What Types of Batteries for Solar Lights?

Tim Hamlin
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What Kinds of Batteries are Used in your Solar Lights?

There are many different types of batteries that can be used in solar lights and each has its own pros and cons.

Tip: The best way to get the battery life from your solar lights is to rotate them in your yard. This ensures that the lights are pointed at the sun throughout the day and not hidden from the sun’s rays.

Car Batteries

These are typically used for large solar lights that have larger solar panels. The batteries are typically used for lights that need longer battery life.

The two negative aspects of using car batteries are they’re loud when charging and they are expensive.

Lithium Ion Batteries

These are some of the most common batteries used in solar lights because of their reliability and because they tend to be the most affordable. These batteries also offer excellent backup time to ensure you have lights coming on at night.

The downside to this type of battery is they are heavy, and the charging time is slower due to their weight.

Rechargeable Batteries

These are a common option because they are cheap and easy to use in most situations. The downside to rechargeable batteries is that they can wear out and have to be replaced at some point. The batteries are a good option, however, if you do not want to worry about purchasing replacements.

Buying Guide for Rechargeable Batteries for Solar Outdoor Lights

Whether you like to save money on your power bills by harnessing the power of the sun, or you simply want to make your home seem a little more green, solar lights are a great way to go about this.

They aren’t only great for saving energy, but they also serve as a nice decorative touch. They give your home an attractive look that may even spark interest in your neighbors.

There are plenty of solar lights on the market, but they aren’t all of the same quality. If you’re going to buy solar lights, it’s important to spend a little extra and get a good quality solar light. In the long run, you will save yourself from spending a lot more money on other items due to a poorly made solar light going bad.

This guide will help you choose the best rechargeable batteries for your solar light as well as how to charge them.

When Do You Need to Replace Batteries?

Rechargeable batteries will last longer than conventional alkaline batteries, but they will also take longer to recharge. But the main benefit of using rechargeable batteries is that they can be recharged over and over, which makes them very cost effective in the long run.

For example, if you are using flood lights, the batteries would probably be a DC-type battery (called Dry Cell battery.). They are also known as "primary batteries". This means that you can only use it once and then you need to get a replacement. In order to activate the battery, you have to pay for it with electricity. This is why you will need to replace it often.

The whole rechargeable battery unit is activated by an alternator, which turns into DC current. This means that it needs electricity to activate, but once activated, it can be used by the equipment immediately. And when the battery dies, then you just put it on the charger.

Do You Have to Replace All of Them at Once?

No, batteries must only be replaced in groups. Do not be fooled by the manufacturer's claims that some lights will operate if you replace only certain batteries. Do not mix batteries of different sizes or manufacturers.

The purpose of a solar light is to capture energy from the sun. The solar panels must be optimized for the conditions they are being used in. This means they must be aimed in such a way that they can optimally absorb the rays of the sun each day.

If the solar panel is not properly situated, it will take longer and longer for the lights to be charged and they will eventually not operate at all. So it is imperative to replace the batteries in spring or early summer so the panels can be re-positioned.

If the battery is not replaced, or improperly replaced, the lights will not operate properly. It is very common for a light to be left out over the winter and have the battery die.

The result is that the panel end up in a position where there is no sunlight being captured and the lights do not work. In the spring you have to either move the light completely to a new location or rotate the entire panel to get the lights to work.

Since moving a light may involve digging in the mud or grass or may be near impossible, the common solution is simply to purchase new batteries and put them in the light. It is rare, that more than 2 or 3 lights are affected.

Conclusion

Since the range of batteries can be confusing, it may take some head scratching to find the right solution for you. The decisions you have to make will depend on your budget, the size and type of battery you're looking for, and the application for which it's destined.

The most economical solution is to buy the cheapest AAA or AA batteries you can find. They will have a limited amount of charge cycles and the voltage per cell will be very low, but when you have to replace them from item to item, it will add up to a significant cost savings.

If you are looking for the biggest bang for the buck, alkaline batteries are your cheapest options, but you will also need to replace them the most frequently. Lithium and rechargeable batteries will need the most care and consideration during each cycle.

For any application requiring longer-term power, Lithium batteries are most efficient products for solar lights. Lastly, for the best rechargeable solution, use a lithium battery.