Sunlight Hours

Every year, the light we get from the sun changes depending on the month we are in. This doesn’t seem like it will be changing anytime soon. So, we might as well understand what this means to our solar systems and the electric production we can expect out of them during the winter months.

In the winter, most places in the United States experience a 30-50% decrease in usable sunlight hours. This is going to equate to an approximate 30-50% decrease in electric production from solar panels as well. It is just that simple on the math side. Since sunlight is an essential part of making the solar systems work, when the sunlight hours go down, so does the energy production.

For example here are some average sunlight hour comparisons for some winter months compared to some spring/summer months.

  • Los Angeles California¬† sunlight hours can change from about 6.1 sunlight hours per day in May to 3.8 hours in October.
  • Jacksonville Florida sunlight hours can change from about 4.3 sunlight hours in February to 6.1 sunlight hours in May.
  • Boise Idaho can have about 3.5 sunlight hours in February and shoots way up to 7.6 average sunlight hours in June
  • Indianapolis Indiana can have 2.8 sunlight hours in January and a total of 6.7 sunlight hours on average in May
  • The state of Kansas is usually around 3.9 sunlight hours in February and goes to about 6.5 hours of sun in May
  • Billings Montana has a massive change from 2.9 hours of sunlight in January up to 7.2 hours of sunlight in June
  • Las Vegas Nevada goes from 4.4 hours of sunlight in February to 8.1 hours of sunlight in June

It is really obvious to see that sunlight hours are always changing just as we rotate around the sun.  And as sunlight hours are essential to making the solar panels operate, the production of the solar systems is going to change as the year moves along.

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