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Full mAh capacity range of NiMH (the good chemistry) rechargeable batteries for Solar Lights are now available!
Solar lights for the home and garden come with pre-installed, pre-charged batteries from most (safe to say, all) manufacturers when you buy them online or directly at stores. What many people don't realize is that these rechargeable batteries will eventually run their course and lose all of their effective capacity after about 2 years of nightly use. These solar light batteries are almost always r...
CES 2016: Solar Powered Gadgets of the Future.
by Maria Juniper, Contributing Editor The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a prominent global electronics and technology focused trade show that takes place every year in Las Vegas. Held in January each year, it is known for introducing the latest technology trends and most innovative electronics. This year, solar energy was at the forefront with a huge variety of tech that uti...
Holiday Gift Guide: Solar Tech for your Home, Kids, and the Outdoors.
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Solar light batteries come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on September 19, 2015 in Solar News - Comments: No Comments »

Size differences in Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries for solar lights. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

Size differences in Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries for solar lights. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

We have received many inquiries regarding the various sizes of rechargeable batteries for solar lights. There are a few reasons why manufacturers choose one size over the other. They are as follows:

  1. Compact size means a smaller battery compartment and overall smaller solar light for the customer.
  2. Chemistry choice will determine the Voltage output for like-sized batteries.
  3. Commonly used battery sizes on the market will reduce the production costs and final price for the customer.
  4. Chemistry choice will affect the environmental impact of the battery once its life cycle has terminated.

So, we will address each of these points above in further detail.

Item 1. A smaller battery will give the manufacturer the option to create a solar light that is smaller than what it would be had a larger rechargeable battery been used. Smaller batteries can store the same amount of energy capacity (mAh, or milliAmp hours) for each night’s use. For instance, a 600 mAh 1.2 Volt rechargeable battery can come in either a AA or AAA size.  However, if you compare it to water flowing in a river, the AAA size is going to be a smaller river width, while AA batteries represent a larger river and thus more water can flow through.  They will both flow for the same amount of time, only the AA will be able to provide more current (water, in our river example above) than its AAA counterpart over the same amount of time.  The force of the water (ie: Voltage) is the same for both, only the AA will be able to provide more current and thus, a larger or demanding LED component (think, more current will allow for a brighter LED to be used). In the image above, two Lithium batteries with the same specifications are set side by side. However, the black battery is what is considered a 2/3 AA, while the grey battery is the more common AA size. The smaller battery will give the same output, but for a less powerful LED demand. The smaller battery is compact, but it is sufficient enough for a lower output illumination device (in this case, it was used in a solar spot light with 1 LED that was purchased from a big box store.) The advantage of the smaller battery is that it allows for a smaller solar light. The biggest disadvantage is that the replacements for these batteries are difficult to find, and when found, relatively expensive compared to their AA counterparts.

Item 2. The battery chemistry will play a factor in the design in a number of different ways. For one, the amount of electrical potential (Voltage) that a battery can provide will depend on the chemical makeup of the battery. AA Lithium ion batteries typically have a Voltage rating of 3.2 Volts; whereas the same size NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) or NiCd (Nickel Cadmium) will have a Voltage rating of 1.2 Volts.  So, using a Lithium battery in a NiMH light will burn out the LEDs of the NiMH light almost instantly. The LED will be brighter than ever, but that moment in the spot light, so to speak, will end in a matter of seconds. So it is recommended to not use Lithium batteries in either NiMH or NiCd battery lights. Using a Lithium battery will give the manufacturer the option of increasing the LED load capacity (thus a brighter light), but will ultimately cost the customer more in the long run as replacement batteries for Lithium lights are more expensive.

Item 3. Since AA and AAA battery sizes are more common (AA moreso than AAA) than fractional sizes (such as the 2/3 AA in the photo above), costs for production have been set to allow for the best available pricing for customers worldwide. Being that AA batteries have been around since 1907, their production infrastructure has had plenty of time to develop and take hold on the battery market. There are square 9 Volt and larger Lead Acid rechargeable batteries on the market for use in solar lights. However, since they are odd shaped for the purpose of streamlining solar light designs, they are less commonly used and ultimately will cost more (also for the fact that they hold more energy) and are weighty.

