Can I charge solar lights indoors? [A Quick Guide]

indoor solar lighting

Solar-powered lights have become increasingly popular due to how cost-effective and eco-friendly they are.

These lights rely on solar energy to charge their batteries during the day, which they then use to power the lights during the night. Pretty simple.

However, one common question people have about solar lights is: can they be charged indoors?

Let’s take a look.

Can I charge solar lights indoors?

The quick answer is yes, you can. In fact, indoor solar lights like these are ideal lighting options during power outages - if they are fully charged that is! 

With that in mind, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider.

Position the solar element next to a window

solar lighting next to window

Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electrical energy, which is then stored in the light’s battery. This doesn’t mean that sunlight can’t be reached through a window however!

Positioning solar-powered lights next to a window in your living room (for example) is a great way to ensure that they get enough sunlight to charge.

By placing them near a window that receives direct sunlight for a few hours each day, you can ensure that the solar panels/ solar elements on the lights are getting enough light to convert into energy.

Keep the solar elements clean

keep solar light clean

Another factor you’ll want to consider is to keep the solar panels clean – particularly to keep them free of dust and debris.

Dirt and dust can block the light reaching the elements within the solar panel, therefore reducing the efficiency of the solar panels.

If the solar elements are dirty or covered in dust, dirt, or other debris, they won’t be able to absorb as much light as they need to generate enough electricity to power the light. This can result in the light being dimmer than it should be, or not working at all.

Regular cleaning with a soft cloth or brush can help to maintain the performance of the solar panels.

In addition, keeping the solar elements of your solar lights clean can also help extend the lifespan of the light, which if you’re anything like me you’ll definitely want to do!

This is because when the solar elements are dirty, they can become damaged over time, which can lead to the light malfunctioning or failing altogether. Regular cleaning will help to prevent this type of damage from occurring, keeping the light functioning for longer.

Be patient!


Lastly, be patient.

When solar-powered lights are used indoors, they should be placed near windows (as we recommended earlier) or other sources of natural light to receive as much sunlight as possible.

However, even in the brightest indoor settings, the amount of sunlight that reaches the solar panels and cells is significantly less than what they would receive outdoors.

Therefore, charging solar-powered lights indoors is going to take longer than charging them outdoors, so it's important to give them enough time to fully charge.

Additional thoughts

It's also worth noting that some solar powered lights come with a USB charging option, like this one.

indoor solar lighting with USB cable

This means that you can charge the batteries using a USB cable and a power source, such as a computer or standard plug socket.

This can be a very useful alternative if you don't have access to enough sunlight indoors, or for those times during the night when the batteries have run out.

Closing remarks

In conclusion, charging solar lights indoors is possible, but it’s going to take longer and be less efficient than charging them outdoors. It’s not ideal, but it will work. 

If you’ve 100% decided on it, remember to keep these three things in mind: 1) make sure the solar elements are placed near a window, 2) keep them clean, and 3) be patient.

With a little care and attention, you can keep your solar powered lights shining bright all year round.