Why Do My Solar Lights Come On During the Day?

Tim Hamlin
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Lights are in the wrong position

Make sure your lights are not facing your house or garage. They do not need to be cleaned but if you have grit or dust on them, it will reduce the amount of light they put out so clean them with water and a soft cloth.

If your solar lights are on during the day because they are not working properly then you need to find a replacement. Check the box for the warranty and find the best place to get a replacement.

The light sensor might be covered in dirt

Solar light sensors are dust magnets because they are next to the ground. Pollen, dirt, and other debris can get in and cover the light sensor, preventing it from turning on during the day.

The next time you open your solar light unit, check to see if the light sensor is covered in dirt. Wipe the sensor with a soft cloth. If you cannot access the sensor, you may have to move the unit or blow off the sensor to clean it.

The light sensor might be faulty

First, check your light in the dark. If you want to figure out if your light is on at night, either put a black cloth over the solar panel, or turn the light on and cover the solar panel in your hand. If it's still dim, then your light is probably on during the day. This could be due to leaves in the panel, or, more often, it's because the light sensor is out of place. It's usually glued down to the panel (check to make sure it's attached).

Second, check the batteries to make sure they're fresh.

Third, turn off the sensor if you don't need it, usually by pressing the bottom of the light (the sensor may be labeled on the underside, or you can check the instructions).

Fourth, check the instructions again. You may be using the light sensor improperly.

The sensitivity settings of the light sensor might be too high

Turn the light on at dusk, and turn it off at dawn, always.

Do not set too sensitive volume sensor settings. The sensitivity is too high when the lights come on as daylight begins and stays on as the sun sets.

Check the sensor light.The light sensor may be dirty. A dirty sensor may let sunlight or bright indoor light set off the sensor.

Check your batteries. Weak batteries will not be able to power the light sensors long enough to turn the lights off automatically.

Keep in mind, even with the sensitivity settings at minimum, you cannot turn on the lights with bright daylight or sunlight. This should be a benefit for you in the summer time if your electric bill is top your list because you do not want to use the lights when the power costs are the highest.

The duration of the lights might be too long

For your location.

Adjusting the lights so that they come on at dusk and stay on for a short period of time should fix the issue.

If you have a light timer, you can reduce the amount of time the lights are on.

Check the age of your batteries. If they are older than 2 years, you should replace them.

There might be debris in the lens covering the bulbs. Clean the lenses to fix.

If your lights are solar powered, the circuitry may need to be cleaned and rejuvenated. Use water and vinegar to clean the circuitry.

If you live in a cloudy area, your lights might be getting enough light to stay on all day.

If the light is inside, turn off the interior switch so it only comes on when it’s dark.

The override switch might be turned on

Sometimes solar lights come on during the day because the override switch is turned on. In order to turn them off, you have to locate the override and turn it off.

The way to locate the override switch is by identifying the solar panel. The solar panel is usually on top of your solar light fixture and it looks like a small plastic box. The solar panel is where the wires are attached to the light fixture.

You will know that the override switch is turned on if the wire from the solar panel to the light fixture is still connected. If you turn it off, it is easy to know because you can’t connect the wire to the solar panel anymore.

Below the solar panel should be a screw. This screw is the switch for the override. If the switch is turned on, it will be in the on position. This is most likely why your solar lights are coming on all day.

If you do not see a screw then your switch will be on the top of your solar panel.

Position your lights where they can get enough light

From the sun during the day to fully charge them.

Solar lights often come on during the day because they are no longer getting enough light to fully charge during the day.

If a solar light is left in the dark for more than a few hours without being charged, it will come on during the day to recharge.

So, if you’re having a problem with a solar light coming on during the day, you can try moving it to where it will get more light or even putting it in sun right when it starts getting dark instead of moving it in the morning.

If you find that your solar lights are being overcharged by the sun, you can also try moving them to where they will get more light or take them down altogether and move them when they need to be charged.

