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Please suggest good 18650 rechargeable Li-ion batteries

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Please suggest good 18650 rechargeable Li-ion batteries

Old 11-11-15, 11:38 AM
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Please suggest good 18650 rechargeable Li-ion batteries

Hello all,

Looks like it's starting to be a good time to dabble in the world of 18650 batteries. I guess the first thing I should know is what's the short slang word for these batteries? Next, is there kinda a default go-to battery? Is there a kinda default "the" battery everyone aiming to get? Back in my days of AA and AAA batteries, there was no need to really care about the charger. As long as the charger charged, you were good! Do you strive to buy the batteries with the charger, or is there a kinda default go-to charger and the best of the best charger that everyone wants?

What do I stay away from?

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Old 11-11-15, 06:01 PM
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Nitecore chargers FTW! At least, in my experience, others came chime in with alternatives, just try and get a "smart" charger that stops once it's fully recharged. If you get a multibay charger, make sure it readsd each cell individually and charges them as needed. For batteries, AW, Sony, LG, Panasonic, and Samsung are all great choices, though as long as the word "fire" is not in the name you're probably good (ex. Trustfire, Ultrafire, etc). Never carry spares in your pocket with out a case of some kind, as the possibility of a short is real, and you don't want that as they hold a lot of potential energy. Check with the light manufacturer to see if you need flat top or button top, and find out the difference between protected and unprotected cells, as it does matter. There are some serious safety concerns to be aware of with high capacity li-ion batteries, but a little caution goes along way, and as long as you read up on them you'll be fine.

But most importantly, enjoy the brighter light and longer run times!
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Old 11-12-15, 12:02 AM
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There are battery questions at the flashlight forums: Home | BudgetLightForum.com and CandlePowerForums. There's also a lot of info: Basic to Advanced Battery Information from Battery University . There are plenty of threads on chargers and batteries at BLF. If you buy products from Mountain Electronics you won't get ripped off, you won't get fake batteries and you'll have a really good experience. I am wary of the Chinese web sites for purchasing batteries. Buying cheap flashlights will potentially burn you financially, but batteries and chargers can result in fires and personal injury. Avoid the temptation to buy the cheap batteries and chargers.
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Old 11-12-15, 12:24 AM
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Would a generic no-name protected 18650 battery be better or worse than an unprotected name brand one?
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Old 11-12-15, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
Would a generic no-name protected 18650 battery be better or worse than an unprotected name brand one?
You want protected and name brand. Don't use more than one 18650 battery unless you know it's balanced with the rest.
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Old 11-12-15, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
There are battery questions at the flashlight forums: Home | BudgetLightForum.com and CandlePowerForums. There's also a lot of info: Basic to Advanced Battery Information from Battery University . There are plenty of threads on chargers and batteries at BLF. If you buy products from Mountain Electronics you won't get ripped off, you won't get fake batteries and you'll have a really good experience. I am wary of the Chinese web sites for purchasing batteries. Buying cheap flashlights will potentially burn you financially, but batteries and chargers can result in fires and personal injury. Avoid the temptation to buy the cheap batteries and chargers.
This. The Panasonic batteries I got are way way way better than the Ultrafire batteries I was using before them. Samsung is supposed to be another good name, budgetlightforums has plenty of opinions on the matter, and most of them are good.
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Old 11-12-15, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
You want protected and name brand. Don't use more than one 18650 battery unless you know it's balanced with the rest.
I'm pretty sure protected means you can't overcharge the battery, yes? Is there ever a time you want an unprotected battery, other than to save money?
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Old 11-12-15, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by User1 View Post
I'm pretty sure protected means you can't overcharge the battery, yes? Is there ever a time you want an unprotected battery, other than to save money?
I'm not sure all of the reasoning, but my understanding is you'd want an unprotected cell if you were making a battery pack for something like a laptop and n protected cell for things like a flashlight. They can explain this better at budgetlightforums.
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Old 11-12-15, 06:35 PM
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Protected cells are slightly longer than unprotected cells, and may not fit in every device.

In theory, you don't need protected cells if the devices and chargers you use them with have protection. (e.g. the charger cuts off at 4.2 volts and the light cuts off below 3 volts or whatever to prevent overdischarge). In practice, you may not know exactly how your chargers and lights behave in this regard, so it makes sense to use protected cells if in doubt.

I have a pair of Orbtronic protected cells, which reportedly are made with Panasonic cells and added protection features. They have been great. From what I've read, Panasonic cells are excellent, but they only manufacture unprotected cells. It's up to other manufacturers to buy the cells and add protection circuits.

18650 PROTECTED battery 3.7V Li-ion Orbtronic USA

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Old 11-12-15, 07:14 PM
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I have some Panasonic cells and a bunch of Trustfire cells. The Panasonics are in fact a bit better, but they are 4x the price and maybe 20% better at most. I find the price differential is not worth the extra cost. It is very easy to carry an extra TrustFire cell or two. I have yet to have a cheapie fail and have been using some for more than 5 years. The Chinese cells fron DX.com are a pretty good deal for the price.

You do not have to shell out money for the best cells to still have a pretty decent light.

