Can Solar Lights Get Wet (Water Rating + Protection )

Solar lights are a great way to illuminate your home without wiring or additional costs. Since they are always outside, you may wonder if solar lights can get wet. I’ll be telling you a bit about solar light and how to tell if yours are waterproof.

Solar lights brighten up a garden, especially on winter nights. Although sometimes the light needs replacing after only a couple of years. The weather could be damaging your solar lights.

Here are a few key points I’ll be covering today;

  • Solar lights and weather
  • How to tell if your lights are waterproof
  • How to protect your solar lights from the weather

This article will save money and keep your cool solar light looking amazing.

Solar Light With Rain On It
Solar Light With Rain On It

Can Solar Lights Get Wet?

Outdoor solar lights should withstand the rain. Your average outdoor solar light is typically rated for rain. Some cheap lights may not be water-resistant. You should always check the label to ensure your lights are safe for water.

Material is also important. Most lights on the market use plastic, but you can find solar lights that use glass. Glass solar lights should not be left out if snow or heavy rain is expected. The glass can break if a cold liquid gets on the warm glass.

Generally, glass lights are more likely to be damaged by weather like wind or sand. Any glass lights should be brought indoors if your area expects extreme weather.

If your solar lights aren’t rated for water, you may need to use them in sheltered areas. You may also need only to use them on nice nights.

Solar Lights On Grass
Solar Lights On Grass

Water Resistance Ratings

When looking at solar lights, you may notice a label with “IP” and some numbers. For instance, it may be labeled as IP51 or IP64.

These numbers indicate how well-protected the electronic components are from solids and liquids. The first number refers to solid objects, and the second refers to liquids.

What the Numbers Mean

On the solid object side, the scale goes from 0-6. 0 offers no protection whatsoever, such as electronics without a case like a bare circuit board. A 6 means the unit is completely protected from dust.

The scale is 0-9K on the liquid side. This quick list will help you know what the second digit refers to.

  • 0- No protection
  • 1- Protected from drops from above
  • 2- Protected from drops hitting at a 15 degree angle
  • 3- Protected from spray at a 60 degree angle
  • 4- Protected from water splashing at any angle
  • 5- Protected against water jets
  • 6- Protected against strong water jet and heavy seas
  • 7- Protected against temporary submersion under 30 minutes
  • 8- Protected against temporary submersion, but exact time varies
  • 9K- Protects against high pressures like steam cleaning
A Wet Solar Light In The Garden After Rainfall. - Sol Voltaics: Solar Panel Information
A Wet Solar Light In The Garden After Rainfall.

What Rating Should Solar Lights Have

For outdoor lights, you want an IP64, at least. This means your light can handle dust and rain easily. A splash from a nearby puddle won’t kill your lights.

An IP52 could work, but heavy rain or dust could damage the lights. Anything outdoors should be sealed to keep out dirt and debris.

You will need a higher rating if your area receives heavy rains or storms. An IP51 will be resistant to dust and light rain. An IP63 will be sealed against dust and safe from heavier rains.

Anything with a higher waterproof rating will survive most weather situations. This will help ensure your lights work for years to come.

Remember to be careful of snow since the cold may damage your lights.

The IP64 weatherproof solar lights would be a great addition to anyone’s garden;

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Solar Light In A Garden With The Sun Shining
Solar Light In A Garden With The Sun Shining

Protecting Your Lights From the Weather

Even the best lights may need to be taken in if your area expects extreme weather. Here is how to care for your lights, depending on the rating.

If your lights are not water-resistant or have no rating, you should only have them outside on nice days. Take them inside as soon as rain or heavy winds are forecast.

Lights with ratings under 6 for solids, so an IP5X or less, will need to be taken inside as soon as the wind picks up. The light could be damaged if you live in an area with dust or pollen.

For waterproof ratings, you should look at the weather report for the amount of wind and rain. High winds can sneak light rain under the protection of lights with a rating of IPX2 or less.

If your area may experience flooding, always take your lights inside. They would need to be rated for underwater use to withstand a day underwater.

Even if you may not have proper flooding, a puddle formed by your lights could cause damage. This is particularly true for low lights that may not have much clearance.

Snow can damage your lights. Snow can melt from the lights and end up reaching the electronics. Unless your lights are rated for snow, you should take them inside.

