Why I believe in battery diversity.

Toulouse42

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100% agree. I have flashlights that will use AAA, AA, D/C, 14500, 18650, 21700. In case of SHTF, I even have a couple that are manually operated and a couple of cigarette lighters, candles and some chemical light tubes.
 

radellaf

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Around here, before a hurricane, the D size seems to sell out first. Not sure who is buying the C, but those are gone too. AA and AAA I have never seen sell out.

IDK if I'd diversify past AA and 18650 if I were starting from scratch, but at this point I have plenty of lights that use plenty of everything. I also have enough pens, ink, and paper to sustain anything short of a Stephen King or Isaac Asimov pace of writing novels beyond life expectancy. I doubt that is of any practical value unless stationery supply sales are outlawed. All my stock is in one location, no resupply caches. If I evacuated, I'd grab either AA lights; or, if I had time, 18650s + USB chargers + USB power banks + USB wall-warts + extra lighter socket USB adapter. I doubt the CR2016/32 keychain lights would be worth grabbing, even if those were on the shelf after the alkalines sold out.

I don't have anything at hand that uses things that aren't current or common: I'd have to look around for that HDS clicky to use CR123. I never, ever, ever liked those. Much as I loved my Surefire Aviator (where did I store THAT...), I never used it much because all I could think about was using up $2-$6 worth of primary cells in fairly short order. Still, those CR123 really could run impressive, small, incandescents. I was so averse to using them that I still have a small stock of 15+ year old Surefire and a couple of (good) discount brands. I loved the little hurricane lamp lithium shipping hack Surefire had. 12 batteries and a little 6V indicator lamp as a "flashlight". Cute. Nice piece of history for the collection.

In the 80s, yeah, it was wrong to say "CR123 cells were too odd to catch on and wouldn't be around long", as they seemed to hang on through the early LED era... so 85-05, 20 years is pretty long in general, though a blink of the AA battery's eye. We'll have to see about 18650. I didn't see those, particularly, until the mid 2010s. They might be on the way out by 2035? Who knows.

My "SHTF" prep only extends to "hurricane in NC", in which case I'll either have a house without a tree through the roof, no electricity, but most likely water and gas. So no AC or heat for two days to two weeks. I have next to no water storage, short of filling a bathtub and some gallon jugs.
Other case is there _is_ a tree through the roof, the batteries, lights, and places to sleep are probably damp. But, probably, it'll be possible to evacuate. If not, I'm not prepared.
 

idleprocess

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As you found out during the ammo shortage, having a stockpile can really smooth out the situation. However, sometimes even a stockpile of goods won't help. I think about incidences like the train derailment and toxic chemical spill in East Palestine, OH, or the wildfires in Kalifornia, the flooding of SS SANDY, Katrina, and other cities, when residents only had mere minutes to evacuate their homes/offices. When time is of the essence, you need a pre-stocked go bag, and maybe some caches in strategic places to resupply from.
The primary bug out scenario in my region involved the deteriorating condition of the Lake Lewisville Dam whose persistent seepage problems came to the fore after the floods of 2015 (this spillway is bone dry dry something like 364.9 days of the year). The ACOE finally got serious about repairs so the risk of a literal 40 foot wall of water tearing down the Trinity River wrecking everything in its path (read: huge swaths of Dallas proper) has abated. While I'm above the likely path of devastation quite a bit off critical regional infrastructure isn't, so that scenario would have been profoundly disruptive.

The risks now are more generalized and/or localized - prolonged power outage, airliner crash (I'm but a few miles from DFW International Airport), tornado, flooding, fire, cicadas (I kid, mostly). Summer of 2020 saw my burg's first notable protests however those were miles away and extremely tame by compare to Dallas (moderate excitement - but a teargas canister or three was deployed) thus spillover reaching my neighborhood would be an outlier atop an outlier.

So ... bugout bag it is for anything that seems seriously exciting. And hope I can take some backroads out of town to the folks' house in SW AR.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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The primary bug out scenario in my region involved the deteriorating condition of the Lake Lewisville Dam whose persistent seepage problems came to the fore after the floods of 2015 (this spillway is bone dry dry something like 364.9 days of the year). The ACOE finally got serious about repairs so the risk of a literal 40 foot wall of water tearing down the Trinity River wrecking everything in its path (read: huge swaths of Dallas proper) has abated. While I'm above the likely path of devastation quite a bit off critical regional infrastructure isn't, so that scenario would have been profoundly disruptive.