Item 4. There are a number of chemical components that make up solar light rechargeable batteries. The primary distinguishing components are Nickel Cadmium (NiCd), Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), Lithium Ion and Lead Acid.  Developed in 1899 by Swedish inventor Waldemar Jungner, it would take NiCd batteries over 4 decades to hit the market for commercial consumption. At the time, the competitor for NiCd batteries was the Lead Acid battery. However, due to the latter’s dimension restrictions as a small and portable battery, NiCd took hold and was widely used as a consumer-ready battery. Not until 1989 (with subsequent years of development) was the NiMH battery introduced to the market as an alternative to its Cadmium-based battery. NiMH rechargeables are capable of a better performance over the long term (for solar garden lights, typical lifespan of both chemistries is about 2 years). NiMH rechargeables also use a mild toxicity chemistry as opposed to the heavy metal toxicity of Cadmium (which makes up about 18% of the battery). NiMH batteries are capable (although it is recommended to recycle them whenever possible) of being thrown out in the trash. Whereas NiCd batteries must be recycled/disposed of in the proper facility. Lithium Ion batteries are taking their hold on the market due to their unsurpassed performance compared to other chemistries. But their setbacks are their disposal at the end of their lifecycle (recycling costs more than mining, so they may likely be thrown in the trash), higher cost of the battery for the consumer and transportation restrictions.

The 16 LED Solar Motion Sensor Light uses a Lithium Ion battery to supply sufficient electricity to the numerous LEDs throughout the night. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

The 16 LED Solar Motion Sensor Light uses a Lithium Ion battery to supply sufficient electricity to the numerous LEDs throughout the night. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

So, with all the considerations above, you will be better able to find the right solar light for your specific project. All of the battery chemistries have proven to have working track records, but each have their own pros and cons. Just be sure that the specifications you are looking for match what your solar lights came with when you first purchased them. If you are still not sure about the correct solar light batteries to use, check out our previous posts on the subject. There is much to know, but it is all worthwhile as solar lighting has great potential when it comes to illuminating your home, garden and office exteriors.

NiMH rechargeable batteries in both AA and AAA sizes (as well as mAh capacities ranging from 300 to 1000) for solar lighting around your home and garden. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

NiMH rechargeable batteries in both AA and AAA sizes (as well as mAh capacities ranging from 300 to 1000) for solar lighting around your home and garden. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

Should you have any questions or like to have us discuss other aspects of solar lighting around your home, send us an email at info@yoursolarlink.com. Be safe and stay solar!

Mario @ Your Solar Link

The Solar Plantern from Your Solar Link uses a powerful Lithium Ion battery to illuminate the lamp at night. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

The Solar Plantern from Your Solar Link uses a powerful Lithium Ion battery to illuminate the lamp at night. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

Getting the word out about solar security lights, a real and viable option that is easy on the wallet and the environment!

Posted By: Mario Villalobos on November 3, 2014 in Creative Solar, Solar News, Solar Products Customers' Reviews - Comments: No Comments »

We recently had an inquiry about solar security lights and would like to share that information with all you solar enthusiasts and those who simply want to get security lighting up and running quickly. So, here it is…..

Letter to inquirer (abbreviated):

In reference to your question regarding the Newhouse light that you purchased (NHSDM), we don’t carry that design, but are familiar with this particular model. Attached are some images of what we believe you may have. If it is, there are a few things to try and troubleshoot its operation. There are a few options that this manufacturer (for the NHSDM) has as far as battery capacity and chemistry:
1.  Fixed Lithium battery (3.2 Volt) that is not intended to be replaced at the end of its typical 2-year life cycle. Once that model has expired its battery, then it will need to be discarded.
2.  Removable Lithium battery (3.2 Volt) that can be replaced at the end of its life cycle. The procedure requires a bit of care in removing the screws with a small-point Phillips screwdriver (the cross-hatch point screwdriver), but it can be done and doesn’t take too long to do.
3.  Removable NiCd or NiMH AAA batteries (1.2 Volt) that can be replaced at the end of their life cycle (this model usually has 3 batteries to reach to desired Voltage to power the LEDs). Again, the procedure requires care, but can be done.
Competitor's solar light with fixed/one-time-use battery.

