An anthology of lithium-chemistry failures in flash lights

tandem

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This is a work in progress.

A summary of Lithium (primary or secondary) cell explosions, vent-with-flame, and other nasty things


2x123 Tenergy LiFEPO4 cells in SolarForce L2T (2015)
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?396117-Solarforce-Explosion
Update 2015-01-18: News report on this incident http://www.9news.com/story/news/weird/2015/01/17/exploding-flashlight-lakewood/21921797/



3x18650 UltraFire cells in SolarForce L1200 (2010)
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?280909-Ultrafire-18650-3000mA-exploded


2xCR123 Primary cells in SolarForce L2P (2012)
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?340028-Flashlight-Explosion


Many x 18650 Lithium ion cells in Chinese Bike Light (2014)
http://www.trailscotland.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9462a


2xUltrafire presumed RCR123s of some sort, EagleTac, overheating (2014)


2xCR123 explode Pelican M6
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?78843-A-Little-Accident-W-123-s-and-a-Peli-M6/


2xCR123 venting incidents with Pelican M6 (2006) and other lights - user speculates (correctly) it's a multi-cell issue. Photos and more detail - well worth a read:
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...6-123-Primary-Lithium-cell-info-testing-links


Also noted a raft of failures from the Xenon light erea. Multi-cell lights in every case I followed up on.


Within the Pelican M6 thread another user reports multi-Cell UltraFire Xenon light with CR123 - vent + scorched
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...nd-a-Peli-M6&p=1531766&viewfull=1#post1531766




... and so on. Maybe I'll collect more.


Multi-cell lights present additional risk - risks which can be mitigated by careful use - but additional risk nonetheless.
 
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mcnair55

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Imo only and I stress imo posts like this just spread bogey man stories to new collectors and it is very off putting.

They embark on a new hobby thinking there light is going to blow up and the failure rate must be 0.01% of sold units if that.

Now where did I put my anorak as it is cold outside.
 

magellan

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Thanks Tandem, I find these stories useful as I often learn things.

This is a work in progress.

A summary of Lithium (primary or secondary) cell explosions, vent-with-flame, and other nasty things


2x123 Tenergy LiFEPO4 cells in SolarForce L2T (2015)
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?396117-Solarforce-Explosion


3x18650 UltraFire cells in SolarForce L1200 (2010)
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?280909-Ultrafire-18650-3000mA-exploded


2xCR123 Primary cells in SolarForce L2P (2012)
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?340028-Flashlight-Explosion


Many x 18650 Lithium ion cells in Chinese Bike Light (2014)
http://www.trailscotland.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9462a


2xUltrafire presumed RCR123s of some sort, EagleTac, overheating (2014)


2xCR123 explode Pelican M6
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?78843-A-Little-Accident-W-123-s-and-a-Peli-M6/


2xCR123 venting incidents with Pelican M6 (2006) and other lights - user speculates (correctly) it's a multi-cell issue. Photos and more detail - well worth a read:
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...6-123-Primary-Lithium-cell-info-testing-links


Also noted a raft of failures from the Xenon light erea. Multi-cell lights in every case I followed up on.


Within the Pelican M6 thread another user reports multi-Cell UltraFire Xenon light with CR123 - vent + scorched
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...nd-a-Peli-M6&p=1531766&viewfull=1#post1531766




... and so on. Maybe I'll collect more.


Multi-cell lights present additional risk - risks which can be mitigated by careful use - but additional risk nonetheless.
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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Has there ever been any confirmed reports of non-lithium batteries blowing up during normal usage in lights or other consumer devices?
 

tandem

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Imo only and I stress imo posts like this just spread bogey man stories to new collectors and it is very off putting.

They embark on a new hobby thinking there light is going to blow up and the failure rate must be 0.01% of sold units if that.

I disagree. These stories teach lessons, lessons that newcomers to high output flash lights - whether they are here for hobby or for work - would not learn otherwise but *need* to learn. The mind-set of a hobbyist is different from that of a working professional but both groups are in need of reliable safety information. Some lessons are best learned by example.

