Can I Replace NiCd Batteries With NiMH in Solar Lights?

Solar lights offer convenience and reliability, making them hugely popular. And while they’re mostly maintenance-free, there will probably come a point when you’ll need to replace the batteries. You might be wondering whether you can swap out your Ni-Cd batteries with Ni-MH batteries since they’re both a type of rechargeable battery; the answer is, that depends.

The Rechargeable Battery: What You Need to Know

Solar lights are equipped with specialized batteries that use the sun’s rays to build a reserve of energy that’s slowly released in dark conditions. Typically, a rechargeable battery, whether it’s Ni-CD or Ni-MH, can repeat the cycle hundreds of times. Eventually, the battery can no longer convert the sun’s energy into stored power and must be replaced.

Ni-Cd vs Ni-MH Batteries

While they function in a similar way, Ni-Cd and Ni-MH batteries have some important differences. A Ni-Cd battery requires less time to acquire a full charge; however, it doesn’t function as well as a Ni-MH battery at extremely low temperatures, which is a consideration depending on climate. A Ni-MH battery can hold more power and the battery chemistry is less toxic to the environment than a Ni-Cd battery, although you’ll still want to properly recycle it instead of tossing it in the trash.

Which Batteries to Choose?

For some installations, the manufacturer of the lighting, appliance or other electronic device dictates what kind of battery to use when it’s time for a replacement. For general purposes, you can typically substitute Ni-MH batteries for Ni-Cd batteries, although care should be taken not to mix them for use at the same time. In situations where you have the opportunity to develop your own custom battery pack, taking the differences between Ni-Cd and Ni-MH batteries into account, along with your expectations for reliability and performance under certain conditions, is the best way to decide.

Need Help Manufacturing a Rechargeable Battery Pack?

Rapport, Inc. is a full-service battery wholesaler with logistics in place to obtain Ni-Cd and Ni-MH from most major battery manufacturers. Our ISO-compliant facility and highly experienced team are ready for your prototype or production needs, and we offer custom work to ensure your battery pack, cable harness, box enclosure, and related components are crafted to meet your project specifications. When you’re ready to replace your rechargeable batteries, contact Rapport, Inc. today for specialized battery solutions to meet the needs of public works, maritime, security, and other advanced industries.