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"Overwintering" Solar Lights

Doghouse RileyDoghouse Riley Posts: 347
edited October 2021 in Tools and techniques
For those who have any of those cheap ones  like ours, they can be a pain.
You can put perfectly good lights away in October, bring them out in April and some don't work.
We've had eight of these globes on a pole for several years.

As a precaution before putting them away, I always take the batteries out, give the contacts a spray of switch cleaner and WD40 the steel tubes.

What often happens is that water gets in during the summer and rusts the contacts, and they can be difficult to clean so they can conduct the electricity  and also get the caps to fit back properly again. The contacts in the caps are often pitted with rust and non-conductive.


To cure this, I get a bit of multi-strand wire and poke one end down between the positive contact in its slot in the side and the wall of the battery holder, form a curl with the other end to go over the positive contact of the battery.


Quite often the caps won't stay on, so I wind a bit of insulation tape round the top overlapping the cap. Not too much or they won't slip into the steel tubes.


Its also as well to put a bit of black insulation tape around the bottom of the glass dome where it meets the metal of the lamp when you put them out. This will prevent rain getting in (all summer).



  • Doghouse RileyDoghouse Riley Posts: 347
    edited October 2021
    I've brought half of my solar lights in now, as they are under the canopy of the wisteria of the pergola on the side of the garage and don't get a lot of sun.
    I've taken out the batteries, cleaned them up and I'm letting them dry out on my bench before putting them away in their boxes until next year.
    Four will stay out,  two in each of these small beds of hebes, as they'll get what sun there is here.
    These "cheapo" lights usually come with a 600ma nicam battery, which in the summer is good enough. But I've changed them for 2300ma. So they'll cope better now when there is little sun.

    My wife because of her disability, buys some of our food on-line from places like Donald Russell. This comes in polystyrene boxes. When emptied these are really handy for storage as they are light and very strong. I use them for stuff in the garage, as they keep stuff dry.
    They are also handy if you want to send something that's a bit fragile through the post as they are more robust than cardboard and weigh next to nothing.

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