NiCD vs NiMH Battery: Which One is Best for Solar Lights?

Solar lights are a good source of lighting that not just lightens up our surroundings but is also very affordable and saves a lot on electricity bills.

They have solar panels and smaller batteries that produce power from sunlight, and batteries store it for later use. NiCD and NiMH are two widely used batteries for solar lights, but could you replace them with each other or not? NiCD vs NiMH Battery you will find the answer below.

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Key Features of NiCD vs NiMH Battery for Solar Lights are given below

NiCD vs NiMH Battery


In comparison between NiCD vs NiMH battery for solar light, we found NiCD has low storage capacity compared to NiMH batteries. So for that reason, it may discharge quickly.


NiCD batteries produce less power as compared to NiMH batteries. NiCD batteries produce 150 W/kg power, while the NiMH batteries could produce between 250 to 1000 W/kg power. 


NiCD batteries perform better even at low temperatures and consistently perform with temperature fluctuations. But NiMH batteries were found less effective in low and high temperatures. 

Recharging Duration

While comparing their recharge period, we found due to low storage capacity, NiCD batteries could charge quickly, while NiMH batteries take more time to recharge.

Charge/Discharge Efficiency

NiCD and NiMH battery charger

Their charge or discharge efficiency is very closer to each other, but still, there is a difference. The rate of charge/ discharge of NiCD battery is 70 to 90 percent, while the NiMH battery is 66 to 92 percent. There is not much difference, and you can use them at each other’s place. 


Both of the batteries need maintenance, but NiMH needs less maintenance than NiMH. You need to check NiCD batteries maintenance between 30-60 days. But NiMH batteries need maintenance between 60 to 90 days.

Operating Temperature

As already discussed, NiCD can perform at the lowest temperature. The operating temperature range for the NiCD battery is -40 to 60 degrees C, while for the NiMH batteries, it is -40 to 60 Degrees C.

Life Span

NiCD batteries have more life span as compared to NiMH batteries. NiMH batteries have an average life of 5 years, but NiCD batteries could perform well for 15-20 years.

NiCD vs NiMH Batteries for Solar Lights – Quick Comparison Chart

Bases of ComparisonNiCDNiMH
CapacityLow storage capacity for chargingHigh storage capacity for charging
Power150 W/kg250–1,000 W/kg
PerformanceEfficiently perform at low temperaturePerformance may be got down on high temperatures during the warm days
Recharging durationFast chargingSlow charging
Charge or discharge efficiency70-90 percent66-92 percent
MaintenanceRequire maintenance after 30 to 60 daysRequire maintenance after 60 to 90 days
Operating Temperature-40 to 60 degrees C-20 to 60 degrees C
Life span15-20 years5 years


1. Can You Charge a NiMH Battery with a Nicad Charger?

Answer: In general, it is not recommended that you charge a NiMH battery with a Nicad charger. It will work, but it will take a long time, and the battery will end up not lasting as long as it should have.

Nickel-cadmium batteries are different from Nickel-metal-hydride batteries in that they require a higher charge. If the charge is too low, the battery may need to be replaced or re-charged or both

2. Can I Replace a NiCd Battery with a NiMH?

Answer: NiCd and NiMH batteries are interchangeable for many electronic devices. By swapping NiCd batteries for NiMH batteries, you may lose a life and may even experience short-circuit or power loss. Nickel-zinc (NiZn) or nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) may also exhibit different characteristic symptoms.

3. What is the Best Battery to Use? NiMH or Nicad?

Answer: NiMH battery is more expensive than a Nicad battery and it does not last as long, but it is lighter and has a longer shelf life. The second flashlight Nicad battery battery has a lower shelf life and is heavier, but it lasts longer than a NiMH battery with the same amount of charge.

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NiCD and NiMH batteries are widely used for solar lights and also possible to replace. NiCD batteries have fast charging speed, better operation features with inconsistent temperatures and long life. While the NiMH batteries provide more power, last for longer, and produce brighter light.

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