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The Best Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights

Batteries for solar lights have many different qualities, from power output to charging capacity and durability. Let's explore some of the best options out there.

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Robert Laswell
Review
The Best Batteries For Solar Lights
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Introduction

We are currently in the midst of a green revolution when it comes to energy. This eco-friendly adjustment is steadily encompassing all aspects of our daily lives, from electric vehicles to all manner of solar powered appliances.

Outdoor solar lights are just one of the many technologies that are making huge strides. Not only is solar lighting good for the environment, they also save money on bills while being efficient and durable, especially if the right solar light batteries are chosen.

Choosing the right battery for the right solar light can be tricky for first timers though, so let’s check out some of the best options currently available.

Editor’s Picks

Here are our top 3 picks based on available models.

EBL AA Rechargeable NiCaD batteries
Best Overall
EBL AA Rechargeable NiCaD batteries

Largest number of batteries per box (20) while still performing at high efficiency.

Tenergy AA Rechargeable NiCaD batteries
Best Value for Money
Tenergy AA Rechargeable NiCaD batteries

Highly affordable and high performing with a decent number of batteries per box (12). They also include a 1-year warranty which is rare for low-budget batteries.

AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable NiMH batteries
Special mention
AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable NiMH batteries

Great option at an accessible price considering they come precharged and delivering up to 2000 mAH capacity. Coming from such a popular brand they can also be safely recycled in numerous locations after use.

Best Batteries for Solar Lights Reviewed

Panasonic BK-3MCCA8BA NiMH AA batteries

  • Brand: Panasonic
Panasonic BK-3MCCA8BA NiMH AA batteries

These all purpose precharged batteries promise extremely high performances with over 2100 charging cycles before expiring.

A defining feature of these batteries is that they can be used in a number of different appliances including: Remote controls, flashlights and even digital cameras. This versatility also proves to be a con though. These batteries have been shown to work exceptionally well with certain solar lights (for example the Annin Flagmaker 2804 Solar LED Pole Light) while being underwhelming or incompatible with other solar light models.

Pros:

  • One of the highest storage charges on the market
  • Precharged with solar energy before delivery (100% eco-friendly)
  • Operate at low temperatures
  • Versatility with other household appliances

Cons:

  • Work with fewer solar light models than average

Energizer Alkaline AA Batteries

  • Brand: Energizer
Energizer Alkaline AA Batteries

Probably the best known brand of batteries in the world, they had to deserve a mention. While not rechargeable, these batteries have a very high storage capacity.

Featuring effective leak-resistant technology, these are great batteries to buy in bulk (up to 48 batteries per package) that are always handy if no other batteries are readily available.

Pros:

  • Extremely effective leak-resistant technology that will protect your solar lights from damage
  • Very good price from a well-known brand
  • Work very well with solar lights especially, meaning your lights will be extra bright

Cons:

  • Not only are they not rechargeable but they may not be the best long-term solution for solar lights

Relightable NiCaD AA Batteries

  • Brand: Relightable
Relightable NiCaD AA Batteries

As suggested in the name, this battery’s main feature is its high cycle charge (up to 1000 recharges). The number of batteries per box is also higher than usual at 20 batteries per package so longevity is definitely a positive feature.

With every positive there is usually a negative though as these batteries offer quite a low capacity at just 600 mAH and also offer no warranty whatsoever.

Pros:

  • Up to 1000 recharging cycles cycles
  • High number of batteries per box
  • Good value for money

Cons:

  • Low battery capacity compared to other products
  • No warranty offered

Tenergy AA NiCad Batteries

  • Brand: Tenergy
Tenergy AA NiCad Batteries

Some of the most reliable, durable and eco-friendly batteries on the market, available at very reasonable prices. What also sets these batteries apart from others on this list is their exclusive focus on solar lights. Packing 1.2 Volts per battery, they are perfect for long-term powering of solar lights.

A rechargeable model, Tenergy batteries can support up to 1000 charging cycles. The Tenergy brand also gets extra points for offering realistic stats about their charging and shelf life (around 5 years).

Pros:

  • Very high durability and power output (1.2 voltage) meaning bright lights for an extended period of time
  • Up to 1000 charging cycles
  • High compatibility with various solar light models
  • Very good value for price considering their performance

Cons:

  • Not particularly high-capacity
  • Considered a somewhat cheap alternative to batteries with higher performance rates

AmazonBasics NiMH AA Batteries

  • Brand: Amazon
AmazonBasics NiMH AA Batteries

The main feature of these precharged batteries is their ludicrously high capacity at 2000 mAH. This means they pack a punch and will have your lights shining for hours on end.

Coming from such a massively popular brand means that at the end of their use they can be easily recycled in one of Amazons countless disposal centers. Their high capacity rating unfortunately means this model is more prone to leakage than other batteries. Also they offer only 8 batteries per package which is one of the lowest on our list.

Pros:

  • Extremely high capacity, delivering exceptional brightness
  • High durability at 1000 charging cycles and a decent shelf life when in storage of around 2 years
  • Eco-friendly points due to Amazon’s many recycling centers
  • Popular brand means they are easily available

Cons:

  • More prone to leakage than other models
  • Low number of batteries per box

EBL AA NiCaD Rechargeable Batteries

The defining feature of our list topper is the way these batteries tick all the boxes when it comes to: Battery life, number of units per box (20), versatility (they come with a battery carrying case to use on the go) and capacity (a very respectable 1100 mAH). These are definitely some of the best rechargeable batteries on the market.