Competitor's solar light with fixed battery. Image courtesy of www.amazon.com.

We have heard from customers (and we have one ourselves that we use for an alley gate here in San Diego) that the one we sell has had pretty good operational performance. Meaning, it can charge under a day’s sunlight and emit light on following evenings where the days were cloudy. It has a great system autonomy for a solar light of its size and price. Furthermore, it uses the removable Lithium battery, which itself is a higher performing battery than the NiCd and NiMH chemistries (which is probably why the Lithiums are a little bit more expensive).
So, if you haven’t tried to get to the batteries yet and you have had it for more than a year, you may want to try the procedure of opening the light to see what rechargeable battery you will need.  You will need to stay with the chemistry that is in your light (if you are able to open it and it is either point 2 or 3 above).  Be sure not to put a Lithium battery into a NiCd/NiMH light as the Lithiums will burn out the components almost instantly).
As for the decision of purchasing a different model/design of security/spot light, there are many options on the market to choose from. From our experience and customer reviews, the best light for reliability, output and longevity is the Solar Security Light with 32 LEDs. This particular light uses a lead-acid battery, so the autonomy keeps it running without any hiccups. It is a bit more expensive than others, but it has had a positive effect for customers. It automatically turns on when someone approaches, and stays on so long as there is motion. There are options on the light where you can set it to stay on for anywhere from 30 seconds up to a few minutes. The light output is comparable to a 20 Watt CFL (those curly lights that are sold in most hardware stores), so it has a great effective light range and will activate when motion is detected at about 15 feet from the light.
Solar security light with 32 LEDs.

Solar security light with 32 LEDs in action. Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

A less-expensive option would be the 36 LED Solar Security Light. This model uses NiCd batteries and also has a long system autonomy. It is as reliable as the 32 LED light and has a longer lead wire (the wire from the solar panel to the light unit), making it more concealable where there are long overhangs and eaves on homes. Attached are some images of this light (with the house that has the curved archway) to give you an idea of what the output and coverage looks like. An added feature to this light is that there is a setting that keeps 4 of the LEDs on all night. When motion is detected, all of the LEDs are activated (for a duration that you can set of 5 to 30 seconds). We have one installed and use it as a porch light that is in the motion-only mode and have only had to replace the batteries once in 2 years. Even on cloudy days, it retains its charge, so it is very reliable.
36 LED motion sensor solar light.

36 LED motion sensor solar light in day, night and action. Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

There are other options available, but from what we can gather, these two may be the best for your particular use. All of the solar security lights have a lead wire (with the exception of the one like yours, which is an all-in-one design), so you can place the solar panel some distance away from the light unit itself on an overhang, roof, eave, etc. The benefits of solar security lights are that they are relatively easy to install, are safe (no high voltage wires to deal with), can be located at remote locations where electricity supply is not available, produce effective lighting for their purpose and are reasonably priced. Hopefully the information above helps with your project and that you are able to get a lighting system that works for your home to keep it safe and illuminated at night.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact us at any time at our contact information below.
Thank you for your inquiry with us at Your Solar Link. We are here to help.
Regards,
Solar on!
Solar water pump in a courtyard fountain.

Solar water pumps can be used creatively in a courtyard fountain. Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

4-pack rechargeable AA batteries are here and ready for your solar garden lights!

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on July 28, 2014 in Latest Technology, Solar Gardening, Solar News - Comments: No Comments »

Looking for some rechargeable batteries for your solar garden lights?  Did you know you can replace the batteries?  Many people are under the impression that once their solar lights stop working that it is time to throw them out (at best, recycle them).  But a quick changing-of-the-guard will get your lights up and running again.

There are some things to consider when replacing your rechargeable batteries, such as:

1.  What size do I need?  Are my batteries AA or AAA?

2.  What is their chemistry?  That is, are they NiCd, NiMH or Lithium?

3.  What is the mAh (milliAmp hour) rating?

4.  How many are there?

Once you have determined which type of batteries you need, you will be able to place an order for the correct batteries and get your lights up and running in no time.

