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What's your favorite battery type and why?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by Kristina Cay, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. Kristina Cay

    Kristina Cay Loaded Pockets

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    AAA, AA, cr123, 18650..there are a lot of battery types out there. Which size is your favorite and why?
     
  2. cole3418

    cole3418 Loaded Pockets

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    My favorite is AA because they are cheaply acquirable anywhere. And also everything I own that uses batteries uses the AA size.
     
  3. Blackheart

    Blackheart Loaded Pockets

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    Seconded. The AA is the common denominator of batteries. I stick to battery types that one can find at the Quickie-Mart and, if I had to, I could swap batteries between my lights, radio, camera, and the 4xAA battery charger I keep in my bag that will also charge my cell phone from the batteries.
     
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  4. Water-Rat

    Water-Rat Loaded Pockets

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    I like AAAs because of they allow for a very narrow flashlight. My AAA lights are barely noticeable in my pocket. I do like AAs for my larger lights as AAAs only have so much power. They both are easily available, making it easy to find replacements at most stores, or even to raid other devices for spares.
     
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  5. adnj

    adnj Loaded Pockets

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    I switched to LiIon a long time ago. For what I carry, the 18650 works very well since I use a flashlight about 30 minutes each day at home.
     
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  6. Dustin.G

    Dustin.G Loaded Pockets

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    if i was going to use only one battery size id go with AA, for the typical reason people give. Size, availability, everything uses them.

    But i do like cr123 lights a lot. nice midground for size/brightness.
     
  7. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    Used to consolidate all gadgets around the AA Eneloop platform, but I got into battery MacGyvering which allows for power swapping among my gadgets of different platforms, so it doesn't matter much anymore - I can use any battery to get power where I need it.

    As a low lumen guy, a 16340 can last me ~75 hrs or so, but I like running a 16650 cell since it can fully charge my smartphone, and also fit any type of AAA/AA/CR123 cell in a pinch.
     
  8. TKC

    TKC Loaded Pockets

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    CR123. They have a long shelf life, excellent brightness for my needs. CR123's serve me quite well.
     
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  9. twoisone
    • In Omnia Paratus

    twoisone EDC Junkie!!!

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  10. david57strat

    david57strat EDC Junkie!!!

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    Of my 77 lights, 44 of them (using 55 batteries) are running on 18650 lithium ions, which are, by far, my number one choice for high performance flashlight batteries, for these reasons:

    1. Unsurpassed performance.
    2. Best run times.
    3. Economy of use (in the long run) - barely pennies a day, to re-charge (top off), and I always have fully charged lights, ready to go. (It helps that I have a dozen chargers lol, so I can charge up a bunch of batteries simultaneously, and reasonably quickly.
    4. Ease of charging, on the go (car chargers, travel chargers, etc.), less often than I would need to, using AA batteries.
    5. Far more environmentally friendly than constantly throwing away primary (mainly alkaline) batteries.
    6. Guilt-free lumens :D :p
    My second favorite, based solely on lights that I have, would be AA - and that's a very distant second.

    I'm running 9 AA lights, on 28 batteries, most all of which are NiMhs. To get any kind of serious output out of an AA light, you have to use a light that runs on multiple batteries. Economy of use and better performance (as opposed to the dreaded alkalines batteries) are the main reasons I use NiMh's. Very low self-discharge on these, and they're really low maintenance. They perform a lot better than alkalines, in heavy use.

    I'm afraid I just don't buy into that "easy battery to get a hold of, in an emergency" belief that many seem to cling to. I believe, in an emergency, that people will trample over each other, just to grab the last of the "common" batteries off of the shelves, and I refuse to be among those people. I have what I need, in an easy-to-reach place, without ever having to step foot out of my house.

    I have plenty of 18650 lights, and it would be very unlikely to ever run out of lights to keep things lit up for at least a week - even without a charging source, in the event of an extended power failure, or other unforeseen emergency.

    I also generally EDC at least five lights (sometimes as many as ten, or more, if I'm carrying a pack), and most of them run on 18650 batteries, so I can always keep them fueled up, when needed. Just as a standard practice, if I'm going to be spending a day somewhere, and using a lot of lights, I'll carry at least two VC2 Plus chargers with me, and I can charge, at will - at the site, or in my car.

    I'm religious about charging all of my batteries at regular intervals, so being out of battery power has never seemed to be an issue. As soon as I get my hands on some sort of portable solar charging system, I'll be able to keep my batteries going (lithium ion, especially), for any batteries/flashlights I may have used during the course of a day, without ever having to worry about whether or not any more batteries can be found in any store, and all my bases will be covered. In the meantime, I keep a good stock of fully-charged 18650 and AA batteries, so I'm good to go, in the event of any near future emergencies.
     
    Last edited by david57strat, Apr 21, 2016
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  11. david57strat

    david57strat EDC Junkie!!!

