Do solar lights work in the winter?

When most people think of solar lights, they envision delicate little accent lights that are only good for a summer evening on the patio. However, solar lights are versatile and can be a great addition to your winter lighting arsenal.

Many people don’t realise that solar lights work in winter, as long as there is sun during the day to charge them up. Solar lights can pick up a sufficient charge to stay lit for several hours into the darkness on somewhat overcast days.

Solar lights are also a great way to light up walkways and driveways in the winter evenings when kids and working family members might still be on their way home and need a little help traversing obstacles in the driveway or garden. In the UK, twilight can begin to set in as early as 15:50 in the deepest midwinter, with darkness completely descending by 6 pm.

Winter solar lights are a handy addition, as they provide a safe and reliable light source without needing to be plugged in. While they carry the negatives of needing to collect a charge, and they fade away over the hours of darkness, unlike mains-powered lights, they are versatile and quick to install and remove as you need them.

solar lights in winter

How well do solar lights work in winter?

Solar lights will work well throughout the winter, as long as they receive enough sun during the day to charge up. Many solar lights are designed to work up to 12 hours to provide plenty of light even on shorter winter days.

However, not all solar lights are designed equally, so watch out for cheap solar options with a very small solar cell surface area or sold with cheap, inefficient cells. You do get what you pay for.

There is a myth that solar cells need direct sunshine to power up. While that might have been true once, modern solar cells work pretty well even on overcast, cloudy days. Rain can even improve the solar panel’s performance as it washes away dust and pollen that might have been building up through the summer.

There is no great trick to how to charge solar lights in winter. You’ll need to sweep off any snow and keep it out of shaded areas to help maximise the weak winter sunshine, but you can still enjoy your solar lights even in winter. Check out our range of solar lights.

What are the best winter solar lights?

There are a few things to consider when choosing the best winter solar lights. 

1. You’ll want to ensure that the lights are rated for cold weather operation. This will ensure that they will continue to work even when the temperatures start to drop. 

2. You’ll want to choose bright lights to be effective on the shorter days of winter. This means choosing lights with a higher lumens rating. Finally, you’ll want to ensure that the lights are durable and can withstand being out in the elements all winter. 

Keep these factors in mind and you’ll be sure to find the best winter solar lights for your needs.


Solar lights are a great way to add light to your home in the winter, as long as they are designed for cold weather operations. Look for bright lights with a high lumens rating and sufficiently large solar panels to ensure they provide enough light on shorter winter days. Durable lights that can withstand being out in the elements all winter long will also be a good choice. With these factors in mind, you’ll find the best winter solar lights for your needs.


How good are solar lights in winter?

Solar lights can bring a lot of magic to your garden, and many will work long into the dark evenings, even when only getting a charge on an overcast day.

Why are my solar lights not working in winter?

If your lights were working in summer but have stopped in winter, it is most likely due to two reasons. The first is that your lights struggle to charge sufficiently due to the shorter days or overcast weather. The second option is that the light is not winter-rated and may have stopped functioning.

Can you leave solar lights up in winter?

Should you bring solar lights in during winter, worry no more. As long as they are winter rated, as most outdoor solar lights are, you can keep them out all season. 

Do solar lights charge in the winter?

Yes. Solar lights can charge faster in the winter. Thanks to solar cells’ properties, they perform better when cold, despite the weaker light of winter. However, because the days are shorter, solar lights may not provide as much light in the winter as they do in the summer, so check how many hours of charging the light will need to provide the number of hours of lighting you need in the darkness.

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