8 Things You Should Know About Solar Festoon Lights Before Buying Them  

Here are our 8 most asked questions about solar festoon lights that you should definitely know before even thinking of buying them.

We’ve spent over 5 years setting up high-quality festoon lighting in the backyards of our customers or decorating small and big garden parties. Responding to the high requests and reviews, we’re soon to offer solar festoon lighting in our shop as well! So stay tuned 😎

Solar festoon lights are an environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution to your backyard and will give your space a cozy atmosphere on warm summer evenings.

Here are the 8 most important things you should know before buying your festoons:

#1 – Do festoon solar lights work? Are they any good?
#2 – Do Solar lights need sun or just light?
#3 – How long do solar-powered lights last?
#4 – How long do solar lights stay on at night?
#5 – Do you leave solar lights on all the time?
#6 – Can you leave solar lights out all year round?
#7 – How do you charge solar lights for the first time?
#8 – Are solar lights worth the money?
What to do next?

#1 – Do festoon solar lights work? Are they any good?

solar festoon lighting
Solar festoon lights are green, environmentally friendly, and energy-efficient.

Outdoor lighting doesn’t just provide a pretty illumination for your garden, they’re a green, environmentally friendly and energy-efficient lighting solution that doesn’t require wires or outdoor power. They’ll save you money on purchases of electricity and batteries since they’re self-sufficient, and low maintenance requiring only a good spot for the solar panel to soak up some sun every day. 

Solar lights are also better for wildlife compared to mains-powered lighting. This is because they tend to be dimmer, meaning that they’re much less likely to attract insects, confuse bats and wake birds or squirrels who are sleeping during the day. It’s a good idea to turn off your solar lights before you go to bed so as not to disorientate or disturb animals

So, if you’re wondering how bright a festoon bulb is, check out our previous article on what to consider before buying any light bulbs.

In short: Solar lights will assist you in energy conservation, lessen your carbon footprint, and are portable for those who may rent. Plus, you can easily install them on your own – no professional electrician is required.

#2 – Do Solar lights need sun or just light?

Direct sunlight
The best source to charge your festoon party lights is with direct sun. However, you can also charge your globes with artificial lighting – read more below.

The quick answer to this question is: No, LED solar string lights don’t need direct sunlight to charge up, but they do require some form of light to produce a charge. Artificial light works just as well because it generates the same type of energy source that is necessary for solar lights to illuminate.

For a quicker charge, clean your panels and place solar panels under a household lamp or near artificial lighting such as an incandescent or even LED bulb. These will allow you to use solars for longer periods when your panels aren’t getting enough direct sunlight.

Do Solar lights work on rainy days?

Yes, solar power panels will produce electricity even on cloudy and rainy days. The system will still generate some electricity and save you money. However, production will be reduced as the number of particles of light that help create electricity is lower, too. 

On the bright side, the great thing about rainfall is that it washes down the panels, which can help to maintain their effectiveness when used in a garden.

Do Solar lights work in the winter?

Yes, solar lights work throughout the winter although there’s less sunlight. You may be concerned about the way solar-powered lights operate during this time of the year as the panels usually work best when in direct sunlight where UV rays will hit them. 

However, same as on days when it rains or on cloudy days: Although the energy absorption will be lower, there will still be a light output at nightfall – the brightness of the bulb is just not as strong.

#3 – How long does solar-powered festoon lighting last?

shattered festoon bulb
Modern festoon light bulbs don’t shatter anymore. Have a look at our shop for shatterproof and weatherproof string lights.

The short answer is that solar-powered lights last more than 6 years. 

How long do solar batteries last?

On average, your standard and common outdoor solar light batteries last between 1 and 5 years before they need to be replaced.

However, the lifespan of the battery is dependent upon how many times it’s been charged. Some batteries last longer than others. Higher quality and more expensive batteries, for example, nickel-cadmium batteries typically have a 2,000-2,500 cycle battery life which can last 15-20 years but lithium-ion batteries are known for their 300-500 charge cycles (2-3 years).