All this comes at an exceptionally fair price and this is why these batteries win our competition!

Pros:

  • Extremely versatile while still holding a high capacity at 1100 mAH
  • 20 batteries per box
  • EBL batteries come with a 1-year warranty and a very useful battery carrying case
  • Very high value for money when considering all factors

Cons:

  • Not to be picky but a higher warranty will always be appreciated

Energizer AAA Rechargeable NiMH batteries

  • Brand: Energizer
Energizer AAA Rechargeable NiMH batteries

Another Energizer brand battery as the only AAA batteries on our list (meaning bigger size). We had to mention these, not only for the brand’s popularity but because they do have some very specific advantages. Though their capacity rating of 800 mAH may seem low, it also means less charging time. This means longer sunlight exposure time for your lights.

Make sure beforehand that these batteries (being of a different size) are compatible with your solar lights, which can be easily done by checking your solar light’s battery compartment.

Pros:

  • Popular and accessible brand
  • Very durable
  • Made with recycled batteries

Cons:

  • May have more faulty charges than average
  • Expensive
  • Only 8 batteries per box

Buying Guide for Solar Light Batteries

Before buying any product some basic research is always a good idea. This can also be applied to everything, including batteries for your solar lights.

Type of Battery

First off, it’s important to know that there are different types of battery each with their positives and negatives, mainly relating to their composition, benefits, durability and manufacturing popularity (for example older versus newer battery types).

NiMH batteries: The letters stand for Nickel Metal Hybrids. These are without a doubt the most popular typology of battery in the modern world, steadily replacing the more old-fashioned alkaline batteries. By this metric, batteries of this type are usually the best solution for solar lights. While they are almost exactly the same in size to alkaline batteries they usually hold a much higher electric charge and are also easier to dispose of in an eco-friendly manner. Their main drawback is a shorter lifespan than their counterpart. This can actually be a negative from an environmental perspective as more of them are used and produced en masse.

NiCad batteries: Nickel-Cadmium batteries were the mainstay batteries during the 1990s becoming widely used in portable devices. As one can imagine that is not the main feature one looks for in fixed solar lights. They do have a major benefit in that they do not suffer from voltage drop when their power is drained. This positive is hampered by an equally major negative, as NiCaD batteries suffer a crucial drawback when it comes to memory charge. Most NiCaD batteries have to be completely drained of power before they can be recharged again. With that said our list topper is of the NiCaD typology. This is also because this type of battery has a longer lifespan than their NiMH rivals.

Li-ion batteries: Or Lithium ion batteries are mostly used to charge laptops and smartphones. The main positive is that their charging times are much shorter than other Nickel-based batteries. Their voltage capacity is also independent of their charge, meaning a battery at 10% will still light up as if it were completely charged. Though there are no batteries of this type in our list, models of this type make some of the best rechargeable batteries. Their biggest drawback is that they are much more expensive than most batteries.

Battery Capacity

The length of time a battery can generate electricity (in our case through solar power) is measured by mAH or Milliamp Hours. As we have seen with different listed batteries this value is usually between 600 and 2000 (but can be higher in other models). Obviously this figure is vital in calculating how long your lights will last before depletion and ultimately substitution. Apart from battery type, battery capacity is arguably the defining and most important feature in solar light batteries.

Number of Batteries

This info is almost as important when taking into account three different variables:

  • The number of solar lights you have
  • The shelf life of the batteries
  • The rate of substitution of a depleted battery (even more so if it is non-rechargeable)

As we have seen battery boxes come in units of 8 up to 24 in our list, but bulk deals can reach even higher numbers.

Cycle Charges and Warranty

The number of cycle charges is a defining and crucial aspect for rechargeable solar light batteries. That number as we’ve seen, can change from 500 to even 2000 or more cycle charges. But what use is a rechargeable battery if for some reason it malfunctions? Or worse if it leaks and thus damages the solar light itself?

For this reason warranties are very important with most popular models offering at the very least 1-year warranties while some brands offer up to 3 years.

Final Verdict

Outdoor solar lights are an awesome way to spruce up your home and garden in a sustainable manner. Solar energy is also a way to find the perfect balance between environmental awareness, energy conservation and lets’s be realistic, money saving. Whether you’re thinking about buying new solar lights or already have them and need new batteries, a list like ours can help a lot, as different brands have different capacities, compatibility issues and prices.

This list in particular focused on the best battery considering value for money versus effectiveness and durability. This is why we chose the EBL brand. Even though they are NiCaD based and so represent the older type of battery, they are still extremely efficient and just as easy to dispose of as most NiMH models.

FAQs

What are the main advantage of solar light batteries?

Solar light batteries and especially solar rechargeable batteries are an extremely cost-effective and environmental friendly way to power light systems using only the energy of the sun.

Are all batteries compatible with solar lights?

No, it is very important to check compatible models whether online or by checking your solar light’s manual or battery compartment beforehand.

What are the main differences between NiMH, NiCaD and Lithium ion batteries

To sum it up briefly, NiMH batteries are the newest generation of batteries, efficient and by and large affordable. NiCaD batteries are considered the standard and have longer lifespans but a more old-fashioned charging capacity. And finally Lithium ion batteries are considered the best rechargeable batteries for solar light, but are much more expensive and used mainly in other appliances.

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Author Bio

Robert Laswell

Robert is a renewable energy and sustainability specialist with 10+ years of experience in the solar and renewable energy space.

With experience in different organizations in the industry, he operates semprius as a passion project promoting sustainable renewable energy ideas and products.

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