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Keeping flashlight batteries alive??

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Curio Bill, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Curio Bill

    Curio Bill

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    This may seem a silly question, but how can you keep flashlight batteries "alive" once you install them in the flashlight?? It seems whenever I install new batteries I promptly put the flashlight away & the batteries are dead when I later reach for it, essentially just wasting my money on batteries that just drain out while sitting there. Any ideas besides just NOT installing them?? Thanks, Bill
     
  2. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    Couple options.

    A piece of electrical tape between two cells will help. You'd have to disassemble and take the tape off but that's easy.

    You could buy flashlights that are known to have an extremely low parasitic drain. It sounds as if your flashlight might have a high parasitic drain. Some just do. I have a battery-powered lantern that has high parasitic drain (partly due to the little LED it flashes every couple of seconds so you can find it in the dark). Inexpensive lights found at the big-box stores are generally the big offenders, here.

    You could ditch alkalines and use Eneloop rechargeables, which don't leak even if stored in a flashlight, but they'd run down faster than an alkaline, probably.

    You could use single-cell flashlights that don't have the problems that two-cell lights do. This is particularly helpful if you're using leak-prone alkalines. There are now many good 1AA options, and with these, you don't have to worry about differentially-charged cells (which causes leaks).

    You could use lithium cells which are extremely long lasting and heat resistant.

    Or combine. Buy a nice 1AA low-parasitic Zebralight and put a lithium cell in it, you'd have a light that could compete in a "long lasting" competition.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012

  3. cowboy1964

    cowboy1964

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    And use lithiums. If your flashlight is actually draining the batteries even while off at least it will take a lot longer with lithiums.
     
  4. pipedreams

    pipedreams Member

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    You need to look into the shelf life of different types of batteries. Lithium batteries have the longest shelf life of common batteries but will cost more. Put the batteries in backwards till time to use if your worried about the light getting accidentally turned on. I have switched all my flashlights to LED lights, that guarantees more hours of use providing the light doesn't get accidentally left on. I have a LED flashlight with two AA lithium batteries in my desk drawer that going on two years and still works fine.
     
  5. Dexters

    Dexters

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    You shouldn't store batteries in a light you don't use often - they can leak and as others said there could be parasitic draining.

    Batteries have gotten better and leaking isn't as big a problem as in the past but why take the chance.
     
  6. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    Not only would the power leak, but regular alkalines can leak the acid inside if you leave it for too long... and you have to save the insides of your electronics before it gets too bad or else it's all corroded away. I found out the hard way a few times and now, aside from my regular use lights, I leave my other stuff empty until I need to use it.
     
  7. glockaviator

    glockaviator

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    Definition of a flashlight--place to store dead batteries.
     
  8. CitizenOfDreams

    CitizenOfDreams

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    The most important thing is to store fresh unused batteries. A new battery will stay good for years. A partially consumed battery will very likely leak after a few months.

    If your flashlight has a hard on/off switch, you can store it with batteries (again, fresh unused batteries). If it has a microcontroller that's constantly draining current, store the batteries separately.
     
  9. lwt210

    lwt210

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    I run lithium batts in all my flashlights. They have a very long shelf life (up to 10 years), won't leak, and have never failed me.

    I change them out every now and then (1-2 years) just for giggles.

    Most of my lights are Fenix and 4sevens. I have dozens ranging from AAA to AA to CR2 to CR123 cells. For the AA and AAA, I like the Energizer four packs of ultimate lithiums.

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Energizer-Ultimate-L91BP-4-Lithium-Batteries/dp/B00003IEME/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333462149&sr=8-1"]Amazon.com: Energizer Ultimate L91BP-4 Lithium AA Batteries, Pack of 4 Batteries: Electronics@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51fW5A9r0WL.@@AMEPARAM@@51fW5A9r0WL[/ame]

    For CR cells, 4sevens makes a good one as does Surefire.

    http://www.4sevens.com/product_info.php?cPath=53&products_id=1628

    I would never go with alkalines. It sounds like you are using heavy duty alkalines which will self drain over time and are known for leaking and destroying flashlights.

    For rechargeables, Sanyo Eneloops are highly regarded.


