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Thread: 2012 Battery test/review summary

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    Default 2012 Battery test/review summary

    Battery test/review summary

    The full comparison can be found on my website.



    I am working on a large LiIon battery test, this test contains mostly 18650 cells. Each tested battery is posted as a separate review with curves and data for the battery. This article will compare the results of these tests, but I will only include some of the results.

    I do not plan to do many updates to the text of this article, but because the charts are fetched from my server they will be updated frequently. All the batteries I have tested will be included, and sometimes also for unpublished test/reviews that might be only partial done, these reviews will be published later when they are finished. This does also explain why a battery can be present in some charts, but not in other.

    Because the charts will be updated I will not comment on how different batteries compares to each other in this article, that might not be valid after the next update of the charts.

    Note: The picture above does show a sample of the batteries I am testing. At the time of publishing this article only half of them have been tested, but when I am finished many more than shown will have been tested.



    18650 battery charts




    The first chart is the capacity at different current draw. To measure this capacity I have discharged the batteries down to 2.8 volt at the specified current rates (some batteries cannot handle 5A current draw and will not show a 5A bar).




    Some lights cannot drain the battery down to 2.8 volt, but need considerable more voltage, especially to get full brightness. In the above chart I have measured the capacity drained when the battery is down to 3.6 volt, again at different current. Batteries that has a lot of capacity when measured to 2.8 volt does not necessary have that when measured to 3.6 volt, especially at high current drains.



    Edit:
    Curves removed, they was getting way to messy, please use the battery comparators (links below).


    Instead of showing the capacity of the battery, it is also possible to show how long time the battery will last at the 1A current draw.




    The batteries has a specified current, this current is the recommended maximum drain on the cell. If this specification is missing, it can usual be assumed to be 2xC, i.e. a 2400mAh battery will have a specified current of 4800mA or 4.8 Ampere. These assumed values are not shown in the chart.
    Batteries with a PCB protection also has a trip current, this is at a higher value than the specified current. In my opinion 30% up to 50% above the specified current is best.
    The "Protection trip" will be missing for unprotected batteries and because my test equipment is configured to starts at 3 ampere batteries with "Protection trip" below 3 ampere will also be missing.




    The 18650 specifications means that a cell is about 65 mm long, but protected batteries are longer, because a protection circuit must be added and sometimes there is also added a button top. Not all chargers and lights can take the longest cells.


    Links
    Index to specific brands: AW, Efest, EnerPower, Keeppower, TrustFire
    Index to comparators: 18350/16340/14500/10440/etc., 18700/18650/18500/17650/etc.




    Simple battery selection guide

    This is a very simple guide in how to select the best battery for different types of flash lights, using the charts shown above.
    Remember always to check if the light supports the length of the battery (See length chart above) and shape of the positive nipple (See test/review of battery).
    The current estimate assumes that the leds are driven at full power.


    It is strongly recommended to use protected batteries in most light both for safety and for long battery life (Any battery discharged to much take serious damage).



    Lights with 2x18650 batteries in series



    These lights will usual use a buck converter to adjust the voltage, this means that a XR-E, XP-E is 0.5A, XP-G is 0.7A, and a XM-L is 1.5A. With two batteries in series the light can use all the capacity in the battery, while staying at full brightness. I.e. the "Discharge, capacity" chart is the one used here.
    For 0.5A current, look for the batteries with the longest green bar, they will give most runtime.
    For 0.7A current, look for the batteries with the longest green and blue bars, they will give most runtime.
    For 1.5A current, look for the batteries with the longest blue and cyan bars, they will give most runtime.



    Lights with 1x18650 batteries or 2xCR123 batteries



    These lights will usual use a buck converter, but typically have trouble maintaining full brightness when the 18650 battery voltage is low. For current XR-E, XP-E is 1A, XP-G is 1.5A, and a XM-L led will need 3A.
    To find the battery that maintains the highest brightness for the longest time use the chart "Discharge, capacity down to 3.6 volt"

    For 1A current, look for the batteries with the longest blue bar, they will give most runtime.
    For 1.5A current, look for the batteries with the longest blue and cyan bars, they will give most runtime.
    For 3A current, look for the batteries with the longest yellow bar, they will give most runtime.

    Note: These lights will sometimes be fairly safe with unprotected batteries, especially with cell that can be discharged down to 2.5 volt.



