Solar lights provide a cheaper solution to property owners who love a well-lit area. It also has fewer effects on the environment and beautifies the home. But these features cannot blind the extra-cautious to safety hazards that may accompany owning solar panels.
Can solar string lights catch fire? And what could be the cause if it happens? Read on to find out if solar string lights are a fire hazard.
Can Solar Fairy Lights Catch Fire?
Yes, solar fairy lights can catch fire, although it seldom happens. Like with all electronic devices, maintenance is essential for your safety and the longevity of your investment. The battery, wiring, and solar panels are parts of the solar fairy lights that can catch on fire.
The batteries are often lithium-ion batteries because of their remarkable capacity to store power. However, they have very reactive fluid or electrolytes, making them explosive.
So, the last thing you need is a damaged battery powering your solar fairy lights. If it also has a low voltage, there are high chances of overheating, which may also lead to a fire.
Solar fairy lights combine aesthetics and functionality. And like other photovoltaic systems, they require a battery to store the excess charge.
Property owners install these lighting systems to guard or light up their property at night, and the lunar energy is not enough to power them because the moon only reflects light.
Therefore, you will need an inverter. Choose one that is more ideal for the prevailing climate in your region. The energy density of the battery also matters; opt for one that is capable of the performance you require of it.
You should also pay close attention to proper installation.
How Can Solar String Lights Catch Fire?
Do you imagine a large and uncontrollable flame when you think about your solar lights catching on fire? Well, the chances of that happening are pretty low, especially if you inspect and maintain the parts of the PV system.
A bad battery is one of the ways solar string lights catch fire. The electrolytes within the structure are highly flammable and should not be allowed to leak out.
Otherwise, a fire hazard will be created when the fluid contacts something like a twig or leaf. Ensure nothing punctures the battery and creates leakage.
Regular inspection will help you reduce the chances of your battery catching fire. You also should avoid pushing off replacement when it is faulty. Do not manage a leaking battery.
Additionally, the battery’s voltage can cause a fire through overheating. If it is too hot, it melts the fixtures.
The problem with lithium batteries is that they need a narrow temperature range for maximum efficiency. The best temperature for them is one where you would feel comfortable; not too hot or too cold.
Another part that may start a fire in your PV system is the solar panel. Solar panels are made of thousands of photovoltaic cells that must remain protected by the tempered surface glass.
However, it can still crack. But again, regular inspection and maintenance will help you prevent the problem before it happens. Don’t overlook the seemingly insignificant cracks on the surface of your solar panels; repair the scratches without delay.
Is it Safe to Leave Plug-in Fairy Lights on all Night?
Fairy lights are great for your bedroom, patio, garden, and Christmas tree; you name it! And there are now brands that offer solar technology, which is excellent because nighttime is the best time to enjoy their glamorous glow.
But can you leave them on all night? It is no secret that they are made with LED lights, which generate heat. Are you safe, and are there chances of a fire?
The short answer is yes; you are safe if you leave fairy lights on all night. Fairly lights are a great alternative to a nightlight and have lower chances of catching fire because they do not contain batteries.
There are many reasons you can buy and install fairy lights. For one, they improve your mood, create a cozy ambiance, and change the theme of any room.
Children who do not like to sleep in the dark can use fairy lights instead of night lamps. And it will work all night without exposing you to a fire hazard.
However, you must regulate the heat to prevent overheating, which comes with a fire risk. The solar fairy lights can stay on all night, but it is best to turn them off during the day to give them a cooling chance.
Additionally, going by the principle of not leaving electrical appliances unattended, you may want to avoid leaving any lights, including fairy lights, on through the night.
The chances it will start a fire are slim, especially when bypassing an extension cord.
Battery-operated fairy lights will be a better option if you want lights on all night. They are not connected to electricity and will be safe if you don’t leave them near flammable materials.
On the other hand, high-quality string lights are even less likely to start a fire.
Precautions to Take While Using Solar String Lights
Solar string lights offer versatility, affordability, and a cheap way to spice up your property. They can be arranged around your mirror or shelf, on your headboard, or even in your garden.
