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  1. #1
    vol
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    Keeping spare lights with batteries in the fridge?

    I have 3 headlights and 3 taillights. When I ride I usually use 1 or 2 of each but still carry all for backup if the trip is long. All the lights have batteries installed. That means some of the batteries in the lights have never or rarely been used for months (I don't rotate among the lights, instead I use mainly one and the same the most). Since cold temperature such as in the refrigerator prolongs batteries' lifespan, would it be good to keep the lights in the fridge when not using them? (Taking the batteries out repeatedly is too much a hassle.) The lights themselves won't be harmed by the cold temperature in the fridge, methinks?--although I doubt many people keep their bike lights in the fridge .

    Comments?

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    Isn't the fridge kinda high in humidity? When you pull out the lights you get some condensation.

  3. #3
    Dog Chaser BetweenRides's Avatar
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    I store battery packs in the fridge for extended periods, never the lights. They are double ziplock wrapped, with dessicant chips in the bag with the pack. As my flashlight collection has grown, I now have 9-10 fairly expensive 18650 batteries too and I'm thinking of doing the same with most of them, leaving out 2 for instant use. I don't think I would store the headlights or flashlights in the fridge, there is significant humidity and even if stored in dry pack, I would be worried about condensation forming inside when you do take them out. Make sure to discharge batteries to 40-50% before storage.

  4. #4
    vol
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    Thanks for reminding about humidity. I forgot to mention the batteries are the regular alkaline batteries, not rechargeable ones.

  5. #5
    Dog Chaser BetweenRides's Avatar
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    Do a little googling on the subject:

    "Putting batteries in the freezer or refrigerator doesn't necessarily prolong their life


    Alkaline batteries stored at "room temperature" self discharge at a rate of less than two percent per year. So normally refrigerating or freezing them will only help maintain their charge by a tiny amount. Hardly worth the effort of chilling them. However, if alkaline batteries are stored at higher temperatures they will start to lose capacity much quicker. At 85 degrees F they only lose about 5% per year, but at 100 degrees they lose 25% per year. So if you live in a very hot climate or are storing your batteries in a very hot location, it may be worthwhile for you to store your alkaline batteries in a refrigerator instead.

    NiMH and NiCd batteries self discharge at a MUCH faster rate than alkaline batteries. In fact, at "room temperature" (about 70 degrees F) NiMH and NiCD batteries will self discharge a few percent PER DAY. Storing them at lower temperatures will slow their self discharge rate dramatically. NiMH batteries stored at freezing will retain over 90% of their charge for full month. So it might make sense to store them in a freezer. If you do, it's best to bring them back to room temperature before using them. Even if you don't freeze your NiMH batteries after charging them, you should store them in a cool place to minimize their self discharge."

    http://www.greenbatteries.com/batterymyths.html
    http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...tore_batteries

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    What is the effect of ice cold to heat and vice versa have on the batteries? Perhaps the cycling of hot and cold may cause damage or shorten life??

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    Senior Member skydog6653's Avatar
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    I remember putting my old school cell phone batts in the freezer but i thought it had to do with the "memory".

  8. #8
    Dog Chaser BetweenRides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobn View Post
    What is the effect of ice cold to heat and vice versa have on the batteries? Perhaps the cycling of hot and cold may cause damage or shorten life??
    Storing batteries in a fridge should be a mid- to long-term storage option, not for everyday use. I night ride in the fall and again for a short time in the early spring. The rest of the time my Li-ion battery pack for the bar light is double wrapped in the fridge at about 45% discharged. Prior to using again, I take it out (still in the bag) and let it 'thaw' to room temperature for 12-24 hours. That is the recommended practice vs taking a cold battery and putting it right to use. During night riding season, I'll leave the batteries out. As my collection of flashlights has grown, I'm going to extend this practice to my Li-ion 18650 battery cells, keeping just a couple out for general flashlight use.

  9. #9
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    Any particular reason for not using rechargeables?
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    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    I use to store bats in the fridge years ago but nowadays bats last a lot longer; I didn't use the dessicant chips or sacs either since rice works just as well, and just kept them either in a single bag or small tupperware thingy. I would never but a light in the fridge! There's no reason on earth to keep a light in the fridge. Even with rechargeable bats there's no reason to store them in the fridge, you're using them to frequently even to be worried about the bat losing it's charge. I still have an old NiCad rechargeable drill batteries that I just let sit in the basement, when I need to use the drill I just recharge the bats the night before.

