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Thread: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

  1. #301

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Quote Originally Posted by xzel87 View Post
    Depends whether you are storing the light without the intention to use it during the storage period or storing as an emergency light. If you don't intend to use it, discharge the batteries till 3.7V then store in a cool dry place. Some say place it in an airtight ziploc bag and put in the fridge (some say freezer) but personally I wouldn't do this since you need to let the batteries come back to room temp before charging it.
    It'll be an emergency light.
    1) Malkoff Cocktail: 1 x 3D-cell Maglite, one Malkoff XML Dropin, 1 glass lens, 1 mdocod 9xAA to 3D adapter (parallel)
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  2. #302
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    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Quote Originally Posted by ganz-lite View Post
    It'll be an emergency light.
    Then I strongly suggest you go with Lithium Primary batteries i.e. CR123 or Energizer L91s (AA). Put it in and forget about it. Li-Ion Rechargeables can keep their charge for quite a bit, but they will still self discharge, especially more so in extreme weather conditions (hot i.e. car glove box, car parked under baking sun).

    EDIT: Forgot that you were referring to your 2x18650 light. Will that be the emergency light you were referring to?

    Ideally, for cell longevity, Li-Ion Rechargeable cells are best stored at around 3.7V, however, this is not feasible since you are using it as an emergency light. My advice?, just keep it fully charged inside your light. If the light is kept in a nice cool place (drawer in the house) it should be fine. Capacity loss due to storing batteries fully charged, for us laymen, should not be noticeable at all. Test the light every so often and complete discharge and recharge every 3 months should suffice.
    Last edited by xzel87; 12-07-2015 at 06:17 PM.

  3. #303

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Quote Originally Posted by xzel87 View Post
    Then I strongly suggest you go with Lithium Primary batteries i.e. CR123 or Energizer L91s (AA). Put it in and forget about it. Li-Ion Rechargeables can keep their charge for quite a bit, but they will still self discharge, especially more so in extreme weather conditions (hot i.e. car glove box, car parked under baking sun).

    EDIT: Forgot that you were referring to your 2x18650 light. Will that be the emergency light you were referring to?

    Ideally, for cell longevity, Li-Ion Rechargeable cells are best stored at around 3.7V, however, this is not feasible since you are using it as an emergency light. My advice?, just keep it fully charged inside your light. If the light is kept in a nice cool place (drawer in the house) it should be fine. Capacity loss due to storing batteries fully charged, for us laymen, should not be noticeable at all. Test the light every so often and complete discharge and recharge every 3 months should suffice.
    It'll be 2x32650, I'm looking at a jayrob light.

    So if i keep it quiet, and if i keep it happy in a cool place (drawer or closet), it'll be happy so long as i discharge it every quarter (ie: walk the dog at night).
    1) Malkoff Cocktail: 1 x 3D-cell Maglite, one Malkoff XML Dropin, 1 glass lens, 1 mdocod 9xAA to 3D adapter (parallel)
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  4. #304
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    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Quote Originally Posted by ganz-lite View Post
    It'll be 2x32650, I'm looking at a jayrob light.

    So if i keep it quiet, and if i keep it happy in a cool place (drawer or closet), it'll be happy so long as i discharge it every quarter (ie: walk the dog at night).
    err yeah..you're good...32650 cell should have plenty of charge...

    not sure how'd you keep a light quiet though....they tend to be pretty noisy when locked up in a dark drawer all day for 3 months

  5. #305

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    I just took my first step into the world of rechargeable batteries, with the receipt of my Nitecore i2 charger and two Nitecore RCR123 cells.

    Thank you for this sticky thread, I have not yet read through it all but I've already learnt a ton.

  6. #306

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    I agree skaaphass, I just got the same cells (along with a few others) and a Nitecore D4 the other night. The information you learn here is invaluable.
    Thanks all.

  7. #307

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    This is a very informative post. As a complete noob on batteries, I was going to ask you guys/gals which rechargeable batteries and charger would be a good fit for my situation. I feel kind of hesitant on ordering some now after reading this. Thanks for the warning.

