The main purpose of batteries is to run devices without active electric current. Rechargeable batteries are used in different devices but not every rechargeable battery goes well with solar lights. I know it sounds confusing which is why many people ask can you use regular rechargeable batteries in solar lights. Also, are solar batteries different from regular batteries? Come find out the answer to these along with several other related questions.
What are Solar Lights? Do Solar Lights Need Batteries?
Outdoor lighting systems powered by the sun are known as solar light. LED lights are attached to solar panels backed with batteries to charge during the day and utilize the stored energy for lighting the bulb at night. One common question I mostly come across is do solar lights need batteries. As for this, the answer is yes, to work efficiently solar lights do need batteries. It helps to store power generated during the day that keeps them lighted at night.
Can You Use Regular Rechargeable Batteries in Solar Lights?
Rechargeable batteries are already included in solar light fixtures, making their installation effortless. Batteries are an essential component of solar light systems. Lead acid, lifePO4 batteries, Nickel–metal hydride (NiMH), or lithium-ion batteries are the most commonly used rechargeable batteries in solar lighting systems.
1. Lithium-Ion Batteries
These lithium batteries are particularly for green energy and are famous for their compact maintenance. Their energy density is twice as tight in comparison to nickel-cadmium batteries. Also, they have a short lifespan and are highly empathetic to temperature concerns.
2. Nickel-Cadmium (NiCa) Batteries
These are compatible with high voltages and have the longest lifespan. These batteries are designed to reduce carbon footprint but may be inappropriate for some solar lights. This depends on the type of solar light.
3. Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries
They are AA batteries that are mostly preferred for solar light, especially outer solar lights, and exertion, and need to be replaced after a year or two.
And the answer to whether you can use regular rechargeable batteries with solar lights is yes. But only the correct ones will ensure long-term operations of lighting units. You can use any regular rechargeable batteries for your solar lights. But you need to make sure the manufacturer or supplier approves it because battery-powered devices are designed to work on specific types of batteries.
There is an exception to this case because some models of solar lights work fine with regular rechargeable batteries while others do not and require specialized batteries. This is because different lights have different voltage requirements or other specific energy needs.
If you are using a regular rechargeable battery with solar lights, make sure to not change the type of battery it initially is supplied with. Suppose your solar lights had alkaline rechargeable lights do not switch them to NiCd or NiMH rechargeable batteries. Also, while replacing it with the same battery type consider its voltage and mAh. With this, your query regarding can you use regular rechargeable batteries in solar lights is answered. But there is much more to know ahead.
Also Read: How Many Batteries for 1000 Watt Solar System?
Can I Use Energizer Rechargeable Batteries for Solar Lights?
Yes, you can use them as they are best suited for the purpose. Energizer recharge® technology manufactures AA and AAA rechargeable batteries. These are among the top rechargeable batteries in the world that effectively save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. Some people asked can I use energizer rechargeable batteries for solar lights but why? It is because these batteries are compatible with handheld GPS gadgets, toys, wireless gaming, cameras, and several other devices.
However, these batteries adjust well working with solar lights, but NiMH or NiCD rechargeable batteries will give long-term reliable performances with solar lights. Energizer rechargeable batteries are charged properly with 1.4V and will keep the solar lights on throughout the night.
Also See: How Many Solar Panels and Batteries to Power a House
How Long Do Rechargeable Batteries Last in Solar Lights?
The capacity of rechargeable solar batteries differs by their type. With NiMH, solar lights may last up to 2 years. Rechargeable batteries may last from 4 hours to 12 hours. But this charge time lasts depending on the type of battery, the country you live in, and the conditions under which batteries work. Also, the average time taken for batteries to charge can be between 8 and 12 hours. The average lifespan for which these batteries last is:
- Lithium-Ion Batteries less than 1 year
- Nickel-Cadmium Batteries last for 1–2 years
- Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries last for 3-8 years
Also Read: 3 Alkaline Battery Advantages and Disadvantages
What Factors Decide How Long Do Rechargeable Batteries Last in Solar Lights?
The Factors affecting the lifespan of rechargeable batteries in solar lights are as follows:
1. Battery type: There are different types of rechargeable batteries available, and each varies in strength, durability, and weight. For example, lithium-ion batteries are considered best because they are lighter, more durable, and stronger.
2. Uses: The way batteries are used also determines their lifespan. A deep-cycle battery is expected to last long regardless of the time they are completely drained.
3. Temperature: It not only affects solar panels but batteries are also influenced. The battery will work efficiently for longer periods if the climate is mild or temperate. The answer to whether can you use regular rechargeable batteries in solar lights also depends on these factors and how they affect regular batteries.