Glass lights should be taken in whenever the weather gets bad. Dust can etch the glass, and thermal shock can shatter them.

Weather-proofing Solar Lights

If you have bought cheap solar lights without a rating, you may be able to seal them yourself to help prevent damage. They should not be trusted in heavy winds or rains, but a drizzle shouldn’t be a problem.

For instance, many decorative solar lights can’t handle water. There are many fixes online to help prevent damage in light rain.

One popular option is to seal the panel with either silicone sealant or greenhouse repair tape. Make sure the panel and surrounding area are covered. Scratching the surrounding metal or plastic housing will help the adhesive stick.

This will help keep any water out of the electronics. Cheap lights can have their batteries overloaded and may fail. If you live in a sunny place, you may need to replace the batteries.

You may also need to seal gaps in cheap solar lights to keep insects out. The sealant works well and can help keep your lights working longer.

Sources

General Solar Panel FAQ

What Problems Do Solar Panels Solve?

In environmental terms, solar panels can potentially solve a handful of problems, including;
1. Air pollution
2. Water pollution
3. Greenhouse gases
4. Reduction in fossil fuel use

For individuals, solar energy allows you to become completely self-sufficient when it comes to your electricity needs and can save you a lot of money in the long run.

What Are 3 Important Uses Of Solar Panels?

The three most important uses of solar panels are;
1. Solar electricity. This can be used to power almost any appliance in your home, including TVs, computers, and fridges.
2. Lighting. In addition to the use of low-power, LED lightbulbs, solar panels can provide an efficient, low-cost, and environmentally friendly way to provide lighting to homes. 
3. Portable solar. In our modern, always-connected lives, our phones, tablets, and computers are almost always with us, and all run on batteries. Portable PV chargers can help keep our batteries topped up no matter where we are, as long as there is some sun to charge them.

Do solar panels give you free electricity?

Once the cost of the array is paid in full, the energy it produces is free. There are ongoing maintenance costs, too, such as annual panel cleaning, etc. 

How much will my electric bill be with solar panels?

Suppose your solar array includes a solar battery backup system, and it is large enough to fully cover your energy usage per day. In that case, your monthly electric bill will be next to zero dollars, even with a grid-tied system. 

If your solar array does not include a solar battery backup system, then at night, your house or business will use grid electricity. That cost will vary but expect to pay from 1/3-2/3 of your average electric bill, and that cost will fluctuate seasonally. 

Do you save money with solar panels?

The simple answer is, Yes, you save money with solar panels. There is an initial upfront cost, but since solar panels are warrantied for 25 years, you will save money over time. You will also begin to see monthly savings in energy bills, but there are other ways that solar panels pay you back. Those include:
1. Adding value to your home or commercial building 
2. Monthly decreases in energy costs
3. The ability to add more energy appliances without increased monthly costs
4. The potential for tax credits for going solar

Can solar panels power a house 24-7?

Most definitely! Solar panels can certainly power a house 24-7, with the addition of a high-quality inverter and a suitable battery bank, of course. To power, a house under normal usage will require a massive solar array, though, and there will be a very expensive initial financial outlay.

Do I need to tell my energy supplier I have solar panels?

This depends on where you live, but in most cases, it’s not necessary to inform your energy supplier that you have solar panels. That said, you may be producing excess power with your solar system, in which case you may be able to sell that excess power back to energy companies.

In this case, you’ll naturally need to be in contact with them. 

What Are Solar Cells Known as and Why?

Solar cells are also called photovoltaic (PV) cells. They are called so because the term ‘photovoltaic’ literally means light i.e. photo and electricity i.e. voltaic.

These cells generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. This effect basically causes the generation of free electrons from the semiconducting silicon material of the solar panel when sunlight hits its surface.

What Type of Solar Panels Are Most Efficient and Why?

There are currently three types of solar panels available in the market that are:
1. Monocrystalline
2. Polycrystalline
3. Thin-filmed

Among these, monocrystalline solar panels are known to be the most efficient among all others.

Does heat enter your home through the roof?

Absolutely. Heat enters your home through your roof, and on a hot day your attic can get up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Through conduction, heat from the sun warms your roof which then warms your attic and the rest of your home.

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