How Much Sun Do Solar Lights Need? Answer & Explanation (2023)

How much sun do solar lights need? This is a crucial question, as it has to do with your desire to implement solar lights in your home.

You may be concerned about whether you have enough light for them to function properly and be able to charge them, and that’s completely normal, of course, you want to know about something you are going to invest in or already have.

If you’re planning an installation of solar lights or if you already have them installed, you’ll find this guide invaluable in saving your time finding useful information.

How much sun do solar lights need? 

In order for solar lights to function properly, it would be optimal for solar panels to be under direct sunlight for at least four hours.

That is the short answer to the question of how much sun do solar lights need. However, this calculation may deviate since the sizes of solar lights vary as well as the intensity of the sun.

The bigger the panels are, the more exposure to the sun is necessary, the smaller the panels are the shorter exposure they’ll need. Also, the stronger and more direct the sun, the shorter the charging time, and vice versa.

Also, the stronger and more direct the sun, the shorter the charging time, and vice versa. Fortunately, nowadays you don’t need to worry if your panels are not constantly exposed to the sun or if they are occasionally in the shade.

Their technology is advancing and modern models perform excellently even in non-ideal weather conditions. In ideal conditions, there is no shade or clouds, but this does not mean that the sun must constantly reach the panels in order for them to work.

What can really help you get the most out of your solar lights even on a rainy day are solar batteries. They are intended to store excess energy from the sun for later use, which will come in handy on a cloudy, rainy day or when it’s nighttime. So if you have a sunny day but need to use your solar lights during a rainy day, consider using a solar battery. 

Can solar lights work in the shade?

Modern solar lights can work in the shade, given that the technology has advanced a lot since the first productions.

Regardless of the fact that these are still not ideal conditions, they are no longer an obstacle to functioning. Even if it is a complete lack of sun, solar batteries or tips and tricks from our previous article on charging solar lights without the sun can help you. 

Although direct sunlight will give them the biggest boost, luckily they don’t know what the real sun is, so the light of incandescent bulbs or LED lights can easily fool them, and the trick of redirecting the sun towards the panels using a mirror will be helpful too.

Do solar lights need sunshine or just daylight?

Direct rays of the sun will charge your solar lights most efficiently, but daylight itself will do the job too, even on cloudy days.

Clouds will negatively affect the strength of the sun’s rays, but solar irradiance is what the panels detect, and that’s what daylight offers.

Solar irradiance measures the intensity of the sun over a certain area, and if it is daytime, that intensity certainly exists, be it to a greater or lesser extent.


Now that you have learned how much sun do solar lights need, you are aware that the situation is not that complicated. The good thing is that solar lights will operate even at a lower intensity of the sun if they are sufficiently charged, although in this case, the charging time is prolonged.

To make sure that you’re getting enough sunlight, we’d suggest positioning your panel at the right spot and making sure that they’re always clean.

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