Battery choices safe?

PandaLight

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Hello, I am new to all this flashlight stuff. During a blackout I realized we have no flashlights around the house so I bought 3 lights and a bunch of batteries, but after reading the forums for abit, apparently there are bad battery combinations and that they might explode? So yeah, is there anything wrong with my setup?

These all claim to be protected.
I ordered:
2 Grey Ultrafire 18650 2400 mAh from DX
3 Red with White Ultrafire 18650 3000mAh from eBay (Pretty sure these are fakes) - 99%+ reviews so it shouldn't be too bad
2 Grey Trustfire 14500 900mAh from eBay (Not sure if fake) - Same
2 AW 14500 750mAh from Lighthound - Should be fine considering how expensive they were...
2 Xtar 18650 2600mAh from eBay - Also extremely expensive from authorized Fenix dealer

Charger is an Xtar WP2 II dual charger with 4.2V cutoff so if the fake ones don't really have protection they wont explode??? Hopefully.

The 3 lights are:
Fenix TK15 337 Lumen - Runs single 18650
Ultrafire 1000Lumen XML T6(Should be fake, bought it for $14) - Runs single 18650 - I'll probably be leaving this one in my car with 2 CR123a batteries for emergencies.
Xeno E03 400+ Lumen - Runs single 14500

I plan on keeping the Xtar and AW's in the flashlights to be used moderately. I am pretty sure they will be fine, I'm not worried about them.
Now about the other ones, it will be when I just want to play around with them etc. and because I don't really care about the longevity of the battery, I will probably be discharging them pretty fast. I've heard there some safety precautions such as, recharge the batteries once they start to dim, watch them while recharging and checking their voltage(I don't have a volt meter so I probably won't be doing that). I really don't want them to explode, especially since those lights will draw a lot of current off them, making it more likely? I don't know. What will cause them to explode? How to prevent them from exploding? And, will drawing such a high current from the cheapies damage the batteries or more importantly the flashlights? Thanks~

Sorry if this is too long... =[
But, if you have any other opinions about my flashlight or battery choices let me know~
 

PandaLight

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Sorry for bumping this up, but I would really appreciate a reply since I don't want to do anything dangerous. Also, I've read that the Xtar WP2 ll charger has 2 independent charging channels so does that mean I can charge 2 seperate types of battery at the same time? ie. one 18650 and one 14500 at the same time? Thank you.
 

Joe Talmadge

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IMO, if you are new to flashlights and particularly to Li Ion batteries, you should follow the most conservative (and pretty standard) advice that I've seen given here over and over and over: avoid Ultrafire, Trustfire, and all other *fire brands, stick with proven high quality batteries like AW, CK, Redlast and high quality chargers like Pila, 4sevens, cottonpickers, and learn the proper procedures for care and handling. When I introduce friends to Li Ion who are new to it, I do not let them deviate from the preceding, at the beginning.
 

PandaLight

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Yes, that's why I bought the Xtar/AW batteries and a Xtar charger because I've heard alot of people saying they are really reliable.The thing is, I would like to know how to safely handle the cheaper ones and if you have any advice on how to do so please let me know. I have messaged the seller for the red/white ultrafire batteries and she informed me that there is in fact, no protection on them and since on the picture of the battery it states there is protection, I am certain it is fake. Should I handle thoese differently? If so, how? One more thing, do you know if the WP2 II charger can charge 2 types of batteries at once? Thanks
 

Mr Happy

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It seems you have missed the really conservative advice, which is to buy a bunch of eneloops and various lights and lanterns that run off AA cells.

Since you have decided to play with fire (or Fire?) ;) you really should get a multimeter and learn how your batteries behave. The only way to do it right is to know what your batteries should and shouldn't do when you charge them and discharge them, and watch out for anything that seems wrong.

If you are looking for an emergency blackout kit, nobody should have advised you to buy the things you bought. But since you did, I guess you have to make the best of it.
 

moderator007

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Xtar says independent charging bays. So this means yes, you can charge different types of li-ions and different capacitys at the same time. If charging either a 14500 or 16340 in one bay or both bays switch the current down to the 500ma setting. 1000ma will be to high for the 14500 or the 16340.
Ebay is really not the best place to purchase batterys from. Not to say you cant get good ones there. There's just not a high probability of it. Here's some of those ebay batteries.
 
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Colinsdad

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To echo what some other members have said, do some more homework on these cells, and how they work/behave. To say that "certain batteries explode" is in extreme cases of misuse, mostly on the part of the operator, not necessarily the cells themselves. Selfbuilt has done some pretty extensive reviews on various batteries, both Lithium and Li-Ions- when you read his light reviews, you can see how extensively he tests not only the lights, but, the batteries as well.

