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Thread: Safest 14500

  1. #1

    Default Safest 14500

    Is there a 14500 made that is tested to be dummy proof? One that will never turn a sealed waterproof flashlight into a mini bomb, or a house up in fire?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Safest 14500

    Nothing is 100% dummy proof. If you're worried about lithium-ion safety, then stick with NiMH AA or alkaline.

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safest 14500

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkIntoTheLight View Post
    Nothing is 100% dummy proof. If you're worried about lithium-ion safety, then stick with NiMH AA or alkaline.
    Yep.

    Buy quality stuff and use a DMM to check cell voltage and you should be fine.

    Run a protected 14500 that will fit in your particular light, if one has the heebie-jeebies.

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Safest 14500

    A protected 14500 is intended to prevent the battery from being discharged down to a level where the harmful internal reactions occur that can cause the battery to experience an internal short or other serious problems. It should also prevent it from being over-charged. Keeppower is currently one of the well respected brands of protected batteries, and their 840mAh 14500 battery, as I understand it, has a Sanyo cell under the wrapper.

    Having a charger from a reputable manufacturer is also recommended, as they should reliably avoid over-charging, should use a slower than normal initial charge if the battery is discharged to an inappropriately low level, and refuse to charge if the battery is discharged beyond a level that can be safely recovered. Basically, a protected cell and a reliable charger should give two levels of protection. Xtar, Nitecore, and Liito-kala chargers all seem to pretty consistently pass CPF user HKJ's tests for those factors.

    One more thing to be aware of: there is little to no formal certification for lithium ion batteries and chargers. It's difficult to impossible to find a UL or CSA label on these products, which is part of why it is recommended to have an understanding of your own of the safe use conditions for lithium ion batteries.

    Many of us are quite comfortable with this after educating ourselves, but of course, the decision is up to you.

    If you want to minimize your risk as much as possible, NiMH batteries are about as low risk as you can get, and we've got some good options now for lights that perform well with them. I actually just took a look at my Panasonic NiMH charger, and it is listed as Intertek tested, another certification lab similar to UL.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Safest 14500

    Quote Originally Posted by iamlucky13 View Post
    A protected 14500 is intended to prevent the battery from being discharged down to a level where the harmful internal reactions occur that can cause the battery to experience an internal short or other serious problems. It should also prevent it from being over-charged. Keeppower is currently one of the well respected brands of protected batteries, and their 840mAh 14500 battery, as I understand it, has a Sanyo cell under the wrapper.

    Having a charger from a reputable manufacturer is also recommended, as they should reliably avoid over-charging, should use a slower than normal initial charge if the battery is discharged to an inappropriately low level, and refuse to charge if the battery is discharged beyond a level that can be safely recovered. Basically, a protected cell and a reliable charger should give two levels of protection. Xtar, Nitecore, and Liito-kala chargers all seem to pretty consistently pass CPF user HKJ's tests for those factors.

    One more thing to be aware of: there is little to no formal certification for lithium ion batteries and chargers. It's difficult to impossible to find a UL or CSA label on these products, which is part of why it is recommended to have an understanding of your own of the safe use conditions for lithium ion batteries.

    Many of us are quite comfortable with this after educating ourselves, but of course, the decision is up to you.

    If you want to minimize your risk as much as possible, NiMH batteries are about as low risk as you can get, and we've got some good options now for lights that perform well with them. I actually just took a look at my Panasonic NiMH charger, and it is listed as Intertek tested, another certification lab similar to UL.
    Yes I agree, NIMH is the way to go if you are really scared. But I've got a Sunwayman V10A and when I take out the 14500 and put in a 1.2V cell, its just not good enough anymore. The difference is night and day.

    What cell would you all then say is the most reliable, highest quality, that ''should'' be 100% safe.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Safest 14500

    Nothing with stored energy will be "100% safe" ... the key is to try to sensibly manage and limit risk(s)
    ... is the archimedes peak

  7. #7

    Default Re: Safest 14500

    Archimedes is definitely correct. Remember, even companies with giant engineering departments to make their products safe for common consumers like Samsung and Apple have had safety problems with lithium-ion batteries.

    That said, the key points I'm aware of for lithium ion batteries are:

    - Don't over-discharge them (charging them before they reach 3V is a good practice, and 2.5 or 2.75V are common manufacturer specified minimums)
    - Don't over-charge them (usually 4.2V max resting voltage), which means using a good charger
    - Don't short-circuit them (storing or transporting in insulating packaging or at least with electrical tape over the ends is a good idea)
    - Don't overheat them (usually specified for 50 celsius maximum storage temperature - may get hotter in actual use)
    - Don't physically abuse / crush them (if I remember right, this was one of Samsung's problems).
    - Don't use them in devices not designed for the voltage (14500's could easily be mistaken for AA's - I store mine separate so family members don't mistake them)
    - Don't charge them if they're below freezing

    Keeppower is currently my go-to brand for protected cells because I've not heard of any problems with them so far, their batteries usually use cells from known high quality manufacturers like Panasonic, and they perform well in HKJ's tests, so I'm comfortable using them with the precautions I mentioned. I can't say if they're the best.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Safest 14500

    I have done a search, and no online shop in my country, South Africa, sells Keeppower cells. It will have to be an international order then...

    If you look at other brand name cells, we do have Nitecore and Olight 14500 cells available locally. But a well respected member here have tested the cells, and have found the Nitecore in particular, to be below average. So I must look at something else. It would be stupid to buy something that was tested and found well below average.
    Last edited by lightseeker2009; 02-16-2018 at 02:00 AM.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Safest 14500

    Look into LFP (LiFePO4).
    Wish: 1) Super low beacon; easy find flashlight. 2) Low voltage indicator, so not stranded without light. 3) Simple, one handed control ring mode changer (magnetic control ring). 4) Flood beam for walking/tasks. 5) Pocket carry. 6) LiFePO4.


  10. #10

    Default Re: Safest 14500

    Quote Originally Posted by lightseeker2009 View Post
    I have done a search, and no online shop in my country, South Africa, sells Keeppower cells. It will have to be an international order then...

    If you look at other brand name cells, we do have Nitecore and Olight 14500 cells available locally. But a well respected member here have tested the cells, and have found the Nitecore in particular, to be below average. So I must look at something else. It would be stupid to buy something that was tested and found well below average.
    I haven't checked tests on those batteries, at least not recently, but what I've been about some flashlight-manufacturer branded batteries is lower-than-specified capacity, but still properly functioning protection circuits.

    Another brand you might look for is Xtar. I have no idea about their availability in South Africa.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Safest 14500


  12. #12

    Default Re: Safest 14500

    Quote Originally Posted by SubLGT View Post
    While Sanyo is one of the best respected lithium-ion manufacturers, it's likely that anything advertised simply as a Sanyo cell is going to be unprotected. Since lightseeker2009 wants as much assurance of safety as is available, it seems protected cells are preferable.

    I just took a look at HKJ's tests of the Olight and Nitecore batteries. The Nitecore is unremarkable, but seems ok. The Olight batteries showed a fairly large difference in capacity between the pair he tested, which is not a very encouraging sign. If those are your only two choices, I'd probably go with the Nitecore.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Safest 14500


  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Safest 14500

    Quote Originally Posted by SubLGT View Post
    I have two of those and man they are long and don't really fit a lot of my AA lights.

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

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