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.
by Maria Juniper, Contributing Editor The gift that keeps on giving has never been greener, and the time to buy one for your friend or loved one is quickly approaching. This year for the holidays, instead of giving some trite piece of clothing or kitchen appliance, try looking for the perfect gifts for those eco-friendly friends who wants to help benefit the environment, or perhaps for a family...
The Benefits of Floatovoltaics.
by Maria Juniper, Contributing Editor Now that most governments, environmental organizations, scientists and even the Catholic Church have agreed on the need to combat climate change, innovative solutions are being sought in many quarters. The old ways of doing things simply won't cut it now that we're aware of the harmful effects of traditional means of power generation, such as the burning of...
Solar light batteries come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
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: Compact size means a smaller battery compartment and overall smaller solar light for the customer. Chemistry choice will determine the Voltage output for like-sized batteries. Commonly used...

Full mAh capacity range of NiMH (the good chemistry) rechargeable batteries for Solar Lights are now available!

Posted By: Mario Villalobos on July 27, 2016 in Creative Solar, Solar Gardening, Solar News - Comments: No Comments »

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 replaceable. And it is important to get the correct rechargeable batteries when the time comes.

Solar Light Rechargeable Batteries ranging in capacities from 300 mAh to a whopping 1600 mAh per battery! Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Solar Light Rechargeable Batteries ranging in capacities from 300 mAh to a whopping 1600 mAh per battery! Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Here are what you need to consider:

  1. Chemistry. If your lights have either NiMH or NiCd rechargeable batteries, then you can replace them with either of the two. However, we recommend using the NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) chemistry as the Cadmium in NiCd (Nickel Cadmium) batteries is classified as a toxic material and must me recycled/disposed of properly. NiMH batteries can be thrown in the trash, but we do recommend recycling them wherever the services are available (some big box stores have bins at the front of their stores where you can leave your old rechargeable batteries).
  2. Capacity. This is the specification listed on your batteries as mAh (or, milliAmp hours). This is effectively the amount of energy the battery is capable of storing/supplying on a full charge. Some solar lights will have a higher energy demand, so would thus require the higher capacities starting at 1000 mAh and going up to 1300 mAh and topping out at a very high 1600 mAh capacity per battery. If your light uses 2 or more rechargeable batteries, you want to be sure that the capacity is the same with both batteries in each light. For example, if you use a 300 mAh and a 1000 mAh NiMH rechargeable battery in a solar light that had an original mAh rating of 1000 mAh, then the charging current may be too high for the 300 mAh rechargeable battery and will damage it. Conversely, using these two battery examples in a light that originally had 300 mAh batteries will mean that the 300 mAh will charge to its optimum capacity, but the 1000 mAh battery will never reach its full potential and will only supply 300 mAh worth of energy. You can use higher rated mAh rechargeable batteries as replacements, but we recommend staying as close as possible (above) the original rating because higher capacities cost more and will not stay on any longer at night compared the original ratings. Using 2 or more rechargeable batteries of the same capacity will not additively increase the specification (so, 2 of the 1000 mAh series will not equal 2000 mAh). But it will increase the Voltage, which is our next point.
  3. Voltage. This is very important when replacing the NiMH or NiCd chemistries. Both of these chemistries are typically rated at 1.2 Volts per battery. Using 2 or more of this series will additively increase the Voltage. So, using 2 NiMH AA 1000 mAh 1.2 Volts will result in a system that is 2.4 Volts at 1000 mAh capacity. If your light uses 1 NiMH rechargeable battery, then replace it with 1 of the same chemistry. DO NOT use a Lithium battery (even if it has the same mAh rating as the original NiMH battery) as Lithiums have a higher Voltage rating (typically 3.2 for solar lights). This higher Voltage will wipe out the components of your solar lights in a matter of seconds (we tested it, and the LEDs of our NiMH light was a goner in about 5 seconds).
  4. Size. This is the easiest specification to keep constant. If your lights came with AA size rechargeable batteries, then you will want to stay with that size. Same goes for AAA rechargeables. And watch for the fractional sizes on the market such as 4/5AA and 2/3AA. These are not very common, but they are out there and will need that exact specification in order for the light to work properly.

