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Lithium batteries for flashlights?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by doktarZues, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. doktarZues

    doktarZues I'm anti-anti

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    I've done some (unscientific) testing and the lithiums definitely last longer than alkalines with LED flashlights, but nothing like 3x or 4x longer which is how much more expensive the lithiums are over regular alkaline.

    So my curiosity would like to poll the GT trust to see who uses lithiums in their flashlights, who doesn't, and any compelling reasons/opinions why. I was about to buy some bulk batteries and I think I'm going to go exclusively lithiums from here on out..reason being, I've had one too many "explosions" of alkalines that sat too long in a flashlight, and I've even had alkaline batteries "explode" in an unopened pack that was only a few years old. Seems the dependability/shelf life of the lithiums is in itself worth the extra money, plus they last a little longer.

    What do you guys feed your AA and AAA flashlights?
     
  2. woodasptim

    woodasptim

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  3. michael e

    michael e

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    Work buys my batteries. So what ever they have when I need is what I use.
    Think it is usually whatever our place has on sale because it is something diffrent every month.
     
  4. CitizenOfDreams

    CitizenOfDreams

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    For everyday carry - Energizer Recharge, or any other LSD NiMH.

    For emergency storage - Harbor Freight alkaline.
     
  5. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

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    Both the Sanyo Eneloops and GP Recykos are awesome batteries.
     
  6. harlenm

    harlenm Millennium Member

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    If you buy them from batteryjunction they are barely over $1 each, so they are pretty close in price to AA or AAA batteries.

    posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
     
  7. harlenm

    harlenm Millennium Member

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  8. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    Until I bought my Stenlight, I used Lithium in all my caving lights. I still use lithium in the backup LED lights that I always carry on a trip. You are playing you bet your life on a light down there.

    Reasons: long shelve life, longer run time. I don't like opening a light up in the sometimes horribly muddy/humid conditions frequently found in a cave to change batteries. Generally with good quality LED lights and lithium I could get 12 hours or more of good light and several more hours of useable, but not as bright light out of a set of batteries. On most trips that would get me out of the cave without a battery change on my primary light.

    Of course with the Stenlight, that is no longer a factor.
     
  9. sns3guppy

    sns3guppy

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    Lithium last longer, and don't decay the same as regular batteries. They don't cause problems if left in the light or device. They're more compact. They're not as affected by temperature variations.

    I use CR123 batteries in my lights, and carry spares when I'm in the field or on the road.
     
  10. RayB

    RayB Retired Member

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    You nailed it! :wavey:

    Longer life and zero bursted batteries more than warrants the additional cost in my book—and they are way superior for use in my digital camera! :thumbsup:

    I recently bought a Fenix LD41 that uses four AA batteries. This is the household goto flashlight, and I wanted something that could use readily available batteries in a pinch, if I needed them. :dunno:

    --Ray
     
  11. RayB

    RayB Retired Member

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    I'm starting to see the CR123 batteries at more and more stores...

    Our three weapon lights, PD10 and PD22 all use CR123s...

    If you want maximum lumen output in a compact lamp, the CR123's are your power cells!

    It pays to buy these on line, and in quantity, since they have a great shelf life too! :thumbsup:

    --Ray
     
  12. Huaco Kid

    Huaco Kid

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    I'm not the expert, but in my experiences they tend to leak much more often than alkaline.

    Not much grinds my gears as much as seeing my expensive flashlights all gakked-up inside.
     
  13. Hummer

    Hummer Big Member

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    No scientific tests but I've gotten phenomenal performance from Energizer Lithium AA batteries in my Garmin Colorado handheld GPS. Instead of a 1.5 day burnout with alkaline batts, I'm getting 2-3+ weeks of use over more than a year, and they're still going! I'm using them in a couple flashlights and other devices now too, but can't report on the comparative performance yet.

    As far as CR123A lithiums, I prefer Surefire for longevity, the Titanium from Battery Junction are a close second, but the Battery Station units are not so good.
     
  14. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

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    I use Lithium batteries for most potentially critical-use devices, including most of my flashlights. Not only do they last longer, they work MUCH better in extreme cold, which is fairly common here in the Northern Plains.

    I've noticed some TV commercials touting a ten-year shelf-life for some alkaline batteries recently, and seen the same claims on the newest packaging for Durcell and Energizer cells. If this holds to be true, it will undercut one of the biggest advantages of the Lithium cells. However, any long-tern gains will greatly depend on how well they perform AFTER this extended storage. Stuff I've recently used for non-critical tasks that were 8-10 years past the "best used by" year were pretty weak sauce, lasting about half as long (or less) as current production items.
     
  15. sns3guppy

    sns3guppy

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    Titanium Innovations are Chinese batteries, and while they're some of the best of the Chinese Lithium batteries, they're still Chinese. I don't run the Chinese batteries in my flashlights. There IS a difference. Surefire and Duracell are US made, and perform better and last longer. I use Surefires in my equipment. It costs a little more, but I'm willing to pay it.

    Chinese batteries have proven inconsistent, and in some cases, dangerous. I won't use them.
     
  16. goldenlight

    goldenlight

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    First post for the win.

    NiMH batteries don't leak, ever, though you have to buy the low self discharge ones (LSD) so they will hold a good charge over time.

    Eneloops will hold 75% of full charge, a year after being charged.

    They are better than alkaline batteries in higher drain applications, like a high output LED flashlight. Alkaline batteries run down very quickly at high drain, where NiMH batteries will deliver a high current flow, and deliver their entire charge, at high or low drain.

    Eneloop NiMH rechargeable batteries are the very best, but there are a few other manufacturers that offer LSD NiMH batteries, now.

    One of the best things about using NiMH batteries, is if you aren't sure how much charge they have, you can put in new one(s), and just recharge the other batteries.

    In the long run, using NiMH cells will cost you far less money.

    Lithium primary batteries are very nice, but they are very expensive, too. I keep some in the flashlight in my car, since they have a 10 year or more shelf life, and they work well in cold temperatures.

    I don't use them in my every day carry flashlight: they are just WAY too expensive.
     
  17. cowboy1964

    cowboy1964

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    Yes, shelf life makes lithiums very desirable for preppers. I have lithium AAs for my radios. Most of my lights are CR123s and they are all lithium anyway.

    I do do rechargeables as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  18. The Hawk

    The Hawk

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    Another
     
  19. The Hawk

    The Hawk

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    Another vote for Sanyo Eneloops. My experience with them shows run time is fine and they are less expensive when you factor in recharging them.
     
  20. Steel Head

    Steel Head Tactical Cat

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    I use 123's and ni-mh's in my lights.
    The benefits of both have been covered here in other reply's.