Spring is Here... Finally! Tips for Solar Lights, Garden Products
Even though we (in the Northeast) are having a snow storm this winter, and our best wishes go out to our customers in the many flood ravaged areas of the United States, technically: it's Spring.
There are at least three definitions of when Spring actually begins, which are:
- Meteorological Spring - March 1st
- Vernal Equinox - March 20th
- Real-Life Spring - All Depends on Where You Live and Mother Nature
Luckily, most of us are now well into what we call "Real-Life Spring." And with this in mind, it's a good time to review our many past posts on Spring Tips for solar lights and solar garden products like pumps, fountains and pest control. (
Batteries, Batteries, Batteries!
Almost all problems with solar powered products start out with the rechargeable battery(ies) that make them work with stored solar power.
Whether your item has been out for the winter or properly stored, the most common problem will be with improperly charged batteries.
Basically, there are two solutions:
- Turn the item off for two or three sunny days to "recharge" the battery;
(For more information, please see this blog post from our sister blog.)
- If this doesn't work, replace the battery.
Make Sure You Get the Right Type, Size and Strength Battery for your Product
Be Careful in How You Dispose of Your Solar Lights and Especially Your Rechargeable Batteries.
All batteries are considered to be, at the minimum, "household hazardous waste."
Your solar products have been good to you and the environment. Make sure they continue to be good after their useful lifespan with our post "Stay Green with Garden Products when Brighter Days are Gone."
This is the time of year when a lot of people pull out solar-powered features that have been stored away for the winter.
It also is the time of the year when outdoor solar lighting fixtures don't work properly and nine times out of ten, batteries are the reason. (Actually, whenever a solar light or solar product doesn't work, the usual fix is a new battery.
Solar lighting and most outdoor solar products generally use rechargeable batteries that last about two years, a pretty good life-span. Sooner or later though, replacements are inevitable. And that's where the trouble can start.
A mistake that many solar lighting users make is thinking that ANY battery will work with their solar light. Sorry, it's just not the case. Using the wrong type or size battery may work initially, but within a very short time it will destroy the solar lighting fixture. (And yes, we read other people's blogs. For most solar lights and batteries, what we read is malarkey. For high quality solar lights, the info is just flat out incorrect.)
This is true any product that uses rechargeable batteries, from relatively low-cost items such as flashlights to major investments such as laptop computers. In fact, many specialists in battery technology recommend not only that the specified type of batteries be used, many suggest that the same brand of any battery be used in one specific electronic device.
Solar lighting fixtures are very particularly sensitive to the types of batteries used. Why? Because a well-designed solar light depends on the integration of three major components: the solar panel, the controllers you can't see, and the rechargeable battery that stores solar energy for use at night.
We don't carry batteries (but can get them to you as special orders, as we often do for new purchases when the customer wants some spares) because usually far cheaper for you to buy them at a local store or directly through the manufacturer. It's always best to hold on to your user manuals to know EXACTLY which battery you need to purchase.
Check Motion Detection SENS and Timing Settings
"Motion Detection" doesn't really sense motion. Instead, motion detection is really the PIR (passive infrared detector) sensing heat, most motion detection activated solar lights turn on more often in cold weather.
If the temperatures are getting warmer where you live and your lights have SENS (sensitivity to "motion") settings, it's time to adjust these settings. (Most floodlights and security spotlights have these settings; our PIR lamps and solar lights usually do not.)
Again, if you don't have your user manual, please contact SolarFlairLighting.com and we'll be able to provide a replacement manual for any light we now carry and often even for discontinued models.
We can also help explain what the different settings mean and how to use them. Want more info? Check this post: Two Common Adjustments for Solar Lights in the Spring.
Reminder: The Best Prep Started Last Fall
The best way to make sure that your solar products work well each Spring is to make sure they are all taken care of properly during the winter. If not, you may have some problems with bad batteries, rust (since water and air make rust where often water and water do not), or parts damaged by the expansion of frozen water.
If your solar lights, pumps, fountains, or pest control don't work, remember that most of the time we can replace the products. However, if the damage was done due to improper maintenance, your warranty is void.
Don't See the Answer to Your Problem?
Just contact SolarFlairLighting.com and we'll try our best to address your problems. Many problems that customers think are "manufacturing defects" are actually "user error," meaning the warranty is void. Don't let this happen to you.
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