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Thread: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

  1. #1

    Default 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    Hi, my friend just introduced me to this type of battery, he gave me one flashlight + 1 18650 + 1 charger. Man, I can describe my feeling with this, it is bright, it last a long long time, and especially the battery is rechargeable and it recharges fast! I collect AA/AAA/DD/DDD flashlights over the year, but this newest one is my favorite, and the big part of it is the battery.
    My question, is, why 18650 battery is not popular, at least in flashlight? None of my local major stores carry any 18650 flashlights. Is it because of and hidden danger? Some down sides?
    Thanks for any enlightenment.

    Cal

  2. #2

    Default Re: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    They are very popular in a flashlight community such as this. They are not popular with the general public because they are lithium, require special care and with ignorance can be extremely dangerous.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* madecov's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    As said above. The other issue is finding one in any of the major retailers. It is much easier to purchase a disposable CR123 or AA type cells.
    The average consumer is not interested in checking voltage or worrying about over discharge.
    In god we trust.........all others are suspects
    There are no problems in life that can not be solved with high explosives or small arms
    Too many new lights to list

  4. #4

    Default Re: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    They can have a tendency to go if you are not careful with your charging. The average person is not interested/intelligent enough to use a Li-ion cell. That being said they are wonderful batteries. It is just sort of like the flashlights, you can buy a very nice McGizmo or FourSevens on the internet but not in stores because they are too specialized for many people. If you want to learn more about Li-ion cells here are a few links

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ssible-dangers


    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...review-summary

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...Ion-Categories

  5. #5
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    Like others said - 18650 and li-ions (in bare cell design) in general are not stupid-proof.
    Even lithium primaries can be dangerous in ingorant's hands - if you mix different cells in multi-cell application.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    hi all, I am so glad I asked this question! Very helpful answers here.
    My battery has a blue color cover with a + nipple, but nowhere to find out if it is bare, un or protected. Should I continue using it, paying extra attention during recharging, or buy new brand name one?

    Cal,

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* madecov's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    The answer to your question can be complex. If you use a multi meter to monitor the battery it can be safe. There are a number of decent chargers that will terminate the charge at the proper voltage but it still should be checked. Also draining a battery too low is bad for them hence the protection circuits
    In god we trust.........all others are suspects
    There are no problems in life that can not be solved with high explosives or small arms
    Too many new lights to list

  8. #8

    Default Re: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    My battery has a blue color cover with a + nipple, but nowhere to find out if it is bare, un or protected. Should I continue using it, paying extra attention during recharging, or buy new brand name one?
    This sort of sounds like an UltraFire battery which doesn't have the best reputation here. As it was explained to me if you want the safest possible Li-ion setup get the best. The "best" system which is pretty much undisputed is an AW brand cell and a Pila charger.

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ger-Compendium

    I personally saved a bit of money and got the 4sevens charger which uses the recommended charging algorithm ( constant-current, constant-voltage) and I have had no problems. I do have a fire extinguisher near by though . I would just make sure to get direct from foursevens because they did have a problem with previous versions.

    http://www.foursevens.com/product_in...oducts_id=3142

    You can buy AW cells directly from them somewhere on here but I get them from light hound

    http://www.lighthound.com/AW-18650-P...ry_p_3671.html


    There are some chemistries of cells that don't need a protection circuit but it is pretty much impossible to tell which one you have.
    Last edited by Onthelightside; 07-05-2012 at 07:30 PM. Reason: added info

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* buds224's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    I had a Dell laptop that finally died on me. I took both batteries apart and was able to test and salvage x18 of the 18650s out of them; 9cells in each battery. I also happened to have a multi-meter that I used for automotive work, so testing and maintaining them was a breeze. Thanks to all the CPF members for their knowledge, I saved tons of money and have a nice collection of lights that utilize these batteries while my stock of primaries are on standby in case the SHTF.

