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Thread: Keeping a light in car okay?

  1. #1

    Default Keeping a light in car okay?

    I want to keep a light in the jeep. Is it too risky to keep a light with summer heat?
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  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    Use lithium primary batteries only, and store the light in a place that isn't exposed to direct sunlight, such as a door map pocket or under the seat.

  3. #3

    Default Keeping a light in car okay?

    I have always kept a flashlight in the car without issue. Usually there is one in my glovebox and one in my emergency bag that stays in the back.

    I know that there are warnings that temperature extremes can cause issues, but I have not experienced that with alkaline nor lithium batteries.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    Lithium primary is the only way to go with this unless you want to be rotating batteries and lights based on the ambient temperature.

    In more mild weather I'd say lithium ion would be fine, granted it's not in direct sunlight.

    However, by far, the easiest solution here is to utilize a light with lithium primaries, store it and forget about it. It will handle all the temperature fluctuations of being inside a car long term.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by PartyPete View Post
    Lithium primary is the only way to go with this unless you want to be rotating batteries and lights based on the ambient temperature.

    In more mild weather I'd say lithium ion would be fine, granted it's not in direct sunlight.

    However, by far, the easiest solution here is to utilize a light with lithium primaries, store it and forget about it. It will handle all the temperature fluctuations of being inside a car long term.
    That's the right answer. I kept a 1x18650 light in my car for over a year and figured everything was fine when the voltage didn't drop much. But that doesn't tell the whole story. After using the cell a little more, I realized it was in rough shape. Very high internal resistance and not able to hold a load well.
    GOOD TINT!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    Lithium primaries work great when it's cold. Alkalines...
    Not so much.
    John 3:16

  7. #7

    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    Thanks all, all I have are 18650 lights, do they make lithium primary in 18650?

    And yes, I learned the hard way that Duracell/Energizer batts just rott away and spill batt acid from the heat.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    18650 is fine except for a light with an electronic switch. The parasitic drain will slowly use up a wee bit of charge over time and your run time may be compromised some when you need all the runtime possible.

    A mechanical switch or a light with a lockout feature would be the way to go there.
    John 3:16

  9. #9

    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    18650 is fine except for a light with an electronic switch. The parasitic drain will slowly use up a wee bit of charge over time and your run time may be compromised some when you need all the runtime possible.

    A mechanical switch or a light with a lockout feature would be the way to go there.
    Ok thx for feedback, hopefully the lights I want to dedicate to the jeep will allow to unscrew a bit to prevent that from happening
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  10. #10
    Administrator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    I've always thought theft was a greater risk to car flashlights, so my least-expensive Surefire: SF G2Z w/ Malkoff M61N.
    1x17650 in the (mild) PNW winters, rotating to 2xCR123's in the hot summers.

    As it gets the majority of use in the winter, the CR123's are probably going to expire due to age rather than use.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by trailhunter View Post
    Thanks all, all I have are 18650 lights, do they make lithium primary in 18650?

    And yes, I learned the hard way that Duracell/Energizer batts just rott away and spill batt acid from the heat.
    If the input voltage can take 6v, use 2 x CR123 in your 18650 light. (Just make certain the light is not limited to 4.2V before doing this.) Many 1 x 18650 lights can do this. Heat will slowly increase increase internal resistance and decrease capacity of Li-ion cells, especially when stored fully charged above 70-deg F or so.

    I will just echo the comments already given. I nearly always have at least one full-size light on me, and always have a pocket light, so I no longer keep a car light. But my wife keeps a G2 with Malkoff M61NL in her car and has for years. Always CR123 batteries, and neither the light, dropin, or primaries have ever suffered. We change the batteries in her car light and our power outage light twice a year when we change smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm batteries and then use those CR123s in less critical hosts so we always have fresh cells in an emergency.
    Home of the Throw-Monster!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    I've always thought theft was a greater risk to car flashlights, so my least-expensive Surefire: SF G2Z w/ Malkoff M61N.
    1x17650 in the (mild) PNW winters, rotating to 2xCR123's in the hot summers.

    As it gets the majority of use in the winter, the CR123's are probably going to expire due to age rather than use.
    I like my G2Z's even more than my Z2, so it's the Z2 in the car, with a 3rd-party non-Malkoff drop-in. Primaries only, and since I instinctively pull out my EDC front-pocket light when I need light, the CR123's in the car Z2 will probably quietly expire at some point, without me knowing it, along with the car back-up primaries.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by trailhunter View Post
    I want to keep a light in the jeep. Is it too risky to keep a light with summer heat?
    I say stay away from alkalines, and keep the light out of direct sunlight, but otherwise, I don't think it matters much which chemistry you use to power the light.

    I have a 14-16 year old Garman GPS (the maps are from 2002 or 2004) and about 6 years ago I noticed that it wasn't holding a charge very well anymore, or rather it had reduced capacity. The battery is a single LiIon 18650. It usually rode in the glove compartment, but sometimes it was left on the dash in direct sunlight for hours at a time parked in the sun. I still got 8-10 years of service out of that battery.

    LiIon handles temperature extremes almost as well as lithium primaries, and NiMH does almost as well as LiIons.

    In my car, I keep a 2AA Rayovac with a red traffic diffuser packed with a pair of duracell NiMH batteries that I top off now and then. I also keep a 4 pack of AA lithium primaries as a back-up. It is inexpensive enough to give away if someone needs it more than me at the scene of an accident, or what-ever.

    Currently I also have an 18650 light in the glove box too. I emptied out my trunk and need to set it back up again, but I usually also have a 28" traffic baton, headlamp, and 3 C (with an adapter to run on a single 18650 cell) flashlight in my trunk, and a charger.




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  14. #14

    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    I sure hope so. Othewise I'd better take out that SureFire 6PX from my glove compartment.

  15. #15

    Default Keeping a light in car okay?

    I had a factor equipment cossatot 1000 in my truck for 2 years with the stock 18650. Still using it today with the same stock battery and Iíve not had a single problem.
    Last edited by Bigburly912; 08-18-2018 at 10:16 AM.
    hunter, fisherman, flashlight enthusiast

  16. #16

    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    I've kept a multi-functional flashlight in my car for 2 years. It uses alkaline batteries so no need to worry about the heat.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    I've always thought theft was a greater risk to car flashlights, so my least-expensive Surefire: SF G2Z w/ Malkoff M61N.
    1x17650 in the (mild) PNW winters, rotating to 2xCR123's in the hot summers.

    As it gets the majority of use in the winter, the CR123's are probably going to expire due to age rather than use.
    Agree. I keep a min-mag LED AA with lithium primaries in the glove box. If it gets lifted, I'll recover financially. I use the lithiums more because of the high temps here in Texas...winters are relatively mild, but I don't want to have to worry about depeted or leaking alkalines. Heat is just as big a factor in alkaline failure as cold, whereas the lithiums are more bulletproof in that regard.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* ChibiM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    I have a Convoy C8 with battery inside 4 seasons per year
    It works when I need it.. but do a sort of refresh maybe twice a year

  19. #19
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    I've a SF G2X, in bright yellow, in my car. Together with a Klarus traffic wand, and two spare CR123A batteries.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Keeping a light in car okay?

    I keep an Olight S30R Baton III in the glove box with the 18650 it came with, along with it's USB charger. I like that it can charge off the car battery, and even run while charging. The get home bag in the trunk has an Olight M20-X-L2 Warrior with CR123s, unscrewed to prevent drain, and a spare pair of CR123s as well.

    Twisty

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