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:
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.
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.
Should you have any questions or like to have us discuss other aspects of solar lighting around your home, send us an email at email@example.com. Be safe and stay solar!
Mario @ Your Solar Link
As we approach the Spring months of longer sunny days, fresh strawberries and cleaning up around the house, we also are upgrading our landscaping. This includes changing out those old batteries in the solar lights around the house and in the garden.
For many solar owners out there, the first culprit in a lower-output (or non-functioning) solar light is an outdated and expired battery (or batteries). Typically, rechargeable batteries in solar lights last about 2 years under continuous/daily use. The two dominant rechargeable battery chemistries on the market are NiCd and NiMH (Lithium is slowly gaining momentum). NiCd and NiMH can be used in place of each other (where there are 2 or more batteries in a light, use the same chemistry and specifications), but NiMH are tops for performance and reliability. Your Solar Link now carries both 600 mAh NiMH and 1000 mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries, both in a 5-pack and 10-pack option. And the prices are unbeatable! Seriously!
Remember to recycle your old rechargeable batteries at your local facilities. Some big box stores accept them (check with their customer service representatives) as well as waste management services (electronics recycling days, etc.) Be sure to check with them before you take the batteries for recycling/drop off.
Mario @ Your Solar Link
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):
So you are looking for a light to use for bedside reading just before catching some shut-eye? Maybe you need to get to sleep and need that extra help from your Architecture text books to put you into a lullaby state of mind. Whatever your choice of printed word, you are going to need some lighting element, so why not use a solar reading light? Your Solar Link has just the thing for you. The LED Reading Light (now in red. The light cover, not the color of the light itself.) is available and ready for your home, patio or camping pleasure.
A very bright light for just 1 LED (it’s not your run-of-the-mill LED light) and rechargeable under the sun, it is a surefire way to brighten up any dark space. Mobile, clippable (is that even a word?) and easily disassembles to pack into your knapsack, the LED Reading Light is an economical reading light to accompany you wherever you go. Rightly priced at just $30 (that’s delivered to your door, no other fees!) and ready to go out of the box. You will be impressed by the versatility, utility and longevity of this solar light that is sure to beat the competition. And a great gift idea just in time for the holidays.
Mario @ Your Solar Link
When you think of solar lights for your home, you may think of the ones that are sold at the big box stores. They usually come with 1 or 2 LEDs that put out just enough light to see where they are in your garden, but don’t necessarily put out so much light that you can see the surroundings. Given this example, you may not think that a solar light could provide enough light to be considered a security light. Well, look no further. Your Solar Link offers solar security lights that are at and above the performance of grid-tied security lights for your home and office.
Going solar doesn’t have to mean that you compromise performance. The incorporation of LED technology and high-performance rechargeable batteries are the primary components that make solar powered lights a viable, practical, versatile and economical option that you can install without the services of an electrician and that eliminate expenses incurred by your local utility company. Low-voltage security lighting is safe for you to install yourself, safe for use around children and pets, and good for the environment. You know the energy you use is renewable and is never affected by power outages or fee hikes from the utility company.
Stay safe this winter with the renewable energy option of solar security lights from Your Solar Link. If you have any questions or need assistance with which light is a best-fit option for your home or office, contact Your Solar Link today! They will gladly assist you and get you up and running with a security light solution that is sure to keep your home and office lit with automatic illumination and sustainable lights.
Mario @ Your Solar Link
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 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.
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!
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.
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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