18650's future and the flashlights that use them.

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sovereignknight
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18650's future and the flashlights that use them.

Now that battery manufacturers are manufacturing 20700 and 21700 cells, and are now showing up online for sale, would it be wise to cease buying 18650 based flashlights? Shouldn’t all the flashlight manufacturers stop designing and producing 18650 lights because of this threat of a new cell? I’ve started to build a collection of lights all powered by 18650 cells. I’d hate to have to trash them if manufactures stop producing 18650 cells in favor of the 20700/21700.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_3:16 

Flashlights:

x6 Sk68 modded 3 Nichia 319AT, 3 Cree XP-G3 - x1 Solorforce P60 drop in custom XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver - x2 Lumintop EDC05 CW - x2 Jaxman E2L tripple XP-G2 S4 
x1 Jaxman Z1 Zoomie, Cree MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Acebeam K40m thrower with MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Xintd SC-82 V5 Limited Edition C8, XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver
x1 Convoy L6 moded with a Cree XHP-70.2 P2 1D LED - x1 Rare Olight x7 Maurauder with a Nuetral White LED - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Nichia 219c - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Cree XP-G3 - x2 Zebralight SC5w MKII  

x6 Lumintop Tool AA - x1  Olight i3E EOS - x2 Zebralight SC600w Plus MK IV XHP 50.2 4500k 80 CRI - x1 Fenix CL30R - x1 Lumintop C01 Bike Light

AlexGT
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Are 16650 / 17650 cells and flashlights still being produced? These were popular way back in the early 2000’s How fast were flashlight manufacturers to phase them out?

Pulsar
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There has been a lot of r&d into 18650s, and I think it would be quite a while before they are phased out by another cell. Look at the 26650. They were a threat to the 18650, but it never really caught on that well. Laptops, power tools, ebikes, cars… A lot depends on the 18650 cell.

Pulsar
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Throw me in to darkness wrote:
With the amount of 18650 lights and vape cigarettes(cough) out there, it would be unwise in my opinion for manufacturers to cease 18650 production. I feel we should have zero fears.

Flashlights and ecigs are a very small factor into manufacturing cells… I doubt we are what they are considering when developing them.
Pulsar
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Possible that the light and vape communities may keep production going on the good cells once another form factor takes over. But at that point the power/size ratio that causes electric cars and power tools and computers to change will also probably cause the flashlight and vape communities to adapt to the better cells.
At this point, 18650 offers the best output/weight ratio, which is why manufacturers kept putting all their r&d into them. Seems to be the sweet spot.

sovereignknight
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Pulsar wrote:
There has been a lot of r&d into 18650s, and I think it would be quite a while before they are phased out by another cell. Look at the 26650. They were a threat to the 18650, but it never really caught on that well. Laptops, power tools, ebikes, cars… A lot depends on the 18650 cell.

Well the thing is, this 20700/21700 isn’t that much bigger than a 18650. The 26650 is much larger so devices have to be able to accommodate them. I’m thinking 26650’s really haven’t caught on because of their size. Even Elon Musk seems to think it’s not much bigger than the 18650 and for it’s size has a significantly larger capacity. Hence why he dumped the 18650. That’s why I’m thinking the 20700/21700 might take over the 18650.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_3:16 

Flashlights:

x6 Sk68 modded 3 Nichia 319AT, 3 Cree XP-G3 - x1 Solorforce P60 drop in custom XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver - x2 Lumintop EDC05 CW - x2 Jaxman E2L tripple XP-G2 S4 
x1 Jaxman Z1 Zoomie, Cree MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Acebeam K40m thrower with MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Xintd SC-82 V5 Limited Edition C8, XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver
x1 Convoy L6 moded with a Cree XHP-70.2 P2 1D LED - x1 Rare Olight x7 Maurauder with a Nuetral White LED - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Nichia 219c - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Cree XP-G3 - x2 Zebralight SC5w MKII  

x6 Lumintop Tool AA - x1  Olight i3E EOS - x2 Zebralight SC600w Plus MK IV XHP 50.2 4500k 80 CRI - x1 Fenix CL30R - x1 Lumintop C01 Bike Light

