Do Garden Solar Lights Need Batteries?

Do garden solar lights need batteries?

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Thinking to buy garden solar lights but wondering do garden solar lights need batteries? then this post is for you.

In this article, I have braked down this battery question about garden solar lights. So, let’s dive in.

Quick answer: Yes, garden solar lights need batteries to illuminate LEDs installed in the solar lights.

Why batteries in solar powered lights?

Solar powered garden lights are electronic devices with main purpose of illuminating the garden in the night without electricity.

Because they need to supply power to LEDs of solar garden lights something is required which can supply electricity to the LEDs of the solar garden lights to power them and do illumination.

This purpose is served by rechargeable batteries for garden lights. Rechargeable batteries collect the electric charge generated by solar lights panels in the day and supply it to LEDs in the night.

Do all garden solar powered lights need batteries?

If you are wondering, do all solar garden lights require batteries then yes, all solar garden lights use batteries to illuminate in the night. The whole purpose of sun charged garden lights is to light up without grid electricity. That makes using batteries in them a must.

What batteries go in garden solar lights?

In garden solar lights rechargeable AA or AAA batteries are used. In garden solar lights NiCd and NiMH rechargeable batteries are used mostly. These two types of rechargeable batteries are best for garden solar lights.

Nickel-Cadmium Battery

NiCd batteries are a type of rechargeable battery that was invented in the late 19th century. They are made of two electrodes, one made of nickel oxide hydroxide and the other made of metallic cadmium.

NiCd batteries are known for their ability to deliver high currents, which makes them ideal for portable electronic devices and emergency backup units.

However, NiCd batteries also have some drawbacks. One drawback is that they suffer from a phenomenon called memory effect. This means that if NiCd batteries are repeatedly charged before they are fully discharged, their capacity will gradually decrease.

Another drawback is that NiCd batteries contain cadmium, a heavy metal that is toxic to the environment.

The average lifespan of a NiCd battery is 2-3 years.

Nickel Metal Hydride

Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries are a newer type of rechargeable battery that was developed in the late 1980s. They use nickel oxide hydroxide and a hydrogen-absorbing alloy as electrodes.

The lifespan of a NiMH battery is 3-5 years.

NiMH batteries are a versatile and popular type of rechargeable battery. They offer a number of advantages over other types of rechargeable batteries, including:

High energy density

NiMH batteries can store more energy per unit weight and volume than other types of rechargeable batteries, such as NiCd and lead-acid batteries. This makes them ideal for applications where weight and size are important, such as portable electronic devices like solar lights.

Low self-discharge rate

NiMH batteries have a low self-discharge rate, which means they can hold their charge for longer periods of time when not in use. This makes them an ideal choice for solar garden lights.

No memory effect

NiMH batteries do not suffer from memory effect, which is a problem that can plague NiCd batteries. NiMH batteries do not suffer from this problem, so they can be charged and discharged without losing their capacity.

How long do solar batteries last in garden lights?

There is no definitive answer to this question but as I mentioned above the lasting of batteries will depend upon the type of battery installed in the solar garden lights.

NiCd rechargeable batteries will last for 2-3 years whereas NiMH rechargeable batteries will last for 3-5 years.

If your garden solar lights batteries have completed this timeframe they might need to be replaced. Here is the article I wrote on How to replace battery in solar garden lights?

There are various factors which impact the life of garden solar powered lights. These factors are:

LED lumens

The first thing that can have an effect on the working duration of garden solar lights is the lumens range of the LEDs.

Lumen is the standard unit of measurement for calculating the brightness of light. The more lumens a light source will have the brighter it will shine.

So, if high lumens LEDs are installed on a low power capacity rechargeable battery it will drain the battery fast.

Number of LEDs

Second factor which can impact the battery lasting time is the number of LEDs on the solar lights. Since LEDs will require electricity to illuminate, they will take it from the batteries attached with them.

If the number of LEDs will be more than the supplying capacity of the batteries in this case too, the garden solar lights will not last long.


Garden solar lights are a great way to illuminate outdoor gardens. They are sustainable and green source of light.

Because they are solar powered, they need batteries to recharge and supply electricity to the LEDs of the solar garden lights.