Motion Detector Lights

Before you buy your solar light just have a think about what purpose you need it for, is it just something to brighten up your summer BBQ or does it need to have a more practical use?

Like any solar energy device, solar motion sensor lights work by harvesting the sun’s energy to either power a light immediately or to store the energy for future use. What makes them unique is that they only work when they sense movement, hence the name. This is what makes them ideal for use in a variety of outdoor applications and they’re great for use as part of your home security setup.

How much sun will the panel receive?

Another important factor to consider is how much daylight your light is actually able to get. As you can imagine, unlike in winter, as long as the solar panel is positioned well, you don’t have to worry about whether it’s getting enough sunshine in spring and summer.

In summer you can expect your solar panel to receive charge from around 7am – 9pm, but in winter it suddenly drops to around 9am – 4pm and even these daylight hours are usually clouded over with very little quality sunlight. I know if I only ate a small amount between 9am and 4pm I wouldn’t have the energy to come out at night either!

Motion sensors are your friend.

If you do require a solar light that will work through winter, then we would suggest buying one that incorporates a PIR Sensor. This is mainly found within security lights and practical driveway lighting, and works by only switching on when movement is detected nearby. A light of this type is normally fine for winter use, as it will preserve charge and does not waste unnecessary energy by allowing the light to only switch on when movement is detected nearby.

Here are a few small pointers that can help you prolong the life of your solar lights even on the darkest of winter nights!

1. Positioning of the Solar Panel/Sun
The sun will be at its strongest point at noon (no matter the season), so you are always best positioning your panel so it can receive the most charge at this point. Sometimes this is the only time a light gets charge in winter. Simply point the panel towards the sun’s position at noon to make the most of this “golden hour”.

2. Obstacles
Now you might think this is obvious but when we say obstacles we don’t just mean that putting a blanket over your panel is a bad idea. Light can be obstructed by any number of things like shade created by a nearby tree or bush, a sheet on a washing line or even glass. Just take a couple of moments to look round your garden to see where the best position is, you’ll be glad you got it right the first time!

3. Switch them off during the day
This is our last tip. Now I know we’ve said it before but it really is an unknown fact that solar lights will continue to charge while turned off! Not only does this mean they are more likely to get a full charge as they’re not wasting energy but it also means you can turn them off while you’re at work and back on when you’re home. Which means you can get the most out of your lights when you need them, even in winter!