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Currently Firefly Magic® Firefly Lights continue to use Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries in the Solar Powered models rather than the newer Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries.

We receive questions about this as NI-Cd batteries are becoming more difficult to source, and they are marked as toxic, due to a small amount of Cadmium sealed inside. Because of this, Ni-Cd batteries should be recycled, or disposed of at special waste centers that accept products like fluorescent light tubes, old TV picture tubes, and computers.

So why are we still using them? Simply put, Ni-Cd batteries are far more reliable than NiMH batteries in the harsh outdoor environments where Firefly Magic® Firefly Lights are typically installed. Whether its in an Arizona desert landscape where battery temperatures can reach 140°F in the summer, or below 0°F in the Canadian winter, Ni-Cd batteries have proven to work consistently and last for up to two years.

On the other hand, NiMH batteries have developed a very bad reputation for reliability in outdoor lighting products. NiMH rechargeable batteries sometimes last only a few weeks in extreme hot and cold seasons.

We're always concerned about our customers and the environment and we know that if recycled correctly, Ni-Cd batteries do not pose a threat to either.

To further explain the differences between the two battery types, please review the chart below:


Nickel Cadmium
(Used in Firefly Magic® products)

Nickel Metal Hydride

- Reliable and Stable
- Resists abuse
- Can have high discharge rates
- Can be used over wide temperature range of -20C to +60C reliably

- Higher energy density than Ni-Cd


- Cadmium is toxic requiring recycling

- Poor low temperature performance & can be damaged if charged in sub-zero temperatures
- Poor high temperatures performance as charging efficiency drops to 25% when hot
- Low cycle life
- Can require new charger or upgrade
- Higher internal resistance causing more rapid voltage drop
- Higg self discharge rate (while stored)


Alkaline batteries use electrochemistry to produce electrical power that can operate the "Fireflies' electronic circuits and light up the patented 'Firefly LED'.

Alkaline battery chemistry is commonly used by Duracell and Energizer batteries, where the electrodes are zinc and manganese-oxide, with an alkaline electrolyte.

The AA Alkaline battery can have approximately 2100-2500 mAh (milliamp hours) stored capacity when new.

This is important as all AA batteries produce approximately 1.5 Volts when new, but the current rating in mAh tells how long they'll last. That is how long they'll operate the 'Fireflies'.

Because Firefly Magic® uses their own patented technical methodology to make the "fireflies' operate so realistically, the amount of power (Voltage x current = power in Watts) they use has been efficiently reduced. This means the model FMS-14 unit with fourteen 'Fireflies' can operate continuously on just two (2) AA batteries for approximately 4 weeks. While the model FMS-07 with seven 'Fireflies' can operate continuously for over 6 weeks.

Of course if you turn the 'Fireflies' off during the day, the two AA Alkaline batteries will last even longer.

While using standard AA Alkaline batteries gives complete flexibility for having 'Fireflies' virtually anywhere, it is important to never leave dead batteries in the unit. This is because the electrochemical reaction that produces electricity inside the battery can also produce acid when the battery is depleted. This acid is corrosive and if it leaks out of the battery case will permanently damage everything it touches, especially metal contacts.

This is why it is critical to never leave dead Alkaline batteries in your Firefly Magic® Firefly Lights unit.



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