Overview of Flashlight Batteries
Choosing a flashlight starts with the choice of battery! Choosing a flashlight starts with the choice of battery!
Want to buy a flashlight and you do not know yet which one? It is recommended to start by choosing which battery is best suited to your needs. If you choose the battery that best suits your use of the lamp, you will have more fun of your flashlight.
CR123A batteries (non-rechargeable)The CR123A batteries retain their charge for a very long time. Even after 10 years, they are still 90% charged (if not used, of course). In addition, they never leak, which is a valuable advantage for an expensive tactical flashlight like these. The disadvantage of CR123A batteries is that they are more expensive than alkaline batteries and are not available anywhere. They are available at a relatively affordable price, but if you were to buy them elsewhere, you would pay close to double. Having a set in reserve cannot hurt.
18650 lithium-ion (rechargeable) batteries 18650 lithium-ion batteries are perfect for people who use their flashlight intensively. They have a high capacity and can be tested, which gives you maximum performance in terms of burning time and light intensity. It is important to know that when the batteries are empty, they must be charged directly and they must be recharged at least once a year. Lithium-ion batteries have a slight tendency to self-discharge. If not used, they leak slowly. This makes them less suitable for people who use their flashlight sporadically. Many flashlights that can be powered by 18650 batteries can also be used with CR123A batteries. In this case, 2 CR123A batteries replace 1 18650 battery. However, this is not always possible, due to the higher voltage than a set of 2 CR123A batteries produces.
AA alkaline batteries (non-rechargeable)AA alkaline batteries are the most commonly used batteries. They keep their charge about 4 years, which is reasonable, and are available for sale almost everywhere. One disadvantage is that they are not made for the great demand of running modern flashlights, which empties them prematurely when you use your lamp to the maximum of its capacity. They can also leak, which can cause serious damage to your flashlight.
Lithium AA batteries (non-rechargeable)AA lithium batteries are more expensive than AA alkaline batteries but are made to be able to provide a lot of power and last longer than alkaline batteries when strained. Almost all LED flashlights (see here) that work with alkaline batteries also work with AA lithium batteries. For flashlights with bulbs, this is not safe. As these flashlights are dependent on battery characteristics, lithium batteries can lead to complete combustion of the bulb. Lithium AA batteries are not available everywhere, but if they were to empty unexpectedly then you can still use alkaline batteries.
NiMH AA batteries (rechargeable)AA NiMH batteries are the most well-known AA rechargeable batteries. They are very suitable for use in powerful flashlights and are particularly economical in their use. They can not sink, which is also a great advantage. AA NiMH batteries are available in two variants: a variant with a large capacity, but also a high self-discharge. Normally, these batteries have a capacity of about 2500 mAh but lose about 700 mAh of power per month, if not used. They are very suitable for intensive use, but less for occasional use. The 2nd variant has a slightly lower capacity (about 2100 mAh) but a substantially lower self-discharge. This is a great advantage if you do not use your flashlight for a long time.
AAA batteries (mini pencils)AAA batteries are somewhat smaller than AA batteries and are therefore mainly used in keychain lamps. Their capacity is about one-third that of an AA battery. AAA batteries are available, as are AA batteries, in alkaline, NiMH and lithium versions and they have the same advantages and disadvantages.
D-size batteries are heavy and heavy batteries that are used in large Maglite torches. They are available in alkaline and NiMH versions. There are also new LED flashlights that use D-size batteries: the Fenix TK50 for example. For this lamp, we recommend using Tenergy NiMH batteries with particularly high capacity. Caution: Many NiMH D-size battery manufacturers use NiMH AA batteries with a large outer layer, which provides a much lower capacity (about 2500 mAh instead of 9000 to 10000 mAh). The burning time of the lamp will then be very disappointing.