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Thread: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

  1. #1

    Default Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    I'm thinking of replacing my "blackout" lights (fluourescent tubes powered by 4 or 8 D-cell batteries) with Lithium 123 powered LED lights. Does anyone make a reasonably bright LED lantern-type light that runs on Lithium 123?

    I'm new to this forum and to LED lights, but does this application make sense? With Surefire selling Li-123's at $1.25 each, this seems like a more practical way to go.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    The only problem I can see with your setup is the ready availability of CR123 cells during a protracted emergency. Your neighbors probably don't have any, and your remotes and household appliances contain AA's and AAA's.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    It depends on how many much light you want... It could very well be those flourescent lights put out a whole lot more light for a longer time than any 123 lithium powered light.
    I am unsure why you would replace them but instead would be better off adding the lithium powered lights as a light for walking and for throw and the flourescent for reading and flood.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    If I was concernd about needing light for a long time I'd probably go with one of the lights that you shake.
    I'd also go with a few bright LEDS, and a solar panel.
    I lived in Baja for over a year with no electricity 90% of the time and you don't need a lot of light. You go to bed when it gets dark and get up when it's light. You can read with a single LED if you have to but more importantly it's all you need to find the head.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    I would suggest using AA Lithiums for emergency use. You will have all the benefits of lithium for long term storage. When there is an emergency where you will not be able to acquire new lithium batteries, you will still be able to run off alkalines or heavy duty batteries which are readily available.

    I don't know of any lanterns that run off AA's or 123A's, but you could always use a 4-to-D or 3-to-D paralell holder with Lithium AA's. When you run out of lithiums, you could just use Alkaline D cells.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    UK 4AA eLED with lithium AAs would be nice...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    You can get flourescent battery lights that run off of AAs
    and incandescent lanterns also. The arcwhite and doublebright are interesting AA flourescent lights, also there are lights using standard 4watt tubes that use 4AAs. As for putting lithium AAs in place of D cells in 3toD holders I wouldn't bother for the price an alkaline D has plenty of run time and todays alkaline batteries can last up to 10 years in storage even though they don't say it.
    By the time you have to put 12AAs to replace 4D cells you have spent enough to buy 24D cells from walmart which will blow the lithiums away on total runtime.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    Funny you should ask that lightwave1. Instead of lugging around those lantern lights I plan on making something for general area lighting. I have some of the parts already and a general plan of what I'd like to design and build. Once I get my LED's from LedSupply hopefully next week I'm looking into its feasibility, light output, etc.

    Everyone here seems to be designing and building or modding throw type flashlights so I thought I'd build a HQ area/general use/tent type light. Here is the idea; weather it comes to fruition remains to be seen as some of the electronics might be beyond me (any electronics guru's here want to lend a helping hand I'd be most grateful)

    Body to be made from 1¼" polycarbonate or plexiglass, frosted
    power/electronics housing to be made from stainless
    O.A.L. approximately 4"
    1W or 3W Luxeon
    internal power 2 parallel 123's
    circuit to be a CC regulated,reverse pol. protected, 1.5-12V capable
    some kind of waterproof/resistant DC input, leads to have magnets for connecting to exteranl primaries, including any lantern or LA type battery up to 12V.

    Basically the idea is to have a luminary capable of lighting a fair size room, something like a 13'×15' enough to read a book with or cook by and when/if the primaries fail, be able to use the lead with magnets to hook to whatever power source you can find, loose 2032, AA, D, steal a 9V from a smoke detector, yank the 8AH 6V from the kids toy barbie car, or drag a spare car battery out of the garage...you get the picture I think.

    I may find that this is quite infeasable or impossible to accomplish, but the first place to start is an idea. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    I would guess you better start with the 3watt luxeon if you want to light a room and be able to read by it, I don't have much experience with luxeons but I have 4watt flourescent lights and they are I would say near the lower limit on light for reading and lighting a 200 square foot room at the same time.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    Thanks to all for your responses and ideas.

    ODatsBright, I think your idea sounds interesting. For camping, where people will pay a premium for lighter weight, I would think there would be a market for a bright, general area LED light powered by 123s. I have a Coleman Northstar, which is a fine fluorescent lantern, but with 8D cells, it is NOT light to carry.

    For home emergency preparedness, where the peformance/cost ratio is more relevant than performance/weight, it sounds like staying with D Cells and fluorescents makes more sense.

    Good luck with your design!

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    I think the Lithium AAs are the way to go, as many have mentioned due to the availability of 123s in a prolonged emergency. The Eternalights with Lithium AAs in them make pretty good long running, emergency lights. Else there's also Elektrolumens Anglelux, which takes 2D batteries and the runtime was up to 24 hrs IIRC. A Gerber or CMG Infinity would give you many many hours on 1 AA (lithium or alkaline) too, the Ultra version being brighter and shorter runtime. Flashlightreviews.com has a Energizer folding Led lantern which runs off 4AAs that would give you many hours of area light in a very small and compact package as well. Not sure if it takes Lithiums though. Hope these lights that I mentioned somehow will help in your decision making...

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    For my emergency kit (which always seems to change) I have a CMG Infinity Ultra with a lithium AA, an EternaLight with lithium AA's, a PT Aurora headlamp with lithium AAA's, and a 4D Maglite with a 20 LED conversion. All of these offer long runtime with good brightness. I just need to add something with some throw, just in case.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    My take on this is to have a few waterproof LED flashlights that will take lithium AA's. Everything else can run off alkalines, just store the batteries out of the lights. That way you have flashlights that will work under any conditions you are likely to ever need them, and can use their light when you go to install the batteries in your brighter/longer-burning/area lights. This will be far cheaper than powering everything with lithiums, even replacing the alkalines every couple of years. And you don't run the risk of battery leakage damaging your lights.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    Depending on how much light you need, look at the milky candle (milkyspit) I think he is close to running another batch, and runtimes are amazing. It runs on 2 x 123.

