Can You Use Battery Operated Lights Outside? (A Guide)

If you’re asking this question, that means you have noticed that battery-powered lights do not produce as much brightness as plug-in main powered lights.

A  typical flashlight requires AA batteries. These batteries are so powerful that 3 of them can easily power 40 LED bulbs. Although mains powered lights are more efficient, batteries are convenient. 

An AA battery comes with about 1.5 volts installed. If you want your LEDs to be brighter, you will have to combine multiple AA batteries. LEDs are known to suck all the power they can get. 

This is the primary reason why LEDs blow up when exposed to excessive power. When combining your batteries, you have to be conscious of the fact that excess voltage isn’t good for your light. 

Outdoor rating

After selecting a reliable battery for your outdoor lights. You will have to find an outdoor rated bulb. Battery powered bulbs that are rated for outdoor use, will be safe when used outside. 

On the other hand, if the bulbs are not outdoor rated, you might experience electrical hazards, and poor lighting. 

“Outdoor rated” means that the bulb has satisfied a higher level of safety criteria, typically IP ratings, and the battery pack as well as the strand of lights or casing have been deemed weatherproof or weather resistant.

IP or “Ingress Protection” rating indicates a light bulb’s level of protection against dust and water. The rating typically consists of two numbers: the first digit indicates the level of protection against dust, and the second against water.

The higher the rating, the more dust and waterproof a light bulb is. 

How long will my bulbs remain illuminated?

A major issue that comes to mind is the battery life. If I use battery powered lights outside, how long will my batteries last. 

Today, there are lots of battery powered lights that promise up to a year in battery life. This is only true if your lights are turned on for a specific number of hours per day.

When selecting a battery powered light, do not just focus on the claimed battery life. Try to find out how long the battery can maintain a standard of illumination for each day. 

If you want to use battery powered as outdoor security lights, then you will need an assurance of  at least 12 hours of daily illumination. 

However, if your concern is on lights for your evening walks and the like, a light source with a daily illumination rating of 3 hours might suit your needs.

In addition, battery powered lights also shine during the day. The only difference is with battery powered lights, you might need to use bright colours such as pink for better effect. 

Why battery powered lights

For decades, the world has experienced immense technological advancements. Technology has made loving easier for all of mankind, but that ease came at a cost. 

The combustion of fossil fuels (the energy source that powered the industrial revolution), led to the degradation of our environment. 

Today, the world is taking steps to decrease the reliance, and use of fossils. However, we can’t just stop using them out of the blue, our living habits depend on energy consumption. 

We need alternative energy sources to power our newly found lifestyles. As far as lighting is concerned, we can use batteries as a power source for our light bulbs. 

In the past, batteries were not a reliable option. However, a lot of advancements have been made in battery technology in recent times. Today, we have more sustainable options. 

There are numerous benefits of using batteries to power your outdoor lights. The first on the list is the fact that by using batteries, you won’t be adding more wastes to the environment. 

Other benefits are related to battery powered LEDs. Battery powered LEDs require very little voltage for operation and produce little to no heat. As a result, these bulbs can be used anywhere. 

In addition, LEDs are easy to use and install, and they produce very bright lights which come in multiple colours. 

However you will have to go outside each time you want to turn them on and off. This is an inconvenience for most people, but if you want to use these battery powered LEDs as security lighting, you have nothing to worry about.

The problem we had with batteries in the past is the same as the one we have today – they run out. The difference is they take more time to run out today. 

Outdoor light fixtures can still be powered by batteries. Despite their past inefficiencies, batteries are still relevant today. 

If you wish to use outdoor light fixtures to illuminate your yard, you can rest assured that batteries will do a great job. The ideas below will bring you up to speed on what batteries are meant to do today, this will guide your selection process whenever you want to get battery powered outdoor lights. 

Suitable batteries for outdoor lighting 

Conventional batteries



Although lights and battery cases are built to endure, batteries have to be replaced regularly. The battery life depends on the following factors:

  • The type and number of lights
  • The type of batteries they take
  • The freshness of the batteries

In general, the batteries will last upwards of 24 hours of usage, but will require more frequent changes in inclement weather, which can run batteries down faster.

If you opt for standard batteries, remember to properly dispose of them because they are not biodegradable.

Because they have to meet stricter safety requirements, you will often find a smaller selection of colours and shapes for outdoor rated lights than you would for indoor rated battery-operated fairy lights.

Rechargeable batteries


The major cause of concern when it comes to using batteries to power lights is batteries run out. As a solution to this problem, people are known to stack up dozens of replacement batteries. 

The question is; what if the batteries run out when you’re asleep at night? The primary purpose of outdoor lights is security. Stacking up store-bought disposable batteries is not a reliable solution. 

A reliable solution will be the use of rechargeable batteries. Most of these rechargeable options can be charged while in use. This ensures that the battery never runs down. 

Rechargeable batteries for outdoor lights can be purchased in any hardware store.

You won’t regret switching to rechargeable batteries as power sources for your outdoor lights. These batteries are cost efficient. It will reduce the amount you spend on electricity every month. 

There are specific lights designed for rechargeable batteries. If you choose to make the switch, make sure that your lights are compatible with the rechargeable batteries you purchase. 

You can confirm from the customer care assistant at any hardware store. Your outdoor lights have to be compatible with the rechargeable batteries, in order for both to work efficiently. 

Solar powered batteries



Besides rechargeable batteries, we also have solar powered batteries. This is the ultimate lighting option.

Solar powered batteries were designed to curb out the major inefficiency of batteries. They were designed to last from dusk till dawn continuously. 

Whatever the task, solar batteries are up to it. They will perform just as well as any other lighting power source.

The fact that the lights will be placed outdoors is another reason why solar batteries are perfect for your outdoor lights. 

Solar cells need to be located outside because the get their energy from the sun, and that’s exactly where your solar batteries will be. 

Although solar batteries and rechargeable batteries have taken over the market, you don’t have to throw away your traditional batteries just yet. They will be useful if your solar or rechargeable batteries ever die out. 


There are certain things you want to avoid when placing any form of outdoor lighting.

These could lead to serious injuries, or destroy the set up of your outdoor lighting. Below is a list of precautions you need to take in order to avoid damages. 

Keep your yard organized. Keep a section for your wires, this section should be located away from all footpaths and doorways.

All light fittings should be firmly secured, and located far away from flammable substances. 


Batteries have come a long way. They have secured a place as contesting energy suppliers.

They can be used to light up any yard.

A couple of battery types were discussed in this article, and any of them will light up your yard.