After their lifetime the rechargeable batteries in your festoon lights can be easily replaced.

How long do LED festoon lights last?

LED bulbs will generally last for 35,000 to 50,000 hours, which is on average six years of continuous use. After that, they reduce their capacity to 70 percent of their original output.

How long do solar panels last?

The solar LED panels themselves, however, last for much longer. They generally lose their efficiency over time which depends on conversion efficiency, efficiency loss per year, and usage. 

The lifetime of a solar LED Panel depending on the brand can be anything between 10-30 years.

#4 – How long do solar lights stay on at night?

beautiful string light by night
Depending on the charging efficiency during the day and their quality, festoons can stay on all night long!

Solar panels have a charging time of around 4-8 hours. They’ll last for 6-12 hours depending on many factors such as:

  1. Duration of direct sunlight throughout the day
  2. The intensity of the sunlight
  3. Quality and efficiency of solar panels
  4. Total light output (LED wattage)

#5 – Do you leave solar festoon string lights on all the time?

stunning festoon light arrangement

While charging solar festoon during the day

You must remember to keep your festoon party lights in a sunny space so the batteries can fully charge and function normally. Most solars will still charge if the switch is turned off. By turning them off while charging you actually allow the battery to get a full charge during the day. But leaving them on during a charge won’t hurt them either and they’ll be ready to illuminate your garden or patio when the sun goes down. 

While storing solar panels

When storing them away for a while or during winter, don’t forget to switch them off (if there’s an off-button) to preserve battery life. To many people, it seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easily forgotten. Leaving a solar-powered festoon light switched on can reduce its lifespan as the light may get damaged.

Do the lights stay on during the day?

Are your festoon string lights staying on during the day? Solar string lights, if they’re working properly, should stay off during the day and come on at night. The sunlight charges the lights in the daytime so they have enough ‘juice’ to remain fully lit when it’s dark out. But what do you do if you find that your solar light is remaining on during daytime hours? 

One of the most common reasons that a solar light will turn on during daylight is due to poor wiring or a defective night reading, often caused by rain getting inside the light.

#6 – Can you leave solar lights out all year round?

festoon lighting in winter time
Festoon lights are stunning all year round – whether on warm summer evenings or colder winter days.

Although you can leave your festoon solar string lights outside, if they are rated for outdoor use and weather, it can affect the performance. 

Batteries, function best at room temperature. The hotter it is, the better they work; however, when exposed to higher temperatures there is a risk of their deteriorating faster than normal. The colder an area is, the more a battery will have to work to keep itself warm and function properly.

If used outdoors, your festoon lights must be rated outdoor and weatherproof. These can be used and left outside throughout the entire year. One thing to consider is that the lights may appear brighter or duller depending on the weather and season.

#7 – How do you charge solar lights for the first time?

solar panel batteries

To reach its maximum capacity, the solar panel has to be fully charged by direct sunlight for 8 hours before initial use. Under extremely cold temperatures, the batteries may not charge fully, which is normal but the light output may be duller or not stay on for long.

#8 – Are solar lights worth the money?

save money with solar festoons
Yes, they are worth the money! Read more below.

The main benefit of choosing solar festoon lighting is that they don’t require electricity to run and therefore cost nothing in energy costs. 

The initial buying cost can be high with some devices depending on the quality of the solar panels, the festoon bulbs themselves, the weatherproof festoon belts, and even whether or not you choose premium quality for your rechargeable batteries. But these costs are typically made up for overtime as festoon solar lights can last you for years while keeping your electricity bill low. 

To conclude, they’re a green, affordable and cost-effective decoration for your house to make it look homey during an evening barbecue party with friends.

What to do next?

Looking for lighting professionals to help you set up for your next event? Fill out the form below to get a free quote or call us on 07 3555 8908.

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glowing festoon lights hanging in the dark
solar light bulb
picture of light bulbs

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