Batteries for solar lights are available in different mAh capacities. Most start at 100 mAh, while others go all the way to 1600 mAh. Using the right mAh battery for your solar lights will ensure they shine brightly and last for a long time.
If you want to use a higher mAh battery in your solar lights, there’s a few things you need to know first. Your reason for wanting a higher mAh battery might be something simple, like keeping your solar lights on for longer.
In this article, I explain whether it’s possible to use high mAh batteries in solar lights that come with low mAh batteries, things to consider before replacing your solar light batteries, and which batteries are best to use with solar lights.
Can You Use Higher mAh Batteries in Solar Lights?
Ah stands for Amp Hours, and refers to the amount of charge a battery can store. It tells you how long you should charge your battery and how long you can use it before it needs a recharge. The “m” in mAh batteries indicates “milli-,” making these batteries much smaller than regular Ah batteries.
Since these batteries are small, most solar lights use them. They’re typically included when you buy solar lights and save you and the manufacturer some costs. Because these lights don’t have large solar panels, they can only charge small batteries.
The downside to low mAh batteries is that they don’t last that long. They also need a recharge after every one or two uses.
If you find mAh batteries that last a little longer, you’re looking at a longer charge time too. These longer-lasting batteries are generally used in torch lights, but they still don’t last as long as regular Ah batteries do.
Things To Consider Before Replacing Your mAh Batteries
To replace your small capacity mAh batteries, you’ll need to check the maximum voltage (v) your solar lights can handle. Higher mAh batteries have higher voltages, and some solar lights have restrictions on how high the voltage of their battery should be. On the other hand, low voltages can be too weak to power your lights.
Batteries are also available in various sizes like A, AA, and AAA. You should take your solar lights to the store or check them to determine what size batteries they use.
Small capacity mAh’s aren’t always the smallest batteries either, and if they have a higher mAh, it doesn’t mean they’re large.
Batteries To Use With Solar Lights
Rechargeable batteries are the best choice for powering up your solar lights. If you opt to use non-rechargeable batteries, the solar panel in your light would be completely useless. You would have to throw the batteries away each time they run out of power.
Using rechargeable batteries means that you can use them over and over. When they lose their charge after a few uses, you can just let them recharge instead of having to throw them away.
Solar lights don’t require a specific type of battery. You can choose between Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) or Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries. Both these types are rechargeable.
NiMH is much stronger than NiCd batteries since they have a much higher energy density. These batteries’ capacity is three times more than those of NiCd batteries. NiCd is considered to be the ‘old’ type of nickel battery.
You also need to consider the voltage of your batteries and their mAh. Using a voltage that’s too high for your lights to handle can damage or even break them.
Using rechargeable batteries doesn’t mean you’ll never need to replace them. You can recharge these batteries when they run out, but they’ll still weaken over time. When you notice your batteries struggle to charge, it’s time to get new ones. Another sign they need replacing is when they don’t last as long as they used to after a full charge.
Better quality rechargeable batteries will last much longer than cheaper ones you find at the dollar store. I suggest spending extra to ensure you don’t need to get new ones after a year or two.
Does The mAh of the Batteries Matter
The mAh of batteries has no effect on the brightness of your solar lights. Their brightness will only change depending on how charged your batteries are. Fully charged batteries will make your solar lights shine at their brightest. When the batteries start to get closer to needing a recharge, your lights will begin to dim.
The mAh of batteries indicates how long it would take them to fully charge. This also applies to how long you would be able to use them before they need to be charged again. Solar lights are meant to use lower mAh batteries, but you can replace them with higher mAh batteries without causing any damage to your lights.
You can buy mAh batteries for your solar lights at your local hardware store, online retailers like Amazon, and department shops.
Batteries with a higher mAh can store more energy and last longer per charge. Before you use them, you should consider the voltage rating your solar lights can handle and ensure the batteries you want to use aren’t larger than the dimensions your lights can accommodate.
There are many advantages to using a higher mAh battery, but they can take longer to charge. You’ll also have to ensure your solar panels can provide enough current for a charge and that your solar lights are placed in an optimal position.
You can find the best mAh rating for your solar light by considering where you’ll place them and what output current your solar panels have. Thanks for reading our latest article here at SolarSena, we can’t wait to have you back to learn more about sustainability and solar energy!