Can you use higher mah batteries in solar lights?

Yes, you can use a higher mAh battery in solar lights. Keep in mind though that most solar lights usually carry batteries with capacity 1,000-1,300 mAh that should be fully charged during the day.

Whereas slightly higher capacity say 1,500 mAh may not be an issue, using a considerably higher capacity, say 2,400 mAh though the hold about double the charge, wont fully charge in a day which is a waste – investing in unused battery capacity.

Beware of buying batteries from untrusted source or brands. Some of them do not produce the mAh indicated on the packaging resulting in your solar lights lighting for a shorter time.

Can you use lower mAh battery in solar lights?

Yes, you can use a battery with a lower mAh in solar lights the only issue is your lights will not light for as long as intended which ideally is usually anywhere from 8 – 11 hrs because the lower capacity batteries hold a smaller quantity of energy.

solar garden light battery
Solar garden light battery

So for example, if you use 400mAh battery instead of a 600mAh capacity battery, your solar lights will not light as long as with the 600 mAh battery because of the smaller battery capacity. 

So if you can’t find a replacement battery with the original battery specs in mAh, you can use replacement batteries with a slightly higher or lower mAh is fine – for example:

  • if the original battery is rated 1.2V, 1,500 mAh, a 1.2V, 1,800 mAh replacement battery is fine.
  • if the original battery is rated 1.2V, 1,000 mAh, a 1.2V, 600 mAh replacement battery is fine.

Make sure that you replace with a battery type with the same chemistry, i.e. niCD with niCD, niMH with niMH and Lifor best performance.

Related questions

# 1. Is it better to have a higher mAh battery?

No, a higher mAh battery is not necessary better. Only use it if you cannot find the a battery that has the same mAh as the original. It is best to replace a solar light battery with the original mAh capacity for best light performance and cost.

# 2. What is the difference between 1,000mAh, 1,300mAh and 2,400mAh?

mAh numbers indicate how much energy can be stored by the battery. The larger the number, the higher the amount of energy the battery holds and the longer it will take to charge.

So, a 2,400 mAh holds more energy than a 1,300 mAh. A 1,300 mAh holds more energy than the 1,000 mAh.

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