Sound confusing? It can be. But if you just stick with the same specifications as your original rechargeable batteries, then you are in good shape. In a nutshell, you can:

  • Use NiMH in place of NiCd (we recommend that)
  • Use higher mAh capacities (not too high, though) when the original capacity is not available
  • Stay with the exact same Voltage as your original batteries
  • Stay with the exact same Size as your original batteries
Our highest mAh capacity battery at a staggering 1600 mAh per battery! Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Our highest mAh capacity battery at a staggering 1600 mAh per battery! Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Remember to check the connections in the battery box and clean them when they get dirty or corroded. A light steel wool will usually knock off the larger particles and a little WD40 sprayed on a clean soft cloth will help to wipe way any leftover material. The less chemical action you can perform on the battery terminals, the better.

 

The 1300 mAh series is among our newest in the NiMH series of AA rechargeable batteries. Can be used to replace 1200 capacities (and at the same low price!) Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

The 1300 mAh series is among our newest in the NiMH series of AA rechargeable batteries. Can be used to replace 1200 capacities (and at the same low price!) Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Remember to change out those older solar light batteries and stay illuminated this summer! Great thing about solar lights for your home is that they are 100% renewable energy lights, 100% of the time!

Solar on!

Our motion sensor security light is in dim mode until activated. And really bright when activated! Looks like a street light, too! Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Our motion sensor security light is in dim mode until activated. And really bright when activated! Looks like a street light, too! Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Holiday Gift Guide: Solar Tech for your Home, Kids, and the Outdoors.

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on December 8, 2015 in Creative Solar, Latest Technology, Solar News - Comments: No Comments »

by Maria Juniper, Contributing Editor

The gift that keeps on giving has never been greener, and the time to buy one for your friend or loved one is quickly approaching. This year for the holidays, instead of giving some trite piece of clothing or kitchen appliance, try looking for the perfect gifts for those eco-friendly friends who wants to help benefit the environment, or perhaps for a family member who could use anything to help decrease their utility bill. Buying a solar powered gadget can do both of these things and more and there are any number of gifts that would make the perfect choice for any number of people.

Portable solar chargers available from REI. Image courtesy of www.rei.com.

Portable solar chargers available from REI. Image courtesy of www.rei.com.

Solar Chargers

These can charge a number of different electronic devices depending on what kind of device you get. Some cheaper models may only power cell phones while more advanced ones can power laptops or higher-energy devices. They can range in price from $50 up to $250, depending on your budget and needs. Most will include about a 10-foot extension cord so you can charge your device outside while you sit nearby. Furthermore, you can also purchase solar powered batteries, most commonly AA or AAA sizes, which you can charge and then put into a device that needs batteries.

Solar Outdoor Lights

Solar lights can come in many different varieties and are very useful for anyone who likes to work outdoors in the garden in or on an outdoor workstation. They will be able charge through the day and then help illuminate a space at night to save any nuisance from charging with wires or electricity. Ranging from $30 to $150, some lights may be simple path lights to mark a walkway, while others may be brighter and more intense security lights that work in conjunction with your home security system. These can be programmed to come on automatically if there is motion and remain on for as long as you like.

Solar bollard lights from Your Solar Link in a garden setting. Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Solar bollard lights from Your Solar Link in a garden setting. Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Solar Toys

Perfect for little tykes that don’t even know how much they want to save the environment yet, solar toys can foster an appreciation for solar energy. These green toys can range from model trains, houses, cars, or robots, ranging in price from anywhere to just $20 up to $200 depending on how much you would like to spend. Make sure the product is durable enough to withstand the age group for the child you’re purchasing, as these can be very specific sometimes.

Various solar powered toys keep the junior scientists busy learning! Images courtesy of www.fractuslearning.com.

Various solar powered toys keep the junior scientists busy learning! Images courtesy of www.fractuslearning.com.

Solar Watches

These timepieces can range anywhere from wristwatches to desk clocks to radios, some of which are even water powered! These usually run for cheaper, often just around $20, so solar watches could make perfect gifts for close acquaintances or friends. Simply leaving the watch or clock where there is sun will power it for hours or even days, depending on the model.