The hobbyist might take the time to read through the great resources here and internalize the information they need, but we know that some don't. Their stories show up in the 'splosions sub-forum.

The working professional might also take the necessary time but may not, as their motivation for being here is quite different. They are looking for a tool, not a hobby.

If we didn't highlight the risks and teach lessons, if caring people didn't take time to review chargers and cells and lights, there'd be far more incidents.
 

markr6

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Imo only and I stress imo posts like this just spread bogey man stories to new collectors and it is very off putting.

They embark on a new hobby thinking there light is going to blow up and the failure rate must be 0.01% of sold units if that.

Now where did I put my anorak as it is cold outside.

I agree. Some cautions are warranted, but I keep seeing the same posts that rehash the same stories over and over. Over exaggerated IMO.
 

ChrisGarrett

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Many people today are just lazy and they want instant answers without wanting to put the research in, even 30min. to an hour's worth of reading/understanding.

Just look at all of the redundant posts here asking about whether this is a good cell/battery, or is that a good charger?

All one has to do is read the first five pages of this board to have multiple opinions and anecdotes. Throw in SelfBuilt's and HKJ's empirical test data and most of these questions never need to be readdressed.

Just look at all the people here coming in and asking about XXX Fires cells, or some light, after they've bought them?

I doubt that they just happened upon this obscure flashlight site moments after the delivery guy brought them what they bought.

They've been here and they most certainly know how to Google.

I've seen the exact same thing in the reloading forums that I hang out on after both the 2008 and 2112 US Presidential elections.

Panicking people ran out willy-nilly and bought all this random gear and didn't bother to invest in instruction/reloading manuals and then they go to a board and ask the regulars how to do everything, as if they're inquiring about how to brush their teeth, or something else that's simple.

I don't mind answering redundant posts, but it gets old and I'm not really here to try and spoon feed everybody, regarding every facet of this hobby, especially if they're too lazy to take 30 minutes and peruse the first 5-10 pages of this specific forum.

Chris
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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Many people today are just lazy and they want instant answers without wanting to put the research in, even 30min. to an hour's worth of reading/understanding.

Just look at all of the redundant posts here asking about whether this is a good cell/battery, or is that a good charger?

All one has to do is read the first five pages of this board to have multiple opinions and anecdotes. Throw in SelfBuilt's and HKJ's empirical test data and most of these questions never need to be readdressed.

Just look at all the people here coming in and asking about XXX Fires cells, or some light, after they've bought them?

I doubt that they just happened upon this obscure flashlight site moments after the delivery guy brought them what they bought.

They've been here and they most certainly know how to Google.

I've seen the exact same thing in the reloading forums that I hang out on after both the 2008 and 2112 US Presidential elections.

Panicking people ran out willy-nilly and bought all this random gear and didn't bother to invest in instruction/reloading manuals and then they go to a board and ask the regulars how to do everything, as if they're inquiring about how to brush their teeth, or something else that's simple.

I don't mind answering redundant posts, but it gets old and I'm not really here to try and spoon feed everybody, regarding every facet of this hobby, especially if they're too lazy to take 30 minutes and peruse the first 5-10 pages of this specific forum.

Chris

I don't think tandem was asking you to do any work on this thread. I don't really see the point in spending 5-10 minutes writing a post saying how you don't want to bother spending time helping newbies. I have a trick that could easily save you 5-10 minutes of your time.
 

Gauss163

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All one has to do is read the first five pages of this board to have multiple opinions and anecdotes. Throw in SelfBuilt's and HKJ's empirical test data and most of these questions never need to be readdressed.

I'm not aware of any pages (on any site) that adequately address safety concerns of Li-Ion cell use for the general public. Precisely which posts do you refer to in that regard?
 
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thedoc007

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archimedes

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I'm not aware of any pages (on any site) that adequately address safety concerns of Li-Ion cell use for the general public. Precisely which posts do you refer to in that regard?