    For lots of light and really long run times, (but not necessarily lowest cost), consider a light powered by 2 x D cell Saft 3 V Li. You will probably notice that I am in a real minority on this battery setup since it costs $ 30 a set.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    [ QUOTE ]
    notrefined said:
    My take on this is to have a few waterproof LED flashlights that will take lithium AA's. Everything else can run off alkalines, just store the batteries out of the lights. That way you have flashlights that will work under any conditions you are likely to ever need them, and can use their light when you go to install the batteries in your brighter/longer-burning/area lights. This will be far cheaper than powering everything with lithiums, even replacing the alkalines every couple of years. And you don't run the risk of battery leakage damaging your lights.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I agree with this idea with one addition, putting spare alkalines in watertight storage, Ziplock bags at least in case you experience a flood or water damage your batteries will be unaffected. Lithiums are nice but you can literally buy more run time off of alkalines for the same price if you do not mind storing extra batteries to make up the difference. For extended emergency outages a car charger and nimh cells would be very useful to keep from expending nothing but disposables all the time in outages lasting for days or longer. Lithiums are more suited for extreme temperatures and storage of lights you are going to forget you have over 10 years, alkalines for other backup lights and nimh for often used lights you also use in backup mode.

    As for replacing alkalines often... it is better to just use the old ones in backup mode first and replace them with new ones... rotating old stock, making sure you keep enough around for emergencies.

    A cheap way to get watertight storage (not perfectly waterproof) is to buy a clear plastic storage box with a tight sealing lid on it. While not completely waterproof you can store the batteries at a height that would preclude them being flood soaked and even put batteries in ziplocks to waterproof them if desired... The clear box will make it easier to find you don't have to have a clear lid unless you bury the whole box so you cannot see through the side.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    If environmental conditions are a concern for storage, pop the extra bucks for a Pelican storage case. Throw in a rechargable dessicant pack, and that will take care of your high humidity conditions.

    I use Pelican C123 storage cases for my bulk purchases of c123 batteries.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    To meet your requirements for lithiums, I'd agree with JimH on the Sportsmans Guide 4AA lanterns - I had a set of those and they're a pretty decent choice, and are rated for lithiums. Five brightness levels. You could load them up with lithiums, keep them stored out of sight and out of mind in that case (buy three and they give you the case) and have low lighting for three rooms, or use all three in one room and boost the brightness/coverage. It's a nice, flexible solution.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    If we're talking about emergency preparedness and batteries, it may also make sense to have even more spare batteries to give to friends/family or to barter with. People may be desperate for batteries. Hopefully it'll never come to that, though.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    Or spare giveaway lights with batteries if you want to go that far. I have found usually has to be a huge disaster before people cannot find batteries for sale somewhere, if someone doesn't plan ahead on batteries... chances are they may not plan ahead on emergency lights also and only have one of two mediocre throwaway lights that probably have dead corroded heavy duty batteries in them.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* John N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness


    JimH,

    Have you run any of these lights with Li batteries w/o problems? Any idea about runtime?

    Also, how much light do you get with the different numbers of LEDs in them?

    Thanks,

    -john

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    [ QUOTE ]
    John N said:

    JimH,

    Have you run any of these lights with Li batteries w/o problems? Any idea about runtime?

    Also, how much light do you get with the different numbers of LEDs in them?

    Thanks,

    -john

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I haven't used lithiums in them yet, but I'll slap some in one of the lights and let you know tomorrow.

    How much light do you get is a question that I just don't know how to answer.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* John N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness


    Well, I was just wondering because one has only two LEDs and the next one up has 12. Pretty big difference, but they both run on 4AA. Then there is that 30 LED one.

    Which one(s) do you have?

    Thanks,

    -john

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    The ones I have are the 12 LED lanterns in the 3 set with the case. These have a five level switch. I also have the 30 LED lantern. It has a two position switch - 15 LEDs or 30 LEDs. It is worth it ro order 3 of the 12 LED lanterns - they come in a real nice case. The 30 LED lantern also comes in a nice case.

    So far I've been running a 12 LED light on the highest setting, with Eveready Lithiums for 4 hours with no noticable decrease in light. I'll let it run overnight and post an update in the morning.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* moraino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    Regarding those dimmable lanterns, do they use simple resistors to dim the LEDs or there is electronic circuit used?

    Henry

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    There is a circuit board inside, but it contains only resistors so I guess that answers your question.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    If you have ever seen a JimH light at a CPF meeting, you will notice that when he says "it has about enough light", you can see REALLY WELL.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    [ QUOTE ]
    John N said:

    JimH,

    Have you run any of these lights with Li batteries w/o problems? Any idea about runtime?

    Also, how much light do you get with the different numbers of LEDs in them?

    Thanks,

    -john

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Okay, John, I let the lantern run all night (15 hours) on the highest light setting. It was kind of hard to tell in the daylight, but it looked pretty much as bright as when I started.

    So in answer to your question - yes, it runs very well on AA lithiums.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* John N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness


    Coolness. This (12 LED unit) sounds like a great little light.

    (And thanks for burning 4 Li AAs for the sake of this experiment)

    -john

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium powered - emergency preparedness

    Experiment continuing one more night - results in the morning.

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