Each spring, we tidy up our garden or patio to ensure everything is ready for summer. You may also take this opportunity to check your garden solar lights; more often than not you will find that one or more of them have stopped working as well as they should. If you’re not sure how to fix them then hopefully these few tips should help you!

If you already know what you're looking for, and you simply need replacement solar light batteries for your garden, then you'll find them here.

What to do if your solar lights stop working?

It’s important that you check all the components of your solar lights to find out which part of it has stopped working. Firstly, the solar panel on each light will probably need cleaning, as a layer of dirt can build up and stop the sunlight getting through. Remember to position your lights in the best position to get sunlight, and if your solar lights tilt, make sure they are tilted towards the sun.

garden solar light batteries
It’s also a good idea to check the battery compartment and check for any signs of damage such as water damage, rust or broken wires. Also, check the batteries are firmly connected, and for signs of corrosion. Inside all solar lights is a circuit board or charge controller that also acts as a sensor or switch. When the sun is shining on to the solar panel the circuit board sends the charge from the panel to the battery. As soon as it’s dark, the circuit board or sensor recognises there is no light shining on the panel and stops charging the battery, instead of sending the power from the battery to light the LED bulb. Quite often once the garden solar light is cleaned, dried out and left to recharge, they do start to work again.

If your light still isn’t working, the next step is to check the LED or bulb. An easy way to check a solar light LED with AA or AAA batteries fitted is to put an ordinary non-rechargeable battery in the light. Completely cover the panel or take it to a dark room, and if the LED or bulb is ok it will light up. Unfortunately, if the LED still doesn’t work then it’s probably time to throw the light away. Lastly, try replacing the solar light batteries.

Why do I need to replace my solar light batteries?

The most common reason garden solar lights stop working is because the rechargeable batteries inside them have simply worn out. You need rechargeable batteries in your solar lights, as the solar panel converts the sunlight into power to charge the batteries, which in turn powers the light. Not everyone realises there are such things as rechargeable solar light batteries.

It’s a good idea to replace the batteries in your solar lights regularly; perhaps every year or two. Almost all garden solar lights use low capacity rechargeable batteries. More recently, solar lights will use 1.2V NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries. These newer NiMH batteries replace the old style NiCd version.

What batteries should I use in my garden solar lights?

There are different sizes and capacities of 1.2V NiCd and 1.2V NiMH rechargeable batteries that are used in solar lights. The most popular size is AA; these are 50.5mm in height and 14.5mm in diameter. Full-size AAA is also a popular size at 44.5mm in height and 10.5mm in diameter, making them slimmer than the AA.

There are a few other, less popular and harder to find sizes including 2/3AA rechargeable batteries which are two thirds the size of a full AA; measuring 31mm x 14.5mm. 2/3AAA rechargeable batteries are two thirds the size of AAA batteries, measuring 30mm long and 10.5mm in diameter.

What are the best replacement batteries for my garden solar lights?

It’s important that you replace the batteries you take out of the solar lights with the same voltage and similar capacity. For example, if your solar lights had NiCd or NiMH 1.2V 600mAh AA batteries, then we would recommend you replace them with our 1.2V NIMH AA 600mAh solar light batteries. The capacity of your old batteries is usually printed on the batteries in a mAh rating.

You can replace your battery with a slightly different mAh capacity, as long as it is the same voltage; we would recommend choosing your replacement batteries with the nearest possible mAh rating. It is not recommended to replace your batteries with a much higher mAh capacity. Please see the solar light battery replacement guide below.

garden solar light batteries

Guide to Replacing Solar Light Batteries

Old Batteries                                                                                                        Replace with

AA NiCd or NiMH 1.2v 200mAh, 250mAh, 300mAh                                    AA NiMH 1.2V 300mAh

AA NiCd or NiMH 1.2v 400mAh, 500mAh, 600mAh                                    AA NiMH 1.2V 600mAh

AAA NiCd or NiMH 1.2V 200mAh, 250mAh, 300mAh                                AAA NiMH 1.2V 300mAh

AAA NiCd or NiMH 1.2V 400mAh, 500mAh, 600mAh                                AAA NiMH 1.2V 600mAh

2/3AA NiCd or NiMH 1.2V 100mAh, 150mAh, 200mAh, 250mAh             2/3AA NiMH 1.2V 600mAh

2/3AA NiCd or NiMH 1.2V 300mAh, 400mAh,  600mAh                            2/3AA NiMH 1.2V 600mAh

2/3AAA NiCd 1.2V 100mAh, 200mAh                                                              2/3AAA NiMH 1.2V 200mAh

2/3AAA NiMH 1.2V 100mAh, 150mAh, 200mAh                                          2/3AAA NiMH 1.2V 200mAh


If your battery, voltage or capacity is not listed above and you need help, please give us a call.

Once you have chosen and replaced the rechargeable batteries in your solar lights, give them a couple of days to get going and you should find your solar lights return to life. If they still don’t work after checking all components, it is probably time to recycle both your light and battery separately.

Should I use high capacity batteries in my solar lights?

It is easy to think the higher the capacity the better they will work in solar lights. This isn’t the case. High capacity rechargeable batteries generally need a higher current to recharge them. With the solar light-producing such a low charge current it is better to use relatively low capacity solar light batteries.

Why do my solar lights come on during the day?

This means the sensor in the light isn't working. We would recommend cleaning the mini solar panel as they often get covered in layer of dirt. If the panel is dirty the solar light circuit board will act as though it is dark or night time all the time, therefore sending the power from the battery to the LED during the day and night! New batteries cannot cause this particular issue; the batteries simply power the LED. In fact, if your lights are lighting up all the time this shows the batteries are actually working ok.

Can I use ordinary, non-rechargeable batteries in my solar lights?

You can use an ordinary non-rechargeable battery to test the LED in the solar lights work as described earlier. Other than for this you shouldn’t put non-rechargeable batteries in a rechargeable garden solar light.

We hope this information has helped. If you have any other questions, please contact a member of the team who will be happy to help.