This sustainable energy source is fast becoming a trend, but some risks are attached to its use. Therefore, let us consider the precautions to take when using solar string lights:
1. Keep the voltage in check
Solar string lights are a collection of LED bulbs that flicker or remain static, depending on the brand you purchase. However, the one thing they all have in common is their ability to attain a high voltage.
And this typically occurs when they have been on for too long. Therefore, you should keep an eye on the heat that radiates from your solar panels so that it does not get out of control.
2. Watch out for the battery
The photovoltaic system collects light energy and transforms it into a direct current. This is then stored in a battery for night use.
Most solar fairy lights have rechargeable batteries with a low capacity. This both reduces the chances of a fire and also increases it. Again, it all narrows down to the voltage; do not let it get too high.
3. Regularly inspect the solar panels
The solar panel is the most important part of any solar-powered device. It may also be the most delicate, but manufacturers already know that.
So, they secure the tender surface with tempered glass, but even that can still break. It will reduce the efficiency because moisture, grime, or dirt may get trapped in the cracks and cause damage.
If you don’t notice on time, the cracks expand and contrast as the elements dictate. And before you know it, there is significant damage to your solar panels.
Check regularly and do not push off replacements or repairs that you should make.
4. Turn off when not in use
It does not happen often, but fairy lights can start a fire if left unattended. These dancing lights have incurred UK mom damage to the tune of £55,000.
Electrical appliances should generally not be left unattended. Although the chances of a fire are pretty slim, especially when you buy quality units, anything electrical-related can still bring a spark.
And a spark can get out of control when no one is in sight. Your best bet is to turn the lights off, even before bed.
How Long Can You Leave Fairy Lights On?
During the festive periods, especially Christmas, it is not uncommon to leave the fairy lights dancing all night, day, or week long. However, is this practice right? And can it cause a hazard?
You can leave fairy lights on for as long as their battery permits. In some cases, that is about five to seven hours, while others may offer up to a hundred.
There is no harm in leaving fairy lights on for a long time, but turn them off when there is inadequate supervision.
That is for fairy lights with batteries.
Some options are solar-powered. In that case, they can also be left on for a long time but should be turned off when no one is in sight.
Generally, however, you can leave fairy lights on for varying periods, depending on the type of technology used, the battery, and the brand. Some will last longer and may be safer to leave on for extended use.
Is it Safe to Run String Lights Over the Pool?
Yes, running string lights over the pool is safe and common. But just like every other electrical appliance, you must ensure that it does not contact water.
Typically, each bulb is encased in a waterproof casing, so you may not worry about electrocution. And the delicate parts of the solar panels, the solar cells, are covered in tempered glass.
Now, you should worry if there are cracks anywhere, as that is the only way water can permeate the structure and put you in danger.
Again, this is where regular maintenance comes in. You will see any cracks or dents in your solar lighting system before they put you at risk of electrocution.
Running string lights over the pool is a trend that provides aesthetics and functionality to your home. There is an on and off switch that you can use to control the lights, so they can brighten your property at night too.
Another hazard to watch out for when installing string lights over the pool is that the bulbs are delicate and can break anytime. Even if they do not electrocute you, there are chances that someone, especially a child, can step on the broken piece and get hurt.
How to Dispose of Solar String Lights?
If your solar string lights have broken and no longer work, you must dispose of them properly. And you can do that through municipal or curbside recycling.
However, finding a recycling center that recycles solar string lights may be challenging, so consider asking before sending yours anywhere.
You can also contact the manufacturer to see if they offer recycling programs. If that is also a dead-end, try a hardware store. They will almost definitely take the solar string lights off your hands.
If the lights are not broken, but you are tired of them, you may give them out. Children or your friends who have a thing for aesthetics will like them.
But the most important thing to know is that solar string lights are e-waste, which means proper disposal is the only way to protect the environment.
Solar string lights are fascinating technology that allows you to up your ambiance game without adding to your utility bill. However, it is also important to know the risks involved, and we believe we have explored them in this blog post.