Although many posts in the battery-related sub-forums refer readers to batteryuniversity.com ... it really is an excellent resource that merits another comment here [emoji106]
 

thedoc007

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I don't mind answering redundant posts, but it gets old and I'm not really here to try and spoon feed everybody, regarding every facet of this hobby, especially if they're too lazy to take 30 minutes and peruse the first 5-10 pages of this specific forum.

It takes quite a while to read everything...many of these threads get quite long, and not every post is accurate, or helpful. And newbies don't know what to search for, in many cases. Try to think of it as a public service...I know I've learned a lot on CPF, and returning the favor shouldn't be a chore.

What bothers me is when people ask questions, but then immediately dismiss anything that doesn't already fit into their preconceived notions. No excuse for that...if you come here to learn, rather than to argue for your personal beliefs, it is a lot better for everyone involved. Of course you should challenge others to back their opinions, if you believe they might be wrong. But that isn't the same thing is dismissing posts you don't agree with.

(I say this with the full knowledge that I don't always follow my own advice, but it is something to strive for.)
 
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Gauss163

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I agree. Some cautions are warranted, but I keep seeing the same posts that rehash the same stories over and over. Over exaggerated IMO.

Some context: the first link in the OP is no rehash. It refers to a recent event - a post yesterday about a light that exploded in a new CPF user's mouth, resulting in "3rd degree burns to the mouth and throat, heavily sedated, intubated with a breathing tube and feeding tube in my throat".

Presumably that is what sparked this thread (possibly also the recent long discussion on safety).
 
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ChrisGarrett

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I don't think tandem was asking you to do any work on this thread. I don't really see the point in spending 5-10 minutes writing a post saying how you don't want to bother spending time helping newbies. I have a trick that could easily save you 5-10 minutes of your time.

I didn't interpret his post as asking me, or anybody for help and that's not what my post was about. I was speaking in general terms about people coming in to the Battery/Electronics forum and asking questions that have clearly been answered in the first 5-10 pages, pages that had they been read, would have answered the original inquiry.

Where did I say in my post that I don't like helping new people here?

I have almost 2200 posts here in three years and if you were to examine them, all you'd really find is that 95% of them are posted to help people out, or to point out my experiences with widget A, B or C.

Since this forum gets posted to a lot and this thread will get moved down to pages that I think, won't get read by new people here, it's probably better suited to the sub-forum addressing the dangers of lithium-ion based cells and lights.

That sub-forum doesn't have a lot of posting, so things don't get pushed down to the bottom, or off the first/second pages.

The point of my post, that you missed, addresses the fact that people tend not to read a lot, before posting their questions and if they had only taken the time to read for a few minutes, they probably would have gotten the answers that they sought.

Chris
 

archimedes

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Although many posts in the battery-related sub-forums refer readers to batteryuniversity.com ... it really is an excellent resource that merits another comment here [emoji106]

Another informative (although more technical) site worth a look is at mpoweruk.com
 

markr6

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I always liked this thread regarding Li-Ion and using them safely as the title implies:

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...-Using-Li-ion-cells-in-LED-flashlights-safely

Some context: the first link in the OP is no rehash. It refers to a recent event - a post yesterday about a light that exploded in a new CPF user's mouth, resulting in "3rd degree burns to the mouth and throat, heavily sedated, intubated with a breathing tube and feeding tube in my throat".

Presumably that is what sparked this thread (possibly also the recent long discussion on safety).
Of course there will be some new stories. Time on Earth didn't suddenly stop :) I'm talking about the majority, not exceptions.
 
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WalkIntoTheLight

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I really don't have an issue with similar threads. I know some mods hate it, but I figure that this isn't a wiki page, it's a forum. Topics may have been discussed before, but some of it may have been years ago and perhaps out of date. And there is just way too much info here to expect someone to look through it all.

Yes, I know search is your friend, but until I saw one of the mods mention using Google and appending "site:candlepowerforums.com", I had no idea how to do a useful search. The site's built-in search function is awful!
 

