Your solar lights used to last all night, but now they can barely get through a couple of hours. So it’s time to research the best rechargeable batteries for solar lights to replace those old batteries that aren’t giving you the juice you need. We’ve reviewed hundreds of options for everything from small fairy lights to large solar spot lights.
So you want to know the 20 best rechargeable batteries for solar lights? Here’s a quick summary table with all of the highlights and links to the details.
|Battery Size||Best Overall||Best Budget||Best Charger|
|EBL 8 Bay|
We spent time combing through different battery capacities, chemical makeups, customer reviews, and charge times. Understanding these nuances can make the difference between your new batteries lasting two more years compared to five more years. Our detailed review of each battery recommendation walks you through everything you need to know to get the best rechargeable batteries for your solar lights.
How We Reviewed The Best Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
There are different types of solar lights ranging from flood lights to fairy lights to street lights. Due to the large variety of solar lights, there comes an equally large variety of rechargeable batteries. After reviewing hundreds of batteries out there, we boiled down the best overall option and the best budget option. We based the reviews primarily on the battery chemistry, capacity, and cost.
Different Rechargeable Battery Sizes
As previously mentioned, there are dozens of different sizes of batteries. For solar lights, we reduced it down to the ten battery sizes that are often found in solar lights. Before buying new batteries, make sure to identify the battery size you are currently using for your solar lights.
For solar flood lights and solar spot lights, you will likely use one of the following battery sizes: AA, AAA, or 18650. Typically, you will use two to four of these batteries per solar light.
Smaller string light options can still use rechargeable AAA batteries. It is also likely that they would use CR2032, CR2025, CR123, or CR2 rechargeable batteries. Depending on the string length, one to four of these batteries may be required.
Larger solar lights could use C, D, or 9V rechargeable batteries to store the solar energy. We’ve put together a great review for all of these rechargeable batteries for solar lights.
Rechargeable Battery Types
Rechargeable batteries have to use certain chemical compounds that allow it to recharge. Some of the older rechargeable batteries used a nickel–cadmium (NiCd) chemistry. This battery chemistry has a charge/discharge efficiency of roughly 80%. This is inline with newer lithium-ion batteries, but they require fast charge times. This doesn’t make them as well suited for solar applications. They also have a 10% self-discharge rate, which means they drain energy when not in use. They also don’t hold as much energy as NiMH or lithium-ion batteries.
Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries have a charge/discharge efficiency of up to 92%. They have a much larger capacity than the older NiCd rechargeable batteries. Also, they are non toxic, unlike their NiCd counterparts. Most of the industry has switched over from NiCd to NiMH or Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.
Capacity for Rechargeable Batteries
The capacity of a battery is measured in milliamp-hours (mAh). It is the measurement of how much energy the battery can store. In short, the larger the capacity, the longer the battery will be able to keep your solar lights on.
Every rechargeable battery size comes with a new class of capacity. So, it’s not fair to compare the capacity of a C battery against the capacity of a AAA battery. Instead, we combed through dozens of options for each battery size and removed all of the options that had low battery capacities. This left only the top performing batteries for us to review and rank based on price.
Best Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
Now that you have our secret formula for evaluating each battery size and type, let’s get into the reviews. We’ve shared two options for each size: the best overall option and the best budget option for the more cost conscious consumer.
Best Overall AA Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
The Panasonic Eneloop AA rechargeable batteries have a 2550 mAh capacity with over 500 charge cycles. It maintains over 85% charge for over a year. Since these are perfectly designed for solar lights, Panasonic pre-charges all of the Eneloop batteries through solar power. With a new stable hydrogen technology, this battery doesn’t self-discharge near as much as competitors. A high durability super lattice alloy prolongs the total expected life of the rechargeable battery. Lastly, this has been tested to perform even at below freezing temperatures.
Best Budget AA Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
The Mr. Batt AA rechargeable batteries are a great budget option. These 1600 mAh batteries can last up to 1600 charge cycles. They are also built with low self-discharge technology that will allow the batteries to stay up to 75% charged three years after not being used. Similar to Panasonic, these batteries are pre-charged using solar power. However, these batteries are only pre-charged to 60%. Since they are made from the NiMH chemistry, they do not contain toxic lead, cadmium, or mercury. Reviewers found this to be the perfect option when buying batteries for a lot of solar lights.