The risks now are more generalized and/or localized - prolonged power outage, airliner crash (I'm but a few miles from DFW International Airport), tornado, flooding, fire, cicadas (I kid, mostly). Summer of 2020 saw my burg's first notable protests however those were miles away and extremely tame by compare to Dallas (moderate excitement - but a teargas canister or three was deployed) thus spillover reaching my neighborhood would be an outlier atop an outlier.

So ... bugout bag it is for anything that seems seriously exciting. And hope I can take some backroads out of town to the folks' house in SW AR.
Was it winter of '21/'22 when you had the ice storm that froze the wind chargers, and the natural gas relay stations? How were you affected, if at all?
 

aznsx

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Just to clarify, my previous comments re: ammo and loading supplies were based primarily on 'politically induced' shortages as referenced in the 2nd paragraph of the OP. In the case of general 'disaster prepping', if something destroys one's home and potentially everything in it, it's quite possible that loading supplies, or perhaps even an ammo cache may be of little value.

Clearly, disaster-induced shortages are a different animal. Fortunately, I've 'only' had to endure / survive the politically-induced shortages. I no longer live in either tornado, hurricane, or earthquake areas as I once did, so I don't focus on such as much as I did when I was living in those areas. In those situations, one may have little to work with except what they can carry with them if they're still alive and able to flee. In that case, all that really matters is what kind of flashlight, gun, spare ammo, etc. is in one's pocket / bag. Very different scenarios obviously. In the latter case, what's on the store shelves, and one's ability to use it is really all that matters.
 

idleprocess

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Was it winter of '21/'22 when you had the ice storm that froze the wind chargers, and the natural gas relay stations?
2021.

The performance of wind turbines - most of which were not winterized - was actually phenomenal. Those that did freeze were generally back in action faster than the natural gas infrastructure.

How were you affected, if at all?
Fortunate not to have been meaningfully effected by the blackouts:
  • The local grid operator has extremely limited ability to perform rolling blackouts
  • My block is on the same grid as some nearby(ish) emergency services thus highly unlikely to be switched off under all but the most extreme of grid conditions
I lost power for all of ~30 minutes early on, likely due to a highly localized equipment failure. Local gas infrastructure kept on keeping on so I was able to heat the house without issue. Opposite side of three bounding arterials were fortunate to see the lights on two hours out of every eight.

I've since installed a modest emergency generator setup - enough to run most 120V circuits. I imagine it's again possible to arrange for an automatic backup generator installation again without ~180 days' lead time, but that's a hell of a lot of cost for something I'll need perhaps 10 hours a year (and loud - a neighbor has one and it sounds like a garbage truck idling on the next street).
 

thermal guy

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Diversity? Get yourself a peak 17500 Logan. You'll be all set😁 17500,123,16340,AA,AAA,14500,or 10440. If you can't find one of them you have more to worry about then lights😂
 

ghostguy6

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When you are storing your emegency supplies there are several factors that come into play. One of the big factors is shelf life. AA lithuim cells are much more common and much less expensive than D sized cells. Having a large supply of dead and leaking cells means nothing if you need power. Lets face it, the average person does not think about storage of cells. Your lucky if they even thought about preparation ahead of time. Size and weight matter, especially if you must "bug out". In my area when there is an emergency the larger cells run out first. Why because there is usually less of them in stock and people immediately think bigger is better. When they panic buy they want simple cheap and large quantities. This usually means 2 D lights from the hardware store. Last time I looked for D cells I actually had to look for them as there were only a few packages on the bottom of the shelf. Packages of AA's were everywhere, at the tills, at several displays and down random isles where any electronic item was sold.
The majority of the worlds devices run on AA cells or at the very least have adapters to allow their use.
There is nothing wrong with diversity but when it comes down to your simplest, most basic last ditch scenario what light are you taking?
 

Dave_H

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I'm about as diversified as you can get; partly from intercepting cells prior to recycle and sorting out the good ones. Some are virtually new. I have dozens of name-brand alkaline D's and C's, and boxes or bags of AA/AAA/9v. As a result I have a collection lights to run on just about every cell/combination. Talk about cause and effect. None of them is expensive, if the alkalines leak.

