Can Bright Lights Be Used To Produce Energy From My Solar Panels?

What the Guru says

Can my solar panels generate energy from bright lights at night? 

Unfortunately not, solar panels need a specific wavelength of light that we get from the sun. So even though there might be bright lights shining onto the panels, they will not create any meaningful power at night.

Bright lights on a solar panel – will this generate power?

Unfortunately, a solar system will not work at night. This is the case even if one shines very bright lights onto the panels or has a full moon and street lights nearby. Creating some illumination. Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity using the photovoltaic effect by design, so they need the sun to work. Modern panels contain half-cut photovoltaic cells that absorb photons from sunlight and generate an electric current. This process relies on the presence of the sun’s light spectrum to produce electricity.

When the sun is not shining at night, solar panels do not receive any sunlight. Therefore, cannot generate electricity as per their design. Bright lights, such as spotlights, lights on a sports field or street lights, for example. Do not have the required sunlight spectrum to achieve the photovoltaic cells and produce electricity. Also, even if we had a light source with the correct light spectrum, the light intensity of such light sources is too low to trigger any meaningful output.

optical fiber light close up

To have renewable energy available at night or during low-light conditions, alternative renewable energy sources such as hydro, batteries that store solar during the day or wind turbines would need to be used. These modern energy sources can provide electricity when solar energy is not available.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Find your local installer