SubLGT

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Just to add some perspective, here are some interesting stats from the CPSC (USA) in this report: U.S. National Estimates of Fires,Deaths, Injuries, and Property Losses from Unintentional Fires

http://www.cpsc.gov//Global/Researc...009-2011ResidentialFireLossEstimatesFinal.pdf

  • 365,500 fires, 2,240 deaths, 13,400 injuries, and $6.46 billion in property loss in 2011
  • Cooking equipment accounted for the largest percentage of fires. An estimated annual average of 146,700 cooking equipment-related fires during 2009–2011 accounted for 40.5percent of the average annual estimate of total residential fires for the same period. The corresponding death estimate is an annual average of 160 deaths
  • Heating and cooling equipment fires constituted the second largest share of total residential fires. The estimated annual average of 48,200 fires for 2009–2011 was 13.3 percent of the annual average estimate of total residential fires during the same period. The corresponding death estimate is an annual average of 190 deaths
  • During 2009–2011, an estimated annual average of 9,700 fires was attributable to electrical distribution system components (e.g., installed wiring, lighting). This corresponds to 2.7percent of the estimated annual average number of total residential fires for the same time period. The annual average death estimate is 140
  • With respect to heat source, smoking materials were the largest contributor to deaths,associated with an annual average of 450 deaths from 2009 to 2011.
  • The estimated annual average number of deaths from candle fires is 70, which represents 3.2 percent of the average annual estimated total number of residential fire deaths during 2009 to 2011. There were an estimated 70 deaths from lighter fires (3.1 percent of the estimated annual average of the total number of residential fire deaths) while, on average, matches were responsible for 10 deaths,or 0.6 percent of total deaths annually.





 

WalkIntoTheLight

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Just to add some perspective, here are some interesting stats from the CPSC (USA) in this report: U.S. National Estimates of Fires,Deaths, Injuries, and Property Losses from Unintentional Fires

http://www.cpsc.gov//Global/Researc...009-2011ResidentialFireLossEstimatesFinal.pdf

  • 365,500 fires, 2,240 deaths, 13,400 injuries, and $6.46 billion in property loss in 2011
  • Cooking equipment accounted for the largest percentage of fires. An estimated annual average of 146,700 cooking equipment-related fires during 2009–2011 accounted for 40.5percent of the average annual estimate of total residential fires for the same period. The corresponding death estimate is an annual average of 160 deaths
  • Heating and cooling equipment fires constituted the second largest share of total residential fires. The estimated annual average of 48,200 fires for 2009–2011 was 13.3 percent of the annual average estimate of total residential fires during the same period. The corresponding death estimate is an annual average of 190 deaths
  • During 2009–2011, an estimated annual average of 9,700 fires was attributable to electrical distribution system components (e.g., installed wiring, lighting). This corresponds to 2.7percent of the estimated annual average number of total residential fires for the same time period. The annual average death estimate is 140
  • With respect to heat source, smoking materials were the largest contributor to deaths,associated with an annual average of 450 deaths from 2009 to 2011.
  • The estimated annual average number of deaths from candle fires is 70, which represents 3.2 percent of the average annual estimated total number of residential fire deaths during 2009 to 2011. There were an estimated 70 deaths from lighter fires (3.1 percent of the estimated annual average of the total number of residential fire deaths) while, on average, matches were responsible for 10 deaths,or 0.6 percent of total deaths annually.






All that is interesting, and I get your point is that in the grand scheme of things flashlights are pretty safe. But I really hate it when people try to (mis)use statistics. Those stats say nothing about how many people use a flashlight with lithium-ion batteries, how often they use it, what conditions they use it in, etc.

For example, I'm pretty sure the number of deaths last year to people playing golf naked on the surface of Mars is ZERO. Does that mean it's not a concern if I happen to go to Mars? Should I not bring a spacesuit, because nobody has ever died from it? What about just going to the moon? There's been a dozen people walk on the moon, but zero fatalities or injuries. Does that mean it's safe?
 
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