When it's time to purchase batteries, a common question is, which flashlight batteries last the longest? Knowing the answer could change the way you buy and think about batteries.
Types of Batteries
Starting at the beginning, what is a battery? A battery is a portable electric storage unit, by which cells carry an electric charge as a source of current. In a flashlight, the current is carried to the bulb so it can provide the source of light.
Batteries come in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes, capacities, and voltages. Depending on what they are made of constitutes their lasting value. Some types of battery materials include:
- Silver alkaline
- Lead acid
Batteries are made of volts and they can carry 6, 4 or 2 single cell blocks. AA, AAA, C and D are some of the common sizes you can purchase.
Brands of Batteries for Flashlights
Today it is typical to hear advertisements that promise batteries are strong enough to keep on working for a long time, well after other batteries have died. Of course, no one is going to say that their brand of battery runs out quickly!
So, how do you know which battery brand to buy? Who can you trust? What do you need to know to make an informed decision regarding which flashlight batteries last the longest?
The popular brands of alkaline batteries for flashlights on the market today include:
Determining Which Flashlight Batteries Last the Longest
Do you get what you pay for? If you buy a generic brand of batteries, will they not last as long? If you purchase a more expensive battery, will it have a longer life?Consumer Reports would conclude that all of the above are durable batteries and worth the cost. One is not necessarily better than the other, except that although heavy duty batteries are less expensive, they don't last as long because they are not alkalines.
However, numerous experiments have been conducted to determine which battery is the longest lasting. Looking at data from one experiment that was done by adults, shows that Rayovac was the winner. The study used four different flashlights that used D-cell batteries. The flashlights were kept on until the batteries ran out. Rayovac costs a few pennies less than Duracell, and yet it lasted 24 hours. Eveready only lasted 6 hours, Duracell lasted 15, and the Energizer lasted 22 hours. A similar study was done with AA batteries, and this time the Rayovac lasted the longest at 5 hours. Of course, a single experiment does not provide conclusive evidence about the quality of any type of product.
Lithium batteries claim to have a shelf life of up to ten years and alkalines can last up to seven years. This means that if you come across a sale, you can stock up on the types of batteries you need and store them for future use. A good tip is to buy in bulk. Comparison shopping will serve you well as you determine how much each individual battery ends up costing.
There are batteries that last well in extreme temperatures. For example, advertisements for the Energizer E2 battery say that it last longer than ordinary batteries and that it can function a long time in varying extremem temperatures ranging from -40 to 140F. This would be something to keep in mind if your camping trips take you through all the seasons/and/or to places where the temperatures widely vary.
Tired of having to replace batteries often? Consider buying a battery charger. Keep in mind that in order to use this device, the batteries you use have to be rechargeable.Chargers plug into the wall, using electricity to give new life to used batteries.
Rechargeable batteries cost more, but in the long run, they will save you money, proving to be more economical because of their ability to be used again and again.
Protect Your Batteries
You can buy the best battery that has lasted years under normal circumstances, only to ruin the chances of it having a long life due to lack of protection.
Getting the flashlight wet either by leaving it in the rain or dropping it into a river or lake, is going to cut down on both the battery and flashlight's life. Accidentally leaving the flashlight on will hinder the life of the batteries, too.
Take good care of your flashlights. Keep them in dry places and be careful not to hit them against hard surfaces. If the batteries corrode inside the flashlight, or become rusty, take them out, toss them, and then clean the inside of the flashlight with a cotton swab and some white vinegar. The vinegar will remove the rust without damaging the flashlight. Add new batteries and the flashlight should work.
If you aren't planning on the using a flashlight for a while, take the batteries out and store them in a safe place. This way, they won't leak inside the flashlight.
Don't forget that sometimes the reason the flashlight doesn't work is not due to the batteries, but because of the bulb. These tiny devices are vital to lighting your path and need to be replaced ever so often.
While many products for camping these days are made for no battery usage, such as crank lanterns and the emergency flashlight radio, most products still do depend on the battery to function.
So now that you know about batteries, you have a better understanding of what you need on your camping trip for your flashlight and can therefore, make informed choices.