    Lights with 1x18650 batteries and linear driver (7135 chip)



    In this type of light the current in the led is the same as the current drawn from the battery. These light need as much voltage as possible to maintain regulation. For current XR-E, XP-E is 1A, XP-G is 1.3A, and a XM-L led will need 3A. if it is possible to count the number of 7135 chips in the driver, it is very easy to calculate the current. Each chip is 1/3 ampere, i.e. 3 chips is 1 ampere.
    To find the battery thats maintain the highest brightness for the longest time use the chart "Discharge, capacity down to 3.6 volt"

    For 1A current, look for the batteries with the longest blue bar, they will give most runtime.
    For 1.3A current, look for the batteries with the longest blue and cyan bars, they will give most runtime.
    For 3A current, look for the batteries with the longest yellow bar, they will give most runtime.

    Note: These lights will often be fairly safe with unprotected batteries, especially with cell that can be discharged down to 2.5 volt.



    Other lights

    For other lights a tailcap current measurement can help with establishing the current draw.
    Or use power calculations to estimate current: For each led add the watt together: XR-E and XP-E is 3.5W, XP-G is 5.4 W and XM-L is 10 W, divide sum by number of batteries and by 3.7, the result is the current.
    An example for A 3 XM-L light with 4 batteries: 10+10+10->30 watt, 30/4/3.7 -> 2 ampere from each battery (It does not matter if they are series or parallel).
    Use the "Discharge, capacity" for lights with two or more 18650 cells in series or the "Discharge, capacity down to 3.6 volt" for lights that only works on a single 18650 battery or uses a couple of 18650 in parallel.



    When mostly using low modes

    For low modes it is the 0.2A red and 0.5A green bar that is most interesting. To see which one, use a tailcap current measurement. For currents below 0.2A it is fine to use the 0.2A bar, lower current draw will not change the rating of the batteries significantly.
    Last edited by HKJ; 01-06-2013 at 08:30 AM.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

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    Flashaholic* AlphaZen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery test/review summary

    Great information! That was extremely helpful to the community - thank you.

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    Default Re: Battery test/review summary



    Some lights cannot drain the battery down to 2.8 volt, but need considerable more voltage, especially to get full brightness. In the above chart I have measured the capacity drained when the battery is down to 3.6 volt, again at different current. Batteries that has a lot of capacity when measured to 2.8 volt does not necessary have that when measured to 3.6 volt, especially at high current drains.
    hmm.....does that mean that the Spark batts are not cutout for high drains?

    And what about the AW, Redilast & Callie's 3100. Since they all have the same batt inside where does the difference in Callie's comes from? The protection circuit?

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    Flashaholic* samgab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery test/review summary

    Wow, another excellent and informative thread. The charts are great. Cheers!
    In date order, as far as I can remember: Mag 4D LED, LL P14, Fenix LD20 R4, 47s Preon 2 R5 red, 47s Quark Mini AA S2, Fenix TK35 XM-L T6, 4Sevens ReVO SS S2, Maha MH-C808M, Maha MH-C9000, 47s Single Bay Li-ion charger, Zebralight SC600 XM-L U2, Fenix TK70, iCharger 206B, Sunwayman D40A...

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    Default Re: Battery test/review summary

    Quote Originally Posted by kosPap View Post
    hmm.....does that mean that the Spark batts are not cutout for high drains?
    The Spark is not really good at 5A if you want the highest possible voltage, but at 1A-2A it is very good.


    Quote Originally Posted by kosPap View Post
    And what about the AW, Redilast & Callie's 3100. Since they all have the same batt inside where does the difference in Callie's comes from? The protection circuit?
    Voltage under load can be affected by the protection circuit, but also by the age and manufacturing batch/plant of the cell.
    The capacity at low loads is only due to cell variations and has nothing to do with the protection circuit.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
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    Default Re: Battery test/review summary

    Wow. Excellent review summary. Thanks a lot for your informative test result & effort.
    Latest Review : Acebeam K40M Review

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    Default Re: Battery test/review summary

    TrustFire 3000mAh had been added to charts.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

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    Default Re: Battery test/review summary

    Real nice work. When I need to know something about 18650 cells, this is where I'll come. Thanks for the dedication.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Battery test/review summary

    Great report!

    Is the Intl-Outdoor NCR (3100) cell related to (or the same as) the Panasonic cell I've seen for sale online? These say PROTECTED on them, but the Panasonics I've seen don't appear to indicate if they are.

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    Default Re: Battery test/review summary

    Quote Originally Posted by RBWNY View Post
    Great report!

