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18650 Lithium Cell Recommendations: The good, the bad, and the ugly

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--- Quote from: Carl on January 30, 2018, 04:29:02 AM ---  I also have had that problem as about the only 'work' one can do with most of these lithium powered lights is peeling paint and exploding moths.

--- End quote ---

Don't most 18650 lights have 4-5 brightness levels?  I have all Fenix, but what I've seen of NiteCore and Olight and EagTac it seems they all have levels of lumens (except for the very small AAA).  Mine are all max rated at 900-1,000 lumens but most of my work is done with 150 or sometimes 350-400 lumens. Although they have very low starting level at 5-10 lumens, if I only need that then I rarely pull out the 18650s and just use my pocket AA light.

I did use the 900 lumen level recently when my grandsons bottle rocket school experiment ran into the dark hours.  We needed every bit of light possible to watch the trajectory and locate the corks 50 ft or more away.  Of course there was rain as well which seem to soak up the light like a black hole.

  I am sure some do but I am not going to pay $50 to $100 or more for a flashlight and I only get the $10 to $20 lights and very rarely over $20 so the option for a close quarters light is to opt for much smaller single AA or AAA lights for when I need hands on work ,rather than paint peeling power. I find that headlamps that include a 10 Lumen of so level best for work and 300 Lumens for walking in dark areas or lighting up the back yard for my dog who is scared of the dark.

I’m still loving the 18650s, hands down the best rechargeable cell I have ever used in almost every way, especially their low rate of self discharge.  I can’t kill these things thru neglect like I do with NiMHs. I went through two dozen D cells yesterday and half of them are now completely ruined. Only my AA Eneloops and Tenergy Centura low self-discharge NiMH cells can stand up to my negligence and still take a charge when I get around to it, which I have to do because they don’t have a useful charge at that point (while the 18650s still do!!).

My biggest gripe with the 18650s is that more everyday products, beyond lights, haven’t switched over to using this superior technology.  Sure, Tesla cars and Makita cordless tools have built proprietary battery packs around them, but how about all the portable devices that requires 4-8 D cells?  Not so much.

Recently, I have come across a few radios from Tecsun and Kaito that have switched over, as well as one from Midland, that I’m testing out now.  There’s also an XHDATA clone of the C Crane Skywave that uses an 18650 instead of AAs that I’m going to try and get my hands on, too. A nice thing about these products is they’ve also switched to USB from 6 or 12 volt wall warts when plugging them in at home, as well as for powering the internal charger.  Standardization is a good thing and USB is usually easier to find in a pinch these days than a wall wart with the right voltage, polarity, and barrel connector.

Anyway, if anybody has found a useful (not lights or vape mods) product that has switched over to 18650 please chime in.

not 18650 but 14500 (not readily removable)
Surecomm Simplex repeater controller


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