would you trust a 18650 battery flashlight to be dependable for if the stuff hits the fan?

raggie33

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my ocd is keep worrying whats the best light to carry if we lost the power grid
 

thermal guy

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Well if the 18650 light can also use primary 123’s I’d say yes. Honestly in all my SHTF lights I run nothing but primary 123’s.
 

Olumin

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Not without cr123 compatibility. But honestly the most abundant batteries in the world are AA cells & those L91s have got a shelf life of over 2 decades, so for a light you wanna keep feeding and stock up batteries for, perhaps AA is the best option. An emergency flashlight doesn't need super high outputs.
 

raggie33

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maybe ill use mt zebra AA light i just wish it had more lumens in case i need it to keep me safe against a bad person
 

adam38654

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One 18650 last longer than two CR123's so why not as long as they are kept charged up. They will loose charge slowly over time so it is good to have a few CR123's laying around but I have 10 year old 18650's that still take a charge. If you have a way to charge them in a grid down scenario like a solar panel/car battery I don't see a problem. In a long term survival situation you would end up running out of 123's anyways.
 

thermal guy

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This has been gone over before but… when SHTF or there is a major catastrophe going on AA,AAA,and D, will be gone in days. The only way to be truly prepared is to have your own stock or batterie. You can’t trust that any cell will be available when this happens.
 

raggie33

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how about a emisar dv42? i have like 30 18650 cells sanyo and sony i also have 30 21700 cells and a sofirn if25a
 

Olumin

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This has been gone over before but… when SHTF or there is a major catastrophe going on AA,AAA,and D, will be gone in days. The only way to be truly prepared is to have your own stock or batterie. You can’t trust that any cell will be available when this happens.
You might be right. For years people in the forums have been preaching 'bout the .308, .223 and 12 gauge for "end of the world guns" 'cause of their availability, but here in Europe ever since the war in Ukraine, all those calibers have been out of stock almost everywhere & prices are soaring. Non-military calibers, less so. Whether this translates to batteries, who knows.
 

adam38654

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Amazon has a 300 pack of AA for $0.20 each. My SHTF light is a kerosene lantern.
 

3_gun

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Yes.

Sad to say if the grid is down light will be a rally point for anyone (most) who didn't plan ahead so a big lumen light or light(s) used for a long(er) time frame is not a good idea but blackout drapes would be. That said, two is one & one is none. Duel fuel lights are a good idea as are candles & a small portable generator that can handle a fridge & small cooking point (hot plate, microwave, toaster oven etc). Plan to stay in the basement as much as possible. Sound damping, limited window exposure & a more temperature stable (typicality) space are all good things
 

thermal guy

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Agree. Also Generators are basically like the dinner bell ringing for people looking for stuff.
 

Bradbn4

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The simple answer to that question is yes...the more complex answer; but just not only that one. Direct DC recharge capability means that it won't take much from a solar panel to fully recharge a bank of the 18650 cells. Like most, I might have more than one flashlight that uses different style batteries.

and oh yes; before you ask, I do have two of my chargers that can be charged from a standard 12 volt car battery. The one and only style solar panel I have bought were used to help trickle charge my old beater car when I was on the road for work. These chargers I picked up were for hobbyist you would be out in the field with their toys needing a re-charge for their favorite hobby.

If I had a bail out location or even a good outbuilding I would provide that building with a few solar panels to provide LED lighting. If I was going to set up wilderness vacation cabin; I would prob have 12 - 20 panel setup with a generator backup for the deep water well. So that sort of place it would make common sense to have an option that supports chargeable batteries / flash light combo.

For long distance hiking, I could see a smallish folding style panel to keep the cell / radio / flash light charged. So having that setup would be useful for both SHTF and there is no place right here to plug in my flashlight 20+ miles from the nearest road.

I do know more than a few folks that would never touch that style battery for a flashlight. They would opt more for the AA style lights with rechargeable AA for backups. These are the folks that well; buy their quality batteries in bulk and have at least 1 to 2 years supply on hand.

For when stuff hits the fan, that fan may only reach you and you might as well make sure your flash light works.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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I’d trust my Nitecore HC60 v.1 and v.2 headlights for this type of situation. I can get a month straight on the 1 lumen low setting on a 3600 mAh battery. Built in charging let’s me charge in the car or off a solar panel during grid down. I wouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket though. I have a Nitecore MH10 v.2 that takes a 21700 and lasts over two months on 1 lumen low. I also have an old 4Sevens Quark Pro 2A that lasts around a month on 2 AAs at 0.2 lumens. I would also use a Luci Lux Pro Lantern and other solar lanterns if the grid went down (as well as several other battery type lights). While I trust my 18650 headlights which will also take 2 123A cells, for a long term event, I want to be as versatile as I can be. I want to have lights that take several different types of batteries so I’m not dependent on the availability of one type. If you have to buy or scavenge for what is left after the SHTF, you better make sure you can make due with whatever scraps you can get. If you only have one light on you for such a situation, I think it would be best to have a 21700 light with a 5 amp battery and built in USB-C charging that is compatible with 18650s and 2 123As. Nitecore MH10 v.2 does pretty good, though I find myself carrying the Nitecore E4K more frequently due to the smaller size, higher brightness, and more comfortable holster (requires magnets for some battery options to work though).
 

Stefano

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One 18650 last longer than two CR123's so why not as long as they are kept charged up. They will loose charge slowly over time so it is good to have a few CR123's laying around but I have 10 year old 18650's that still take a charge. If you have a way to charge them in a grid down scenario like a solar panel/car battery I don't see a problem. In a long term survival situation you would end up running out of 123's anyways.
I agree with you.
I also have 18650s that are a decade old and still working (and have not even been optimally stored)
A number of 18650 batteries stored at a low temperature and with a charge between 3.6 and 3.8 Volts is good insurance.
Having multiple flashlights that use different batteries (AA, 18650, 21700) USB chargers that can be charged in the car and a good solar panel is necessary.
If the electricity emergency should last more than a few weeks, our flashlights will be the last problem we need to worry about.
 

brachypelma44

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I'd trust my 14500/AA Zebralight more than most flashlights, to be honest. Nearly indestructible.

Of course, I'd probably take my 21700 Zebralight if I had to count on a single light. Runtimes are a thing, especially in mid-long term disasters.
 

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