    Last edited by buds224; 07-06-2012 at 07:52 PM. Reason: *** changed Volt Meter to Multi-Meter. Misquoted myself.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by madecov View Post
    The answer to your question can be complex. If you use a multi meter to monitor the battery it can be safe. There are a number of decent chargers that will terminate the charge at the proper voltage but it still should be checked. Also draining a battery too low is bad for them hence the protection circuits
    Could you be more specific on what to do with the multi meter to monitor? I would guess to make sure the battery is not above 4.xx volt, and fall below 2.x volt?
    Thanks,

  11. #11

    Default Re: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    I now use Redilast, AW, and Callie's Kustom 18650. They are high quality and have given me good service. Li ion batteries don't like to be discharged too low. I keep a small digital meter. Mine come off the charger at about 4.2v and I try to never let them get much lower, if possible. If you Google battery safety here on CPF you'll find lots of safety information. Welcome to CPF!

  12. #12
    Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by calman View Post
    Could you be more specific on what to do with the multi meter to monitor? I would guess to make sure the battery is not above 4.xx volt, and fall below 2.x volt?
    Thanks,
    Simple guide to using a DMM for measurements

    Norm

  13. #13
    Flashaholic*
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    Default

    You are introduced into the world of flashlights, hold onto Your wallet ...

    just have a look at the lights the ppl around You use, and then do no longer wonder, why they also dont use the best battery size atm.

    Imho we here agree that this is the best size overall and are using it for ages.
    (my 1st light running on 18650 dates from 2004)


    PS: I do not agree on the "safety" connected posts here.
    There is no need to fear at all - as long as one does not willfully make errors
    when in doubt: buy both

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* skyfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    like others have said, a multi-meter can help you monitor the cells. ive had a DMM for many years before even having this flashlight craze, for the purposes of working on cars and planes. but ive never really used it for jobs.
    my DMM now is permanently placed in my flashlight "hobby" kit along with chargers, lube, spare parts etc.

    i think lithiums are fairly easy to use. just requires a bit of education. we use all sorts of lithiums in our portable electronics these days. just like buds224 mentioned, 18650 are common with laptop battery packs. so advancements with 18650 have been made on large corporate levels.

    there are ways to reduce its "dangers", such as using quality made cells. AW and Redilast have earned a good reputation here. ive never had any problems with my AW li-ions. ive had about a 50% fail rate with cheaper cells. ive stopped using those cells over a year ago, and at the rate they were failing im sure it would of been 100% fail rate by now.

    i also never use more than 1 li-ion cell in any light.

    and of course a multi-meter, or you can get a volt-meter, which ive seen for very inexpensive.

    and
    hang on to your wallet!

  15. #15

    Default Re: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by buds224 View Post
    I had a Dell laptop that finally died on me. I took both batteries apart and was able to test and salvage x18 of the 18650s out of them; 9cells in each battery. I also happened to have a multi-meter that I used for automotive work, so testing and maintaining them was a breeze. Thanks to all the CPF members for their knowledge, I saved tons of money and have a nice collection of lights that utilize these batteries while my stock of primaries are on standby in case the SHTF.

    Hi Bud224,
    Are those protected? What do you do to them batteries as precaution during charging and using? Thanks.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 18650 battery - why this is not popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by calman View Post
    Hi Bud224,
    Are those protected? What do you do to them batteries as precaution during charging and using? Thanks.
    18650's found inside laptop/camera/etc battery packs never have individual protection boards. There's 1 protection PCB for all cells (usually between 4 and 9 for laptops), which you disconnect cells from while disassembling a pack.

  17. #17

    Default

    The "general" public cannot be educated to fully realize the dangers of loose lithium cells. Remember that outside this circle, a flashlight is a flashlight... And for most, a plastic 2D light is all they'll need or use. Unless the battery, charger and flashlight operation can be made dummy proof, no company will bet their dollars on possible litigation. In the case of dummy proof lights, they will have specially designed lithium battery packs and charging system -- again not loose cells.



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