Can Lightning Damage Solar Lights?

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There are few things in nature as awe-inspiring as lightning. The flash, the intricate spiderweb of light, and of course, the corresponding thunder. Lighting is one of the most powerful events in nature.

If lightning were to strike your solar light it is most certainly going to be damaged… quite possibly beyond the point of recognition.

And considering that lightning can be actually hotter than the surface of the sun, this should be no surprise.

But are solar lights at a higher risk than other things around my house?

The answer to that lies in how lightning works and where your lights are located.

Lightning And Metal

Lightning has a tremendous amount of electron movement. And the flow of electrons is pretty much what makes your solar lights work.

From the electron ‘excitement’ of the solar cells, to the illumination of the LED’s, electron flow is the force behind the function.

Metal is an excellent conductor, allowing for electrons to move easily. Because of this, the metal in your solar solar is most certainly conducive to a bolt of lightning.

However, it should not be assumed that lightning will choose your solar lights as its’ first choice to strike. There are other factors involved.

  • Height – Lightning wants to release a bolt in order to balance the disparity between two electrically charged regions. The best way to do this is by connecting with ground – and sometimes that literally is the ground. This means that the higher the object, the less distance lightning has to move.
  • Conductive ability – Just because an object is reaching fairly high into the sky, this doesn’t automatically translate as lightnings’ ‘first choice’. The object reaching into the sky needs to be able to allow electron flow.

In other words, if you stood a 20 foot rubber pole into the air, chances are lightning will never touch it. This is because rubber is a very poor conductor.

But, if you were to stand a 5 foot metal rod in the ground, even surrounded by 20 foot rubber poles, chances are very good that you will see a lightning strike on that short metal rod.


Lightning has the power to damage anything it chooses to strike. But that doesn’t mean your solar lights are especially vulnerable.

Your solar lights are at no more or no less risk than any other metallic object. The solar cell that powers your solar light really has no direct bearing on how lightning behaves.

So long as you don’t mount it on a metal pole that reaches way up into the sky, your solar light should be fine.

For an in-depth look at solar lights, please read ‘How Do Solar Lights Work?

THANK YOU for sharing!