Pulsar
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You are right. I am guessing 26650 was too large for the benefits for cars. Can’t fit as many in a pack as smaller cells.
Previously laptops and power tools were pushing the drive on cells. I think now, or in the near future, cars will be pushing the drive on cells. It all depends on who/what is willing to pay for the development of new cells. I am looking forward to it personally.
But, as much time and money that was put into 18650s, I don’t thin kwe will see them go away in the next decade. Even then, I think there will be enough demand for quality 18650 cells to keep them in production

sovereignknight
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Pulsar wrote:
You are right. I am guessing 26650 was too large for the benefits for cars. Can’t fit as many in a pack as smaller cells. Previously laptops and power tools were pushing the drive on cells. I think now, or in the near future, cars will be pushing the drive on cells. It all depends on who/what is willing to pay for the development of new cells. I am looking forward to it personally. But, as much time and money that was put into 18650s, I don’t thin kwe will see them go away in the next decade. Even then, I think there will be enough demand for quality 18650 cells to keep them in production

I certainly hope so. I mean I’ll adopt the new cell but I don’t feel like having to buy new lights and chargers just yet for them. I mean most of my chargers can charge a unprotected 20700/21700 unofficially. I just bough some expensive lights recently that uses the 18650. I also just bought a Xtar Dragon, and that was a little pricey. I intend to at least have the lights and chargers for 10 years. Even still I’d hate to see them as paper weights after that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_3:16 

Flashlights:

x6 Sk68 modded 3 Nichia 319AT, 3 Cree XP-G3 - x1 Solorforce P60 drop in custom XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver - x2 Lumintop EDC05 CW - x2 Jaxman E2L tripple XP-G2 S4 
x1 Jaxman Z1 Zoomie, Cree MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Acebeam K40m thrower with MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Xintd SC-82 V5 Limited Edition C8, XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver
x1 Convoy L6 moded with a Cree XHP-70.2 P2 1D LED - x1 Rare Olight x7 Maurauder with a Nuetral White LED - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Nichia 219c - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Cree XP-G3 - x2 Zebralight SC5w MKII  

x6 Lumintop Tool AA - x1  Olight i3E EOS - x2 Zebralight SC600w Plus MK IV XHP 50.2 4500k 80 CRI - x1 Fenix CL30R - x1 Lumintop C01 Bike Light

Blazer296
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meh……look at AA batteries. Way better tech out there, but consumers are used to them, so they remain.

As mentioned, the flashlight/vap world will have little to no effect on it. LEDs are not even manufactured for flashlights anyway, they just happen to work well for such.

Who knows, the way technology moves forward in leaps and bounds, maybe we will be building mini cold fusion lights in 10 years. Question

sovereignknight
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Blazer296 wrote:
meh……look at AA batteries. Way better tech out there, but consumers are used to them, so they remain.

As mentioned, the flashlight/vap world will have little to no effect on it. LEDs are not even manufactured for flashlights anyway, they just happen to work well for such.

Who knows, the way technology moves forward in leaps and bounds, maybe we will be building mini cold fusion lights in 10 years. Question

The average consumer will know what an AA is. So manufacturers still produce items with them. The 18650 and other cells like it are not well known by the average consumer. You ask a average consumer what a 18650 is and their response would be “What the hell is that?” Therefore manufacturers do not make common devices for them based on 18650s and other cells. Bare lithium ion cells and the average consumer, not knowing the proper use and precautions, would be a manufacturers worst nightmare.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_3:16 

Flashlights:

x6 Sk68 modded 3 Nichia 319AT, 3 Cree XP-G3 - x1 Solorforce P60 drop in custom XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver - x2 Lumintop EDC05 CW - x2 Jaxman E2L tripple XP-G2 S4 
x1 Jaxman Z1 Zoomie, Cree MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Acebeam K40m thrower with MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Xintd SC-82 V5 Limited Edition C8, XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver
x1 Convoy L6 moded with a Cree XHP-70.2 P2 1D LED - x1 Rare Olight x7 Maurauder with a Nuetral White LED - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Nichia 219c - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Cree XP-G3 - x2 Zebralight SC5w MKII  

x6 Lumintop Tool AA - x1  Olight i3E EOS - x2 Zebralight SC600w Plus MK IV XHP 50.2 4500k 80 CRI - x1 Fenix CL30R - x1 Lumintop C01 Bike Light

WalkIntoTheLight
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I’ll bet that AA cells around the 1.5v range will still be around in 50 years. I’ll also bet that 18650 cells will not.

