Why Do Solar Lights Need Batteries?

Why Do Solar Lights Need Batteries?

Solar lights have been in use for many years now to light up pathways, parks, and other outdoor areas.

They are clean, cost-efficient, and extremely easy to install.

However, many may argue they are not as clean as people think, as they rely on batteries that have a quite big carbon footprint.

So why do solar lights need batteries?

To understand why solar lights need batteries, first, you need to understand how solar lights work in general.

In simple terms, solar lights have built-in solar panels that absorb sunlight and transfer it into electricity.

So where would this electricity go?

Well, here comes the use of the batteries, because solar lights rely on sunlight, we must use a storing unit to keep this electricity, so we can use it later at night when there is no sunlight available.

And that’s exactly why solar lights need batteries, to store the energy, so you can run your lights at night.

Related article: How Do Solar Powered Lights Work?

What Kind Of Batteries Are Used For Solar Lights?

When you are looking for solar light, the battery type should be one factor that heavily influences your decision. You’ll want to opt for higher quality batteries as they will last longer and have lower maintenance than cheaper varieties can offer! There are many types of them out there but common ones include: Ni-Cd – Ni-MH (Nickel-metal hydride) – Lithium-Ion – Lead Acid – Zinc Chloride

1. Ni-CD batteries

nicd rechargeable batteries

NiCd batteries are the least expensive batteries, but they have a short life span compared to the other types.

2. NiMH batteries

NiMH Rechargeable AA Battery
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The NiMH battery chemistry is popular because it can store a lot of energy for its weight and volume, however, the voltage during discharge is lower than that produced by Lithium-ion batteries.

Additionally, The capacity of these batteries can be increased by adding more cells in parallel.

3. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries

EBL 3.7V Li-ion Rechargeable Batteries for solar lights

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) is favored by most solar light manufacturers nowadays because it gives the highest voltage per cell. It also has a high energy density, so you can get more light from your battery for its weight and volume.

Can Solar Light Batteries Be Charged?

Batteries can be divided into two groups: disposable and rechargeable. Disposable batteries are thrown away after a single use whereas rechargeables can be used multiple times before requiring a charge.

Generally speaking, you will save money by buying rechargeables but they can be more expensive in the short term compared to disposables.

However, when you factor in how many times rechargeable batteries can be reused before they need to be replaced it becomes clear that recharging is actually cheaper over time.

Can You Charge Solar Light Batteries In A Charger?

Yes, you can. However, it’s not recommended, especially if your Li-ion batteries.

This is due to the fact that the current of the charger can be too much for the battery to handle and can overcharge it, which can lead the batteries to catch fire or explode.

It’s important to mention that there is a very low chance for this to happen, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Related article: How To Charge Solar Lights Without Sun?

How Long Does It Take To Charge A Solar Light Battery?

It all depends on the battery size and the wattage of your light’s solar panel.

The higher the solar panel wattage, the more electricity it will generate per hour, and the faster it will recharge the battery.

The battery size also plays a role, as the bigger your battery is, the longer it will need to be fully charged.

However, in general, a solar light battery can be fully charged anywhere between 4 to 10 hours of sunlight.

How To Charge AA Batteries With A Solar Panel?

There are several ways to do this. One of the most common is to use a device called a charge controller.

A solar panel is an energy harvester, but if left exposed to direct sunlight it can produce more power than the battery has capacity for. 

A charge controller acts like a gas gauge for your battery – it stops the battery from being overcharged. 

This ensures you get the maximum amount of power from your solar panel, while still keeping your batteries at peak condition.

A trickle charger is a good option if you’re going away for a few days and you want your batteries charged up when you get back. It’s also a good backup in case the charge controller fails

And there is How to trickle charge batteries with a solar panel:

  1. Connect the positive (red) wire from your solar panel to one of your batteries in parallel, either in the battery case or on top of the battery. 
  2. Do this for all of your batteries; we recommend you leave them in parallel.
  3. Next, connect a length of heavy-duty wire (minimum 8-gauge) to the negative (black) wire from both your solar panel and inverter. 
  4. At one end, connect this wire to any of the batteries in parallel; we recommend you also leave all the other batteries connected at this point.
  5. At the other end, connect your ground wire to a big sheet of metal.

How Long Do Solar Light Batteries Last?

Your solar-powered lights will work well if you get a good quality battery and maintain it regularly. 

If this is done properly, the battery should last at least 2 years or more.

Related article: How Long Do Solar Lights Last?

Do Solar Light Batteries Need To Be Replaced?

It’s a good idea to replace the batteries in your solar lights regularly; perhaps every year or two, depending on how often they’re used. 

Therefore, if your solar light battery lasts less than as it used to, or it doesn’t light anymore, the problem may be that your battery is dead. If this happens, you must change the batteries.

Do All Solar Lights Have Batteries?

Yes, all solar lights must have batteries, or else they won’t be able to run at night or when sunlight is scarce.

How To Replace Batteries In Outdoor Solar Lights?

Replacing your batteries is an easy task. Remove the solar panel from the light casing and disconnect the battery leads. Then take out the old batteries.

Just make sure your new batteries match the old batteries’ voltage and amperage specification for better performance.

Note: Kindly dispose of your old batteries responsibly, rather than throwing them into normal household garbage. They can be recycled at many recycling points around you. Stay green.

Can You Use Any Rechargeable Battery In A Solar Lights?

No, the battery must match the solar light’s voltage and amperage specification, or else it won’t function – efficiently at least.

Last Thoughts

It’s important to remember that all rechargeable batteries do not last forever. They lose their capacity with every charge-discharge cycle, which means that they must be replaced on a regular basis.

We hope we have answered all your questions and if you still have any questions please share them with us.

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