4. Maintenance: This is the last yet important determinant of the lifespan of batteries. It means you should not let the battery drain completely too often.
How To Know if Batteries in Solar Are Dead?
To check whether the batteries are dead, you need to replace them with the same type and mAh battery. If the lights work fine after that, it means the battery needs to be replaced. The life span of solar batteries is more than average for a regular battery. In case your solar lights fluctuate too often or are not working efficiently, it is time to get batteries checked and replace them if required.
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Do You Need Special Batteries For Solar Lights?
No, for solar lights, you do not need special batteries but using regular batteries is also not a sustainable option. Do you need special batteries for solar lights, I guess not. Regular batteries cannot work as per the requirements of solar lights and the way they are designed. You can use Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries. These batteries are easily available and the most reliable rechargeable batteries for solar lights.
Also See: 8 Best Rechargeable Batteries for Solar Lights
Can You Use Non Rechargeable Batteries In Solar Lights?
The reason behind pressing the use of rechargeable batteries with solar lights is that rechargeable batteries are designed that way. Such that they store, use, exhaust, and restore, and this cycle continues. You do not need to maintain them for the time being. Still, if your question can you use non rechargeable batteries in solar lights remains here is the answer. There may not always be complications with non-rechargeable batteries but considering the same here is a list of dangers if non-rechargeable batteries are used in solar lights.
1. Corrosion of terminals: Non-rechargeable batteries rapidly drain that corrodes terminals of solar lights. With this, there is a disruption in the connection between the battery and its terminals that further blocks the power supply from the battery to the lights. Even though the answer to can you use regular rechargeable batteries in solar lights and non-rechargeable batteries is yes, it has some unavoidable complications.
2. Permanent system failure: Alkaline batteries are incapable of storing charges that can cause irreversible damage to the system. Also, with continuous charging problems, there are chances for the system to fail permanently.
3. Unreliable performance: You cannot rely on non-rechargeable batteries, and they cannot deliver smooth performances either as they are not designed for solar lights. They go off within a short period of time.
4. Warranty cancellations: There is a long-time warranty period with solar lights which is valid only if the terms and conditions mentioned by the manufacturer are followed. Using the wrong batteries may damage the lights and this is not covered under the warranty.
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What Happens When You Put a Regular Battery in a Solar Light?
Regular batteries do not work well with solar light. Solar lights work on the mechanism of capturing photons from the sun by solar panels and converting them into electrical energy to power the light. With a deep-cycle rechargeable battery, this generated power is stored for use at night. What happens when you put a regular battery in a solar light? Draining regular batteries too often spoils them, which is not good for lights either. They can work with solar lights but will soon be spoiled without your knowledge.
Also See: How to Use Solar Panel Directly Without Battery?
How are Solar Batteries Different from Regular Batteries?
The basic difference between solar batteries and regular (inverter) batteries can be measured in two parameters.
Two electrodes, titanium mesh, and lithium base are the three main components of a solar battery. Whereas normal batteries work on lead-acid interaction and have a thinner grid spine than solar batteries.
2. Discharge Rating
Discharge rates are different for both batteries. Solar batteries are marked with a C10 rating which means that their discharge rate should not be within 10 hours. On the contrary, normal batteries are rated as C20, and they would not be discharged within 20 hours.
Also Read: 4 Advantages Of Solar Water Heater
Solar batteries are rechargeable and are used regularly with solar lights and other similar solar devices. Normal batteries can only be charged once and used during long power cuts. Can you use regular rechargeable batteries in solar lights depending on the type of use you put them to?
Solar batteries are more expensive than normal batteries. Solar batteries’ price range can be between $200 and $5000. Note: Prices are subject to change over time, place, type of battery, and other related parameters. On the other hand, normal batteries are way cheaper than them.
5. Life span
It is an essential differentiating factor. Different solar batteries have different life spans. Most are designed to last for about 10 to 15 years, but their storage capacity degrades over time. Some solar batteries with innovative designs may have a lower efficiency loss rate. The lifespan of batteries depends on various internal and external factors. A normal battery lasts for about 3 to 5 years depending on external and internal factors. Also, for the purpose, they are used.
For solar batteries maintenance depends on the usage and quality of the batteries, whereas for normal batteries maintenance is similar to those of other normal batteries, with no special treatment required.
So, this was the answer for all those who kept asking can you use regular rechargeable batteries in solar lights? Even though it is not dangerous why bother to increase expense and carbon footprint when you have good green options available? I guess you decided to go green. Are solar batteries different from regular batteries? Yes, certainly they are, which is why they are not completely compatible with solar light.
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