How to Charge Solar Lights Without the Sun

How to Charge Solar Lights Without the Sun

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Solar lights have become quite popular recently because they are both efficient and environmentally friendly.

Garden solar lights provide light at night through the use of a battery that is charged during the day but do you know how to charge solar lights without the sun?

What happens if you live in an area where you don’t get enough sunlight to charge your solar lights?
How do you make sure your solar lights will work correctly and consistently even if there isn’t enough sun?

To find out more about charging solar lights without the sun keep reading and don’t forget to check out our other articles How Long do Solar Lights Take to Charge? and Why Are My Solar Lights Not Working and How to Fix Them?

How Long Should Solar Lights be Charged?

Like all rechargeable devices, solar lights require a period with no battery drain so that they can store energy for later use.

It’s important to know how long your light should be charged up before you use it so that when it does get dark you have enough charge to carry you through the night.

On average, solar lights should be fully charged about 6 hours before use. This will obviously depend upon your lights and we’d always suggest you check out the specifications before your buy.

The last thing you want is a set of lights that take so long to charge that they will never fully charge especially if you live in an area or plan to put them in a location that has little light.

You can find out more about how long solar lights take to charge by reading our blog that focuses on this subject.

Do Solar Lights Need the Sun to Charge?

Solar lights are one of the most environmentally friendly ways to illuminate your outdoor spaces, but you may wonder do solar lights need the sun to charge?.

Solar lights don’t need the sun to charge because they require daylight and not direct sunlight. Solar lights can also be charged via artificial light, incandescent light bulbs, or even via a USB power source on some lights.

Obviously, during the winter months, direct sunlight may be limited due to the hours of daylight and also the weather but solar lights can still charge with daylight.

Charging may take longer and the batteries may not charge fully but in most instances, they will charge enough to ensure you can use them for several hours.

Now, we’ve said you can charge some solar lights via artificial lights, incandescent bulbs, and USB ports but it really does miss the point. The whole idea about solar lights is that you have them to save electricity and light your garden spaces without the need for electricity.

Can I Charge Solar Lights Indoors?

Many solar lights can be charged indoors especially when they are new.

Obviously, once you’ve put your lights in the desired location, the last thing you’ll want to do is to bring them in all the time but they can indeed be charged inside.

The best way to charge your solar lights for free inside is to stand them up at a window that gets a large amount of light and allow the sun’s rays to come through the window.

How To Charge Solar Lights Without the Sun?

If you simply don’t have any sunlight or daylight for that fact you may want to charge your solar lights in another way. We’d always suggest you wait for the sun to reappear but there may be an occasion when you just need them charged no matter how.

If you’re desperate to charge your solar lights without sunlight then you may be able to use one of the following

By Using a Mains Power Supply

As we know, solar lights contain a battery that is charged by daylight. Some solar lights however also come with a USB port that can be plugged into the mains.

Simply plug the USB into a plug socket to charge your lights but keep in mind that you may need an extension cord if you want to place your light far away from the plug socket. The other option would be to bring the lights inside to charge.

This however may be easier said than done, if your solar lights are string, rope, or festoon-styled lights.

By Using a Powerbank

Using a power bank is much easier than using mains power. Powerbanks come in all shapes and sizes and connect to devices via a USB lead.

A power bank is a type of battery pack. It is a sealed unit with some form of battery inside. They are charged, normally via a wall socket and they can then power any USB device.

Simply connect one end of the lead to your power bank and the other to your lights and away you go. They are much easier for those lights that are fixed in place such as rope lights.

Power banks are fairly cheap and are widely available. You can see a range of the best and cheapest power banks here.

Best ways to improve solar light charging

The best and most cost-effective way to charge your solar lights is obviously via the sun.

The amount of charge a solar light can get will depend upon a number of things but there are a few ways that you can improve how well your solar lights charge even when it’s cloudy or you don’t have a lot of sunlight available.

1) Choose your Solar Light’s Location Carefully

Place solar lights in areas where they will get direct sunlight for as much time as possible. This way they’ll be able to collect more energy and store it in their batteries.

The more time solar lights spend in a dark place, such as covered by bushes or in shadows, while not being charged, means less time they have available for charging.

It’s best to locate them where they can be exposed to as much light as possible and will be able to fully charge up. If that isn’t an option, make sure they are at least unshaded as much as possible.

2) Don’t Leave Them On Overnight

Leaving solar lights on overnight is not always a good idea because sometimes there isn’t enough light during certain times of day to fully charge them before dark comes again.

You should only leave them on for as long as you need them. Make sure you try and turn them off if they have a switch to do so otherwise you’ll quickly run out of battery power at night.

3) In Cloudy Conditions, Expose Them to Indirect Sunlight

Don’t be discouraged if it’s overcast and rainy.

Solar lights will charge without direct sunlight. Just make sure that your lights are out for as long as possible in an unshaded area. Even if it is cloudy the solar panels should catch enough light to charge the battery to some extent.


These days, it’s becoming increasingly important for people to be more environmentally conscious and live more sustainably.

With the constantly rising price of electricity, people are trying to find ways of saving money and one of the easiest ways you can do that is by using solar-powered lighting.

Solar lights are both efficient and easy on your wallet. Solar-powered lighting has come a long way since its early days, so you don’t have to worry about spending hundreds of pounds on equipment that might not even work correctly, you can find quality products at affordable prices today.

If you haven’t bought your solar lights take a look at some of the Best Selling Solar Lights on the market today.