14500 VS 16340 Advice Please

Toulouse42

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Hi All

I have some 14500 cells (Lumintop) that state they are 3.7 volt and 920 mAh / 3.4 Wh

I have some 16340 calls (Fenix) that state they are 3.6 volt and 700 mAh / 2.52 Wh

Now I was never very good at the electrical side of physics at school (50 years ago). Can I assume that I get about 30% more power out of the 14500's compared to the 16340 or are there other considerations that I don't know about?

Not too heavy on the science please. BTW this is just curiosity. I have flashlights that take each battery type.

Thanks
 

ChrisGarrett

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Correct. The 14500 can generally handle more current as well, all other things being equal.

I pretty much exclusively carry 16340 lights and understand their limitations.

Chris
 

cave dave

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I'd use the same nominal voltage (3.6v) for both when doing calcs. Generally you can find discharge reviews of popular cells if you want to compare or see if they live up to the capacity claims.

Ignore the 18650 bit, the link is for smaller batteries. The Fenix 16340 is in there , but not the Lumintop. Try the Sofirn 14500 900mAh to give an idea how cells compare.
 

thermal guy

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Hi All

I have some 14500 cells (Lumintop) that state they are 3.7 volt and 920 mAh / 3.4 Wh

I have some 16340 calls (Fenix) that state they are 3.6 volt and 700 mAh / 2.52 Wh

Now I was never very good at the electrical side of physics at school (50 years ago). Can I assume that I get about 30% more power out of the 14500's compared to the 16340 or are there other considerations that I don't know about?

Not too heavy on the science please. BTW this is just curiosity. I have flashlights that take each battery type.

Thanks
Yep. I did a test with both them cells a the 14500 of course lasted longer.
 
Joined
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I happily carry 14500 and 16340 lights. Whichever size is your preference, either will serve you well. The thing about these smaller EDC-type cells though is that they are not intended as duty lights, and are not designed to deliver high outputs for an hour or more of use. These smaller cells and the lights that use them are literally designed as pocket torches, prudent to have on hand, to be deployed on an as-needed basis in the performance of common tasks and to illuminate common circumstances.

The highest capacity ratings of 14500 cells as of 2024 are nominally in the vicivity of 1000-1100 mAh (Keeppower, by way of example). The most potent 16340 cell I'm aware of as of 2024 is a Vapecell T8, rated at 850 mAh. In a hypothetical emergency situation, and further assuming comperable power output levels, the 14500 cells will give you a few more minutes of runtime. As a practical matter however, in normal daily use neither cell will be exhausted by the short runtimes that run-of-the-mill uses require. Given these facts, my personal preference is to carry whatever lights feel good to me that day. I'm personally partial to the smaller form factor that 16340 lights provide. It's also my experience that a 16340-sized light will typically have a slightly bigger heat sink as compared to a 14500 light (unless you make your own), thereby allowing 16340 lights to run at higher lumen output as compared to a 14500 light.

Either choice will still make you more prepared for life's little hiccups than 95% of the population. (I made that figure up, but you get the idea.) Bottom line: Carry whatever you damn well please. It's all good.
 

Toulouse42

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Thanks all. For some reason, I had believed that 16340's were a little weedy compared to CR123a. I've been using 14500 now for a couple of years so it seemed wise to check my thinking about the 16340s.

As DaveTheDude says this is indeed for pocket carry for occasional use. My current favourite is the Eagtac D25A which has a good moonlight mode and will do about 600/700 lumens on a 14500. The only downside is that it can't take the longer cells.
 

aznsx

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Both 16340 & 14500 are great cells, and I use both frequently. They're essentially ~the same thing in different form factor, for most practical purposes. I also have several D25As, and several D25Cs, and use several of them daily. Keep in mind that there are protected 16340s with higher capacity than the Fenix cells you mention (which I've also used for years, but don't fit the D25Cs). Also keep in mind that both capacity and max current ratings should generally be considered together when choosing cells.

I do use a lot of 16340 lights, and prefer the form factor and performance capabilities of some of those lights to those of most 14500 lights. I also prefer having CR123A as my 'primary' backup source rather than AAs.

An example of a protected 16340 w/ 950mAh rating which I'm using is here, and these are my test results on 4 samples. They were tested at 2 discharge current rates, to a discharge cutoff voltage of 2.8V (the manufacturer likely uses 2.5V). (They also fit nicely in a D25C):

*****************************************
.....About a week later, I tested 4 new examples of NL-169, a newer version Nitecore protected 16340 cell with a rated capacity of 950 mAh using the MC3000, with same parameters as previous tests. I paid unit price of $6.95USD for these cells.

NL169


photo.nitecore.com
photo.nitecore.com

Those results were:
Cell #1 - 905 mAh - 0.153Ω
Cell #2 - 913 mAh - 0.158Ω
Cell #3 - 911 mAh - 0.161Ω
Cell #4 - 897 mAh - 0.165Ω

I re-ran the test on the same 4 cells, but this time I used a discharge current / rate of 0.5 A (rather than 1.0A used in all the previous tests) with these results:
Cell #1 - 925 mAh
Cell #2 - 938 mAh
Cell #3 - 940 mAh
Cell #4 - 924 mAh

****************************************************
That info is copied from this post:


If you're interested, here are some protected 14500s I'm using which test well and fit nicely in a D25A:

 

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