Solar security lights provide ample light and are never affected by blackouts from utility companies. Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Solar security lights provide ample light and are never affected by blackouts from utility companies. Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Solar-Powered Backpacks

Solar-powered backpacks can come in especially handy for those who love the outdoors. Ranging from about $80 on the low end on up to $200, these can help charge laptops or cell phones while on a hike or bike ride. As with other solar energy products, sometimes the easiest place to find them is to shop online because this will allow you to browse through a number of different options, read reviews, and make a decision without having to look at a limited selection and feeling pressured to buy something you don’t want.

Solar powered backpacks come in a variety of sizes, colors and power capacities! Images courtesy of www.greenifymagazine.com.

Solar powered backpacks come in a variety of sizes, colors and power capacities!
Images courtesy of www.greenifymagazine.com.

Purchasing any of these items for gifts will bolster the solar industry and environmental movement. They are gifts you can be confident about giving and knowing that they will be met with excitement on the receiving end and they will, even more importantly, be of great use if given with careful thought and attention.

Remember to change out your solar light rechargeable batteries to keep your lights up and running all year long! Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Remember to change out your solar light rechargeable batteries to keep your lights up and running all year long! Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Replacing NiCd rechargeables with NiMH rechargeable batteries in solar lights, the better choice!

Posted By: Mario Villalobos on March 29, 2015 in Solar Gardening, Solar News - Comments: 8 Comments »

Many people have asked “can I use NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries in my solar lights that have NiCd (Nickel Cadmium)?”  And the answer is, yes!  Not only can you replace with NiMH, but they are the better choice of battery as they have benefits that their NiCd counterparts don’t.

AA NiMH rechargeable batteries for solar lights.

The powerful AA NiMH rechargeable batteries from Your Solar Link. 10-packs and 5-packs available. Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

NiMH battery benefits:

1. Long shelf-life. They can remain unused for anywhere between 3 and 5 years. However, we recommend using your new NiMH rechargeable batteries sooner than that, gotta keep those solar lights shining. :)

2. No memory effect (compared to NiCd). NiCd batteries have issues with attaining a “memory” that will reduce the life of that kind of battery. NiMH can be partially charged (say, on cloudy days) and be fully recharged to their maximum capacity on the next full-sun day. There is a little discharge (trickle discharge) during storage, so it is best to put your NiMH batteries into your garden solar lights in the pre-dawn hours before a sunny day. Then they will be ready to go for your nighttime enjoyment.

3. NiMH rechargeables are considered more environmentally friendly than NiCd batteries. Cadmium is classified as a toxic element, so it needs to be disposed of properly. There are many recycling locations (from what we’ve seen, Target and Best Buy have drop-off bins at the front of their stores for battery recycling), but if for some reason they end up in the trash, NiCd are not good for landfills. NiMH batteries can be recycled (it is recommended), but it won’t be “bad” to toss them into the trash, should there be no options of recycling.

4. NiMH rechargeable batteries for solar lights are almost always more expensive than NiCd. But not at Your Solar Link! They offer NiMH batteries at the same price (and sometimes lower) than the NiCd counterpart. But never more! You won’t find a better deal than at Your Solar Link for NiMH rechargeable batteries, anywhere! They are priced to get your solar garden lights up and running with the best option available. The price you see is the price you pay: no hidden fees, shipping charges, sales tax (for our California customers), etc.!

Solar reading light from Your Solar Link.

Solar reading light batteries can be replaced with NiMH rechargeable batteries. Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Just remember, don’t mix the chemistries in your solar lights (if they take 2 or more batteries). Use only NiMH or NiCd, not one of each in your 2-or-more-battery lights. Also, typical lifespans of both batteries is about 2 years (of nightly operation/use). So, if you have had your solar lights for about 2 years and are noticing that the output is diminishing at night, it may be time for a replacement. Just be sure to go with NiMH rechargeable batteries. They are indeed the best option.

Solar on!

Cheers,

Mario @ Your Solar Link

Solar accent lighting.

Solar accent lights awaiting their NiMH rechargeable batteries for Spring! Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

The light wave of the future, switching to LEDs and what it means for cities.

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on March 24, 2015 in Community Action, Creative Solar, Latest Technology, Solar News, World News - Comments: No Comments »

You’ve seen them. Maybe you didn’t know exactly what they were, but you’ve seen them. You’re driving along, listening to the latest Depeche Mode remix, and you notice that those street lights are different than what you remember from a decade ago. Yes, street lights are going LED (Light Emitting Diode). Some are going induction or halogen, but the point to make here is that they have been going away from that yellow HPS light that was prevalent a decade (or two) ago. However, as we have reached the middle of the second decade in the new millennium (yes, it’s 2015 already), technology has changed. And with it, we are going back to the white light at night to illuminate our streets, parking lots, and any other large exterior space.

