Solar Light Installation - Tips When Installing Integrated Solar Area Lights

Integrated solar area lights are gaining popularity as contemporary outdoor lighting solutions due to their compact, stylish, and lightweight designs. With advancements in solar lighting technology, these lights offer cost-effective and efficient illumination for various outdoor spaces. Here are five (5) essential tips to follow during integrated solar light installation to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Key Takeaways

    • Proper Orientation is Crucial: Ensuring the solar panel faces the correct direction based on your hemisphere and adjusting the angle according to local latitude maximizes sunlight absorption and charging efficiency.
    • Prevent Shadows: Keeping the solar panel free from shadows cast by poles, trees, and buildings is essential for optimal performance. Regular maintenance and strategic placement can help achieve this.
    • Dark Sky Compliance and EPA Considerations: Mounting solar fixtures at a 90-degree angle to minimize light pollution and selecting fixtures with appropriate EPA ratings for wind load capacity ensure both environmental sustainability and durability.

5 Tips When Installing Integrated Solar LED Area Lights

1. Ensure Proper Orientation of the Solar Panel

Correct orientation of the solar panel is crucial for maximizing sunlight absorption. In the northern hemisphere, the solar panel should face south to capture the most sunlight throughout the day. Conversely, in the southern hemisphere, the panel should face north.

  • Assembly and Installation: Begin by assembling the installation accessories provided with the solar light fixture. Securely mount the fixture onto a pole or another suitable location.
  • Angle Adjustment: Adjust the angle of the solar panel based on the local latitude. For instance, if the local latitude is 30°, adjust the panel to the same angle to maximize sunlight exposure.

This orientation and angle adjustment ensure that the solar panel receives the maximum possible sunlight, which is essential for charging the battery efficiently.

2. Minimize Shadows from the Pole

To ensure that your solar panel charges efficiently, it is important to minimize any shadows cast by the pole itself.

  • Pole Height and Placement: When installing the pole, ensure it does not exceed the height of the solar light too much. The aim is to keep the distance between the pole and the light short, minimizing any potential shadow on the solar panel.
  • Avoid Obstructions: Any shadow on the solar panel can reduce its efficiency and the battery’s ability to charge fully. Position the pole and light fixture in such a way that the solar panel remains unobstructed throughout the day.

By reducing shadows from the pole, you can ensure the solar panel operates at its highest efficiency, leading to better performance and longer battery life.

3. Avoid Shadows from Trees or Buildings

Shadows from nearby trees or buildings can significantly reduce the effectiveness of your solar area light.

  • Regular Pruning: If trees are located near the solar area light, regular pruning is necessary to prevent branches from casting shadows on the solar panel. This is especially important during summer thunderstorms when strong winds can cause branches to overgrow or fall.
  • Strategic Placement: Choose a location for your solar street or area light where it will not be overshadowed by buildings or other structures. Ensuring an unobstructed view of the sky for the solar panel is essential for optimal performance.

By keeping the solar panel free from shadows, you can ensure it collects the maximum amount of sunlight, leading to better energy storage and lighting efficiency.

4. Avoid Installation Near Other Light Sources

Solar area lights are equipped with control systems that detect ambient light levels to determine when to switch on or off. If you install solar lights near other light sources, it can interfere with this system. A motion sensor system is an example of such.

  • Interference Avoidance: Other nearby light sources can confuse the control system of the solar street light, causing it to misinterpret the ambient light levels. This can result in the light staying off when it should be on, reducing its effectiveness.
  • Optimal Placement: Ensure that the solar area light is installed away from other artificial light sources to prevent any interference. This will help maintain its automatic functionality, switching on at dusk and off at dawn as intended.

By not installing solar lights near other light sources, you can ensure that your solar powered area light operates correctly and provides reliable lighting.

5. Ensure Dark Sky Compliance and Consider EPA Ratings

Meeting dark sky compliance and considering Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ratings are essential for sustainable and efficient solar area light installations.

  • Dark Sky Compliance: Ensure that the solar area light fixture is mounted at a 90-degree angle to minimize light pollution. This means the light should be directed downwards, preventing light from scattering upwards into the sky. Using full cutoff fixtures helps in directing light only where it is needed, reducing glare and skyglow, which is crucial for protecting nocturnal environments and maintaining clear night skies.
  • EPA Ratings: The EPA rating, or Effective Projected Area, measures the wind load on the light fixture. It’s important to choose fixtures with appropriate EPA ratings to ensure they can withstand local wind conditions. High wind areas require fixtures with lower EPA ratings to minimize the risk of damage or failure. When selecting poles and mounting hardware, consider the combined EPA of the fixture and ensure it aligns with the pole’s wind load capacity.

By adhering to dark sky compliance and considering EPA ratings, you can enhance the environmental sustainability, safety, and durability of your area lights solar installations.


Integrated solar lights offer an efficient and eco-friendly solution for outdoor lighting needs. By following essential tips on how to effectively install your integrated solar lights such as proper orientation, shadow prevention, and compliance with dark sky standards, you can optimize the performance and longevity of these lights. Regular maintenance and consideration of EPA ratings further enhance their reliability and environmental benefits. Adopting these best practices will ensure that your solar area lights provide consistent, sustainable lighting for years to come.


Solar Lighting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You have questions on how to effectively install your integrated solar LED lighting fixtures. We have answers. If you have a question that isn’t answered below, contact an Access Fixtures lighting specialist at (800) 468-9925 or click here.

What is the importance of solar panel orientation in solar lights?

Proper orientation ensures maximum sunlight exposure, which is essential for efficient battery charging and optimal light performance.

How can I minimize shadows on the solar panel?

Position the light fixture and pole to avoid shadows from the pole itself, trees, and buildings. Regularly prune nearby trees and choose strategic installation locations.

Why should I avoid installing solar lights near other light sources?

Other light sources can interfere with the solar area light’s control system, causing it to misinterpret ambient light levels and potentially malfunction.

What is dark sky compliance, and why is it important?

Dark sky compliance involves minimizing light pollution by directing light downwards. It is important for protecting nocturnal environments and maintaining clear night skies.

What is the EPA rating, and why should it be considered in solar light installation?

The EPA rating measures the wind load on a light fixture. Choosing LED lights with appropriate EPA ratings ensures they can withstand local wind conditions, enhancing durability.

How often should I perform maintenance on my solar streetlights?

Regular maintenance, including cleaning the solar panel and pruning nearby trees, should be performed periodically to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Can solar streetlights operate in all weather conditions?

Yes, high-quality solar street lights are designed to operate in various weather conditions, but it’s important to choose fixtures with suitable EPA ratings for high wind areas.

How does the angle adjustment of the solar panel affect its performance?

Adjusting the angle of the solar panel based on local latitude ensures maximum sunlight absorption, leading to efficient battery charging and light performance.

What materials are best for solar street light poles and fixtures?

Durable materials such as galvanized steel or aluminum are recommended for poles and fixtures to withstand environmental conditions and ensure longevity. Contact an Access Fixtures Lighting Specialist to find out which pole is best for your solar lights project.

Are integrated solar streetlights cost-effective in the long run?

Yes, integrated solar street lights are cost-effective due to their low operational costs, minimal maintenance, and the elimination of electricity bills.