Have you ever wondered what type of battery can affect the performance of your flashlight? This basically means that if you use the ideal and recommended battery for your flashlight, your flashlight’s performance can go a long way. Our favorite battery type is the 18650 Lithium Type.
But how do you choose the best battery type for your flashlight? What things should you look out for? Don’t worry because, in this article, we’ll be explaining just that.
Before we dive deeper into that topic, though, do you know how batteries work?
How do flashlight batteries work?
Whether you use it on a flashlight, a remote control, or any other device, it works the same. We won’t be giving you the exact details on how it works because you can literally search for that and you’ll get thousands of results.
It is, however, enough to know that batteries store electrical energy; which then they convert to chemical energy, and is used and released when we trigger it. So, if your flashlight doesn’t have a battery, unless it has a rechargeable setting which stores energy, it won’t fire up.
In choosing the best battery type for your flashlight, it’s important to know what you need. There are a handful of battery types and I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with some of them. For us to help you, let’s divide the types of batteries into two: rechargeable batteries and one-time-use batteries.
If you want a battery that you don’t dispose after its first use, then you need to go for a rechargeable battery. However, one of the major drawbacks of using rechargeable batteries for your flashlight is that it takes time. You see, you won’t be able to properly use rechargeable batteries without it being fully charged.
Another is that it might not be as “powerful” as primary or disposable batteries. Rechargeable batteries are usually made to power-up a single device and in most cases, they’re not interchangeable.
Single use batteries
The major downside of these primary, disposable, or one-time-use batteries, on the other hand, is that you only get to use it once – it’s a waste. Although it bears more power than rechargeable batteries, you’d have to purchase batteries every now and then to power-up your flashlight.
Traditional disposable (one-time use) batteries
Traditionally, people use regular alkaline AA and AAA batteries for their flashlights. However, these batteries are one-time batteries only. Newer types of one-time batteries would be the CR123. It uses lithium and it actually is better for your device as it has a longer and a better shelf life, and it has a good performance in colder temperatures.
To put it simply, the more batteries, the more power it emits.
Its difference with a regular alkaline battery is that it slightly costs more. Again, the problem with a CR123 is it is disposable; it’s going to cost you more as you would need to purchase batteries when it dies out. Although it’s better for the health of your device overall, it’s still only for one-time use.
There are rechargeable cr123s (rcr123s) but they won’t be powering your flashlight longer than disposable ones because they have lower capacities. In fact, your flashlight will only last half as long when you use cr123s.
So if you’re looking for a cost-efficient way to power your flashlight, going with rcr123s would be what you need.
The good news is that there’s a battery that is both powerful and rechargeable: the 18650. The 18650 is a lithium-ion (li-on) battery that usually fits in all types of light that the cr123 fits into. It basically can be dubbed as “perfection” in terms of battery for tactical flashlights.
It is rechargeable and it’s as powerful as the normal cr123s. There are downsides of using a 18650, too, unfortunately. One would be its price; regularly, the price of a single 18650 battery would be twice as the price of a cr123. If you think about it, though, it’s more cost-efficient because you don’t have to purchase batteries every now and then.
Another downside it bears is the fact that it heats up when it’s overcharged. When it gets hot, it can be caught on fire.
Don’t worry though; most modern lithium batteries are now equipped with circuits protected enough for them not to catch on fire. There even are chargers that stop the charging when the battery is already full. But of course, do keep an eye on your flashlight if you plan on using the 18650.
Overall, the best type of battery would be 18650. It is a lithium-ion battery and is rechargeable so it’s definitely cost-efficient vs. a regular disposable battery. If you use a tactical flashlight, using a 18650 can power it up at its maximum capacity.