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Can Solar Lights Charge Through Windows? [Will It Work?]

Tim Carter
Written by Tim Carter Last Updated: September 21, 2022

Can solar lights be charged through a window? We know solar gadgets need exposure to direct sunlight because only then solar panels harvest the power of the sun most efficiently. But can solar lights charge through windows?

Yes, you can charge solar lights through windows as long as the window is facing the sun and the solar panel is exposed to it.

Therefore, people assume they can only charge solar lights by placing them in direct sunlight, and they are right.

The key is to make sure that the solar panel on the light isn’t in direct contact with the glass of the window.

This way, the light will absorb enough sunlight to charge properly. So, you can still give your solar lights a boost by placing them near a sunny window.

Table of Contents

What Are the Drawbacks of Charging Solar Lights through Windows?

Will solar lights charge through a window?

Solar lights can charge through a window, but the energy collected through glass will be significantly less.

If you can mount the panel in direct sunlight with no obstructions, this is always the best option.

If not, amorphous silicon is a good option because it can harvest more energy through glass than other technologies.

What Are Amorphous Silicon Solar Panels?

When most people think of solar energy, they envision traditional photovoltaic panels, which comprise the vast majority of solar technology in use today.

Though solar panels are the most common type, manufacturers are constantly developing alternatives to reduce the cost of solar and expand its potential applications in situations where traditional panels may not be ideal.

We call some of these alternatives as “emerging PV”.

Amorphous solar panels use the same silicon-based photovoltaic technology as conventional solar panels, but they lack solar cells.

Amorphous solar panels are made from a layer of non-crystalline silicon that is overlaid upon a thin substrate such as glass, plastic, or metal, rather than the layered crystalline silicon wafers found in a solar cell.

The conductive material that results is extremely functional, flexible, lightweight, and we can easily cut it into unique shapes suitable for a wide range of applications.

Though some flexible thin-film solar panels are commercially available for installation, amorphous solar panels will be more difficult to find for some time.

The most significant disadvantage of amorphous solar panels is that they are inefficient enough to be useful for the average home.

The average solar panel designed for residential use is between 15% and 20% efficient.

The most efficient solar panels can reach 20% efficiency, while amorphous solar panels are only 6-7% efficient.

In other words, your amorphous solar panels only produce about a third of the electricity that a standard panel does.

Even with additional investment, experts believe amorphous solar’s theoretical efficiency limit is 15%, which is still lower than the average solar panel.

Amorphous silicon collects light at wavelengths ranging from 400 to 700nm, resulting in far less rated power loss behind a window than other technologies.

Can Solar Light Be Charged Indoors?

Is it possible to charge solar lights inside?

Yes, in most cases; you can charge solar lights indoors.

There are, however, a few things to consider.

The first is that the solar panel must be exposed to direct sunlight to function effectively.

If the panel is hidden from direct sunshine, it will not generate enough electricity.

Second, the position of the solar panel should be as light-drenched as possible.

Solar panels need both natural light and direct sunlight to charge properly, so placing them in a dark room will not suffice.

To get the most sun exposure possible, put your solar panel near a window. With these criteria in mind, you should be able to charge your solar light indoors.

How Do You Charge Solar Lights Without the Sun?

Although the sun is typically used to charge solar lights, there are a couple of ways to do it without relying on sunlight.

One option is to use an artificial light source like a household light bulb. Put the solar light close to the light source and let it charge for several hours.

Another possibility is using a solar charger.

These devices collect and store solar energy so that it can be used later to power small electronics, such as solar lights.

Solar light batteries are inexpensive and simple to use.

They’re often used as supplemental power sources or to extend the life of portable lights without sacrificing brightness (or color if appropriate).

Solar chargers must be exposed to direct sunlight in order for them to work.

In addition, solar lights can also be charged by connecting a battery pack to them.

This approach isn’t as efficient as using a solar charger, but it will suffice in a pinch.

How to Charge Solar Lights for the First Time?

Solar lights are a great way to add light to your yard without adding to your electricity bill.

However, before you can enjoy your new lights, you need to charge the batteries.

This is a very easy process. All you need is a sunny day and a little patience.

First, make sure that your solar lights are in a sunny location.

Then, simply let them sit for a few hours to allow the batteries to charge.

You may need to wait a day or two for the batteries to reach full capacity, but once they’re charged, your solar lights will be ready to use and they will stay up for hours.

Final Thoughts

Many people believe solar lights can only be powered by the sun’s rays and they are correct.

However, you don’t have to keep your solar lights outside for them to charge.

You can actually charge them through a window.

If the window is facing sunlight, then it will work to charge the solar light.

The most important part is to ensure that the solar panel is not touching the window.

You don’t want your solar panel to get hot, but you do want it to get enough sunlight.

Therefore, by placing your panel in direct sunlight, you can charge your solar lights indoors.


Tim Carter
Tim Carter

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