Can You Use Non-Rechargeable Batteries In Solar Lights?

Can you use non rechargeable batteries in solar lights?

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Solar lights are great option for sustainable lighting but requires rechargeable batteries to function.

If your solar lights batteries have become dead and you are wondering on can you use non-rechargeable batteries in solar lights? then this article is for you.

Quick Answer: No, you should not use non-rechargeable batteries in solar lights. Non-rechargeable batteries are not designed to be recharged, however, you can use them to light LEDs of your solar powered lights in emergency situations till one discharge cycle but not for recharging purpose.

Inside of a non-rechargeable battery

A Non-rechargeable battery or primary cell battery is also called by the name alkaline batteries. What that mean is that the electrolyte present in these type of batteries has a pH value of more than 7.

A Non-rechargeable battery is made up of mixture of chemical elements like zinc, manganese, potassium, or graphite. They are made in various sizes like AA, AAA, etc.

The battery is made up of two electrodes called as cathode and anode placed in a electrolyte. Cathode is made up of manganese oxide, anode is of zinc , and the electrolyte is potassium hydroxide.

Chemical reactions takes place at the cathode and anode when both the electrodes are connected. This result in the flow of electrons from the anode to the cathode.

These moving electrons have electrical energy and when an electrical device is connected to the battery these electrons supply electricity to the electrical device.

They are not rechargeable because the chemical reaction that takes place in the battery is irreversible. It can not be performed more than once.

This video by Seeker explains why all batteries are not rechargeable.

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What happens when a non-rechargeable battery is put to recharge?

As I told you above that non-rechargeable batteries are not meant to be used more than once. They should be disposed off after use. The chemical reaction that takes place inside the battery is irreversible and can not be done more.

But many people try to recharge their non-rechargeable batteries. This act of recharging non-rechargeable batteries is very dangerous.

If a non-rechargeable battery is put to recharge again it can leak or even explode.

In this video recorded by Kennis Russell on his Youtube channel you can watch what happens when you recharge a non-rechargeable battery.

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You can see that the battery starts leaking when it is put to recharge. There is also a greater possibility of bursting if their temperatures become more hot.

effect of charging on non-rechargeable batteries
Still from Kennis Russell Youtube video.

Non-Rechargeable batteries in solar powered lights?

Using non-rechargeable batteries in solar led lights can permanently damage the device. Since these batteries are non-rechargeable in nature putting them to recharge in sunlight can even cause fire. That’s why it is not recommended to use non-rechargeable batteries in solar lights.

Apart from that there are several other disadvantages of using non-rechargeable batteries in LED solar lights fixtures. These disadvantages are:

  1. Regular replacement – Non-rechargeable batteries being single use will need to be replaced regularly.
  2. High rise in expenses – Since you will need to replace the non-rechargeable batteries regularly after discharge you will need to shell out money every time to purchase new ones. This can increase your expenses.

If your solar lights batteries have drained out completely and you are left with no other option but using non-rechargeable batteries, only in that case you should use them but don’t put them in sunlight for recharging. Just use them as normal battery for lighting purpose only.


Non-rechargeable batteries are single use energy storage devices which must be discarded after full discharge. These batteries are not meant to be recharged again.

On doing recharge there is great possibility of leakage or explosion. Therefore it is not advised to use non-rechargeable batteries in solar lights.