    If you feel safer by keeping long stored batteries for emergency in the fridge that's fine, there's nothing wrong with that. Just don't keep them in the freezer or you'll ruin the bats.

  11. #11
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil View Post
    Any particular reason for not using rechargeables?
    I did consider rechargeables, but after reading a lot of reviews about problems with them, such as losing charge quickly, not charged as supposed to be, etc., it doesn't seem worth to use them, considering they are much more expensive, and you need to remember to recharge them. I don't ride very often at night, and alkaline batteries are so cheap. The 20-pack I bought more than a year ago are still not finished yet. Now I am trying to use it as much as I can to finish this pack

  12. #12
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    I did consider rechargeables, but after reading a lot of reviews about problems with them, such as losing charge quickly, not charged as supposed to be, etc., it doesn't seem worth to use them, considering they are much more expensive, and you need to remember to recharge them. I don't ride very often at night, and alkaline batteries are so cheap. The 20-pack I bought more than a year ago are still not finished yet. Now I am trying to use it as much as I can to finish this pack
    Gotcha....makes sense. As far as reliability is concerned though, I've never had a problem with rechargeables.
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    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil View Post
    Gotcha....makes sense. As far as reliability is concerned though, I've never had a problem with rechargeables.
    I've never had a problem with rechargeable except when once I bought a cheap Kodak charger that came with 4 AA bats, I found out that the Kodak charger was not a smart charger and thus killed the Kodak batteries. Then when I started shopping for a charger I discovered that NONE of the chargers that Walmart sells, not even the nice looking EverReady were smart chargers either. That's when I found out about the Rayovac PS3 was a smart charger, there are other smart chargers on the market too but I could find none at any local stores in the town I live in. Once you get a smart charger the batteries are very reliable and they last both in burn times as well as storage time, but I use the batteries so much that storage time isn't an issue. And you can get an average of 500 charges out of a battery, there is no way that alkaline's will come even a smidgen close to the price of rechargeables. Once you recharged a battery about 8 times you've beaten the cost of alkaline's.

  14. #14
    vol
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    How would the light behave when the rechargeable batteries are running out? Gradually dimming, or suddenly no light?

    Another thought: If you use, say, 4 or more lights at the same time, then it seems alkaline batts are worth, because if you use rechargeables, you'd have to buy many rechargeables for all the 4,5,6 lights, which together cost some, whereas you can buy a pack of 20 alkaline batts for very low price, and install them in all your lights. If you only use, say, 2 lights, then rechargeables seem better because you only use a few batts at one time. Is this a reasonable argument?

  15. #15
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    How would the light behave when the rechargeable batteries are running out? Gradually dimming, or suddenly no light?

    Another thought: If you use, say, 4 or more lights at the same time, then it seems alkaline batts are worth, because if you use rechargeables, you'd have to buy many rechargeables for all the 4,5,6 lights, which together cost some, whereas you can buy a pack of 20 alkaline batts for very low price, and install them in all your lights. If you only use, say, 2 lights, then rechargeables seem better because you only use a few batts at one time. Is this a reasonable argument?
    They gradually dim.

    I purposely bought lights that use only AAA bats so I don't have that problem with several types of bats. The only odd duck light I have is my 18 year old Xenon VistaLite flasher that use to be the brightest tail light available back then; this light came with two lens so when the Cateye LD600 came out I got it and put it on the back, and put the flasher with the amber lens swapped in and stuck it on the front; that light uses AA bats. But I'm not concerned with the AA bat powered flasher dying on a ride because I have a front headlight anyways. The headlight has it's own battery. But my front and rear helmet lights, the bar end lights, and the seat tube tail light all use AAA bats; so I simply carry a couple of AAA's in case of a dead battery. My total number of AAA bats used on the bike is 8, thus my Rayovac battery charger can charge 8 bats at a time. EASY!

  16. #16
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    I typically use up to 6 AA, 2 AAA and one 18650 on every ride, all rechargeable. I would never even consider alkaline batteries.

    From my understanding though, weak rechargeables dim, alkaline do not. I see that was already mentioned.
    Last edited by daredevil; 12-29-11 at 06:54 PM.
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