I am messing around with some solar landscape lights to improve their capabilities. I have gutted their internal workings and replaced them with small neopixel light boards and connected them all back to a controller that runs them all individually. The system being run off an Arduino Mega connected to a Raspberry Pi and 6v/20aH SLA battery.
Each of the landscape lights has an embedded solar panel that puts out about 2.4v/45mA in bright sun. Considering that there are about 35 lights altogether, it seemed like a good amount of power that was being wasted that could be being used in the recharge period. I was curious if it's worth anything to connect the panels back to some kind of regulator circuit and use it to supplement the battery recharging.
I don't have a lot of design experience with solar panels or the finer points of battery recharging, so I was hoping to get a little guidance on a suggested approach. Things like: Is it better to wire the panels in series or parallel? Or would I need some sort of regulator circuit. Or is it even worth bothering with at all? Anyone have any thoughts?