Your Solar Link does not have any hidden charges.  So when you see the price on the website, that is what you will pay out-the-door.  No hassle of going to a store to look for batteries (which will probably be more expensive, in addition to driving there, parking, fumbling for a credit card, etc.)  Get yours today while supplies last and save money for tomorrow!

5 Main Reasons Why Your Solar Lights Are Not Performing as Well as New.

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on December 2, 2010 in Solar News - Comments: 184 Comments »

What is the life span of solar lights?

Many times the question pops up regarding the life span of solar powered lights. How does one ensure the best performance and prolong the life of solar lights? After a while, you might notice that your solar lights are not as bright as when you first bought them. And without knowing the basics of solar lights, you may become confused about what exactly happened. Could it be that your solar lights got old and need to be recycled or is there something that you just need to know about the maintenance of your solar powered products?

Solar lights need four essential components to function:

1. A rechargeable battery to store the power generated by the energy from the sun.

2. A small photovoltaic cell or solar array that captures sunlight during the day and converts it into electrical energy. The solar array is usually built right into the light fixture. Some light designs have separate solar arrays connected by a thin wire allowing the light to be located in a shady area while the solar array itself is placed in a bright, sunny location.

3. A “charge controller” to ensure the batteries don’t get overcharged in bright sunlight as well as to monitor the amount of light in the surrounding area and turn the LED (light emitting diode) light on and off.

4. An LED (or a series of LEDs) which provides the light.

10-Pack NiCd AA700mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries

10-Pack NiCd AA700mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries at http://www.yoursolarlink.com.

Image by Your Solar Link.

Rechargeable Solar Light Batteries are the major cause of failure in solar garden lights (5 main reasons why your solar lights are not performing as well as new.)

Rechargeable solar batteries will self-discharge which means that over time the batteries will discharge to a point where they no longer work.

It is important to ensure you charge your solar lights at least every three (3) months to ensure the battery stays in good shape and lasts its life span, generally 1-2 years.

Replace your old batteries when they run their life cycle.

When you purchase your solar lights, the rechargeable batteries are often already included in the fixture. After 1-2 years (or a matter of months in some cases) it is quite normal to see their performance decline. Once you notice that the lighting time is considerably diminishing and the lights are not as bright as before, it’s probably time to replace your rechargeable solar garden light batteries.

Another reason of reduced lighting time and brightness can also be that the solar light batteries are not charging correctly.

For the best charging performances the solar panel needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. Dust and other accumulated residues can considerably affect the charging procedure. They form a coating layer on the solar panel and block the sunlight.

10-Pack NiCd AA600mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries

10-Pack NiCd AA600mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries at http://www.yoursolarlink.com.

Image by Your Solar Link.

An easy way to check if the rechargeable batteries are dead is to test them by briefly replacing them with regular batteries, just long enough to check if the light is working. If you are testing the solar light during the day, don’t forget to cover it, or place the light in a darkened room. This will allow the photocell to trigger the light to its “on” position. If the solar light turns on with normal batteries it means that the rechargeable batteries are faulty and you will need to buy a new set.

Important: don’t forget to pay particular attention to the location of the solar lights.

Batteries will not charge properly if the solar panel is in the shade, they rely on the energy of the sun to charge.

There is another simple test you can do before replacing the solar light rechargeable batteries. Place your solar lights under direct sunshine for a day or two and see what happens. If, after this duration, the illumination time is back to normal, it means that the solar panel was not getting enough light from the sun. Commonly, solar lights should be in direct sunlight for at least 4 hours a day to adequately charge the rechargeable batteries.

If you store your solar lights for long periods of time, take the batteries out!

When you had to store your garden solar lights for a long period of time (during winter months, for example), did you take out the batteries? If you did, your solar light batteries will have a longer life span.

10-Pack NiMH AA1000mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries

10-Pack NiMH AA1000mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries at http://www.yoursolarlink.com.

Image by Your Solar Link.

Replacing solar light batteries is not a difficult task.

All you have to do is to locate the solar light battery cover, remove it, take out the defective batteries and replace them with new ones. If no battery cover can be found, the solar light needs to be taken apart, usually with one or two screws. On most models you’ll find the screws on the top or bottom of the light. Once the unit is open you’ll have access to the batteries.