If you have a solar light that lights up during the day but not at night, you will need to buy a replacement battery for the light.

Do not buy one that is a regular battery but something that says specifically it is for solar lights or it won’t work.

You can replace the battery yourself (make sure it is the same voltage as the one that came with the light) or you can take the solar light to someone who will do it for you for a fee.

Clean your solar lights every so often

Your solar lights are supposed to only come on at night. If you find that your lights are coming on throughout the day, there might be an issue with the quality. A good quality unit usually has a sensor that automatically turns the light on when the sun goes down and once again off at dawn.

The best recourse in this situation is to clean your solar light thoroughly. Take it outside and spray it with a hose and clean it up. You should then let it dry thoroughly. Once you have cleaned your light, try turning it on again. If it still doesn’t come on, you may need to replace it.

There are a couple other things that may cause your solar light to come on during the day. A commonly overlooked issue is that the light may be dirty. You should try giving it a clean before you decide to purchase a new one.

Another possible issue is that the light is not properly secured in the position you want it to be in. Movement can cause the light to come on too early. To fix this issue, check the positioning of the light and secure it there.

Adjust the settings

Solar powered lights, are the perfect option for illuminating your home at night. They have the added benefit of being inexpensive, clean, and eco-friendly and they provide a nice touch to your home's decor. However, what happens when your lights come on during the day? It can be frustrating to come home from work at 4:00 in the afternoon to find your lights are on.

Picture this: you spend hours decorating your home for Christmas, and your lights come on the next morning in the heat of summer. The same will happen if you have lights up for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Additionally, if your lights are on in the daytime, you will naturally assume they are not working properly which could also cause you to consider replacing them.

Luckily, there is an easy way to resolve the issue of solar lights coming on in the daytime. The solution is all about adjusting the settings correctly. By following the instructions below, you can turn off your solar lights during the day and ensure that they come on at night.

How to adjust your solar-lights to turn off during the day:

Send the lights back to the seller if they are still within the warranty

Period. If you can’t return the lights, to fix the problem you need to leave them unplugged and any solar panels in the shade. If your lights are plugged in with the sunlight hitting the panels, they will switch on while it’s light out.

Check to make sure, if the lights are returning on during the day, that the switch is on the "on" position.

Switch the lights off, when you're not using them to save money. To keep them running in a more controlled way, you can have the lights on a sensitivity feature that you can adjust.

Set up a timer, so that you can turn the lights off and on at a specific time. The lights can be used for as long as 20 hours, so just make sure you have enough time for them to charge.

Or, you can plug your lights into something that will automatically turn them off, but the downside to this is that it may confuse the timer.

Let a professional electrician check them out

Electronics are subtle and complicated. At the very least, your solar light needs new batteries.

This might seem like a simple enough question, but there is really a very complex series of conditions that must be met, before your solar light will turn on.

The first condition is the most obvious: sunlight.

Your solar light needs light to go on, so obviously, if there isn’t any light, it’s not going to turn on.

The second condition is dew point.

Since solar light are essentially batteries that collect solar energy during the day, they need to gather energy during daylight hours. Otherwise, they can’t produce electricity through the night, to power your lights.

The third condition is dew point temperature.

The solar lights work by converting sunlight and daylight into electricity, so obviously, they need a temperature higher than 32-F to help the cells in the battery absorb energy from the sun.

So if the temperature drops below 32-F, your solar light won’t turn on, and will continue to stay off.


If you are unable to resolve your solar powered light problem, we recommend replacing them with a different type.

Solar powered lights are great for saving money on your energy bill, but not if they are coming on during the day.

The more you have on solar power the chance of one or more coming on at the wrong time increases.

Solar lights are a great way to brighten up your nighttime landscape. And, solar power makes it easy to use energy saving light bulbs. The only downside is when the lights enter into a phase where they turn on during the day.

This is an energy waste that will cost you more money over the long run. So, to avoid this potential problem is to replace solar lights if they start coming on during the day.