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
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
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
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 further explain the differences between the two battery
types, please review the chart below:
(Used in Firefly Magic® products)
- 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
- Cadmium is toxic requiring
- 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
- Can require new charger or upgrade
- Higher internal resistance causing more rapid
- Higg self discharge rate
Alkaline batteries use electrochemistry
to produce electrical power that can operate the "Fireflies'
electronic circuits and light up the patented 'Firefly
Alkaline battery chemistry is commonly
used by Duracell and Energizer batteries, where the
electrodes are zinc and manganese-oxide, with an alkaline
The AA Alkaline battery can have approximately
2100-2500 mAh (milliamp hours) stored capacity when
This is important as all AA batteries
produce approximately 1.5 Volts when new, but the current
in mAh tells how long they'll last. That is how long
they'll operate the 'Fireflies'.
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
This is why it is critical to never leave
dead Alkaline batteries in your Firefly Magic® Firefly
- NEVER LEAVE DEAD ALKALINE BATTERIES IN THE UNIT
AS THEY WILL DEGRADE AND POSSIBLY LEAK ACID, CAUSING
PERMANENT DAMAGE NOT COVERED BY WARRANTY.