  8. #308

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    I've read the entire thread and think I'm getting a handle on this. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong:

    I run an unprotected AW 16340 in my HDS. This is ok because the light itself is protected against over discharging the battery.

    I have an Olight S1 baton, which does not have the same protection in the light as the HDS. I should still be ok running a quality unprotected cell in it because, probable worse case scenario is that I would over discharge the cell and negatively affect its capacity or life span. If I'm semi cautious with charging the cell in accordance with my use, it shouldn't be an issue.

    What about running two unprotected 18500s or 18650s in an MD3 or MD4 body? I know Malkoff suggests protected cells, but I've seen where some people run the AW reds in series. Is this another (probable) worse case scenario of harming the cells, or am I looking at potential damage or injury to myself or the light?

    I do not check the voltages of my cells, but charge them after significant use in a Nitecore I2.

    Any guidance is appreciated.

  9. #309

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Quote Originally Posted by JBorneu View Post
    Ahoy there

    I created this guide because I felt we lacked one single comprehensive guide which tells newbies how to use Li-ion cells in a safe manner in their LED flashlights. Now I know why: At least the "comprehensive" part is impossible.


    Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely for newbies


    5 Chargers....
    Hi
    Can you please add some info on the solar powered string lights which have batteries like 3.7v, 14500, 400 mah ICR?
    Want to know if it matters which company or quality one buys for a low usage lights like these?
    So links to best buys may help if you know
    Thank you for the explanation-looks comprehensive and good

  10. #310

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    good article..

    the only thing i would add is dont run them flat (or below their lowest voltage)

  11. #311

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    You should mention something about storage. Please clarify if the batteries are ticking bombs which will explode when the discharge under 3V...

  12. #312
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    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Manhattan View Post
    You should mention something about storage. Please clarify if the batteries are ticking bombs which will explode when the discharge under 3V...
    No that wont happen, worse case is when they are charged from a low voltage. Most cells these days have a minimum low of 2.5v(some 2.8v). Its not recommended to go bellow this voltage. If you do, charging asap is key and not to leave for long periods..............this over time causes a build up due to the chemistry inside and can go south when charged.

    Store around 3.6v in a cool dry place if for long periods. If in a flashlight, lock out to eliminate any parasitic drain and check periodically . Even if it means running the light for 5m and topping back off or leaving around 4.1v which can help the life over time(years).

    When a cell is shorted, this causes a risk and with the pressure inside(pipe bomb), so not only are voltage checks important over time, but also checking over the cell, making sure the wrap/s are not torn/damaged.................if so, remove and replace with readily available wrappers (cheap as chips). Many youtube vids to show how easy to fit..........I slip one on the cell, check length which usually is a few mm too long, remove and cut off with scissors. Re fit on the cell, heat with hair dryer(carefully) to shrink wrap on cell.............check all is well and good to go again.

    Not into great detail, just keeping it simple like me but those are some basics.

    Too add, there are usually lots of warnings even if a flashlight will not flash or blink when close to 3v. Not being able to get into higher modes is a simple indication to charge back up. Ideally, try and not go bellow 3.3-3.5v to keep it within a nice margin of possible...........how will i know when its 3.5v???? Well if a new light, use for a set period, check voltage and repeat to get an idea. For example it may take 2hrs of use to get to 3.5v on medium and turbo uses. So if your uses is simply 30m a day, every 4 days top cell off(just a rough example).
    Last edited by ven; 11-28-2016 at 02:55 PM.

  13. #313

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    @ven Thanks it now feel a little better. Its my first Li-ion battery LED flashlight and I still got the feeling that I have bought a pipe bomb :-) I have bought a Xtar Ant-MC1 Plus charger and a Keeppower 3500 mah protected battery which should be good quality. The flashlight is a Astrolux S1 which should have necesarry safety mechanisms for example low voltage protection.

  14. #314

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    First of all it is important to understand that Li-ion batteries which you have in every cell phone are an excellent type of battery BUT…they are known to explode or self ignite, as just recently happened with some of the Galaxy Note 7 phones.

    Protected Li-ion batteries are batteries which have a circuit board on them which prevents the battery from being reversed charged or reverse operated. Now if you have a charger that is also reverse polarity protected than even if you have a non protected battery it will not be damaged if placed the wrong way in the charger.