Best Overall AAA Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
The BONAI AAA rechargeable batteries are cost effective and still pack a punch. At 1100 mAh, they are top of the line from an energy storage perspective. It will maintain at least 80% of its charge if you don’t use it for up to three years. This is due to the standard low self-discharge technology. It has been tested to last over 1200 charge cycles, meaning it will last you well over three years of every day use. The company also provides a great warranty with 100% satisfaction guaranteed. The top review discusses how they are the best option for solar landscape lights.
Best Budget AAA Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
The POWEROWL AAA rechargeable batteries are a great budget option. They pack nearly as much punch as the BONAI batteries (1000 mAh compared to 1100 mAh). Similarly, they have been tested to run well over 1200 charge cycles. One of the downsides is that it self discharges at a slightly faster pace. Though this isn’t a fast pace compared to older models. It still retains 70% of its charge after three years of nonuse. One of these batteries can replace 2100 alkaline AAA batteries. POWEROWL has a great 30 day warranty and one year guarantee.
Best Overall 18650 Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
These Veckuty 18650 batteries are similar in size to AA rechargeable batteries, though there are two differences. The first is that the size is different enough to make a difference. Only replace AA batteries with AA batteries. The 18650 batteries are often used in solar light applications, but make sure the solar lights actually take these size batteries. The second difference is the chemical make up. Batteries that have a number like this instead of using letters are typically made with lithium-ion material.
The nominal voltage of this 18650 rechargeable battery is 3.7V, compared to the 1.2V found in NiMH batteries. This battery can be cycled over 2000 times with 3500 mAh of storage capacity. Due to recent technological advancements, these Li-ion batteries do not have a memory effect. That means they can be charged no matter how much charge they already have at the time. This makes them great options for solar light installations.
Best Budget 18650 Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
The BRC 18650 rechargeable batteries are a great cost-effective alternative. This is the best option if you have a lot of solar lights that need battery replacement since this comes with eight batteries. It boasts a 5000 mAh capacity, which is greater than the Veckuty option. However, the reviews show that the customer service isn’t great. There aren’t many reviews yet, but the battery seems to score down the middle of the road. Without many 18650 options out there, this is going to be your best economies of scale option.
Best Overall CR2032 Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
The CT-Energy CR2032 rechargeable battery comes in a 4-pack or a 6-pack. These are often used in solar string lights or solar fairy lights. It has been tested to last over 500 chare cycles. This puts it at a year and a half of every day use. It can last up to two years sitting on the shelf without needing to be recharged. The chemistry of this battery is lithium-ion. This battery edged out the others due to its 45 mAh capacity. That means it keep those solar lights on longer than the other competitor batteries.
Best Budget CR2032 Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
The Zackees rechargeable CR2032 was a close second place to the CT-Energy batteries. It can also last over 500 charge cycles. Though, it has a slightly lower capacity at 40 mAh. This battery comes well protected with a IP65 water resistant ring. Remember to remove the battery safety seal before installing it into your solar lights. The only negative reviews had a similar theme of the batteries not working for Pokemon Go. However, they work just fine in solar light applications.
Best Overall CR2025 Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
This EEMB LIR2025 rechargeable battery outranks the others in two ways. First, it has the largest capacity of all lithium-ion CR2025 coming in at 30mAh. Secondly, it has a great manufacturers warranty. The coin battery comes in a leak-proof casing, making it longer lasting. These batteries will last up to two years before you need to replace them. This 4-pack last longer than many of the reviewers expected. It comes pre-charged so you can immediately install them into your solar lights.
Best Budget CR2025 Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
The LiCB Store CR2025 batteries are the most economical option available. A 10-pack costs less than most 4-packs. Yet, they pack the same 30mAh capacity. The LiCB brand specializes in coin batteries and provide a great warranty. The downside is these batteries will typically only last a year before they need to be replaced.
Best Overall 9V PP3 Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
The Bonai 9V rechargeable batteries provide long lasting power with 600 mAh of capacity. This company has great support after a sale. Their goal is to have 100% of calls and emails returned within 24 hours. With over 1200 charge cycles available, it can last over three years being charged every day. So, this battery is one of the lowest maintenance options for solar lights on the market. The lithium-ion chemistry allows for low self discharge, meaning it will last years without being used. Customers glow about its quick charge times and how long lasting it is.
