Is Li-Ion Right for me?

MaxdOut

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Oct 3, 2009
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Looking for advice on a power source. I want to get a good throwy flashlight but wondering if I should stick to standard enloops (already have) or go 18650 Li-Ion (need to buy). In all honesty, I won't be using the light much and it may be months before I would even turn it on. Examples of what I may use it for would be checking the attic for leaks (it's a big attic and some areas I can see but can't get to), lighting 2nd story roof to check for animals etc. I already have a hobby charger from my nephew's RC days, so charging is not a problem.

I guess I need to know if it's ok to keep them fully charged for months on end?

Do they discharge? Most of the time the use is not planned so I need it operational at a moment's notice.

How often do they need to be replaced? It may be a waste if I use the light once a year and need to replace the Li-Ions every year.

I know a 18650 power source would results in a brighter light plus a lot of the lights that take it are pretty cool.:twothumbs

Any advice is deeply appreciated.
 

rich297

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Mar 10, 2011
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Washington State
If you expect to use your light just a few times per year, you may be better off using primary CR123 cells rather than rechargeables. Primary lithium cells have a shelf life of about 10 years whereas a rechargeable may not last you more than 2 years, particularly if you keep them fully charged which accelerates their deterioration.
 

cistallus

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Jan 19, 2010
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442
Just get a light that uses AA, such as the Fenix TK40 or TK45.

If you do decide to use 18650, they do have a low self-discharge rate, even when kept fully charged. But as rich297 says, their overall life may not be real long, though with well-treated AW cells it's probably longer than 2 years.
 

mfm

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Oct 11, 2009
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410
LI-ion cells doesn't suddenly die after 2 years, I'm writing this on a laptop with a 6 year old 18650-pack.

If you keep your 18650 cells at 100% and at 25C then you will have around 50% capacity left after three years, which is plenty for your listed tasks. And if you keep them at lower temperatures or less charged you will lose less capacity (you won't even notice the difference if charging them to 80% or 90%).
 

MaxdOut

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Oct 3, 2009
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23
Thanks guys! I think I'll give Li-Ion a try, since I already have a laser/light that uses CR123 I can use those for now and see how much I really use the light. I can then determine whether or not I should go with an 18650. Now the hardest part is choosing a light.

Thanks again!
 
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