1. Please update your bookmarks to use https://www.edcforums.com/
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

FYI - Potential safety issue with CR123A lithium batteries...

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by bigfoot, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. Lord Bear

    Lord Bear Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    13
    Thank you jp2515. I will start keeping better track of purchase date and battery "lots". Will start labelling future purchases.
     
  2. jjpody

    jjpody Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    After reading about violently-exploding lithium batteries in this thread and on candlepower forums, I decided to ditch lithium batteries from all my lights. I swapped out all the AA lithiums this weekend and definitely noticed an odor from many of them. Only one of my lights is CR123A, and unfortunately it's one of my favorites, a Streamlight Sidewinder Compact that I use as a headlamp for camping. Having it explode while clipped to my hat just doesn't seem appealing for some reason.
     
  3. jp2515

    jp2515 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,650
    Likes Received:
    94
    Lithium batteries if used in the right way are better than alkalines. You probably read all those stories about "exploding" or bulging batteries. After reading all those stories the most common issues were:

    According to my battery meter, this 1 cell is dead, I'll replace this one - Replace ALL the batteries at once. If not POOF! Lesson here is don't be stingy or use a single cell light.
    Putting a non rechargable CR-123 into a charger. NO NO NO! (read a few of those)

    Take those for what they are worth but if you are not getting the whole story, it makes the world flashlights less appealing (since rechargable li-ions fall into this category)

    After having some alkalines destroy a light, I think I'll be varying my mix of EDC lights.
     
  4. SeeThirty

    SeeThirty Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Because of the potential 'dangers' of CR123A cells, I always use matched sets in my Solarforce L2. It's just the smart thing to do, anyway. I do wish the average person had better, more obvious literature at hand, though. I don't mix cells as it is, but imagine if I did without knowing any better? And in a confined space. The pros that outweigh the 'cons' in lithium primaries are.. a) more consistent cold-weather performance, b) potentially more powerful (while remaining compact) lights, c) making their inventor a load of money. I don't personally think it matters which battery or light you use, as long as you're happy with it and it conforms to your needs. However, all my current 'carry' lights use CR123A. I don't buy them at the drugstore, though. That's brutally expensive. Get your lithiums from a RELIABLE manufacturer, but if spending cash is an issue, try to get them from a discount source. Mine are ALWAYS Energizers or Duracell. The only no-name cell in my light is a dummy spacer. My light is a 2-cell, but I put the dummy in there because I like the longer grip. Better retention in my bigger (clumsier?) hands. I've heard toxic fumes stories for a while now. I know a lot of people who mix and match, but so far no one I know personally has exploded a battery, but better safe than stink-bombed.
     
  5. saniterra

    saniterra Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,560
    Likes Received:
    590
    Good thing I don't use any products, edc or otherwise, that take more than 1 CR123.
     
  6. trull

    trull Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not new to the forum or EDC, but I am to high-powered lights. I found a great deal on a PM6 yesterday and I decided to take it. Now I find out that the batteries it uses are a potential danger. I understand that this may be something that may not, or may, happen. I have a two-year old son and another one on the way. What happens if they grab this light and it decides to have an issue? I have read this thread along with several on CPF and I am concerned, but i want to make sure that my concerns are warranted. My light came with 2 Duracell Ultra CR17345 batteries. According to the Duracell website these are Lithium 123 batteries. Should I be concerned about carrying this light around in my bag or on my person? If so, I need some suggestions on a good replacement that is safer. I don't want to have to worry about even the slightest possibility of a blow. Suggestions are very appreciated.
     
  7. etc

    etc Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    3
    The solution to unevenly discharged cells is simple - use a 1x123 lite.

    the other risk is, don't ever hit the cell - it will set on fire and a toxic fire at that.

    OTOH, you can use it to your advantage. If you ever need to have a fire started but have nothing available, take out a used CR123A and hit it with a rock while placed on a hard surface. It will burn a nasty fire for 30 seconds. Just don't inhale it as it's toxic smoke. But a neat just in case idea.

    Reason #1001 to pick Lithium CR123A cells... Reason #1 is, they will not freeze in cold weather like Alkalines.

    I haven't tried that with Lithium AA.
     
  8. etc

    etc Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    3
    If you want to be safe, the 100% sure way is to use a single 123 cell. I have a lite that uses a 5mm LED in a P60 module and that thing, while very dim at 5 lumens, runs for weeks. It will take cells that cannot power normal Surefire modules and discharge them down to nothing, a true battery vampire.
     
  9. Stoy

    Stoy Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    I use those batterys at work and that is some good info.
     
  10. thatotherguy

    thatotherguy EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1,559
    Likes Received:
    1,425
    FWIW when I have to change the batteries in my EDC light I always mark the cells with a sharpie so that this kind of stuff doesn't happen, or at least not as easily. I haven't had a problem yet. Knock on wood.
     
  11. neutrontech
    • The Omnia Paratus

    neutrontech Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,982
    Likes Received:
    1,752
    Oxygen is explosive too, but I don't see anyone holding their breath. There are dangers with everything, and a little common sense goes a long way. I think it's silly to ditch all one's CR123 cells just because of a few "horror" stories.
     
  12. 95yjinpa
    • The Omnia Paratus

    95yjinpa Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    641
    A few years back, my wife smelled something burning, a chemical smell, in our room, but couldn't find it. We searched a bit, and discovered it was coming from my drawer that I keep odds and ends in. I opened it, and my Zenon flashlight looked to be smoking! I picked it up, dropped it immediately, as it burned my hand, it was very hot. Grabbed it with a towel, and threw it outside. I assumed the batteries did something. I have another one, but keep a closer eye on it.
     
  13. EternityForest

    EternityForest Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    10
    My solution to the LiPo issue was just to stop using them entirely and switch to LiFePo4. LiFePo4 is what A123 uses for their very well respected batteries. Your capacity is maybe 25 to 30 percent less than a li-ion, but you get 4 times(!) the cycle life, and they are widely considered to be about as safe or a little safer than NIMH. I never heard of anyone having problems with them. I think they are better for the environment as well.
     
  14. photoboy2005

    photoboy2005 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    2,071

    I'm guessing it isn't much of an issue if you change both cells at the same time? I think I heard something like this about rechargeable AAs a while back.
     
    danogun likes this.
  15. emmett

    emmett Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, all, for the useful information