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Do You Need Special Batteries For Solar Lights?

Solar lights run on rechargeable batteries and they come with the solar lights when you buy it. No special batteries required for solar lights. All they need is either NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) or NiCd type rechargeable battery.

When you need to replace the batteries for your solar lights, I would recommend installing the NiMH batteries. I will explain why later.

Usually, you start tidying up your garden during the springtime as a preparation for the summer. This is the good time to inspect all the solar outdoor lights. I am pretty sure you will find some lights are not performing as they should.

There could plenty of reasons why solar lights cease to perform like dust on the solar panel and the batteries just die. Usually, it’s a good idea to replace solar battery lights each year to have the best performance of your solar lights.

If you have successfully figured out and 100% sure that the problem is with the batteries, there is no option but to replace the batteries. Now, which one to choose? As I said above, you can go for the NiMH or NiCd (Nickel Cadmium) battery. So, which one to choose from the two?

This is a good time to read the specification of your solar lights. Do they recommend NiMH or NiCd? If there is any recommendation, just for it. But if it says, any one of the two will work (which is very common), then you should certainly go for the NiMH.

NiMH Vs. NiCd Batteries

Do You Need Special Batteries For Solar Lights

NiMH batteries have some clear advantages over the NiCd batteries. Firstly, NiMH batteries are environmentally friendly and they last longer than their NiCd counterpart even slightly.

NiMH batteries have the capacity to store more solar power than the NiCd batteries, so your solar lights will be lit on for a longer time. This is what you want for your solar landscape lights, right? Who doesn’t like to have a little extra illuminating lighting!

There is the huge environmental impact of using the NiCd batteries. They contain harmful toxins, so they must be disposed of properly. You can dispose of the NiMH batteries without hurting the environment.

Rechargeable vs. Non-rechargeable Solar Light Battery

Temporarily non-rechargeable alkaline batteries will work for your solar lights, but this will be the worst decision that you can make. It is a slow killer for solar lights. Non-rechargeable batteries will corrode the solar lights terminal eventually.

When the terminal is corroded, your solar lights won’t get any power. That means your solar lights will be completely out of usage in a very short time. So, never ever think about using the alkaline batteries to store power in your solar lights.

Do You Need Special Batteries For Solar Lights?

In addition to the above criteria, you need to consider the mAh rating of the batteries as well. In your old rechargeable batteries, you can find the mAh rating that your solar lights support.

While replacing for a new one, don’t go for a too high mAh rating. You can use a different mAh capacity as long as it has the same voltage. Nearest possible mAh capacity is always recommended.

Rechargeable batteries are available in different sizes and capacities. There are 1.2V NiMH and 1.2V NiCd rechargeable batteries as well. Most commonly known as AA or AAA batteries. AAA batteries are slimmer than AA.

So, when replacing your rechargeable batteries from your solar lights, make sure you choose the right sizes and capacities. It should be the exact same size and capacity that your solar lights support.

Just because your solar lights stop working suddenly does not mean the batteries are gone. There could be other reasons too as I mentioned above. So, instead of buying new batteries right away, you should check for other problems as well.

FAQ About Rechargeable Solar Batteries

Most of the time you will be wondering how frequently you should clean your solar panel. Well, there is no general rule of thumb and it varies from places to places. All you have to make sure that your solar panel gets maximum exposure to the sun.

Now, if your solar panel gets covered up by dirt and dust more frequently, you have to clean them more frequently as well. Remember, no matter what type of rechargeable battery you use, they will get charged unless the solar panels get enough sunlight.

How do you know the batteries of your solar panel are dead?

Well, there is an easy check for that. Replace your old solar batteries from the panel and set the non-rechargeable battery to check whether the LED solar path lights are working. If it is, then surely the rechargeable batteries are dead.

Can you replace NiCd rechargeable batteries with NiMH?

Of course, you can! And it’s the best idea to do that. As I have said it many times in the article that NiMH batteries are best for solar lights. But you need to make sure your new NiMH rechargeable batteries are 1.2 volts and have similar mAh capacity.

Is it a good idea to charge the new rechargeable batteries first in a charger set?

Well, it is not mandatory. I mean it’s not something you have to do it. Most of the time these new rechargeable batteries have some charges, very few may not. But as soon as you set these batteries with the solar panel, they will start charging when the panels get sunlight.

But technically you can charge them using any charger set (if you already have the charge set) to have an immediate result.

Finishing Up

Rechargeable batteries play the vital role functioning your LED solar path lights or any kind of LED lights. To get the full benefits of your solar lights, you must change the batteries at least once or twice a year. Luckily, rechargeable batteries are widely available either in your nearby local stores or online store.

When you are not getting at least 10 to 12 hours of bright lighting, it’s the right time to change your batteries. The great news is, the price of these rechargeable batteries are really cheap.

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