Best Budget 9V PP3 Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
These LP 9V PP3 rechargeable batteries come in a 4-pack and are great for larger solar flood lights. They maintain at least 75% of their 600 mAh capacity after three years of use. One of these batteries is equivalent to 1200 alkaline dry-cell batteries. That cost savings will put an extra $830 back in your pocket every three years. The customer service from LP is one of the best in the industry. Not only do they have a 24 hour call center, but they provide an outstanding warranty. There is a 30-day no questions asked money back guarantee. Then, there is a year replacement warranty for the batteries.
Best Overall CR123 Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
This 4-pack EBL 3V CR123 rechargeable battery is the best lithium-ion battery in its class. The 2400 mAh capacity allows it to power solar lights for up to 12 hours. Its quick charge technology allows it to fully charge in two hours via the micro USB. It would take up to four hours to charge via solar panel in direct sunlight. The new design protects the batteries in extreme cold weather, overcharging, over-discharging, and short circuiting. EBL spent significant time and money developing these batteries and the reviews reflect their efforts.
Best Budget CR123 Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
This AmazonBasic CR123 battery uses a NiMH chemistry, which makes it cheaper than its EBL lithium-ion counterpart. But, the total capacity blows the EBL out of the water. At 5000 mAh, it can safely last all night long in a solar light. However, the number of times the battery can be recharged is about half as many times as the EBL. Overall, this is a great budget friendly option. Just expect to have to replace them in two years. Whereas, the EBL batteries would be replaced every 3-4 years.
Best Overall CR2 Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
This 8-pack of CR2 rechargeable batteries comes with 450 mAh of capacity per battery. It is reliable in negative four degree temperature and up to 140 degrees. So, it fits any solar light in any climate. With a self discharge rate of under six percent a year, this battery will stay charged for years without being used. In fact, JessPow boasts a five year shelf life for these CR2 rechargeable batteries.
Best Budget CR2 Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
The EBL CR2 rechargeable batteries make a great budget option. They have 11% less capacity than the JessPow CR2 batteries. But 400 mAh is still enough power to get your solar lights through the majority of the night. Like the JessPow option, it comes in a pack of eight. It has been tested to perform after 1200 charges. This will get it to nearly three years of continuous use. With the “no memory effect” technology, it can be charged without having to be fully drained first.
Best Overall C Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
This 5000 mAh EBL rechargeable C battery can be used on any C device. It has been tested at 1200 charge cycles. And it comes pre-charged out of the box via solar panels. The battery chemistry is NiMH, so you should make sure the reference voltage (1.2V) is the same as your previous battery. Like many other NiMH batteries, it maintains an 80% charge even after three years of not being used. The upgraded procyco cells allow it to drain quickly, when needed. It’s the perfect option for high power demand solar lights.
Best Budget C Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
The RayHom rechargeable C batteries come packing 5000 mAh per battery. You can buy them in a 4-pack. Due to their large capacity, they are made from NiMH materials. The premium grade A cell allows for up to 1200 charge cycles without much deterioration. Also, they hold 80% of their charge after three years of being on the shelf. Similar to the other popular brands, they have a great 30 day warranty. This warranty includes a one year limited warranty and 24/7 technical support.
Best Overall D Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
This 10000 mAh PowerOwl rechargeable D battery packs a lot of power. It comes pre-charged using solar power. It comes with an industry standard 1200 charge cycles, but holds much more energy. These batteries are great for larger solar yard lights that require more power. One of these batteries takes the place of 800 alkaline D batteries. This brand received the best reviews from the highest rated reviewers.
Best Budget D Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights
The AmazonBasics D cell rechargeable batteries are always one of the best economic choices. You should go with this option if you plan on replacing more than four D cell batteries. It has the same 10000 mAh capacity and charge cycles as the PowerOwl product. The difference is these batteries are made more to scale. This means you can get them for a cheaper price, but should expect to see more variability between batteries in large quantities.
Best Rechargeable Battery Chargers For Solar Lights
Solar rechargeable batteries should always be charged via solar panels, if possible. However, in some cases you will need to charge them with a charger. This could be due to the sun not being out for a week or longer. It could also be due to the solar panel needing repairs or replaced. in any case, we’ve found the top two chargers for both of the chemistry types we recommend. The first should work for most NiMH batteries. The second short work for most lithium-ion batteries.
Best NiMH Charger For Rechargeable Batteries
This NiMH rechargeable battery charger by EBL is compatible with C, D, AA, AAA, and 9V batteries. Of course, they all should be NiMH in chemistry. This charger will not work for NiCd or lithium-ion batteries. Depending on the battery size, it can charge from two to four batteries at a time. It takes less than three hours to fully charge all battery sizes, with the exception of 9V batteries. Those can take up to 10 hours to fully charge. It automatically detects the voltage, battery type, and capacity. It will stop charging on its own when the battery is fully charged.