    Is the Intl-Outdoor NCR (3100) cell related to (or the same as) the Panasonic cell I've seen for sale online? These say PROTECTED on them, but the Panasonics I've seen don't appear to indicate if they are.
    They are for sale at the intl-outdoor online shop, but not at the current time, because the owner is working on a new batch with higher protection trip current. Like all the other 3100 batteries they are based on the Panasonic NCR18650A cell.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
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    Default Re: Battery test/review summary

    STICKY!!!!!!!!
    Incan: Megallenium w/FM MN WA1185M3 + M4 body lego w/LF EO M3,Strider M2 w/P61, 9P+G4 D26 WA1185, 6P+G4 D26 WA1111,E2e-CJ, E1Ws and E2Ws,E2eHA-BK ,E2e-BK,E2eHA,2 x 3Dmag85,2Dmag61,mag5D ROP Hi,Mag4D ROP Hi.LED:0

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    Default Re: Battery test/review summary

    how'd I miss this thread? Thanks!
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
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    Default Re: Battery test/review summary

    Best independent battery/charger reviewer period !


    Question:

    When you will be able to post test results for NCR18650A 3100mAh Panasonic bare cell.
    It is important because top performers such as AW use this cell. It would be interesting to see performance results of this Panasonic cell without protection circuit.

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    Default

    My trustfires (2400) can't handle over 2,5A nor can the Ultrafire 3600mAh(2400 real). I have about 40x... Don't know how yours can do 5A? I even removed the protection circuit but still around 2,5A.
    I bought some 2600mAh Sanyo and they seem to handle up to 5A though :-)

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    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    Added two LG cells and AW IMR 1600 cell to the charts.

    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

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    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    So looking at the chart for "Discharge Capacity Down To 3.6v", can I assume that while the AW 18650 3100mAh are the first pick for my Fenix TK35 and TK21, the Fenix PD32 I want next would be better served by the Trustfire or Spark brand of comparable specks?

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    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    Quote Originally Posted by loquutis79 View Post
    So looking at the chart for "Discharge Capacity Down To 3.6v", can I assume that while the AW 18650 3100mAh are the first pick for my Fenix TK35 and TK21, the Fenix PD32 I want next would be better served by the Trustfire or Spark brand of comparable specks?
    No.

    The TK35 uses two 18650 and this means the 2.8 volt chart (The chart without volt specification) and there it is the 3100 batteries that are best, AW or other.

    TK21 and PD32 uses a single 18650 and that is the 3.6 volt chart. At max. they will probably use around 1.5 ampere, i.e. somewhere between the blue and cyan bar. This means that the Spark 2600 will give longer runtime at max. brightness (TrustFire 3000 will also, but there might be variation between batches).
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
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    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    them trustfire flame 3000mah look appealing
    Last edited by chewy78; 02-09-2012 at 08:03 AM.

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    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    Added some (18650/17650) EagleTac batteries to the chart.
    I have also tested the smaller EagleTac batteries (16340/14500), they will no be included in this chart, but can be found as stand alone reviews.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
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    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

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    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Added some (18650/17650) EagleTac batteries to the chart.
    I have also tested the smaller EagleTac batteries (16340/14500), they will no be included in this chart, but can be found as stand alone reviews.

    Way to go HKJ ,

    more reviewed batteries and chargers always better.

  21. #21

    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    I apologise for my newbie question - i've just ordered a klarus xt11 and an eagletac 18650 3100mah rechargeable.

    I'm not sure how to read your charts so which battery would be best for my XT11....also which chargers do you recommend?

    Thanks in advance

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    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    Quote Originally Posted by MurphyCop View Post
    I apologise for my newbie question - i've just ordered a klarus xt11 and an eagletac 18650 3100mah rechargeable.

    I'm not sure how to read your charts so which battery would be best for my XT11....also which chargers do you recommend?

