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Thread: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

  1. #121
    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Quote Originally Posted by NY09C6 View Post
    I'm going on year 3 of running protected cells down until they cut off and then fully charging them. On average each cell is discharged and recharged 3 times per month.
    Perhaps I missed something, Are these protected cells being used in a flashlight that is without low volt cut off protection? What size battery are they? Thank You.

  2. #122

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

    Ultrafire 16340 cells in a JETBeam RRT-01. It's kind of a test for me.

  3. #123

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

    thank you for this bit of info.

    i guess i was better off getting the OEM recommended non rechargeable panasonic CR123 1550mahs for the SRT7 i have on order. got 10 of them. i'm a total n00b to all this and i've pretty much been scared off of rechargeables by this thread haha. thanks again for the heads up.

  4. #124
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    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    When I read a review and see that the summary is that the cells are not good/recommended. Is there a risk that the cells will damage the light, or just that they will not work as advertised?

    I received some Ultrafire BRC18650s with a WF-502B I got on amazon. I understand that the batteries, in general, are garbage, but can they damage a light, other than flame-out? I checked the voltage and they are 4.195 fresh off the charger that came in the package.
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  5. #125

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BronzeLincolns View Post
    i guess i was better off getting the OEM recommended non rechargeable panasonic CR123 1550mahs for the SRT7 i have on order. got 10 of them. i'm a total n00b to all this and i've pretty much been scared off of rechargeables by this thread haha.
    If you do a search, you'll find that the majority of battery problems come from batteries in series configuration. If there is only one cell, the worst you can typically do is over-discharge it. But when you have two in series, if they aren't well matched, when one gets low, the other starts reverse charging it, and that's when you get venting with flame, and explosions.

    If you buy quality CR123 cells and only use them in matched pairs, your risk is low. But thinking you avoided the potential risk by buying primaries is just completely wrong. In my opinion, and that of others with far more experience, multiple CR123 in series is among the MOST likely to cause you problems.

  6. #126

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

    mixing batteries is just asking for trouble which is why i bought in pairs. while i am using a sequence of batteries they're the same battery and if the light goes dim im throwing both batteries away.

    reading more on this stuff makes me glad i didnt opt for the streamlight protac HL 3 that takes 3 CR123s and two 18650s.

  7. #127

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

    I agree with thedoc007. Compared with 2x CR123A, using a single 18650 might be the safer option. Even if that means using a rechargeable battery. And as a bonus, it's the cheaper option.

    2nd: Beside how you use them, the quality of the batteries is a deciding factor. Once you have found a good 18650 cell, all that's needed is use it properly. If you have a batch of 20 CR123A's with 1 bad one in that batch, it's only a matter of time before you hit that bad one. After using (say) 12 from that batch without any problems, you might not see coming what happens when you use the bad one.
    Last edited by RetroTechie; 02-24-2014 at 07:46 PM.

  8. #128

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

    i'll probably be springing for the Vp1 or Vp2 charger from xtar with one of those nitecore 18650s in the near future. i'm gonna go through these primaries first though, or maybe i'll use them in my maglite. they're top of the line panasonics. i got a no payments or interest promo going on with BML thats running out so i might just use that to buy it but with the recall i may need to wait until they fix whatever problem they have with the chargers or just go with the VP1.

    i'm learning that skimping on quality to save money isnt a good idea.

  9. #129

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

    I keep all my batteries, chanrgers and most flashlights on the workbench in my garage. I also charge everything out there. I never realized how cold it actually got in there until I put a thermometer on the wall. With so many nights between -10F and 10F, the garage can get down to about 43° or so.

    This is still safe to charge Li-Ions, right? Maybe more of a concern regarding the health of the cells opposed to charging at room temp?
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  10. #130
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    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    Hello Markr6,

    43 F is on the lower side of acceptable for Li-Ion charging. While you can charge down to 32 F you need to reduce the charge current at lower temperatures. Ideal low temperature for Li-Ion cells is 50 F.

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  11. #131

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

    Thanks Tom. I think I'll move all my batteries and flashlight stuff into the basement. I originally started in the garage since we just moved in and that workbench was already there. Need to find a nice, cheap desk or something and get some organization going down there.

