How to Replace Solar Light Batteries?

Much more than the fact that solar lights are cost-effective, they are also very durable and last for a long time. The rechargeable nature of solar makes it possible to use them over and over before they eventually give up if you have solar lights in your garden or yard, the rechargeable batteries should last 2-3 years with proper maintenance.

However, when they eventually burn out and need replacement, a lot of people don’t know how to go about the battery replacement. When my solar lights batteries gave out, I didn’t even think about getting a professional to replace the batteries. I did discover that it is an entirely simple process. The simple steps I followed to replace the batteries and get my lights working again are discussed below.

How Long Do Solar Lights Batteries Last?

As hard to believe as it is, I’ve talked to people who believed that once they have solar lights installed in their gardens, they would never have to change anything or carry out regular maintenance. While solar garden lights are durable and cost-effective, they do have a lifespan and require regular maintenance.

Solar garden lights are powered by batteries that are recharged by light from the sun. After prolonged use, the batteries would naturally weaken and never be able to store as much energy as they used to. At this point, the batteries would have to be replaced.

Solar lights feature 1-4 rechargeable batteries. If the lighting system is installed properly and well maintained, the batteries should last for 2-3 years before they start exhibiting signs of decline. Low-quality batteries and those that are not well-maintained may last for shorter periods.

Types of Solar Light Rechargeable Batteries

Types of Solar Light Rechargeable Batteries

I’ve encountered several categories of rechargeable batteries used in all my experience with solar lights. The chemical composition of these batteries is what varies, so you have to be sure of what type of cells your solar lights have before you can change them. Some of the various cells include:

Nickel Cadmium Battery

Admittedly, it may not be the best battery type when it comes to solar lights. However, the portability is what makes it stand out. Unlike a lot of the other rechargeable batteries, nickel-cadmium batteries do not experience a noticeable drop in voltage as they get continuously drained of power.

It is not the most commonly used battery in rechargeable lights, as portability is not a very critical factor in solar garden lights. Furthermore, they discharge and charge fast. This is the most likely reason why they are more prevalent in cheap lighting options.

Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery

The major difference between nickel-cadmium batteries and nickel-metal hydride batteries is that it doesn’t feature the toxic cadmium. Instead, it comes with hydrogen-absorbing alloy links that act as the negative electrode. Furthermore, NiMH batteries can hold more electric charge.

If you are concerned about environmental awareness, I would advise that you go for NiMH batteries as they are more environmentally-friendly and can save more energy. For gardeners who are looking for efficient solar lights to illuminate their gardens, this is the type of rechargeable battery I would recommend.

Lithium-ion Battery

This is another type of rechargeable battery that is common. The major highlight of this type of rechargeable battery is that they take very little time to charge. Nevertheless, they can be quite expensive.

They are also environmentally-friendly and can be portable if that is a feature you are looking for in a solar light battery.

How to Replace Solar Light Batteries?

Replacing solar light batteries is one of the most straightforward DIY tasks you can ever embark on. If you are replacing your solar light batteries for the first time, the first thing you should do is locate the battery, and determine the type of battery it is.

Locate the Battery

In most solar lights, you will have to reach the top of the light and unscrew it to locate the battery. It goes without saying that you should have the light switched off before you try to remove the battery.

Open Battery Casing and Check the Battery Type

I guess that you most likely do not know the type of battery your solar light uses. What you have to do first is determine the type of battery you have in your light. You should be able to tell this by simply opening the battery casing. Once you can identify the battery type, I would advise that you buy the same.

However, if what you have is a nickel-metal hydride battery, you can always replace it with a similarly-sized nickel-cadmium battery because they are a more environmentally-friendly option.

Buy Battery and Replace

Once you have determined what type of rechargeable battery it is you have, all you have to do is get a similar battery to replace the used one. You may have to charge the new battery before you can use it. So, if your lights aren’t turning on after the battery installation, you may have to wait for them to charge in the sun for some time.


Changing your solar light batteries can seem really complex if you are unfamiliar with the process. In reality, it is not so complex, and you can get it done in no time. If you had professionals install your solar garden lights, it might be necessary to get them to change the batteries. However, if you are feeling quite handy enough, the task can be as easy as you want it to be.

Determining the type of rechargeable battery your solar lights have is one of the most important steps. You can purchase a similar battery type and then get on with the installation. It would be really nice if you could carry on a DIY experiment for a change by replacing your solar light batteries yourself.

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