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Old 11-12-15, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
$10 is not a bad price!
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Old 11-13-15, 06:02 AM
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I think they were $2 or 3 more each a year or so ago when I bought them. They also sell higher-capacity cells, but I own these so that's what I linked.
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Old 11-13-15, 03:55 PM
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Thanks for the links no motor. I've been following and reading up on the tutorial; Sharing Battery Knowledge Essays & Feedback - Battery University Great link and much appreciated of you sharing.

I haven't gotten to the charging yet on my studies, but I'm wondering what are users going with and is there a default standards to watch for and get for a charger?
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Old 11-14-15, 09:57 AM
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I got a cheap Trustfire charger and a cheap generic charger when I got my batteries. The Trustfire one is slower, but it stops charging where it should at 4.20 volts. The generic charger is a lot faster, but it stops charging at 4.25 volts which is too much for the batteries so I don't use it. Flashlight information will take you to a site hosted by the guy who writes a lot of well written reviews on chargers and should help you. Here's another site https://budgetlightforum.com/forum/ba...argers/reviews

Last edited by no motor?; 11-14-15 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 11-14-15, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I got a cheap Trustfire charger and a cheap generic charger when I got my batteries. The Trustfire one is slower, but it stops charging where it should at 4.20 volts. The generic charger is a lot faster, but it stops charging at 4.25 volts which is too much for the batteries so I don't use it. Flashlight information will take you to a site hosted by the guy who writes a lot of well written reviews on chargers and should help you. Here's another site Charger Reviews | BudgetLightForum.com

Thanks again for your postings. I've been reading up at this lygte-info site and I'd like to post up something for anyone that comes across this thread,

The Anatomy of a Protected Battery

The person building this site provides alot of good info. Admittedly his English isn't the most polished, but you can get through it. I guess when someone gets as good at writing and speaking Danish, they can complain.

BTW, he mentions that the protection of the battery is set at 4.26 volts. So charging to 4.25 volts as opposed to 4.20 volts does actually show some shorter life expectancy?
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Old 11-14-15, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
$10 is not a bad price!
How bout these? 4PCS Genuine Protected Panasonic NCR18650B 3400mah $28.50

I'm more interested in seeing whats out there and whats a good deal and whats not right now. I'm reading up and seeing kinda what stuff is going for. Eventually I'm going to find a headlight I like and I'm thinking it should be powered with 18650 batteries. Having an extra set of batteries packed sounds really nice too.
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Old 11-14-15, 11:35 PM
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Panasonic NCR18650B Protected 3400mAh
State side seller with a good rep and quick delivery.
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Old 11-15-15, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by User1 View Post
electronicsfactory2015( 296)
Member since: May-23-15 in China

I'd be interested to see if this seller will disappear next year.
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Old 11-15-15, 07:38 AM
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Perhaps I should say that my experience with flashlights on the bike was not all that satisfying. Lights made for bikes have better mounts. Also, changing the battery involves removing the light, opening it and removing the battery, putting it in the charger, and so on. Plus the beams of many of these flashlights is concentrated in the center and doesn't spread over the road enough. I've bought quite a few of these flashlights and batteries and chargers, and I still use them for walking in the country at night but not for cycling. The technology is intriguing, so it's been fun, but if I had bought bike lights sooner, I would have saved money.
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Old 11-15-15, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by User1 View Post
Thanks again for your postings. I've been reading up at this lygte-info site and I'd like to post up something for anyone that comes across this thread,

The Anatomy of a Protected Battery

The person building this site provides alot of good info. Admittedly his English isn't the most polished, but you can get through it. I guess when someone gets as good at writing and speaking Danish, they can complain.

BTW, he mentions that the protection of the battery is set at 4.26 volts. So charging to 4.25 volts as opposed to 4.20 volts does actually show some shorter life expectancy?
These 2 pages show 4.20 V as being fully charged. Charging Lithium-Ion Batteries ? Battery University and Battery Voltage Information ? Battery University. I have some of the blue Trustfire (or maybe they're Ultrafire) that used to be recommended that were charged in to 4.25 volts and they don't last as long as they did before only being charged to 4.20 volts.
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Old 11-19-15, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Perhaps I should say that my experience with flashlights on the bike was not all that satisfying. Lights made for bikes have better mounts. Also, changing the battery involves removing the light, opening it and removing the battery, putting it in the charger, and so on. Plus the beams of many of these flashlights is concentrated in the center and doesn't spread over the road enough. I've bought quite a few of these flashlights and batteries and chargers, and I still use them for walking in the country at night but not for cycling. The technology is intriguing, so it's been fun, but if I had bought bike lights sooner, I would have saved money.
I hate to say this, but with five of these flashlights lying around the house, purchased at various times during this LED revolution, I must admit that none of them functions really well as a bike light. The beams have hot spots and they must be constantly taken apart in order to charge the cell. Just go with one of the many options that separates the light from the multi cell battery pack.
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Old 11-23-15, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
In theory, you don't need protected cells if the devices and chargers you use them with have protection. (e.g. the charger cuts off at 4.2 volts and the light cuts off below 3 volts or whatever to prevent overdischarge).
For a single cell device I would agree. My Zebralight 1x18650 light has built in overcurrent and undervoltage protection. No need to spend extra for a cell that does. In some cases the really high powered flashlights actually cause some protection circuits to trip on cheapie cells. However in a multi cell light there is still a chance that the cells could be unbalanced and once could dip too low of a voltage while the other is higher, so I would always use protected cells in a multi-cell light.
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