Types of rechargeable batteries.

Most solar garden lights need between 1 to 4 batteries to work. 2 types of batteries are usually used in garden solar lights: AA size – NiCad(Nickel Cadmium) 1.2 V / 500 to 900mA, and AA size – NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) 1.2 V /1000 to 2000mA.

When it is time to change the solar light rechargeable batteries, the choice of battery also plays an important part in ensuring the enhanced performance of your solar lights.

Nickel-metal hydride batteries (NiMH) will have up to three times more capacity than the same size Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) battery, meaning they are capable of lasting longer and more reliable.

NiMH batteries in your solar lights may cost a little extra but they are more environmentally friendly than NiCd batteries. NiMH batteries are more environmentally friendly because they use a dry liquid, which can be disposed of more easily. They will also withstand greater temperature fluctuations operating in temperatures ranging from -20 to 60 degrees Celsius (-4 to 140F). Ni-MH batteries have a “non-memory effect” which means they will continue to charge on cloudy days. The battery performance will not be diminished by these partial charges, as what can occur with lead acid batteries.

10-Pack NiMH AAA900mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries

10-Pack NiMH AAA900mAh 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries at http://www.yoursolarlink.com.

Image by Your Solar Link.

Solar light replacement batteries are standard and can be found easily. If you know these solar lights basics, with minimum maintenance effort you will enjoy your solar powered lights for years.


 
 


Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger.
This stylish, sleek and reliable pocket size Universal Battery Charger (Juicebar Solar Charger) is proven to be your best friend in a situation when conventional electric supply is not available or if you are trying to use eco-friendly renewable power supplies.
Great as a solar phone charger for any type of Mobile Phones, IPhones, PSA, PDA, Mp3 Players, Satellite Navigation, and much more.
Get it HERE.

Solar Lights Savings

Solar Garden Lights


SOLAR PATH LIGHTS.
Stainless Steel Conical Solar Path Light (Set of 2).
Path solar lights are an excellent choice for lighting your garden paths, walkways, driveway perimeters and other regions in your landscape. They are often used in multiples to guide the way along a set of stairs or a dark walk.
Featured Stainless Steel Solar Light set uses 2 ultra-bright LEDs for maximum light output and minimum battery usage.
The lights are safe around kids and pets and water and corrosion resistant.
Read more HERE

STONE SOLAR SPOT LIGHTS.

Stone Solar Spot Lights (also known as Solar Rock Lights) completely camouflage with existing landscapes and look like any other rock in your garden.

Green Gardener Corner


Solar Fountain Pump System

SOLAR GARDEN FOUNTAINS.
How to start using ecologically friendly energy to power up your garden fountains and other garden water features?
Why not go with a solar powered water pump?
To accommodate your needs the Solar Fountain Pump Systems we carry range from 2 to 8 Watt. Browse our collection of solar water pumps for your fish ponds and solar fountains.
Enjoy your garden water features and your energy savings at the same time. Make a note of the various power levels and the flow rate of the solar water pumps before your purchase.
Please write us your review after your purchase. Your opinion is important to us!

HOW TO INSTALL A SOLAR PATH LIGHT.

Stone Cylinder Solar Path Lights (Set of 2).
See how easy it is to install a solar light. No wiring required!
In this particular case a ground fastener and a stake are included for quick and easy installation. Read more HERE

Archives


DECORATIVE SOLAR ACCENT LIGHTS.

Solar accent lights (Set of 2) create an enjoyable and inviting glow for your landscape.
They are designed to mark a place.


Super High Output Spot Light

Solar Spot Light - $26.99
Super High Output Spot Light (4 Super Bright LEDs). Free Shipping!



Solar spot lights like this one rely on energy from the sun to charge their batteries and provide light throughout the night.
This means that there is no need to tap into the electrical grid for these lights to operate.
The solar spot lights will work consistently, even if the whole neighborhood is dealing with a power outage.
Learn more about Solar Spot Lights at http://www.yoursolarlink.com/solar-spot-lights, where we have a great selection of solar spot lights to choose from.

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