Garden Solar Lamps

    Can my solar garden lamps be charged by my desk lamp or do they require sunlight?

    • ANSWER:
      Solar cells often respond to light other than the sun, however, the efficiency will be different as will the time it takes to charge the batteries. So, it should work, but not as well.

      Hope this helps,


    how do solar powered garden lamps work?
    We have just bought a pair of solar garden lamps ( yesterday) and have had them outside all day. It hasn’t been sunny but just cloudy. The lights haven’t come on.

    Just noticed that they have on/off switches. Are the switches just so that the lights work off the battery ? For the solar power to charge the lights do I need to have them on “off” ?

    Or will having it set to off mean that the solar power won’t work. Or do the lamps just need a few days of sunlight.

    So I guess my question is, do I leave the switch set at on or off. The lights are working now that I have turned the switch to on. But is this just the battery and not the solar power ?

    Confused :)

    • ANSWER:
      The little solar panel charges the battery during daylight, the brighter the sunlight and the longer the day the longer the light stays on at night. The on/off switch keeps the light off but the battery still charges. It’s usually recommended that when first placing the lights in use you keep the switch to off to allow a full charge initially.
    can rechargable battaries be put in to solar garden lamps?

    • ANSWER:
      I am surprised that the lamps themselves being solar powered don’t already have rechargable batteries. Being solar, that is the whole point.
    Solar powered garden lamps?
    Can they be fixed. When the little sun sucking thingies on the top stop absorbing can these be cleaned or should we cut the losses and make lanterns.

    • ANSWER:
      I think that making lanterns out of them is your best bet. (Thanks for the idea.) The panel replacements usually cost more than the lights. In the next couple of months, Target will end cap the solar lights. You can get them for a great savings.
    rechargable battery in garden lamps – can I replace with ordinary rechargeables or are these special?
    my solar lamps were dead so I have opened them and found two rechargeable AA batteries. On them it says Solar Lighting Power Pack 600 mAh, 1.2v. Quick charge 1.5h at 600mA, Standard charge 15 hours at 60mA. NiCad

    I suppose the inverse of this question is “can I recharge normal rechargeable batteries using the little solar panel on garden lamps?”, which would be the 15h at 60mA.

    • ANSWER:
      There won’t be a problem if you use batteries with the same chemistry (Ni-Cad). If you buy new batteries they will probably have a higher capacity and so will never get fully charged, this shortens the life of Ni-Cad batteries due to the “memory effect”.
      You could replace your Ni-Cad batteries with Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) to avoid or reduce this.

      If you live somewhere where you get 15 hours of bright sunlight, you will also be able to use the panels as a charger.

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