    And now that I think of it, those 100° summer days won't be very healthy for them either so sooner than later would be best.
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  12. #132
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    Default Re: Using Li-ion cells in LED flashlights safely

    I am back after a long absence and picked up this thread. I have to add an "Imax B6 Ultimate" charger to the charger list. I consider it to be an excellent charger and have been using it for many years to charge not only Li-ion, but also NiMH and NiCd cell(s). I especially like the ability to balance charge Li-ion cells. I usually like to charge two cells at a time.
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    Default Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    Thread Merge - Norm

    I just purchased a Peak Eiger that can take 10440.. I have read tons of material about using them safely, but there are still risks, right?

    My question is: Is it a bad idea to carry them in your pocket every day?
    Last edited by Norm; 03-14-2014 at 08:29 PM.

  14. #134
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    As long as you know your voltage and the light doesn't see any intense abuse, you should be fine.

  15. #135
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    I have never used Li-ion batteries and don't want to carry a "pipe bomb" in my pocket.. or am I just being paranoid?

  16. #136
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    I hope not


    Thats all i have done for a long time,my advice "just in case" use a decent branded protected cell if gives more piece of mind

    So as said,common sense,no ******fire cells,no ***** fire lights(unless surefire) and just enjoy your light,not to mention a good charger again xtar make some great chargers,no ****** fire ones........simple as that.

    Most lights are ixp8 rated,so 1.5-2m drop and 2m+ under water...........most have been tested with more than that and been fine


    So nothing wrong with being concerned,would not use paranoid as too stronger word and takes away any edc enjoyment imo.

    Other options are IMR cells that are a safer li-ion chemistry but not protected...........

    Dont let cells drain right down,if protected then will trip,more than likely the flashlight will tell you by either not allowing turbo (dropping a mode) for example
    Time to charge,personally if i use a light i just top off the cells,its not counted as a cycle,so topping cell off 5 times may =a cycle of which most cells are rated for around 500 cycles...........lot of use!!! and newer cells will be purchased in the time it starts to go a little tired(UK spelling for sleepy,not as in tyre on cars )

  17. #137
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    Quote Originally Posted by murrydan View Post
    I have never used Li-ion batteries and don't want to carry a "pipe bomb" in my pocket.. or am I just being paranoid?

    Read up,do research,nothing to be scared off,lots of horror stories,but thats like me telling you not to drive a car as people crash into you(in fact far more chance of that than an li-ion exploding)

    Point being,research,decent branded cells and charger,dont leave unattended no matter what precautions as with anything,nothing can be relied on(if makes sense)
    Example- leaving on over night whilst asleep,leaving on charge and go out,just dont leave alone for hours..............simple as that
    Also voltmeters are cheap,check cells,also will be able to check charger after ...........charging. Should be around 4.2v after charge........

    Lots of info on here,dont be put off............i am not!!!! no need to study for days,just the basics

  18. #138
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    Thanks for the reply.

    I have read that the protected 10440s are too long to fit in the Eiger (2mm longer), so I think they are a no-go.. If not *****fire, which brand would you recommend?

  19. #139

    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    Quote Originally Posted by ven View Post
    Read up,do research,nothing to be scared off,lots of horror stories,but thats like me telling you not to drive a car as people crash into you(in fact far more chance of that than an li-ion exploding)

    Point being,research,decent branded cells and charger,dont leave unattended no matter what precautions as with anything,nothing can be relied on(if makes sense)
    Example- leaving on over night whilst asleep,leaving on charge and go out,just dont leave alone for hours..............simple as that
    Also voltmeters are cheap,check cells,also will be able to check charger after ...........charging. Should be around 4.2v after charge........

    Lots of info on here,dont be put off............i am not!!!! no need to study for days,just the basics
    Exactly. Thought of a quote by Al Pacino from the movie Heat "you can get killed walking your doggie!"

    Unfortunately Li-Ions have been painted as everything from fragile, delicate, extremely temperature-sensitive, pipebombs, flame-venting projectiles, and so on. We see a few incidences with photos of and scary words, allowing people even without first-hand experience to paint anything with that brush in a negative way. The publicity on Tesla didn't help.
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  20. #140
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    Dont forget the laptop issues of past too,but imagine a 2.5t weapon,travelling at just 120kmph and to think i put the kids in it

    My point being the kitchen is more dangerous,walking up the stairs you have more chance of killing yourself...........just takes 1 or 2 horror stories from probably misuse..............and all of a sudden

    Not taking away anything to do with safety,its all covered on here,go off advised cells and charger,all will be well

    Side note,i have some ******fire cells,even used the ******fire charger for a couple of years,as soon as green they were off,not left alone...........issue free

    So its not just as straight forward as saying AVOID **** fire cells,with care and common sense they can be safe!!! just easier for newbies to take any element of risk away,besides them being a gamble in the 1st place,obv 5000mah go without saying a load of bull,however the fire cells are still stocked by some reputable sellers........

