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What Types of Batteries for Solar Lights?

Written by K. Miller / Fact checked by J. Fussell

What Types of Batteries to Use for Solar Lights

Primarily, solar-powered lights do not last long when they light up at dusk if they don’t absorb sufficient sunlight in the daylight. As you might already know, the placement of the solar light’s solar panel is quite vital.

This is because tiny amounts of additional sun time during the daytime will remarkably enhance the light’s nighttime performance. However, more frequently, it might be time to replace the battery if the solar light performs poorly.

The truth is, solar-powered batteries won’t last forever. When deciding what types of batteries for solar lights, remember that they are graded for specific numbers of charge cycles. Indeed, if you wish to ensure maximum use, it is necessary to replace the battery every three to four years.

What Types of Batteries are Used for Solar Lights?


Sure thing, solar-operated lights are some of the most energy-efficient and trendiest means of lighting up various areas at home.

Such type of lighting has been adopted by consumers at present, both in rural and urban locations.

So, if you also find yourself lured and inspired by solar-powered fixtures, and wish to install some at home, you need to learn more about them first.

Having some technical insight about solar-powered lights is crucial so that you can take better care of them.

Essentially, since solar lights cannot run without batteries, you also need to learn more about the right types of batteries that you can utilize for your solar-operated lights.

The Different Types of Batteries for Solar-powered Lights

Lithium-Ion Battery

This type of battery is considered more excellent compared to a lead-acid battery in terms of size and price tag.

You can charge a Li-ion battery with 3.7 Volt effectively. This means that smaller solar panels will function accordingly.

In addition, these batteries can be charged instantly without any serious hassle during cloudy days.

Best of all, they do not call for further maintenance. The average lifespan of a Li-ion battery is roughly five to six years.

On the flip side, Li-ion batteries are more likely to explode during inclement weather conditions. This is because they react at low and high-temperature conditions.

Lead-acid battery and SMF

This type of battery is renowned among users mainly because of its affordable price tag.

While it is more reasonably priced compared to other solar lighting system options, there are some downsides that you need to consider.

Lead-acid batteries are a bit difficult to handle during terrible weather conditions; they are prone to explosion, call for regular maintenance, and are linked to some environmental concerns.

The lifetime of this type of battery is barely two to three years. The main issue of utilizing this battery in solar lights is that it needs larger solar panels for charging.

Additionally, a larger battery size will consume more space. Plus, the solar panel needs to generate a 12-Volt minimum to charge lead-acid batteries. So, this means that it is a pain in the neck to charge these batteries during cloudy days.

Lithium-Ion Phosphate Battery

This type of battery is deemed the most advanced and the most efficient type of battery sold on the market to date. Moreover, it only needs 3.2-Volt of power to charge.

As a result, you can instantly charge it regardless of bad weather conditions like cloudy days.

You also don’t need a larger solar panel because a small solar panel is already adequate to run this battery.

More importantly, there is no additional cost to maintain this type of battery. Lithium-Ion phosphate batteries can work for about 9 up to 12 years without any issue.

What sets this type of battery apart from others is that it could resist inclement weather conditions. For this reason, it is a safer alternative.

The Importance of Replacing Solar Light Batteries


One of the primary reasons why solar-powered fixtures do not function well is having worn-out rechargeable batteries.

Fundamentally, you need rechargeable batteries in your solar-powered fixtures because the solar panel converts sun energy into power to charge the batteries. This is the energy that generates lighting at night

It is highly suggested to change the batteries of your solar lights, preferably once every three to four years. Take note that some outdoor solar lights utilized low-capacity rechargeable batteries.

Nowadays, solar-powered lighting units utilize 1.2V NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries. This new version replaced the old NiCd version.

Among all the components of a solar lighting system, it is quite important to learn more about the types of solar batteries.

This is because the performance of the solar-operated fixtures primarily depends on the battery.

Today, we’re going to tackle the distinct types of batteries used for solar lights.

An Important Reminder

Most solar lights commonly call for AA or AAA rechargeable batteries. So, if you’re uncertain which one you need, check by opening the battery cover on your solar light first.

In the same way, when purchasing a solar-powered fixture, it is essential to carefully inspect the battery chemistry and capacity. Take note that battery capacity is gauged in mAh.

mAh comes in various ratings such as 2,800 mAh, 1,200 mAh, and 600 mAh. Keep in mind that the rating will largely depend on the batteries that you acquire.

Notwithstanding, among all these choices, the 2800 mAh battery capacity rating is the best because it can guarantee an extended battery lifespan. With that said, given the LED’s low power draw, you don’t usually require over 1,000 up to 1,200 mAh capacity. In addition to the battery capacity, the installation location is also a very important factor. If the area is poorly lit, you should consider using solar lights for shade or solar uplights for trees

It is worth sharing that for those looking for greener options, NiMH batteries are one of the best. They are more likely to last longer and are made to provide a more superior level of performance.

For homeowners who are planning to set up solar-powered fixtures around their home, you’re most likely to use several solar lights. Due to this, you will also require more batteries.

Fortunately, solar light batteries sold on the market at present come in different packs.

Battery packs come in different forms; some contain 20, 16, 12, 8, and 6 batteries. Substantially, just as expected, a larger battery pack size is more money-saving. This is good news in that it means you don’t necessarily have to spend lavishly.


To sum up, you might be wondering what makes a perfect solar battery. It cannot be denied that all solar-operated batteries come with their own set of upsides and downsides.

Hence, the final buying decision should be made by carefully considering climatic conditions in your area, your budget, and daily solar energy requirements.

Once you have a sufficient idea about your solar energy requirements, it will be easier for you to choose the most suitable battery for your solar lights.

Hopefully, you find the information shared above a great guide for you to come up with the best final buying decision.

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