    Regards.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  10. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    Yes, heavy duty alkalines suck... I am going with Lithium from now on... these Eneloops, where do you get them? I have a few rechargeable Ni-MH but it seems like they don't hold a charge that long under heavy use compared to regular alkalines. The rechargeables are new and I drain them full everytime I recharge.
     
  11. lwt210

    lwt210

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    Eneloops are available online. When I inquired about them from those in the know, most folks recommended the batteries....but not the chargers.

    They recommended Maha chargers and some other brand I can't remember.

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Maha-Powerex-MH-C801D-Eight-Charger/dp/B000E5S648/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333477714&sr=8-1"]Amazon.com: Maha Powerex MH-C801D Eight Cell 1-Hr PRO AA/AAA Charger: Electronics@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31hTkdY7aiL.@@AMEPARAM@@31hTkdY7aiL[/ame]

    And thus, buying the Eneloops in bulk sans Sanyo charger.

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/SANYO-eneloop-Pre-Charged-Rechargeable-Batteries/dp/B005C2Z68M/ref=sr_1_18?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1333477736&sr=1-18"]Amazon.com: SANYO NEW 1500 eneloop 16 Pack AA Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries: Electronics@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KW6ICu63L.@@AMEPARAM@@51KW6ICu63L[/ame]

    Something about the charger conditioning the battery better and the fact that you could see the status of individual cells. I am not that knowledgeable about the rechargeable batts and am just going on what I remember being told. This should get you going on your quest and you can read the reviews and go from there.

    Good luck.
     
  12. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    Look for the multi-pack with charger, reliably on sale at Costco near the holidays.
     
  13. pipedreams

    pipedreams Member

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    Rechargeable batteries work great in any device you use regularly but not good for any device that may sit in a drawer for several weeks at a time. I use rechargeable batteries in my camera flash that takes four AA batteries and quite pleased. Have not used the Eneloops batteries but have several sets of the Powerex 2700mAh NiMH Rechargeable AA Batteries by Maha and they are excellent. Maha makes a good selection of chargers and batteries that I have been using for the past ten years. http://www.mahaenergy.com/store/viewitem.asp?idproduct=415

    You can buy all the Maha products directly. I have the MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer and it will refresh & analyze old batteries or ones that have been sitting unused for a while.
    http://www.mahaenergy.com/store/viewItem.asp?idProduct=423
    Bit pricey but works great
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  14. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    Thanks for the info!

    Anyone have experience with the chargers that claim to charge regular non-rechargeable batteries like alkalines?
     
  15. Paul53

    Paul53 Geezer Boomer

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    Pay close attention to the wording on packaging to get the most appropriate batteries. If a package refers to electronics, the batteries will last longest in a low current application and are quickly toast in a high current one such as flashlight use.

    I'm all for keeping batteries packaged with but not in flashlights.
     
  16. Akita

    Akita gone

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  17. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    Huh -- that's not my experience with Eneloops but maybe you're talking the non-LSD types. I use LSD Eneloops in all my long-term storage things, such as TV remote, Smoke Detector, etc., and one reason I do is I don't worry about "alkaline leakage."

    Do they last AS LONG as alkalines in seldom-used items? Probably not, but not enough difference to motivate me to use alkalines, or pay the premium for lithiums.

    Somewhat OT, but are you folks familiar with the hi-performance Lithium rechargeables, such as 18650s? They're great, but at the same time, a little dangerous. I've seen guys with blown off fingers from a flashlight using 18650s, and no way would I use one in a headlamp...but that's just me. Zebralight makes a wildly popular 18650 headlamp that is BRIGHT and LONG LASTING. I just can't bring myself to use it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  18. TunaFisherman

    TunaFisherman Halibut Hunter

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    First buy a quality light. I buy stream light c4 LED. I never have battery issues
     
  19. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

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    Don't try ta recharge non rechargeables,bad juju.'08. :shocked:
     
  20. pipedreams

    pipedreams Member

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    In my earlier post I did state I was not familiar with the Eneloops batteries, I made a general statement about most rechargeable batteries. The Eneloops batteries must be similar to the Imedion batteries by Maha which claim they can be stored for a extended period of time without substantial loss of power.
    http://www.mahaenergy.com/store/viewItem.asp?idProduct=426