Check Your Lights and Optics December 2015 Edition

| January 4, 2016 | 5 Comments

December’s “Check Your Lights and Optics” results:

Total dead optics found: 0/11

Total dead weapon mounted lights: 0/4

Total dead handheld lights found: 1/6

Total dead safe lights found: 0/3

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The handheld light that died uses three AAA batteries. We buy these in bulk from Costco, but it got me thinking — should I switch to rechargeable batteries? I could just do a monthly swap on all light batteries with their freshly charged brethren. All of the lights in our house could use rechargeable AA, AAA, or CR123R batteries.

Does anyone have any experience with running rechargeable batteries in flashlights?

How’d you do this month?

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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5 Comments on "Check Your Lights and Optics December 2015 Edition"

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  1. David says:

    I use rechargeables extensively. Here are some thoughts:
    1. Rechargeable batteries do go bad over time. You absolutely want a charger that will alert you to bad cells. Do not skimp on the charger! Buy a nice one!
    2. In terms of AAs and AAAs, I have noticed significant differences in long-term durability between Tenergy (awful), Amazon Basics (pretty good!), and Eneloops (excellent!).
    3. Rechargeables can provide significantly more energy than common disposables. Pay attention to mAh ratings when buying.

    Swapping every battery every month sounds like a huge hassle. But going on to a six month maintenance schedule with rechargeables sounds doable.

  2. plant.one says:

    regarding paying attention to mAh ratings when buying. know the standard acceptable mAh ranges for battery types. there are brand out there (specifically i know in 18650’s) that claim mAh ratings WELL above the competition. these are usually the sh!t brands. if it seems to good to be true and all that 🙂

  3. sqwhrill says:

    Thanks for the reminder. I have a mix of batteries recharge and dollar brands. Plant.one the 18650’s that you talk about were uesed in battery packs for laptop computors, the old ones, have not checked the ones now a days. They use 12-14 of them to power the laptop. They are also 3.5 volts. They are good for other rechargeable projects.

    sq

  4. Cymond says:

    A few observations on rechargeable batteries:
    First, recahrgeabe bateries have a narrower voltage operating range. An alkaline battery will slowly drop to 0V, but a rechargeable generally just stops working after a certain point, instead of slowly decreasing. This is especially true of protected lithium-ion cells.
    My Preon P2 gets wacky when the NiMh batteries get low, instead of just dimming.
    My CR-123a lights will just suddenly stop working with a Li-ion when the battery gets low.
    On the other hand, I don’t have to debate or hesitate when the batteries get low. You know CR123a batteries aren’t cheap. I always debated replacing them whenever they were at half-output. I mean, it seemed so silly to replace batteries that weren’t dead yet, just to get a few more lumens. OTOH, it seemed stupid to buy a nice flashlight and always have half-dead batteries. Now, with rechargeables, I can run my flashlights hard and just recharge them as needed, instead of always trying to save battery life.
    On a final note, you may be able to run a single AAA flashlight on a LiFePO4 battery. They run at 3V. Some lights will take it, some won’t. For example, the Preon uses the same head for both the 1-battery and 2-battery model. Hence, it’s perfectly fine running on a 3V battery. The downside is my AAA-size LiFePo4 batteries are rated at 280 mAh, which is almost 1/3 of the life of a disposable AAA.

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