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Thread: CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Default CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

    I've recently moved to CR123a, RCR123a, and 18650 batteries for all my flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns.

    My kids have all taken an interest in lights too and want their own lights.

    I currently use my Panasonic CR123a cells until they've dropped down to 2.9V or so then let my oldest son finish draining them in a single cell Solarforce L2M with 0.8v-4.2v dropin. What I'd like to do is set each kid up with a low(er) output and draw single cell CR123a light that can safely finish draining my partially used CR123a cells.

    I won't have two cell lights since we can cause problems when the cells are imbalanced.

    What I'm not sure of is how safe it is to run these cells in vampire lights that will fully deplete them?

    I do have a lot of Eneloop AA and AAA cells too but would prefer to run CR123a lights for all of us if it's safe to do so.

    What are are your thoughts?

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    Modernflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

    There is no problem with fully depleting them. As long as the kids know that lithium batteries need to be electrically insulated when outside of the flashlight, then running a 1xCR123 set up should be perfectly safe. You wouldn't want your son to stash one of those batteries in his pocket along side change and a knife. Other than that, your strategy seems quite reasonable to me.
    “May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
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  3. #3

    Default Re: CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

    Peak LED has a secret option of lowering the max output of their lights (you can specify in the order), it goes in levels from 0-8 with 8 being capable of full output and 0 only being a couple lumens. Other than that it seems like all brands of 1x cr123 are all about max turbo modes.

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    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

    My only question is are they old enough to be responsible. Remember, a primary lithium cell does not mix well with water! You might want to take them out to a pond, etc., and toss one in far away from you to let them see what would happen. Also, making sure they return any dead cells to you for proper disposal upon pain of losing their light should keep that kind of experimentation from happening.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

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    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

    Quote Originally Posted by Candlestick View Post
    Peak LED has a secret option of lowering the max output of their lights (you can specify in the order), it goes in levels from 0-8 with 8 being capable of full output and 0 only being a couple lumens. Other than that it seems like all brands of 1x cr123 are all about max turbo modes.
    The Nitecore EC11 with a CR123a has as its two lowest modes a 40 lumen mode (8.5 hrs) and a one lumen mode (40 hrs). Yes, it also has all the other higher power modes as well, but it can be run on the lower modes for a long time.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

    Thanks all, I've been testing a few Solarforce drop ins I have already with my oldest son and I think that setup should work well and not be too costly.

    I may look at a few single cell CR123a cell twisty lights too as options.

    I know there are dangers with CR123a cells but I think I can setup lights safely and be able to teach the dangers and safe use of these cells to my kids.

    Ive got a few single cell AA/AAA lights too they can use.

  7. #7
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    Remember, a primary lithium cell does not mix well with water! You might want to take them out to a pond, etc., and toss one in far away from you to let them see what would happen.
    I really didn't know that.
    What does happen, or do I have to try it at home?
    P

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    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

    If these are used 123s, go with 1x123 only; mixing lithium cells with varying voltages, especially to end of life, greatly increases the odds of a vent.

    Whatever drop-in you use needs to be safe even if the light is left on nose-down on dried leaves/debris, so nothing over ~100 lumens.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    I really didn't know that.
    What does happen, or do I have to try it at home?
    P
    Let's just say rapid high energy discharge eith attendant noxious gases and leave it there.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

    Thanks all, I certainly won't be mixing cells.

    I'm going to upgrade my multimeter and pick up a ZTS battery tester as well to increase my ability to monitor my cells.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    If these are used 123s, go with 1x123 only; mixing lithium cells with varying voltages, especially to end of life, greatly increases the odds of a vent.

    Whatever drop-in you use needs to be safe even if the light is left on nose-down on dried leaves/debris, so nothing over ~100 lumens.
    Good point, suggestions on a P60 dropin that will be a vampire light with low lumens?

    i may need to go with non P60 lights eh.

  12. #12
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

    Malkoff make some low output drop ins. Look for m31 varIants which will run on single cells. Either at Malkoff or Illumn.
    p

  13. #13

    Default Re: CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

    When I was a kid my dad used to take me bottle plinking. Near our home there were unofficial dumps. Places where people dumped refrigerators, tires, trash.
    My pop would set bottles and cans on top of refrigeators or tables and we'd target shoot. He with a 22 rifle and I a bb gun. As life moved on and my understanding grew from a 6 year old to 12 for example he showed me the virtues of the 22 and with it the dangers as I was able to understand them more as I got older.

    I say that to say your kids can enjoy your hobby with you. But when they are young, perhaps a nice bright aa light like a Pelican 2360 can give them the feeling they get from handling daddies light while being less likely to cause an issue if mishandled. If rechargeables are the fuel you can also teach them how to safely recharge eneloops until experience allows them to understand the virtues and dangers of your 18650's.
    John 3:16

  14. #14
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    Default Re: CR123a lights safe for kids to use unsupervised?

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    When I was a kid my dad used to take me bottle plinking. Near our home there were unofficial dumps. Places where people dumped refrigerators, tires, trash.
    My pop would set bottles and cans on top of refrigeators or tables and we'd target shoot. He with a 22 rifle and I a bb gun. As life moved on and my understanding grew from a 6 year old to 12 for example he showed me the virtues of the 22 and with it the dangers as I was able to understand them more as I got older.

    I say that to say your kids can enjoy your hobby with you. But when they are young, perhaps a nice bright aa light like a Pelican 2360 can give them the feeling they get from handling daddies light while being less likely to cause an issue if mishandled. If rechargeables are the fuel you can also teach them how to safely recharge eneloops until experience allows them to understand the virtues and dangers of your 18650's.
    Thanks for sharing that, I see your point for sure.

    I have decided I'll setup 3 kids with AA lights and my oldest son with single CR123a lights. He's the most responsible and wants his lights to be just like daddies. He is getting a good start towards a flashlight addiction. He's got a Fenix L1T, Solarforce L2M with their low voltage drop in, and I'll be setting up a Solarforce L2P for him using a single CR123a and Customlites low voltage drop in.

    My other kids kids aren't as "geeky" as my oldest son and I so they'll get Lumitop lights and L3 illumination L10 lights in their favorite colors.

    Thanks all for sharing your thoughts and suggestions.

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