Battery Rotation (2nd attempt)


Apr 27, 2002
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
This sounds way too organized!

Since even alkalines are good for 3-5 years and still have useable life, here's what I have started doing:

(1) Change the batteries in the smoke detector and passive infra-red motion detectors (3 total) when the first one chirps. Discard.

(2) Change the 1D cell in the emergency strobe flashers in the cars at the time I renew the registration. Measure and put in box for toys or the kid's flashlights.

(3) Lithium 123s in cars (Legend LX) replace every 3-4 years or after significant use. I keep spares. I'll probably rotate the spares into more-frequently used lights if they're not used in 3 years.

(4) D lights in cars--change every two years place in kid's toy box.

(5) D lights around house (same as 4).

(6) Frequently used lights. Use until light is low. I save some alkaline AAs for the Lambda Illuminator that I use at home. I put new cells in the Lambda Pill Minimag for EDC.

I send all batteries off to the recycle drop-off about once a year.




Flashlight Enthusiast
Mar 27, 2002
San Diego

Car devices have lithium AA's where possible.

2AA backup flashlights have lithiums except for the SL Propoly bulb that blows out on Lithiums.

Unused but aging alkaline AA's move through: a.) indoor emergency devices and infrequently used flashlights to
b.)Lightwave 2000's (3@)or
(c.) 4AA lights with John Bechto 4 Nichia 6400 PR bulbs optimized for 40 ma per LED at 4.5 V (3@)and 48 ma per LED at 4.8 V.
When the AA voltage drops to 1.2V per cell I move from 3 cells to 4 cells with the Bechto LED clusters or
(e.)to a DB6AA light with batteries in serial with a 5.5 V 0.70 A Xenon DB8AA bulb. I use 5 AA's putting out about 1.2 V @ with a dummy.

When the voltage drops to just over 1.1V on a (d.) application I also move to

(f)to a DB6AA light with batteries in serial with a 5.5 V 0.70 A Xenon DB8AA bulb. I use 5 AA's putting out about 1.2 V @ with a dummy.

When the (e) or (f) application gets too dim I
(g)remove the dummy and put in a sixth weak AA for at total of 6 AA's putting out about 1.0 A each and run them to just under .9 V where they dim.

(h) seven of the < 0.9V batteries and a dummy go into a DB8AA wired in serial with the same bulb until it dims.

(i.) When the 7 batteries dim in this application the dummy gets replaced with an 8th dim battery.

8 batteries that are too dim in a serial
DB8AA with a stock bulb get tossed.

I don't rotate rechargeables from device to device. I have a rotating recharge program from device storage / use location to location. NiCads get discharged each cycle and NiMH's get a full discharge before recharging.

Rechargeable AA alkalines (in applications like the PT Surge with 0.55 A drain and a DB8AA in serial with a 0.70 A drain) get recharged after each significant use.

Rechargeable AAA alkalines in my Arc AAA get recharged roughly every two weeks.


Flashlight Enthusiast
Jun 14, 2002
Grand Rapids
My theory is to have enough lights on had and batterys that it does not matter if one die's on me.


Flashlight Enthusiast
Mar 27, 2002
San Diego

I agree with you, but I also think that we don't need to suffer during an alkaline's protracted voltage drop from 1.6 V to 0.7 V.

Instead of grumbling about dim lights and throwing away partially depleted batteries I use devices that can take increasing numbers of weaker batteries to displace dummies.

Someday regulators will be cheap enough and simple enough to use in a way that eliminates my musical chairs games. On the other hand, I don't really mind my manual optimization efforts.


I posted this in the battery/power discussion board, however, no replies.. but I'm curious to know about others... here's the post..
After acquiring a good amount of flashlights and making decisions as to what function each has... I've looked around CPF for battery rotation, or battery replacement, and haven't really found any good discussion on it.
I've decided battery rotation/replacement at each time change. Gives approx. a 6 month cycle. I've got a few lights that just sit waiting for the next emergency/urgent need. I figure I can take those batteries and rotate them into my EDC, or "used often" lights to drain the remaining power from the batts, and then putting fresh batts in the "sit around" lights. I figure AA, and AAA are about the only lights I have except for a UKE SL-4, and a 2-D mag. Anyone else have decent battery rotation plans?