Home » Solar Lights » How to Clean Solar Panels on Garden Lights

Solar lights are great, and they look really nice flanking the walkway to your home. How nice would it be, though, if they kept light all night? If your solar lights are starting to illuminate less brightly in the evening, you probably don’t have a problem with the solar panel; rather, the plastic covering around the panel is clouding over. It can make your solar lights appear to work when in fact they’re not providing as much illumination as they should. The other thing to consider is that weather does take its toll on solar garden lights, so your collection might need some maintenance once in a while. For example, heavy snow can weigh them down and break the lights, or rain can result in rusting of the batteries and panels. In any case, using your lights during these times is not recommended to protect them.



The continued care of your solar lights is very important. Many people assume that as long as the lights are sitting out during the day, charging occurs. This is not always so. If the dirt and debris that layer your solar panels remain there, your battery may not get fully charged. Regular solar panel cleaning is almost as essential as cleaning your car or home windows. Un-cleaned panels will be less effective during the daylight hours when they need to be working hard. So regular maintenance is a must be to ensure you get the most from your outdoor lights.

When cleaning your solar outdoor lights, it is best to ensure that you allow the fixtures to completely cool off before attempting to clean. A small amount of soapy water and a soft cloth will do the trick. Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush to remove any debris or stubborn spots. We recommend cleaning your solar panels about once per month to ensure they’re absorbing as much sunlight as possible. However, if you reside in a particularly dusty area, you may need to perform the task more frequently.


When cleaning outdoor lighting fixtures make sure that you start with a proper cleaning solution. Soap and water is adequate for the glass and plastic components; just make sure to rinse them off thoroughly afterward. Some cleaning solutions can also be helpful when it comes to removing the buildup of dirt from metal or plastic parts on the fixture. Remove any debris that might be stuck to the light fixtures and globes with a soft cloth, scrub brush, or rag. Adjust the height of your lighting fixtures at this point to illuminate your


While inspecting your globes and fixtures, check them for damage such as cracked globes, cracks in metal components, or dents in plastic. If you see any signs of damage, you may be able to find replacement parts online which are considerably less expensive than replacing the whole fixture.


If you notice that your outdoor solar lights are not functioning correctly, this may be due to extreme corrosion that has been built up on the batteries. The batteries may need to be removed from the fixture and scrubbed with a soft bristle brush to remove any excess corrosion.

Your solar landscape lighting batteries should last one to three years before they need to be replaced. If your fixtures came with NiCd (nickel cadmium) batteries, you can expect to see a lifespan on the shorter end of the spectrum. Batteries should be replaced and inserted every 3-5 years depending on the use of your solar lights. Once your lights start to dim, we recommend replacing the batteries as soon as possible for optimal results.