IMHO, if you want to buy the best Li Ions, get ahold of some AW's- they are protected cells, that, unlike some other brands, are marked accurately with their MaH capacity. And, dont get confused by threads that mention different brands, they all work the same. The ONLY brand that actually works well with high current-draw lights are IMR's.

Lithium Ion batteries are what gives we light-fiends that "edge" over those people who just "throw any 'ole battery" into their lights and call it a day. They give our lighting the ability to not only have outstanding runtimes, but, in some cases, the ability to overdrive emitters to get the absolute maximum in performance PROVIDED they are used judiciously! Welcome aboard!!
 

PandaLight

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It seems you have missed the really conservative advice, which is to buy a bunch of eneloops and various lights and lanterns that run off AA cells.

Since you have decided to play with fire (or Fire?) ;) you really should get a multimeter and learn how your batteries behave. The only way to do it right is to know what your batteries should and shouldn't do when you charge them and discharge them, and watch out for anything that seems wrong.

If you are looking for an emergency blackout kit, nobody should have advised you to buy the things you bought. But since you did, I guess you have to make the best of it.

At first I was going to buy one of those AA lights but found that CR123a lights give more power, except where I live(Canada), those batteries cost $12 each. Then I found that 18650 batteries are even better and rechargeable around the same price so I decided to go with them. The blackout was just what caused me to look for flashlights to buy, and if I am going to buy flashlights I might as well buy the best ones I can find. It isn't going to be used for a blackout kit. Also I can easily borrow a multimeter but what should I look for? and what would constitute as something that seems wrong?

Xtar says independent charging bays. So this means yes, you can charge different types of li-ions and different capacitys at the same time. If charging either a 14500 or 16340 in one bay or both bays switch the current down to the 500ma setting. 1000ma will be to high for the 14500 or the 16340.

Thanks for your advice :D
Btw, just wondering, what would happen if I were to charge a 14500 on 1000mA, would that cause catastrophic failure, or possibly deteriorate the battery?

To echo what some other members have said, do some more homework on these cells, and how they work/behave. To say that "certain batteries explode" is in extreme cases of misuse, mostly on the part of the operator, not necessarily the cells themselves. Selfbuilt has done some pretty extensive reviews on various batteries, both Lithium and Li-Ions- when you read his light reviews, you can see how extensively he tests not only the lights, but, the batteries as well.

I have seen some of his reviews, but I don't really understand the graphs at all, and I'm pretty sure I don't need to for my purposes. What I want to know is how I can handle(charge/discharge) the batteries safely, basically all I could find is that I should watch the batteries as they are charging during the first few times, and if they are not protected to recharge them as soon as practical once they start to dim. Also, that I should use a multimeter to test then before and after charge/discharge, but I have no idea what I should be looking for.
 
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PandaLight

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So basically all I need to do is to make sure the voltage is in between 4.2V and 3.6V? Does the rate at which the light draws current not matter? Because I am guessing 400-510(from the review by selfbuilt) lumens draw alot of current. Will the cheap 14500's coop with the strain?
 

Joe Talmadge

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In my opinion, you just have to handle all your 18650s correctly, and the same way. It's just that with lower quality, we think you might end up in worse trouble if you make a mistake, or you might end up in trouble not through your fault but because of manufacturing quality. This technology is not the place to cheap out on. Buy and use decent cells, and save money by going to Kohl's instead of Macy's or something. Regarding your last question, "does the rate at which the light draws current not matter", you're showing enough newness to this that I just don't think there's any excuse not to stick exclusively with high quality cells, the last thing you should be doing is using *fire cells. And yes, the discharge rate always matters, regardless of the cell manufacturer, that never changes -- don't go over the manufacturer's recommended discharge rate, if anyone has tested the cells you use then check the graphs (although the crappy manufacturers seem to change cell sourcing on a regular basis so you never really know if someone tested the same thing as what you have). Etc. Again, if you were my buddy, I'd be relieving you of those *fire cells and having you chalk up the $ wasted as a lesson learned, and going over handling in a bit more detail.
 

PandaLight

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And yes, the discharge rate always matters, regardless of the cell manufacturer, that never changes -- don't go over the manufacturer's recommended discharge rate

I see, but how much above the maximum discharge rate would you estimate to become hazardous? My main concern is if the batteries can handle the specific lights I have listed. After more research I have found that the Xeno E03 will cause even the AW 14500's to go above its max discharge rate of 1.5C to 2.2C. So the TF 14500 900mAh which most likely isn't 900mAh, is probably around 500-600mAh, it would be drawing around 3.2C. Would that then be hazardous? Or is there an approximate time frame where is it acceptable to keep such high current draw? Also, what would happen if the max discharge rate was exceeded too much? Would it cause the battery to die, or the flashlight? or will it cause it to vent with flame?

Thanks for the website moderator007. I have found a few useful tips on how to charge li-ion batteries.
 
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