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Batteries: Standard or rechargeable?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by aphex2k, May 5, 2010.

  1. aphex2k

    aphex2k Loaded Pockets

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    Just popped in my last 2 Surefire CR123's into my P3D.Q5 - a flashlight that lives in my Camelbak permanently.

    Was looking around for a deal on another box of them but wondered if maybe I should be thinking of a decent set of rechargeables and a quality charge unit, or just stick with the disposable? I've always felt that standard batteries last that little bit longer, and hey, who wants to carry around a spare set of rechargables on the off chance that when you do need to switch to them, they're dead or last about ten minutes.

    So, put this one out to the forum members for some words of wisdom.
     
  2. Ajax

    Ajax Loaded Pockets

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    I use rechargeables in the daily users with an off-the-shelf battery backup.

    No alkalines...ever.

    If you're a heavy user and are going through batteries weekly then it might be worth the up front cost to get a recharging rig. Store bought CR123s are ridiculously expensive.
     
  3. jp2515

    jp2515 Loaded Pockets

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    Most of my lights are either AA or CR123 powered. For the AA lights, I'm slowly in the process of changing them out from alkaleaks to L91 lithium or Eneloop rechargeable batteries. As for CR123 I have a large number of Fenix & Surefires that use CR123 and I have a source for them at a great price so I keep using them.
     
  4. storl

    storl Loaded Pockets

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    If you get some decent ones from a reputable manufacturer, they will last almost as long as primaries. On lights larger than the P3D that can handle 18650s, you will see even better battery life.

    I use rechargeables in all of my display lights simply because of cost. If it is a glovebox light that you only use once every six months, stick to primaries. If you are using the light on a daily or semi-regular basis, do the math and see if rechargeables will save you money in the long run. Most are rated for up to 500 charges, so you have plenty of time to make them pay for themselves.
     
  5. LightChaser

    LightChaser Empty Pockets

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    I keep my EDC running on rechargeable batteries, but have both rechargeable and primary cells as spares. The lights I use less often run on primary cells.
    - LD10 (1xAA) - EDC, RF pocket: Eneloop inside + Eneloop & Energizer L91 lithium in the bag
    - E01 (1xAAA) - EDC but rarely used, keychain / LF pocket : L92 lithium inside + spare in the bag
    - G2 (2x123A) - rarely used, inside bag: 2 primary cells inside + 2 cells in the bag

    Since the Eneloops are LSD cells, I don't have to worry too much about having a dead spare. In any case, I rotate the cells every month or so, and I still have the primary lithium as another backup.
     
  6. carrot

    carrot Loaded Pockets

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    I keep a healthy mix of Lithium-ion rechargeable and Lithium primaries around. I also keep a reasonably large stock of alkaline AAs and AAAs in case I don't have any Eneloop NiMH handy. It is good to have a mix. If you are finding yourself burning through batteries quickly (replace every couple of days or less) then Lithium-ion is a good investment, otherwise it may not be.
     
  7. ky70

    ky70 Loaded Pockets

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    Pretty much the same for me. As mush as I like to "play" with my lights, rechargebles are must for me (cost-wise).

    Here is my EDC setup:
    Zebralight SC50 - 14500 li-on in light, 2 "dura loop" nihm for backup
    Quark Mini 123 - LifeP04 rcr123 li-on in light, 2 CR123 for backup
    Eagletac T100C2 - 18650 li-on in light, 2 CR123 for backup
    Romisen NC-A4 X - RCR123 li-on in light, 2 RCR123 for backup
     
  8. NeonLights

    NeonLights Loaded Pockets

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    I use AA and AAA rechargeable batteries in other devices around the house, but the only rechargeables I use in flashlights are lights that have their own proprietary battery, like my SL Strion and PolyStinger, and Tigerlight. Those are my main house and garage lights, and get used pretty often. Any light I carry on my person or keep in my car gets lithium primary cells, either AAA, AA, or 123. I have a few lights that still run on alkalines, but those are mostly C or D cell lights, which don't have convenient rechargeable or lithium options. I don't go through a lot of batteries though, even though I have dozens of lights, I don't "play" with them much. I view them as tools to perform a specific task: provide light when needed.
     