    Thanks in advance
    For longest total runtime the 3100 mAh battery will probably be best, the manufacturer does not really matter (for runtime), because they all uses the same cell inside.
    If you want longest runtime at full brightness, you need to look at the "Discharge, capacity down to 3.6 volt" and with a 800 lumen light it is somewhere between the cyan and yellow bar (2-3 ampere), again the 3100 mAh batteries does well.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
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    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  23. #23

    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    For longest total runtime the 3100 mAh battery will probably be best, the manufacturer does not really matter (for runtime), because they all uses the same cell inside.
    If you want longest runtime at full brightness, you need to look at the "Discharge, capacity down to 3.6 volt" and with a 800 lumen light it is somewhere between the cyan and yellow bar (2-3 ampere), again the 3100 mAh batteries does well.
    So are you saying that theres not much between it with the 3100 mAh batteries? I've bought an eagletac one already but is it worth spending a bit more money for an AW or redilast as a spare?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    Quote Originally Posted by MurphyCop View Post
    So are you saying that theres not much between it with the 3100 mAh batteries? I've bought an eagletac one already but is it worth spending a bit more money for an AW or redilast as a spare?
    Without a full test of the light, I cannot recommend anything better than a 3100 mAh and even with a full test it would probably be the same.

    The difference between the brands is the length of the battery, quality of protection and general build quality. The EagleTac looks good on all counts, how well it stands up to the bumps from the real world we will first know after some time, when a lot of people has used them.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    Considering that some batteries like the Spark has higher voltage on their way to empty it would be more interesting to count Wh instead of Ah.
    At least your 1A discharge plot seem to have the data to count the area beneath the curves.
    Great review anyhow and I like the additional info about the lengths - maybe you could add the length of the batteries that has not been tested yet?
    I'm curious of the length of other RediLast for example.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    Quote Originally Posted by dts71 View Post
    Considering that some batteries like the Spark has higher voltage on their way to empty it would be more interesting to count Wh instead of Ah.
    At least your 1A discharge plot seem to have the data to count the area beneath the curves.
    If you look at the individual battery reviews, they do have a Wh curve and when my full comparison article is finished, it will also have it.

    Quote Originally Posted by dts71 View Post
    Great review anyhow and I like the additional info about the lengths - maybe you could add the length of the batteries that has not been tested yet?
    I'm curious of the length of other RediLast for example.
    All curves is build from a script and it only include batteries that are tested (or sometimes partially tested). I have some other RediLast in my test queue, but it will probably be some time yet, before they are tested.
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    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    Added intl-outdoor's new 3100 mAh battery, it has a new protection PCB with very low resistance, making it one of the best 3100 batteries at high current.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
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  28. #28

    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    The difference between the brands is the length of the battery, quality of protection and general build quality. The EagleTac looks good on all counts, how well it stands up to the bumps from the real world we will first know after some time, when a lot of people has used them.
    Is there a way to identify the "quality of protection" in a battery? As a relative novice, that would be one of my most important criteria for choosing one battery over another assuming both meet my discharge requirements. Quality of build is also important. But it doesn't seem like either of these attributes can be really measured quantitatively.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    Quote Originally Posted by stickx View Post
    Is there a way to identify the "quality of protection" in a battery? As a relative novice, that would be one of my most important criteria for choosing one battery over another assuming both meet my discharge requirements. Quality of build is also important. But it doesn't seem like either of these attributes can be really measured quantitatively.
    What I can see about the protection is the current it trips at and how consistent it is, my log looks something like this:

    03/02-2012 04:16:29 Trip test 0 current 5,5A calculated ri 0,331
    03/02-2012 04:22:10 Trip test 1 current 5,5A calculated ri 0,312
    03/02-2012 04:27:50 Trip test 2 current 5,4A calculated ri 0,288
    03/02-2012 04:33:30 Trip test 3 current 5,4A calculated ri 0,284
    03/02-2012 04:39:09 Trip test 4 current 5,4A calculated ri 0,287

    The trip current drops a bit when the circuit is warmed up, but not very much and the first measurement gives a higher ri than the rest (The last might also be higher, because the battery is discharged).

    As long as the both tested batteries trips at about the same current and follows this pattern I will say the protection is good. If there is large variation in the current or Ri jumps up and down, I might say something negative about it.
    Sometimes the two batteries tested does not have the same current limit, this shows that there is some tolerance on the components used and if it is large I will complain about it (See http://lygte-info.dk/review/batterie...e%29%20UK.html for an example).
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: 2012 Battery test/review summary

    Quote Originally Posted by MurphyCop View Post
    I apologise for my newbie question - i've just ordered a klarus xt11 and an eagletac 18650 3100mah rechargeable.

    I'm not sure how to read your charts so which battery would be best for my XT11....also which chargers do you recommend?

    Thanks in advance
    I have the same XT11 and Eagletac 3100 I chose after reading several other battery reviews. can't go wrong with them
    in a single 18650 / 2xcr123 xm-l light.
    posted by jh333233
    Dont cheat me, im expert in using crap light

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