    Unfortunately there are many low grade batteries and substandard charges sold on the market or supplied with flashlights, so you have to be very careful about the battery that you use and the charger you are using.

    Remember there are many products manufactured in China (like iPhone) the difference is where it is made and the specification according to which it was produced.

    Our recommendation is to only buy quality protected batteries making sure that the rated capacity (mAh) is the real capacity (In many cases the rated capacity is much higher than the actual capacity). It can be easily verified when testing the battery as per the below picture.



    Also make sure you have a quality charger that is UL certified (confirming to the US Safety Standards) there are many dangerous cheap chargers, do yourself a favor and avoid them. Check for the UL marking on your charger. Verify the charging current is at least 1000mA unless you want to wait for hours until your battery is charged! (See below picture)



    Here is an article with some additional information on the subject

    Good Luck
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    Sincerely,
    The Brightex Team
    brightexlabs.com

  15. #315
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    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Quote Originally Posted by brightex View Post
    Protected Li-ion batteries are batteries which have a circuit board on them which prevents the battery from being reversed charged or reverse operated.
    The protection circuit will protect from over discharge, over charge and over current. Reverse operation will trigger one of these protections.

    Quote Originally Posted by brightex View Post
    Verify the charging current is at least 1000mA unless you want to wait for hours until your battery is charged!
    That is not a good statement, with 18650 batteries 1000mA is a fine charge current, but it is too high for smaller batteries.

    Quote Originally Posted by brightex View Post
    Also make sure you have a quality charger that is UL certified
    That is fine for US, but other countries requires other safety standards.
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: https://lygte-info.dk/
    Latest addition is multimeter reviews

  16. #316

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Looking to find out what a safe resting voltage for a Olight 550mA IMR cell (came with my S1R Baton) is. I have seen several posts that say never let it go below 3.6V resting, but they are all very old. Not sure with the newer batteries that is still true. The light has an indicator that shows when 10-15% capacity is remaining, but not sure if I should rely on that or check the voltage periodically.

    Tried finding a chart with resting V vs capacity remaining but no luck.

  17. #317

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Quote Originally Posted by sbslider View Post
    Tried finding a chart with resting V vs capacity remaining but no luck.
    HKJ did a nice writeup here - http://lygte-info.dk/info/BatteryCha...cent%20UK.html

    See the charts at the bottom. Those are somewhat older cells, but hopefully things are still fairly close.
    GOOD TINT!

  18. #318

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Quote Originally Posted by markr6 View Post
    HKJ did a nice writeup here - http://lygte-info.dk/info/BatteryCha...cent%20UK.html

    See the charts at the bottom. Those are somewhat older cells, but hopefully things are still fairly close.
    That article was super helpful. I have seen it before, but I did not really understand the measurement technique until I re-read it again this time. But while being super helpful, it does not answer my specific question. I will start a new thread, as I don't think this is the right place to further this discussion.

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...11#post5166111

    thanks, Matt

  19. #319
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    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Quote Originally Posted by sbslider View Post
    Looking to find out what a safe resting voltage for a Olight 550mA IMR cell (came with my S1R Baton) is. I have seen several posts that say never let it go below 3.6V resting, but they are all very old. Not sure with the newer batteries that is still true. The light has an indicator that shows when 10-15% capacity is remaining, but not sure if I should rely on that or check the voltage periodically.

    Tried finding a chart with resting V vs capacity remaining but no luck.
    First you need to clarify what you mean by "safe resting voltage" and what purpose you will use if for. There are a few possible interpretations.

    Maybe you are asking if you can determine if a certain resting voltage implies that the cell was never drained too low in its prior use. That's not always possible to determine, but one could make some guesstimates if you know the (peak) current of the device, the IR of the cell etc.

    Or maybe you mean to ask if it is safe to store the cell at that voltage for long periods? Please clarify.

