Solar Deck Post Light Duration in Fall and Winter
Outdoor Solar Lamp Post and Solar Deck Lights
Outdoor solar deck post lights draw their energy to run at night from the battery that is charged by the sun as it shines on the solar panel during the day. During the months of March through September, the battery generally charges to 100% of its capacity on sunny days, thanks to the overhead sun and intensity of the rays.
What happens when October comes, why are your lights not staying on as long?
When the sun position heads south in the Fall, the angle and the intensity of the sun's rays both lower. The amount of good sun beams hitting the solar panel decreases drastically. With 8 hours of sunshine, you may only get 3 to 4 real hours of battery charging, which translates to a night light duration of around 3 to 4 hours.
When the sun position heads north again in the Spring, you'll see your solar post lights start to stay on longer and longer, until they will again be on for 8 to 12 hours each night.
A stronger battery, i.e. a 800mah vs. a 550mah, may help some and may give you an extra hour or two of light after a full sunny day of charging, but no matter what the strength of your battery is, it can't compensate for the lack of good sun beams shining on the solar panel. The intensity of the sun beams is just not there.
Another aspect that affects the amount of light duration during the Fall and Winter especially is the number of LED bulbs in a solar light fixture. One LED bulb takes a whole lot less energy to keep lit at night than a fixture that has 5 LED bulbs. The one LED may not give you as much light, but it will stay on longer, since the drain on the stored battery energy is considerably less.
Is there anything you can do to have the light on longer all year long? That old adage that we all hate, you get what you pay for, is still true. Solar lamp post lights and solar deck post caps that cost more, like the Gama Sonic and Classy Caps lights, have better solar panels and circuitry to "take in" more energy from the sun, even during the Winter. If you purchase the Gama Sonic lamp posts, you will basically get 1 1/2 hours of light per 1 hour of sunlight shining on the solar panel. That's why they cost more.
So you are the only one that can decide if you are okay with less hours of lighting during the Fall and Winter, since you know how wonderful the solar deck post cap lights work during the summer. You'll still have light when you come home from work, but you may not have outdoor light when you retire for the evening. And if you have an entire fence line you want to install lights on, it is a huge cost savings to put up with a little less light during the Winter. We all have our budgets to stick to.
If you're not okay with that, do browse through the Gama Sonic Solar Lights and Classy Caps Solar Cap Lights selection. Yes, they do cost more, but yes, they will give you more hours of light each night.