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Can Moonlight Power Solar Panels at Night

By: Eric Huesca, SEO Content Writer

December 9, 2022

Solar panels are the new in-trend technology and will have you dancing in the moonlight due to their numerous benefits. These panels are made up of multiple interconnected photovoltaic cells capable of generating electric current when exposed to sunlight. Solar panels are of different kinds, varying in cost, size, material, and energy production.

Solar panels are designed to reduce your electricity bill by powering all the items in your home with electricity generated through the sun’s radiation. In addition, solar panels are also eco-friendly and reduce carbon footprint because solar energy is a renewable energy source.

Moon shining bright!

The only downside of these solar panels is that they work great during the day but go out of business at night. We’re sure every solar panel owner would be thrilled if the
panels could also charge at night.

So let’s analyze whether moonlight is good for solar panels.


How would you define moonlight? “The light of the moon” may sound like the right answer, but the problem is that what we think to be the moon’s own light is not its own at all. During a solar eclipse, the moon makes its way between the earth and the sun. The sun casts a shadow of the moon on earth, darkening the sky for a little while.

If the moon had its own light, the sky’s darkening wouldn’t have been the case because we’d still be able to see the moon’s light during the solar eclipse as well.

So, if the misty moonlight isn’t its own, where is it coming from?

Where Does the Moon's Light Come From?

The moon’s light is actually borrowed from the sun. The sun not only illuminates the earth, but it also reflects its light on the moon’s surface. This enhances the moon’s craters, which otherwise would not be visible.

So yeah, the phrase dancing in the moonlight could very well be called dancing in the sunlight.

How Much Sunlight Does the Moon Reflect?

Of all the sun’s light that falls on the moon, only 12% reflects off the surface to reach earth. The moon’s color is often compared to worn-out asphalt. Yet, during a full moon, it’s bright enough to suppress the visibility of any surrounding stars and cause a moonlight shadow for things as big as trees and houses.

One can imagine how dark the sky would be if the moon reflected no light at all.

Is Moonlight Strong Enough to Produce Solar Energy

Now that we know that the moonlight is actually a reflection of the sun’s radiation, can we extend our solar panel love in the moonlight? Well, the answer is a big, disappointing no. Solar panels don’t work the same at night as in the day. They require an intense 1000 watts a day from the sun for optimal use.

Even a full moon, which is the brightest of all the other moon phases, generates energy 2.3 million times less than the sun’s energy generated in the day. Hence, moonlight isn’t enough to charge a solar panel with such little radiation.

What Else Can We Use to Charge Solar Panels?

Climate has a significant impact on the efficiency of solar panels. The climate where you live determines how long the sun rises each day. Places that are subjected mostly to cloudy and cold weather probably don’t see much use in investing in solar panels.

However, research shows that if fitted with LEDs, street lights can be used to charge solar panels. Artificial light is the next ideal source of light to charge solar panels after the sun. The only condition is that the artificial light source must be potent enough for the solar panels to work.

Is Artificial Light a Good Enough Energy Source?

Some people believe that using artificial light to charge solar panels is a waste because, no matter how potent the artificial light source is, it can not compare to the intensity of natural solar radiation.

Even after experimenting with solar panels using artificial light, it was concluded that though the panels could generate electricity, it wasn’t sufficient. The generated electricity lasted only a few hours, as opposed to the longer time it took to charge.

Moonlight Panels

A common question that could occur in your mind may be, why can’t we have panels designed specifically for the moonlight? That’s exactly what has been irking scientists, causing them to try and design something like
moonlight panels.

The idea is to replace the standard silicone material of solar panels with a material having a
band gap equal to the energy obtained from moonlight. The innovation of serious moonlight panels will definitely be a game changer in the solar panel industry if scientists figure out how to use less intense moonlight to generate electricity.

Possible Benefits of Moonlight Panels

Bill Reduction

With the invention of moonlight panels, owners will be able to generate their own electricity day and night. That means you’ll save even more on your electricity bill than how much you were already saving with solar panels. Now that’s definitely something that’ll have you happily dancing in the moonlight.


Moonlight panels would contribute to the global initiative of improving the environment and reducing carbon footprint. The use of renewable energy sources would mean less use of fossil fuels and natural gas.

More innovation

If scientists are able to generate a sufficient amount of electricity with a light source fainter than the sun, this will give hope for more innovation regarding the efficient generation of electricity. It’s safe to assume that we can dream of a future without tremendous electricity bills.

Reduction in Battery Requirement

Having electricity-generating panels that work 24/7 means you won’t require to purchase batteries to store the generated electricity for later use. You will simply be using the electricity generated by your solar and moonlight panels in real-time.

Is the Night a Deal Breaker

With moonlight not being strong enough to power solar panels, does that mean we’ll always be dependent on conventional means of electricity to get through the night? Well, we’ve some good news for you. Just because solar panels don’t charge at night doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the power they generate at night.

Ways To Use Solar-Generated Electricity During the Night

Battery Storage

A popular way to use solar power at night is by storing the electricity generated in batteries. Solar panels are more than capable of generating electricity that can be used for a full 24 hours and maybe even more. So all you’ll need to do is store away the extra electricity generated during the day using a battery and connect it to your electrical system at night.


There are only so many batteries you can buy to store solar-powered electricity. There may be times you have too many backup batteries, so you’ll stop storing the electricity generated from the solar panels letting it waste away. Instead of letting the electricity go to waste, you can contact your utility company and strike a deal. Some utility companies offer credits in return for solar-generated electricity. These credits can work wonders on your energy bills during the winter when clouds and fog cover the sun.

Larger Solar Panels

There are different kinds of solar panels available in the market. They vary in size and material. The larger the solar panel, the more power it generates. Investing in larger solar panels may initially intimidate you, but it’s a profitable deal in the long run.

The increased generated electricity will not only cover all the power of your house, day and night, but you can also credit the extra generated electricity to your utility company. The more credits, the more you’ll save in winter and storms.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Of all the types of solar panels that the market has to offer, monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient because they come in modules of higher wattages. While polycrystalline and thin film solar panels come in modules of lower wattages, monocrystalline solar panels can have a capacity of 300 watts to 400 watts.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

On average, solar panels can cost around $16000. However, the cost depends on the size and type of installed solar panel. Depending on the model, the price can range from $3,500 to $35,000. But don’t let the dollar signs scare you. Solar panels are costly but last a good 25-30 years, after which they produce electricity at a lesser production rate.

Final Thoughts

With the ongoing inflation, any money you save from utility bills is worth less. The solar industry is growing rapidly, and moonlight panels don’t seem to be much far behind. Governments and utility companies also support eco-friendly technology because it uses a renewable energy source.

Be smart and research solar panels that could cover almost all the cost of your energy bill. Slowly, people are adapting to the technology, and it’s time that you board the bandwagon too. If you’re still unsure about the decision and think you need more guidance on the topic, contact Solgen Power for exceptional solar services.

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