Frequently Asked Questions
If you've got questions, we've got answers! Look through the following list of questions, which include Solar Light Questions (immediately below), our Trouble-Shooting Guide for Solar Lights (to your immediate right), and Low-Voltage Lighting Questions (below). If you don't find the answer you're looking for, please feel free to contact us.
Solar Light Questions
How do solar lights work?
Solar lights have a solar cell that converts sunlight into electricity. This electricity is then used to recharge the built-in batteries each day. A photo-cell sensor automatically turns on the solar light at night.
How long will solar lights stay lit at night?
Solar lights need direct sunlight. The more sunlight received during each day, the longer the light will operate that night. Since solar lights are powered entirely by the sunlight they receive each day, operating times will vary by specific location, daily weather conditions, and season. Many of our solar lights can run for up to 8-10 hours. As a general rule, solar lighting performs better during the summer months mainly because the longer and sunnier days enable a full charge to be acquired. Adverse weather and short winter days do affect performance, as charge times are reduced in relation to hours of daylight and the strength of the light.
Are Alpan solar lights weather-proofed?
Alpan solar lights are designed for all weather temperature. If you have the glass type model and you live in an area where you get rain, snow, or wind storms during fall and winter season, it is best to store your lights during these months. When storing them, make sure that the rocker switch is in the “Off” position to prevent the battery from draining. If you live in an area where rain is minimal, your solar lights can be outside all year round.
What type of battery is used in Alpan solar lights?
We use AA type rechargeable Nickel Cadmium (Nicad) batteries on most of our products. These batteries can be ordered directly from Alpan via telephone or online.
How long does the battery last?
Nickel Cadmium batteries should last about 11/2-2 years with proper maintenance. To maximize the life span of the battery, it is best to recharge the battery by turning off the solar unit periodically for 3 to 4 days.
Do I need a charger for my batteries?
No. The batteries in your solar units are charged by sunlight through the solar panel. The batteries must be charged properly prior to initial use by turning the switch to the ‘Off’ position and placing the solar lights in direct sunlight for 3 to 4 consecutive sunny days.
What type of bulb does my solar light use?
We utilize the latest L.E.D. (Light Emitting Diode) on our solar lights.
How long does the L.E.D. last?
You should never have to replace the LED bulb in your solar lights. L.E.D’s will run up to 100,000 hours. L.E.D’s are not replaceable.
How bright are the lights?
The brightness of the LED solar lights are not indicated in terms of watts. The measurement of it is ‘mcd’ (millicandelas candle light). Solar lighting has become much more reliable and efficient over the years. But it is especially important to note that this product is usually used for accent or decorative lighting.
If my solar lights run automatically, why does it have an on/off switch?
Alpan solar lights are equipped with a convenient on/off Rocker Switch for manual override and to eliminate performance inhibiting memory effect from the internal batteries.
What kind of maintenance does it require?
No maintenance is required except for an occasional wiping of the solar panel to keep it free of dust, dirt, debris, or snow to allow the batteries to charge properly for optimum performance.
What are the advantages of solar lighting?
Solar lighting is safe and environmentally friendly since they do not require any external power supply. There is no wiring required and installation is very simple. It is also suitable for use in remote areas and location near water. They run cost free so you do not have to worry about expensive electricity bills.
How do I store my solar lights?
Most people store their solar lights indoors during winter months. Make sure to put the switch in the ‘off’ position and kept in a dark place. When positioning outdoors again, follow the start procedure in the owner’s manual.
How long is the Warranty?
We provide a 1-Year Limited Warranty with most of our products. The warranty includes all parts accessories except for batteries and bulbs.
Solar Light Questions
How do low voltage lights work?
Low voltage lights operate on 12-volt electrical current. The transformer reduces the 120- volt home current to a safe 12 volts.
As I connect the post to the ground stake, why do I need to twist the wire counterclockwise eight times before connecting the two together?
Twisting the wire counter-clockwise will eliminate any shortage of the lights because it will avoid stripping of the wire from the post and the ground stake.
Can I use an extension cord from an outlet to the transformer?
For safety reasons, we do not recommend the use of an extension cord. However, you may use a higher gauge of wire than the transformer.
How many lights can my transformer accommodate?
You may use up to 9 lights with a 10-watt halogen bulb per light. Our transformers have a 90-watt maximum capacity.
How safe is the bare wire at the end of the cable?
The cable is safe and harmless, no threat of electric shock. You can just leave it as is or you can seal it with electrical tape.
One or two of my lights do not turn on, what do I do?
Please follow these steps:
- Check the low voltage T-Mark connector to ensure cable is properly pierced. Retighten connector.
- Check the halogen bulb; make sure it is properly inserted.
- Make sure cable/wire is properly inserted into screws of transformer for solid connection.
All of my lights do not turn on after installing them, what do I do?
Please follow these steps:
- Make sure the transformer is plugged into a 120-volt outlet.
- Check the thermal fuse located at the bottom of the transformer. If necessary, replace the fuse (120v / 10amp).
- Check if there is any light source (wall light, street lamp, etc.) that could be hindering the photo-sensor to detect night time. Test it by covering the eye of the photo-sensor to check if this light source is affecting power on/off operation.
Why does my unit remain turned 'ON' during the day?
The transformer must be placed and mounted outdoors for the photo-sensor to detect outside light and automatically turn 'on' at dusk and 'off' at daybreak.
Can I use a different bulb wattage on the same cable run?
Yes, you can mix different wattage on the same cable provided that the total wattage of the whole run will not exceed the total wattage output of the transformer.