Now, you have had enough old solar lights, and it’s high time to replace them. Some may have become dim and couldn’t be able to lighten up the place, while others might be a mismatch for the surroundings.
What would you do? Do you want to keep them as they are? Obviously, no. You just replace them with professional LED outdoor lights. But what would you do with the old ones, then? Would they sit in your backyard and wait until decomposition?
No, you cannot leave those eco-friendly fixtures lying anywhere unattended. You have to figure out a way to get rid of them. It’s your responsibility to determine how to upcycle, reuse, or recycle those old lighting.
Tips to Get Rid of Old Solar Lights
There are multiple ways to what you can do with old lighting fixtures.
This decision is entirely based on their condition, working ability, and various other factors. Let’s have a look at the options:
Give Them Away
Every solar light that works fine and doesn’t seem to encounter any problems should be given away to needy people. Whether it’s your friend’s backyard, a garage sale, or donations to a local charitable organization, you shouldn’t think for a second about giving away your ‘discarded solar lights.’
Even there might be someone who could assist you with technical work like repairs or minor work to get the batteries you have planned to discard.
Reuse or Repurpose
If you have big solar lights, then you can revamp them into useful flower pots or creative hangings for your backyard.
In fact, they can also work as a protective shield for your tiny stems that have just popped out of the soil so that they can remain safe from harsh conditions.
A regular solar light comprises solar panels, light bulbs, a body (metal or plastic), rechargeable batteries, and a controller board.
Chances are high that most of the parts could be defective, but you may still use your creativity to develop some new art pieces for a particular area.
Is it Possible to Recycle Solar Lights?
Solar light recycling is one of the most talked about topics in the United States because of the increased demand for recycling facilities. The country has a few certified solar panel recycling facilities compared to Europe.
The reason behind this is the specialized method to dispose of each and every part of solar lights. Limited states are working on solar waste right now, and they are not even as good at recycling solar accessories as they are expected to be.
Still, you can expect to see the following results at the end of their solar light recycling:
- Save useful materials for other products
- Save the environment from hazardous waste
- Strengthen the solar recycling industry by offering work
- Monetary benefits for a better circular economy
The only thing to remember is not to throw solar lights directly in the trash because they may adversely affect the environment.
Even though solar lights always claim to be eco-friendly, they still contain toxic accessories and chemicals like lead and cadmium that are bad for the surroundings.
With that being said, the ideal method is to appoint the state facilities for recycling because it’s not as easy as it seems. The process is quite labor-intensive and costly, which is why not every recycling facility works on solar waste.
How to Deal with Old Solar Lights Except for Recycling?
If you are unwilling to take old and broken solar lights to a recycling center or they are reluctant to accept this responsibility, it’s best to find another use.
Yes, repurposing your old and broken solar lights can do wonders. Not only can you show off your creativity, but you can keep the environment safe from additional chemical releases into the environment.
Though, you must have enough knowledge about how to deal with their parts. You must distinguish between defective and reusable components to plan your future projects accordingly. For that, the following details will play a significant role:
- Solar Panels: Normally, solar panels work for around 10 to 15 years without encountering any problems. It doesn’t necessarily mean that if they are old, you just have to throw them away. Use a voltmeter and confirm if they are still good to work with. Once you collect all working solar panels, it’s time to decide which panel would go for which work. For instance, they can be reused in gadgets like wristwatches, calculators, and flashlights.
- Light Bulb: LED lighting has emerged as a blessing in disguise for today’s world. Besides being energy efficient, they are eco-friendly and emit less heat than expected. With that being said, they could be one of the best components for reuse. You can make outdoor lanterns, DIY solar address signs, patio hanging lights, and even flashlights with clean and safe lighting.
- Batteries: Normally, batteries are non-recyclable because of some chemicals. Therefore, if your discarded solar batteries, it’s recommended to strip them down from solar lights and explore the endless possibilities to repurpose them. Many gadgets and devices, particularly clocks, wristwatches, and remote controls, operate on AAA and AA batteries. You can reuse old batteries to save some bucks.
- Solar Light Covers: Solar light covers are easy to recycle because the process doesn’t need electrical knowledge and specialized skills. In fact, they are multi-purpose- you can use them as planters or for any DIY project based on your ideas and inspirations.
- Controller Board: While disposing of solar lights, experts suggest repurposing working controller boards for another use. You can install them with any device or project that asks for such a component.
Despite facing limitations in solar light recycling, there is much more to reusing them. All you need to do is to make sure that they have come to the end of their lifespan.
If you don’t feel like using them, it’s better to use your creative mind and come up with something new with those old solar lights.