  9. Red Horn

    Red Horn Loaded Pockets

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    Rechargables all day long. Main attraction for me is that they can be topped-off. Primaries will go out at some point and with a rechargeable you generally know how much juice is available. I for one would be one of those users that will have a primey dump at the most inopportune moment. Primeys are good as back-ups though.

    Big fan of Eneloops, MAHA chargers, AW protected cells and Pila IBC Li-Ion charger
     
  10. pwatcher

    pwatcher Empty Pockets

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    I think it mostly depends on your usage - if your primaries typically last a month, the cost in rechargeables and charger will take quite some time to pay back if you buy your primaries right (at about $1.25 or less each).

    But if you are changing your batteries every week, then rechargeables start to make more sense. Primaries require less attention and time babysitting your charger, even a good one like Pila.

    Like most things, it's a tradeoff!
     
  11. Helstar

    Helstar Loaded Pockets

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  12. enki_ck

    enki_ck Loaded Pockets

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    Use rechargeable ones. They’ll be the best investment you’ll ever make. I still have a pair of NiCd 300mAh AAA batteries I bought 9 or 10 years ago. I use them in my bike taillight (the red blinking one) and are still keeping a good charge. There are some good NiMg, but the Sanyo Eneloops rule. And all rechargeables pay for themselves, presuming you don’t lose them. :mad:

    Not to mention, and I can’t believe I’m the first one to mention this, it saves the environment. :highfive:
     
  13. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    • In Omnia Paratus

    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    For a bug out bag or kit, lithium primaries last a long time and do not need top-off charges. For a light that you use heavily, rechargeables make a lot of sense.
     
  14. Gryffin
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gryffin Loaded Pockets

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    Doesn't have to be either/or. I carry both: rechargeables in the lights I use, as well as some spare rechargeables if I think I'm gonna need 'em; but I also keep lithium primaries in the WTSHTF bag, for when I really REALLY need charged cells.
     
  15. S.E.G

    S.E.G Loaded Pockets

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    If your using it every day, rechargeable's are the way to go.
     
  16. ACHË

    ACHË Loaded Pockets

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    Well if you use them enough to deplete your cells, then rechargeables are the way to go... But you can have the best of both worlds by using both.

    You can keep the rechargeable cell loaded on your light and normally thats the cell that gets depleted.

    In case of an emergency or simply an extended use scenario then you could have primaries ready to go and benefit from their long shelf life & negligible discharge rate.

    [​IMG]

    I carry a loaded AW cell on most of my lights but keep primaries as backups.
    [​IMG]
    The CR123's shown are primaries but the on-board cells are rechargeables
     
  17. Gryffin
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gryffin Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah, that's essentially what I do, except that I'll bring along some extra rechargeables if I think I'll need to change batteries.

    The problem with primaries is, you can't "top them off"; so if you don't use them up, you don't really know what's left.

    Let's say I use my light pretty heavily one day: I use up the rechargeables, pull 'em out and drop in the back-up primaries, then use the light for another hour or so. When I get home, the rechargeable cells go into the charger and are ready to go back into the light in the morning; but what do I do with the primaries? I don't want to put them back in the bag as back-ups, since I know they're partly depleted, and wouldn't want to rely on them in an emergency; but throwing them away is pretty wasteful, too.

    That's why I'll carry some extra rechargeables if I think I might need them. The primaries are for emergencies.
     
  18. Perfectful

    Perfectful Banned

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    yes ,you are right ,the batteries you use all depend on which you want get ,the AA battery is more convenient,you can get it easyly ,and it aslo my first choose !
     
  19. Geoffrey

    Geoffrey Loaded Pockets

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    I try to buy all electronic devices that use AA batteries. I pretty much exclusively use Eneloops, however the new Quark lights are making me think pretty hard about adding a few 14500 and a Pila charger to my inventory.
     
  20. soli

    soli Loaded Pockets

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    I use pretty much all rechargeable batteries. AA Eneloops, AW RCR123. I do have a few primaries knocking around, in particular Energizer Lithium CR123 and 4Sevens CR2's. Personally the reason for rechargeables for me is it works out cheaper. To give an example, I picked up 2 AW RCR123 and an UltraFire WF138 (Mailorder) for almost the same price as 2 Energizer CR123 (local store).