If you are looking for a straight answer to can I use regular batteries in solar lights, the short one is no.
Regular batteries, especially alkaline-based batteries, are not designed to be used in solar units. However, for a short period, you can use regular batteries on your solar while searching for the ideal replacement.
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t keep regular batteries on your solar lighting system for more than a week. Keep on reading for more insights….
NiMH and NiCd are the two primary forms of solar light batteries you will encounter when looking to replace damaged cells.
Both batteries are available in local stores, so when the time comes to replace your solar light batteries, finding options should be an effortless task.
However, there are many interchangeable batteries in the market, which can create confusion for some users.
When should I replace my solar light batteries? Is it dangerous to use regular batteries and solar light batteries interchangeably? Can I use regular batteries in solar lights?
These are just a few questions you might be asking yourself.
Here are some insights to help you determine the ideal solution for your depleted solar light batteries.
Solar Battery Lights vs Regular Batteries
Solar light batteries are recharged every day when the solar panels receive sunlight. As such, they offer a sustainable economic way to preserve energy.
However, like all other cells, the solar light batteries will eventually lose their capacity to hold power as required by the appliance.
When this happens, you can find quick replacement batteries to restore your solar lights.
Essentially, there are two main types of cells used to store power in the lights. These are NiMH and NiCd, which are rechargeable and functional in the daily charging provided by sunlight.
All electronic devices use batteries to store power. Each battery has specifications for the power it carries, where it should be used, and whether it can be recharged.
Solar light batteries are designed to store energy from the sun and release it during the night.
On the other hand, regular alkaline batteries aren’t designed for recharging, which is the main reason you should avoid using them on your solar light.
Is It Safe To Use Regular Batteries In Solar Lights?
As we mentioned above, regular batteries, especially the alkaline-based, are not primarily designed to be used in solar units.
But, if you desperately need to use your solar units and don’t have the appropriate batteries at hand, you can use the regular batteries, but not for too long.
Since regular batteries cannot be recharged, using them on your solar light units can result in corrosion and permanent system failures.
However, each battery is different, so some models can remain functional for up to a week, although it is recommendable to stick to NiMH and NiCd batteries.
If you are wondering whether it is safe to use regular batteries in solar lights, here are some concerns to make you change your mind.
a) Corrosion of terminals
Regular batteries are not recommended for solar lighting systems because they are designed to be disposed of once they run out of charge.
Using them on your system can quickly drain the charge and lead to corrosion of the terminals and charging problems.
b) Permanent system failure
Charging problems and the inability to store the collected charge can result in permanent system damages.
Simply put, regular batteries aren’t for solar lights, so you might risk various parts of the unit, depending on the type and quality of battery you install.
c) Voiding your warranty
Solar light units come with a lengthy warranty, but you must stick to the terms and provisions of the manufacturer, which includes using the recommended replacement batteries.
By using regular cells, you void the warranty and won’t be covered for any damages the batteries cause to your system or any future damages for that matter.
d) Unreliable performance
Regular batteries will provide power to your lights for a short period only. Since they are not offered for solar lighting systems, you cannot depend on them to function as efficiently as NiMH and NiCd batteries.
You may experience flickering lights, abrupt power drain, and other characteristics that encapsulate the less than optimum performance.
When To Use Regular Batteries With Solar Lights?
Although all indicators advise against using regular batteries with solar lights, there are some situations when this might be the only option.
Although, it is crucial to pick options that can offer reliable performance as you find the required replacement.
Here are four scenarios where you can use regular batteries in your lights.
#1 When searching for recommended replacements
It is crucial to keep extra NiMH and NiCd batteries recommended for your solar unit, just in case you need them.
However, if your solar light batteries are damaged and you are still searching for replacements, a regular battery can keep your lamps on for a couple of days.
It is important to use regular batteries for not more than seven days and immediately replace them when you find the right option.
#2 When solar light batteries drain all over sudden
Power surges, old age, and various other factors can result in the sudden loss of battery capacity to hold a charge.
If your lights go off suddenly and you cannot find an immediate replacement, you can use a regular battery for the day or night.
This can be particularly handy if you have an overnight outdoor event that depends on solar lamps or indoor gardens that rely on artificial solar lights.
In such cases, you can use regular batteries to meet your current lighting needs and replace them with the proper models as soon as possible.
#3 When repairing or replacing your solar panels and units
Sometimes your solar light batteries aren’t the cause of your lighting woes. Like every other electro mechanical system, your solar unit will get old and worn out, leaving it incapable of charging the batteries sufficiently.
If your panels cannot charge the batteries, you can use regular batteries while organizing the necessary repairs and replacements.
Make sure you revert to using the original solar light batteries once your system is restored.
#4 When testing the solar unit
It isn’t recommendable to use old batteries on your solar light unit. However, if you have packs of new alkaline batteries and don’t have anywhere to use them, a day or two on the solar lamps can help your drain the power.
This can be helpful if your lights aren’t as bright as they should be and you are wondering whether a damaged battery is the reason.
It isn’t recommendable to use regular batteries on your solar lights as they have different specifications and are provided for other applications.
Solar light units are designed to work with rechargeable NiMH and NiCd batteries, so you should keep a space set for your lamps to avoid resorting to regular alkaline batteries.
However, when you have no other immediate solution for replacing solar light batteries, you can temporarily use regular batteries until you find the best possible replacement.
Make sure you use new regular batteries that can provide sufficient charge power for your lights.
Have you tried using regular batteries in solar lights? What was your experience? Would you recommend it? Let us know in the comment section down below.