Why go back to white light? First, it helps to give a true color to whatever is beneath the light (car, clothes, etc.) that helps with nighttime security (no more “they were driving a blue car, no green, no red….”; you get the picture). Second, it is closer to daylight color, so it is easier on the eye. And third, with LEDs, white light can be directed in a more controlled manner such that light pollution is greatly reduced as compared to their HPS predecessors. It is this third reason that interests cities and those who enjoy looking up to see the stars when outside of cities. As illustrated in the before and after images below, the lack of proper designs with HPS yellow lights created a haze of light pollution that spread beyond the ground they were intended to illuminate. The “after” picture shows how light on the ground is not compromised by switching to white LEDs, while the layers above the city are going back to dark, as it should. After all, we’re not trying to illuminate the air traffic above. Cheers.

Light pollution: HPS (top) vs. LED (bottom). The results speak for themselves.

Light pollution: HPS (top) vs. LED (bottom). The results speak for themselves.

So, the simple act of switching to LED fixtures for street lights is having a positive effect on security, near-natural light conditions and unwanted light pollution. Not only do we have these benefits, but LEDs outlast their predecessors by many years and use less energy to operate. Thus, the long-term costs of operation are greatly reduced and resources are preserved for future generations.

Now, it you want to take all that preservation, savings, efficiency and control of exterior lighting (cities, this is for you), then you can go off-grid with your street lights by cutting your ties to the utility company with the solar lights at SolTek Renewables. Their autonomous solar street lights include all the components to install a system that is comparable to (and often exceeds) industry standards while costing the user (and that would be you, the taxpayer) nothing in nightly operation. The only cost is that of a rechargeable battery (like the one in your car) replacement every 5 to 7 years (at today’s rate, that’s about $150 a battery).  Not a bad deal for generating illumination that is controlled and owned by the city (again, that’s you taxpayers), doesn’t involve wars over oil, isn’t affected by black-outs or brown-outs, is free from utility company fees and their nasty increases, is as reliable (if not more so) than the conventional/grid-tied lights, and is a 100% renewable energy light.

100% renewable energy street light. Better, brighter, now! Image courtesy of Greenshine New Energy.

100% renewable energy street lights. Better, brighter, now! Image courtesy of Greenshine New Energy.

To give you an example, a solar street light from SolTek Renewables costs anywhere between $4,500 (for your typical 1-fixture light you see along the streets) to about $6,500 for a dual-fixture light (that you see along the median of a multi-lane highway). Typical installation costs run around $2,000 a light (depending on your contractor). So, to install a light where there was not one before will run you about $6,500 to $8,500. Compare that to grid-tied lights that cost even more after installation (trenching, wiring, labor, etc. are not cheap, nor free) and have energy costs every single night they are on (and look around, they are on in the daylight as well. Not efficient at all.) Furthermore, you can have your solar street light up and running in a matter of 2 to 3 months. Compare that to the decades (yes, decades!) of planning, political rhetoric, etc. with conventional grid-tied lights. If there ever were a no-brainer, solar street lights are it!

Solar on!

Mario @ Your Solar Link

Light pollution in the US: 1994 and 2014 comparison. Switching to efficient LEDs has never been more apparent.

Light pollution in the US: 1994 and 2014 comparison. Switching to efficient LEDs has never been more apparent.

Spring cleaning includes Spring upgrades …. time to replace those batteries in your solar garden lights!

Posted By: Mario Villalobos on February 18, 2015 in Creative Solar, Solar Gardening, Solar News - Comments: 2 Comments »

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.

1000 mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries for solar lights.

1000 mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries for solar lights are in! Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

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!

1000 mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries in a powerful 10-pack!

1000 mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries in a powerful 10-pack! Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

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.

Solar on!

Mario @ Your Solar Link

NiMH rechargeable batteries for Spring! Gonzo approved!

NiMH rechargeable batteries for Spring! Gonzo approved! Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.


 
 


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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