There is a method in this, especially for confirmed flashaholics (which I do not consider myself).

Acquire plenty of cells of various types for flashlights you want to obtain, but perhaps can't
justify. Now you have a reason, all these good cells cannot possibly go to waste, need something
to use them (up) in!

Dave
 

fuyume

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While I would prefer to standardize on AA cells, the fact is that manufacturers have their own ideas about what they want to sell, so currently no flashlight company makes exactly what I want in AA flashlights to cover all my needs, plus AA is just never going to do what a big Li-ion cell can do.

I currently use three different cells: Energizer Lithium L91 AA for my backcountry gear (headlamp, handheld, radio, and soon to be added small lantern) and bicycle taillamp, Li-ion 16340 for my EDC handheld (accepts 18350, 16340, or CR123A), and Li-ion 21700 for my bicycle headlamp/tactical handheld. I only have one cell for each of the rechargeables, and I'm fine with that, for now. I just charged my 16340 this afternoon, and the 21700 lasts long enough that I don't worry about it. My life won't likely be in danger if a cell runs out on me, and I have a stash of L91s enough to last for a good long while if there's any extended power outage.

Also, I do have other lights in the house, I just don't care about them. I have at least two lights that take CR123As, but I have no interest in buying CR123As, so I don't use them. I have a AAA Olight that was free with my Nitecore EC11, and I've never opened the box, because I have no use for a AAA light. I do have L92 lithium primary AAAs in the house, but those are for TV remotes, my jeweler's scale, that sort of thing, not for flashlights.

Who really needs that many options, anyway? Don't let your fears control you. The sun still comes up every day.
 
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radellaf

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"Who really needs that many options, anyway? Don't let your fears control you."

Eh? This is a flashlight forum... I wouldn't say we need "fear", particularly, to equip for AA, AAA, D, and 18650, at the very least.

As for L91 price vs D, I found Procell D $11 a doz on honestmed (72 for $65, also), so I'm happy with that. I got some good deals on L91/92, I think, 24 packs? Can't find them at anything far from MSRP these days.
What's sobering is how my last purchase of them, a couple of CVS 8-packs, has expired. It doesn't feel like that much time passed.
 

letschat7

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I want to use more eneloops but I rotate lights so much sometimes stuff doesn't get used for months at a time.

I've been thinking of making sets for 2xaaa, 3xaaa, 4xaaa and using them between lights. Two sets in each so you can use one set and recharge one.
 

idleprocess

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I want to use more eneloops but I rotate lights so much sometimes stuff doesn't get used for months at a time.
LSD NiMH generally good for a year or more standby. I do a swap-and recharge cycle 2-4 times yearly and haven't had issues with devices being dead end of cycle despite as much as a years' worth of idle time on the cells.
 

idleprocess

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As a random data point, a nearby grocery store's commodity battery endcap:
1688440175917.png

  • The section labels are not strictly adhered to; there's a slight edge on AA slots vs AAA however more AAA onhand at that moment.
  • Did not closely check the store brand to validate chemistry; I would not bet against heavy-duty
  • Checkout aisles also have battery stocks that are AA-centric and that's where you're apt to find lithiums - coin cells, AAs / AAAs, the occasional 123A/CR2 at eye-watering prices
 

aznsx

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As a random data point, a nearby grocery store's commodity battery endcap:
View attachment 45697
  • The section labels are not strictly adhered to; there's a slight edge on AA slots vs AAA however more AAA onhand at that moment.
  • Did not closely check the store brand to validate chemistry; I would not bet against heavy-duty
  • Checkout aisles also have battery stocks that are AA-centric and that's where you're apt to find lithiums - coin cells, AAs / AAAs, the occasional 123A/CR2 at eye-watering prices
Cool. I'd like to see a photo of that 'same' end cap equipped similarly from just a few years ago. I'd bet the change in those price numbers would be somewhat shocking, (although in 2023 I'm not easily shocked by much anymore)!
 

Poppy

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While I like the concept of diversification, I've come to realize that for ME, it isn't too important. In a SHTF scenario, I'll most likely shelter in place, in which case I'll have plenty of lights and batteries, and the ability to recharge them.

In a get out of town scenario, I'll hopefully be able to take my car. A rechargeable 18650 headlamp, and a charging cable is all the lighting I'll need.
 
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