  20. #320

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Quote Originally Posted by Gauss163 View Post
    First you need to clarify what you mean by "safe resting voltage" and what purpose you will use if for.
    I will say that my OP was not very clear for what my intent was. I have a Olight S1R, the the included ORB-163C05 IMR RCR123A. My goal is to be able to pick up the light after it has been off for a time, measure the voltage the tail, and decide if I should use it or charge it. In looking into the battery voltage range vs capacity question, I saw several comments that warned to not use a rechargable Li-ion battery that measured less than 3.6V, that it was dangerous. I got a bit caught up in the safety aspect of how low the voltage could go before recharging. Not to dismiss safety, but I am not worried about that in this particular case any more. That's why I started a new thread.

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...11#post5166111

    thanks, Matt
    Last edited by sbslider; 12-22-2017 at 08:42 PM.

  21. #321
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    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    3.6v sbslider is not too low, that is the nominal voltage , also a good storage voltage(maybe 40-50% capacity. Most cells (variable) have a min voltage of 2.5-2.8v, so to play it a little safer, 3v minimum is a safe voltage to not go bellow(leaves a little room). But even then, if the voltage is bellow the min spec, for example it is 2.3v measured. As long as the cell has not been in this state for a period of time, it should charge up fine(being monitored to add) with minimal issue/potential damage. Most lights do have a built in LVP, also even without the LVP(low voltage protection) not many flashlights will power up at 3v, or certainly not in high modes. As with the load and voltage sag, it will blink or go out letting you know.

    The little RCR123a cells(16340) do not have much capacity, usually 6-700mah in the tank(yours is 550mah ). Its a good idea to use the light and check cell voltage after a few uses. This way you will get an idea of how much use and where the voltage will roughly be. With my 16340 cells, i tend to top off back to 4.2v after use, as even a little use with higher levels(exl low and moon modes) does eat through the mah pretty quick. So by topping them back up to 4.2v, i know exactly where i am up to and good to go again. Now at 3.6v, you dont have that much left, certainly if your going to be attempting higher levels(if the light allow use at that V). If its for regular use, i would certainly carry a spare cell or 2 for the light. If you find your swapping cells out regular, then a compact 18650 light may work better for you. I love 16340 lights, the form for me is perfect for EDC uses, but not ideal for any decent duration. I would struggle in work for example, where a few hours of 200lm( ish as a variable) might be needed.

    3.6v is a good place to top back up yes, but there are no safety issues at that voltage, nor going lower towards 3v. Maybe he was just giving you a large buffer to be extra safe, but i am sure the olight mentioned will not work bellow 3v.
    Last edited by ven; 12-24-2017 at 05:26 AM.

  22. #322

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    My testing says 3.6V is about 25% capacity for the battery I am using, Olight ORB-163C05 IMR RCR123A. I ran some testing recently on it, you can see the results here:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...12#post5166812

    I use the light mostly at moonlight mode, and on medium. It will last a week or more for me taking nightly walks with my wife, so I really like it.

  23. #323
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    Question Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Quote Originally Posted by Benson View Post
    One other useful size you might want to mention was the 17500s; they're 1.5 CR123 cells, so you can stack 2 of them in a 3xCR123 light.

    And that's where the 17500s shine -- 2 17500s at 4.2V starts at 8.4V, whereas 3 primaries @ 3V each start with 9V. Since the Li-ion hold up better under load, they work out great in most such applications.
    I admit to being a n00b and know this is an old thread...

    I’m not understanding how 2 17500s at 4.2V/each is better and “holds up better under load” than 3 CR123As at 3.0V/each. Would someone explain this to me?
    Last edited by david.allie; 01-16-2018 at 06:44 PM.

  24. #324

    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    but show me a
    3xCR123 light

  25. #325
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    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Quote Originally Posted by lumen aeternum View Post
    but show me a
    3xCR123 light
    About 3 years ago, I bought the Inova T5-MP Tactical flashlight. It’s a 3 x CR123A light. Works well, too.

  26. #326
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    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Hello David.allie,

    Welcome to CPF.

    I believe you need to review the discharge charts for CR123 cells and 17500 cells. If the voltage remains higher on the 17500 cells, they should perform better.

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

  27. #327
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    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Hello Lumen aeternum,

    The Streamlight 88047 ProTac HL 3 is another light that uses 3X CR123 cells.

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

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