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Do Solar Lights Charge on Cloudy Days?

September 7, 2023

Do solar lights charge on cloudy days

Solar street lights are increasingly being considered and adopted in many new parking lots, parks, and municipal projects because they are economical, do not require digging trenches and laying wires, and are easy to install.

However, many purchasers and homeowners will generally have a question, that is: Do Solar Lights Charge on Cloudy Days? or How to charge without sun?

In this article, we will explore this question in depth, while providing you with advice on how to choose the right solar lighting system.

Solar Light Performance in Cloudy Weather

First, let's answer the question: YES, solar lights can still charge in overcast days. However, charging will be slower in cloudy weather compared to sunny days.

This is because cloud cover reduces the chance of direct sunlight hitting the solar panels, which reduces the amount of energy available for charging.

Perhaps you're wondering if there's any way for us to know exactly how solar power performs in overcast days, we can simulate a cloudy day by having the solar panels of the solar water pump below partially covered to see the change in flow rate of the pump.

This is a better way to visualize the charging efficiency of a solar light in cloudy weather.

Although charging is slowed down, there is no need to worry, so you do not need to worry about the lighting in the overcasts days. The solar lights will still provide light in cloudy weather.

So when you ready to purchase the solar street light, the key is to choose the right system for your needs and consider a few key factors. This will minimize the impact of cloudy weather on solar charging efficiency.

Selecting the right solar lighting system

1. Solar panels

If the installation site has more rainy weather or overcast days on average throughout the year, we recommend that when choosing a solar street light, you choose a solar panel that is powerful enough so that even if the solar panel's power generation efficiency is discounted in cloudy weather, the large size of the solar panel can offset some of the charging losses.

2. Battery capacity

As we know, the battery is the key part of storing solar energy. Choosing a street light system with a high-capacity battery will ensure that the electricity generated by the solar energy can be fully stored when the system has enough sunny days, and the street light can be guaranteed to be continuously lit at night even in several consecutive cloudy and rainy days. If it is a municipal lighting project or parking lot lighting, according to the industry standard, the general requirements in the rainy days, solar street lights can be back up for 4-5 days.

3.Intelligent control system

The successful development of solar intelligent controller greatly improves the working performance of solar street light in cloudy or rainy days. The controller can automatically detect the battery voltage, and charging current, and automatically judge the adjustment of lighting brightness, to maximize the number of lighting days.

Also there is built in Radar OR PIR Sensor, can make sure the light works from dusk to dawn. 

In addition to choosing the right system to reduce the impact of cloudy days on the charging efficiency of solar street lights, there are other factors that seriously affect the charging efficiency of solar panels

Positioning and installation


In this video of a solar water pump above, we can see that when a wooden board is used to cover part of the solar panel, the water flow suddenly becomes smaller, which shows that shadows can also have a serious impact on the charging efficiency of solar panels, so avoid any obstacles that block the sun's rays from reaching the solar panels, such as buildings or trees. Minimizing shadows can help ensure that the solar panels still get enough sunlight in cloudy weather!

Installation angle and orientation

When we install street lights, and when siting and fixing solar panels, it is important to make sure that the solar panels are mounted at the optimal angle and orientation to receive the maximum amount of sunlight. The optimum solar panel tilt angle depends on your geographical location, but generally speaking, facing south with the tilt angle in line with the local latitude is the most effective.

Advice on Purchasing a Solar Lighting System

When you are considering purchasing a solar street lighting system, here are some suggestions that may help you make an informed decision:

Prioritize Quality:

Don't sacrifice quality in favor of a lower price. High-quality solar systems typically have a longer lifespan and more consistent performance.


If your project is being installed in a location that faces cloudy weather, consider purchasing a system that has excellent autonomy, which will ensure that it can still provide light at night despite multiple days of cloudy weather.

Speak to an expert:

If you don't know much about solar systems, speak to a professional solar consultant or installer. They can provide you with important advice on selection, installation and maintenance. Of course you can also contact us directly for expert advice and lighting solutions.

Contact us

Of course you can also contact us directly for expert advice and lighting solutions.

WhatsApp/Wechat: 0086-18017291198

Email: [email protected]



I am the Marketing Director of SUNVIS, with 12 years of experience in the Solar Outdoor Lighting, Solar Power System and Solar Water Pumps industry. If you have any questions, you can contact me at any time.

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