charge your festoon party lights is with direct sun. However, daylight will still provide a good charge. For those very cloudy, rainy days they may still charge a little but you'll get less light in the evenings as the charge will be less. 

Our larger G40 25 bulb range and S14 collection also have a handy USB charge port on the side of the panel for those super cloudy days or when you have that special event where you want guaranteed light all night. Simply disconnect the panel from the festoon cable and place on a charge during the day. Once the light turns green connect the panel back to your festoon lights. No need to dismantle your beautiful display. 


Do Solar lights work on rainy days?

Yes, solar power panels will produce electricity even on cloudy and rainy days. The system will still generate some electricity and save you money. However, production will be reduced as the number of particles of light that help create electricity is lower.

On the bright side, the great thing about rainfall is that it washes down the panels, which can help to maintain their effectiveness when used in a garden.

Do Solar lights work in the winter?

Yes, solar lights work throughout the winter although there’s less sunlight. The positive is with the earlier darker evenings they'll turn on earlier! You may be concerned about the way solar-powered lights operate during this time of the year as the panels usually work best when in direct sunlight where UV rays will hit them. 

However, same as on days when it rains or on cloudy days: Although the energy absorption will be lower, there will still be a light output at nightfall – the brightness of the bulb is just not as strong.

How long do solar lights stay on at night?

Depending on the charging efficiency during the day and their quality, festoons can stay on all night long!

Solar panels have a charging time of around 6-8 hours. They’ll last for up to 8+ hours depending on many factors such as:

  1. Duration of direct sunlight throughout the day
  2. The intensity of the sunlight

While storing solar panels

When storing them away for a while or during winter, don’t forget to switch them off (if there’s an off-button) to preserve battery life. To many people, it seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easily forgotten. Leaving a solar-powered festoon light switched on can reduce its lifespan as the light may get damaged.

Do the lights stay on during the day?

No. They will only work when it is dark so once daylight appears your solar lighting will turn itself off. The sunlight charges the lights in the daytime so they have enough ‘juice’ to remain fully lit when it’s dark out. 

Can you leave solar lights out all year round?

Festoon lights are stunning all year round – whether on warm summer evenings or colder winter days. Our solar festoon lights are rated IP65 so need to worry about the rain! 

How do you charge solar lights for the first time?

To reach its maximum capacity, the solar panel has to be fully charged by direct sunlight for 8 hours before initial use. Too many times people get excited and charge them for an hour or two expecting them to fully light up that night, all night. Be patient and give them a good first charge!

Are solar lights worth the money?

Absolutely! However, you do get what you pay for and if you go cheap with a lower quality brand then chances are you'll be frustrated with them after a season. We've heard far too many stories about water sitting in bulbs, cables breaking and lights having to be thrown in the rubbish after one short season. If you buy from us, we guarantee that disppointed will not occur! In fact, when your guests come over we think you'll be having a debate whether they are mains or solar powered. For the light effect they produce they really are powerful panels! As for the cables, same industrial strength as our mains powered commercial festoons. The bulbs are all watertight so no chance of rain getting in. Rated IP65 you can be rest assured these solar powered festoon and fairy lights can be left outside all year round. 

The initial buying cost can be high but these costs are typically made up for overtime as festoon solar lights can last you for years while keeping your electricity bill low. 

View the full range here - Solar Lights