Solar lights are commonly used outdoors to light up lawns, patios, and pathways. These lights are pretty awesome and completely change the outlook of any place. Moreover, they reduce our carbon footprint and help us save more by cutting back on electricity use.
Outdoor solar lights don’t depend on the grid, which means you won’t spend a dime on the bills. The best part is that your exterior environment gets illuminated properly without any hassle. This cost-effective way scares away intruders and, at the same time, enhances the beauty of your landscape.
We all know solar lights use the sun’s energy to charge. So, when they are installed outdoors, they have a constant source of power. But what happens when they are inside your home? How to charge solar lights indoor? More importantly, can they be charged indoors? Are there are tips and tricks to it? Let’s find out:
News Flash ― solar lights are not just found in sun-kissed areas. You can install solar lights indoors in an area where they can receive sunlight regularly. First, let’s look at how solar lights work:
How Solar Lights Are Powered?
Solar lights work through photovoltaic energy conversion. The top of the lamps has a black solar panel, which contains photovoltaic cells for catching energy. The energy captured is converted to DC current and stored inside solar light batteries. This energy powers up the light bulb when the sun goes down.
A solar device needs at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sun exposure to work at its full capacity. So, make sure that your solar lights are not positioned in a shadowy spot.
To answer the above questions ― yes, you can charge solar lights indoors! Yes, there are plenty of ways to charge them without the sun! Here’s how:
5 Tips on How to Charge Solar Lights Indoor
1. Charging Solar Lights on a Cloudy Day
It’s a miserable and cloudy day ― your solar lights dim down because the sun keeps playing peek-a-boo. Your lights might not get charged today.
Yes, it can! Anything you have read online or heard up till now about solar lights not getting charged on a cloudy day is a myth. Even when the clouds are heavy in the sky, some sunlight still manages to hit the surface. On a cold day, light still hits the PV cells, and this temperature helps charge the panels and store energy. The only catch is that you will be able to charge small devices.
2. Use an Incandescent Bulb
As we mentioned above, solar lights require energy that comes from sunlight. If you can replicate that light indoors, you are good to go. Of course, ordinary household bulbs are not the solution. Still, there are types of lights that can power your solar lights.
You need a high-wattage incandescent bulb that can be positioned in such a manner that all its light is focused on the PV cells. You can use a bulb with 40W or 100W output for the best results. This light is very effective because it has a similar spectrum and wavelength to sunlight. Hence, it can charge most solar-powered objects, such as flashlights, calculators, and watches.
There are a few drawbacks to charging your solar lights that use incandescent bulbs, the main one being that it will take about 5 hours more to charge. The charging time depends on small or big your device is.
3. Use an LED
One of the best things about an LED light is that it creates visible light with long ultraviolet waves and infrared waves created by the sun. However, the ratio of the former waves is smaller, which is why it takes longer to charge a solar light indoors. This charging option is stronger than an incandescent bulb because it produces more ultraviolet waves.
Be careful when using an LED lamp to charge your solar lights. Ultraviolet lamps emit more energy and heat, which can be a safety hazard. Hence, we recommend that you choose your LED light wisely.
4. Use a Flashlight
This method is one of the easiest ones on how to charge solar lights indoor. Since a flashlight’s light is more focused, it will help your charge your solar lights faster than an incandescent bulb does. Did you know that a flashlight is as powerful as 1% of sunlight? This might seem too small to you, but it means that you can get your solar lights charged in a day for emergencies. On average, a flashlight emits 100 lumens. It takes about 300 to 500 lumens to light up a room and 1,500 to 100,000 lumens to light the outdoor.
You can buy a camping flashlight, which gives about 900 to 1,500 lumens. This is the ideal amount of power to charge your solar lights in about 6 to 12 hours.
5. Use a Mirror
This tip is more of a charging trick. On a particularly sunny day, position a mirror in front of the window in such a way that light falls directly on it and is reflected on the solar lights. This trick works best on solar lights fixed in one place.
So, now you know that whether it’s a cloudy day or the sun is shining bright, you can still charge your solar lights indoors. The two best tricks on how to charge solar lights indoor are to use an incandescent bulb and a high lumen flashlight as both these options are safe. The total amount of time for charging solar lights indoor ranges between 4 to 12 hours. Remember, with larger solar lights, you need to provide higher power and more time to charge them.