The ionosphere is one of the important sources for magnetospheric plasma, particularly for heavy ions with low charge states. We investigate the effect of solar illumination on the number flux of ion outflow using data obtained by the Fast Auroral SnapshoT satellite at 3000–4150 km altitude from 7 January 1998 to 5 February 1999. We derive empirical formulas between energy inputs and outflowing ion number fluxes for various solar zenith angle ranges. We found that the outflowing ion number flux under sunlit conditions increases more steeply with increasing electron density in the loss cone or with increasing precipitating electron density (> 50 eV), compared with the ion flux under dark conditions. Under ionospheric dark conditions, weak electron precipitation can drive ion outflow with small averaged fluxes (~ 107 cm− 2 s− 1). The slopes of relations between the DC and Alfvén Poynting fluxes and outflowing ion number fluxes show no clear dependence on solar zenith angle. Intense ion outflow events (> 108 cm− 2 s− 1) occur mostly under sunlit conditions (solar zenith angle < 90°). Thus, it is presumably difficult to drive intense ion outflows under dark conditions, because of a lack of the solar illumination (low ionospheric density and/or small scale height owing to low plasma temperature).