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    I made the same transition over to lithium ion batteries, about four years ago, and haven't purchased a single alkaline or CR123 battery, since. No regrets. I was spending a fortune on constantly having to replace CR123 batteries, and just got fed up of doing that; so...
     
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  12. IHateBottleOpeners

    IHateBottleOpeners EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I mostly like cr123's and integrated batteries (like on the Nitecore Tube or 18560/cr123 on some USB rechargeable lights), I don't like to unscrew, take the battery out, put fresh one if I have, screw back on, look in my drawers trying to find the charger, bla, bla, bla, I need to: put on the light on it's charging dock or the USB in the light and sop worrying if the O-ring is greased, or it's full of dust etc.
     
  13. jcwagers

    jcwagers Loaded Pockets

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    My last few lights have all been 18650 lights. Before that, I was definitely a AA and AAA user. I still think that AA and AAA lights are great and have no issues with them. I was always skeptical about 18650s. A lot of it was simply due to not researching and getting a good grasp of the benefits. 18650 batteries are a lot like rechargeable AA or AAA batteries. They are an investment up front but they are an investment that you can use over and over again. As was mentioned earlier, they offer a great deal more power and lumens than AA or AAA lights in the same size. As David stated, the performance is there and you won't get the same performance without using several AAs together. Also, the runtime is really nice. If you need the power, you have it. If you don't, you'll get more runtime at a similar lumen to a AA light from the 18650. To give an example, I have an LD20 that uses 2 AA batteries. That light puts out 180-200 lumens for a claimed 2 hrs on the brightest setting. My PD35tac that I have claims around 8.5 hrs at 200 lumens. Plus, if I need to go higher, I have that option. If not, I can keep it at 200 or even go lower to whatever setting is appropriate. As a result, this has shifted my focus to 18650 lights for my last 3 purchases (PD35tac, UC35, Olight S2 Baton). However, I'll pretty much always be a fan of the Streamlight Stylus Pro, Fenix E12, and Fenix E01. If I was going to carry an 18650 light for my main light, I would compliment that with a AA light like the E12 or maybe even a backup of a backup and keep an E01 as well. Definitely nothing wrong with AA and AAA lights but it can be fun to experiment with lights that take other batteries as well. :) Just my .02...
     
  14. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    My preference is for my EDC flashlight to run on a single AA (Thrunite Archer 1Av2). My house and car flashlights (Thrunite TN4A') run on 4AA batteries. Why?, because as some of the others have already said, they're easy to find anywhere if need be, economical, and plenty powerful enough while also maintaining decent runtimes. Also Eneloop AA rechargeables work very good, and so I don't mind using my lights (whereas, it seems like I was always trying to conserve my EDC CR123 flashlight battery).
     
    Last edited by dmattaponi, Apr 21, 2016
  15. adnj

    adnj Loaded Pockets

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    Alkaline and LiIon have about the same energy density. But because of the volume of an 18650 vs an AA (14500) you just have about the energy of two AA batteries in a single battery that is just a little fatter and just a little longer. I still use 16350 LiIon batteries in my smaller lights but I just don't bother to carry those anymore.

    I switched to nimh rechargeable for anything that can take AA or AAA just because I keep forgetting to take them out and they leak.
     
  16. Mumbojumboo
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    Mumbojumboo EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I hate to say this but I need them all .... for different reasons. Run time, power, size.

    [​IMG]mumbo lights 2 by mumbojumboo, on Flickr

    If I had to pick...AA.
     
  17. les snyder

    les snyder Loaded Pockets

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    when I standardized my hurricane lighting and electronics after the 2004 hurricane season, AA Eneloops were my choice...I do have a 12vdc deep discharge trolling motor battery for my digital portable TV and fans, stock some D cells for the MagLIghts and ceiling fan motor, couple of 18650s for one llight, but I was looking at other electronics in addition to lights when I decided on AAs...Goal Zero 7w panel, and other charging options

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Rob Babcock

    Rob Babcock Loaded Pockets

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    CR123A for me. Most of my lights run on them and I feel they're more durable and reliable than rechargeables, especially the protected kind. My second choice would probably be the Titanium Innovations 14505 lithium 3v cell. It's the same exact size as an AA but double the voltage (it's basically a CR123a in an AA form factor).
     
  19. O_G

    O_G Loaded Pockets

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    AAA

    -Small
    -Easy to get
    -Bright enough
     
  20. Swe_Nurse

    Swe_Nurse Loaded Pockets

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    18650

    Best compromise between size and output power/run time I've seen. While I love small AAA/AA lights I would choose an 18650 if I had to settle for one light, it can be carried (somewhat) comfortably in any pocket or bag, has decent run time and output. The fact that it is rechargeable also adds to it, especially if the light has an integrated charger since USB ports are even more common than AAA/AA batteries.