How to Repair Broken Solar Post Lights

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Solar post lights are some of the most common types of solar lights you can expect to find in home improvement. These are simply solar powered outdoor lights that are fixated to a stake that can be stabbed into the dirt as garden lights, pathway lights or even patio lights. These products are not without their problems especially the cheap models you find in general retail stores like Wal-Mart who are known to carry low cost models. Some problems, however, can be easy to fix and this article will cover some of the most common issues and possible resolutions.

Diagnose the Issue

The first step in attempting to fix anything is to diagnose the issue. With solar post lights the physical malfunctions can be easy to identify. These are issues like a broken stake or post. It is the technical component level that can take a little bit of guesswork or trial and error to discover where the problem resides. Some tougher to diagnose issues might be observed when there is dim or no light coming from the lamp at night. There are several areas that could possibly be malfunctioning to prevent the lamp from producing light.

Post-less Solar Post Lighting

A broken stake or post could be a simple repair with certain types of glues depending on the material. Often metal stakes are more durable than plastic but metal will bend rather than simply break. In the case of a bent post there is always to possibility that it can be bent back into shape. If not a replacement post is often cheap and easy to perform yourself.

Dim Outdoor Solar Post Lights

In situations where there is dim or no light, the first test would be whether the solar cells are receiving enough direct exposure to sun light during the day. Consider the entirety of the day and whether there are shadows cast over the product at any point depending on the position of the sun. If possible, you might want to try moving the solar light into an area where it is guaranteed to receive direct exposure to sun light all day long. Sometimes moving the solar panel is enough to solve this issue especially for products like a solar security light where the installation location isn’t always ideal for receiving sun light.

If the exposure to sun light is sufficient and it is still only producing a dim light then there must a problem somewhere else. One possible component could be the solar panel itself. The delicate wires inside could be disconnected preventing the solar cells from passing electricity to the battery, or the cells themselves could simply not be capturing and converting electricity properly. It could also be the battery’s inability to hold a charge. The only real way to distinguish the malfunction is to replace the solar cells or pull the battery and test it if you have the proper equipment.

Light Sensor Malfunction

There could be a malfunction of other parts in situations where there is absolutely no light at all. It could be that the solar panels and batteries are working fine but the lamp isn’t being turned on at night because the light sensors are not working properly. The switch is controlled by a light dependent resistor, or LDR, which controls the electricity circuit depending on the light levels outside. These are electrical components so it could be that a leak in the case allowing the parts to get wet could cause the problem. Try drying everything and if it doesn’t work then it is time for replacement parts.

The good news is that there is often a lot of information you can gather simply by going through the owner’s manual and the troubleshooting section. If parts do need to be replaced they often are cheap. Usually problems are not that common and if the solar post lights were recently purchased it could be covered by a warranty that might entitle you to an entirely new replacement.