Best Lithium Ion Charger For Rechargeable Batteries
This lithium-ion battery charger by Keenstone works for nearly all portable lithium-ion batteries. The fully list includes 25500, 22650, 18650, 18490, 18500, 18350, 17670, 16340, RCR123A, 14500, and 10440. Four independent bays allows you to charge up to four different battery sizes at once. The touch screen gives you detailed information on each battery, such as the voltage, current, and capacity. It includes a car adapter so that it could be charged at home or on the go in the car. The charger comes with an overcharge protection logic to make sure the batteries stop charging when they are full.
How To Test Solar Batteries
You may want to test your solar rechargeable batteries to see if they work before buying new batteries. Or maybe you already bought new batteries and want to make sure that they are working properly. There are two quick ways to test the functionality of your batteries.
First, you could let the solar panel charge the battery. This can take up to four hours, but tests the entire process. It will make sure the solar panels work properly with your batteries. And it will make sure your batteries work properly with your solar lights. Make sure the batteries are installed properly and the solar panel is in direct sunlight.
The second option is to use a charger to fully charge the batteries. Then plug them into the solar light and turn the light to the on position. If the light does not come on, turn the power off. Remove the batteries. Cover the solar panel so that it does not generate any electricity. Install non-rechargeable batteries. Turn the power on to see if the light comes on. If it does not come on, the issue is with the light. If the light does come on, the issue is with the rechargeable batteries. Remove the non-rechargeable batteries.
When To Replace Your Solar Light Batteries
You should replace the rechargeable batteries in your solar lights when they do not hold enough charge for their intended application. For example, your solar spot lights should last at least eight hours to get you through most of the night. If they are only lasting four to five hours, you should consider replacing the batteries. It is often cheaper to replace the batteries than the entire solar light.
Solar Light Battery Upgrade Guide
If you have old solar lights that need new rechargeable batteries, it may not make sense to buy the exact same kind that are being used today. As we mentioned earlier, NiCd batteries have largely been replaced with NiMH rechargeable batteries. We’ve put together a small chart to help you upgrade your batteries to longer lasting, non-toxic alternatives.
|Old NiCd Batteries||New Replacements (NiMH)|
|AA NiCd 1.2v 200mAh to 300mAh||AA NiMH 1.2V 300mAh|
|AA NiCd 1.2v 400mAh to 600mAh||AA NiMH 1.2V 600mAh|
|AAA NiCd 1.2V 200mAh to 300mAh||AAA NiMH 1.2V 300mAh|
|AAA NiCd 1.2V 400mAh to 600mAh||AAA NiMH 1.2V 600mAh|
|2AA NiCd 1.2V 100mAh to 600mAh||2AA NiMH 1.2V 600mAh|
|2AAA NiCd 1.2V 100mAh to 200mAh||2AAA NiMH 1.2V 200mAh|
|4AAA NiCd 1.2V 100mAh to 200mAh||4AAA NiMH 1.2V 200mAh|
How long do solar light batteries last?
Solar light rechargeable batteries have varying life expectancies, depending on their capacity and use. Standard rechargeable batteries are designed to last anywhere from two to seven years. Most of these batteries will only be able to charge to 80% of their original capacity after about 500 cycles. So if you are using the lights every night, then you would see a 20% in runtime in a year and a half.
Most solar light rechargeable batteries will need to be replaced in one to two years. After the battery reaches 80% capacity, it will begin to degrade faster. Still, replacing solar chargeable batteries every other year is cheaper than the cost to power those lights with electricity form your house.
What Are The Advantages Of Rechargeable Batteries For Solar Lights?
There are many advantages to using rechargeable batteries for solar lights over using regular batteries to power your yard lights. First, solar lights with rechargeable batteries are more sustainable. It is a cleaner source of energy and a more green option for the Earth.
Secondly, it is a cheaper option. One rechargeable battery takes the place of up to 500 regular batteries. You are saving money from the third or fourth charge. It is also cheaper to use solar to power those rechargeable batteries than to run electricity from your local utility.
Lastly, it is easier to maintain over time. You don’t have to worry about changing the batteries every month, like you would with a regular battery powered yard light. The solar panel recharges the batteries every day. This renewable energy source never runs out of power. So instead of replacing batteries every month, you might replace the batteries every two years.