    But my advice is just take away the 50/50 gamble,spend $5 more on a cell,and relax knowing its protected.........simple as that

  21. #141
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    Also remember you have a li-ion in your cell phone...

  22. #142
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    Quote Originally Posted by ven View Post
    spend $5 more on a cell,and relax knowing its protected
    Protected cells just prevent draining too low, they don't prevent anything relating to temperature or overcharge.

  23. #143
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Protected cells just prevent draining too low, they don't prevent anything relating to temperature or overcharge.
    The PCB protection will protect against over discharge, over charge and over current. Most cells has a build in PTC that will protect against very high over currents and over temperature. They do also have a over pressure vent that will disable the battery if the pressure gets too high.
    I have a bit more explanation here: http://www.lygte-info.dk/info/batter...tion%20UK.html
    My website with battery and charger information: lygte-info.
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    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  24. #144
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    Thank you HKJ

    They are a sensible choice for newbies or especially peeps who may not have confidence in the cells imo,a more piece of mind than anything,but obv should still be treated with respect as with any cell,just more so with li-ion.

    Also make a more sensible choice in multi cell lights for beginners too.

    As long as not relied on 100% regarding protection (anything can let you down at any point if man made)and as said treated with respect,then all should be well

    So imho no its not too risky,only down side of 18650 cells is the actual light size for edc,some smaller cells may be more suited depending on where it is going to live on your person

    Right now for size and ease i am on IMR 16340 cell for my amazing d25cvn ti light for my edc.
    Before that it was the excellent xeno S3A V2 on a protected 18650,quite a small light for its cell food.

  25. #145
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    I did even forget one protection, that is present in some newer cells.

    It is a fairly new invention, Panasonic calls it HRL (heat resistance layer). It is a layer placed between the two electrodes in the battery and will disable the battery if it get hot.
    Any battery that explodes (oops: wents with flame) has to be very hot for this to happen, with the HRL layer this is not possible, the layer will stop the chemical reactions when the battery gets warm.
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  26. #146
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    I did even forget one protection, that is present in some newer cells.

    It is a fairly new invention, Panasonic calls it HRL (heat resistance layer). It is a layer placed between the two electrodes in the battery and will disable the battery if it get hot.
    Any battery that explodes (oops: wents with flame) has to be very hot for this to happen, with the HRL layer this is not possible, the layer will stop the chemical reactions when the battery gets warm.
    That sounds an excellent idea/addition HKJ,i can only presume that a fault would cause the need for this protection or a heavily modded light thats been left on.

    Its progression though,all seem to be going in the "safer" direction.

    Thanks for info

  27. #147
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    Quote Originally Posted by ven View Post
    Its progression though,all seem to be going in the "safer" direction.
    It does, look at videos where people shorts the newer Panasonic cells, they are very boring

    I did also do a test myself (By accident):
    In a usb power box with four batteries in parallel I put in four 3100mAh unprotected cells, but turned one of the cells backward. It only took a few second before I was clued in to my mistake: springs are not supposed to glow. I removed the warm batteries very fast and over the next days I tested them on a hobby charger. They did all have some damage, i.e. less capacity than expected. The battery I put in the wrong way could not even be charged to 4.2 volt.
    This shows that the cell protection does not protect the cell from fatal damage, it is only supposed to prevent "went with flame" incidents.
    If I had used protected batteries (i.e. with PCB), the over current protection would have tripped and I could just have turned the battery around at it would have worked.

    LiIon manufactures does specify that you have to use an external protection with their batteries.
    Last edited by HKJ; 03-14-2014 at 11:18 AM.
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  28. #148
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    So the power box did not have protection as i read(will keep simple with 1 charger example) the i4,if i put a cell in wrong way,it should detect that,is this correct?

    Thank you

  29. #149
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    Default Re: Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    Quote Originally Posted by ven View Post
    So the power box did not have protection as i read(will keep simple with 1 charger example) the i4,if i put a cell in wrong way,it should detect that,is this correct?
    Like most power boxes it uses two copper strips for the battery connection. It does have protection against over discharge.
    The i4 is supposed to protect against this (I have not tested it).
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  30. #150
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    Default Li-ion EDC - is it too risky?

    So, if a protected 10440 is too long I should still be ok unprotected.. As long as I play it smart.

    Most mishaps from user error? (over charge - over discharge)

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