I’m not too worried about them phasing out. By the time 18650 cells are gone, there will be much better lights available that use the better cells, and we’ll all be buying those.

As for existing lights becoming stranded. Yes, that will happen. But it’s going to be awhile, and you’ll still have years left on your existing cells even if you can’t buy any more.

sovereignknight
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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
I’ll bet that AA cells around the 1.5v range will still be around in 50 years. I’ll also bet that 18650 cells will not.

I’m not too worried about them phasing out. By the time 18650 cells are gone, there will be much better lights available that use the better cells, and we’ll all be buying those.

As for existing lights becoming stranded. Yes, that will happen. But it’s going to be awhile, and you’ll still have years left on your existing cells even if you can’t buy any more.

Isn’t the average cell life three years? I thought the chemistry degrades wether used or sitting on the shelf? I noticed allot of laptop batteries past three years lose allot of capacity or are dead.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_3:16 

Flashlights:

x6 Sk68 modded 3 Nichia 319AT, 3 Cree XP-G3 - x1 Solorforce P60 drop in custom XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver - x2 Lumintop EDC05 CW - x2 Jaxman E2L tripple XP-G2 S4 
x1 Jaxman Z1 Zoomie, Cree MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Acebeam K40m thrower with MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Xintd SC-82 V5 Limited Edition C8, XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver
x1 Convoy L6 moded with a Cree XHP-70.2 P2 1D LED - x1 Rare Olight x7 Maurauder with a Nuetral White LED - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Nichia 219c - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Cree XP-G3 - x2 Zebralight SC5w MKII  

x6 Lumintop Tool AA - x1  Olight i3E EOS - x2 Zebralight SC600w Plus MK IV XHP 50.2 4500k 80 CRI - x1 Fenix CL30R - x1 Lumintop C01 Bike Light

dw911
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Of course 18650 cells will be around for many more years.

How else will the many fire brand cell makers be able to fake 20700 and 21700 cells, without 18650 cells to put inside CashBig Smile

WalkIntoTheLight
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sovereignknight wrote:
Isn’t the average cell life three years? I thought the chemistry degrades wether used or sitting on the shelf? I noticed allot of laptop batteries past three years lose allot of capacity or are dead.

It depends on how they are treated. Laptops treat their 18650 cells really bad. They are left 100% charged most of the time, along with a lot of heat from the laptop itself.

But, yes, you’re right that 18650 cells probably don’t have too many years before they need to be replaced for best performance.

How many lights do you have that are a few years old, that you still use regularly? Maybe a few, but I’m betting most of your favorite lights are only a couple of years old.

Even if they stopped making 18650 cells today, by the time your current cells die of old age, you probably won’t be using those 18650 lights anyway.

If you want to be sure your flashlights have supported batteries for decades to come, then your only option is probably AA or AAA cells.

varbos
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Many new laptops no longer use 18650s. Is it many, or most? I don’t know the stats. But for sure thin laptops with lipo pouches are very common.

Plus, the laptop market is shrinking every year.

I think 18650s will be around for some years but for sure it will be discontinued eventually. The big problem will be when the major manufacturers pull out. Chinese companies will be happy to fill the gap in the market. The cells will be much lower quality.

Angler
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18650’s aren’t going anywhere.
You must understand how 20700/21700 came to be.
21700 is the maximum size cell that can be manufactured with current 18650 tooling and process.

Size was chosen for cost based on not having to build new machines for 18650 manufacturing facilities.

sovereignknight
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Angler wrote:
18650’s aren’t going anywhere.
You must understand how 20700/21700 came to be.
21700 is the maximum size cell that can be manufactured with current 18650 tooling and process.

Size was chosen for cost based on not having to build new machines for 18650 manufacturing facilities.

This is good news then. Perhaps I will buy another MF-01 in a Nichia flavor in a couple weeks!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_3:16 

Flashlights:

x6 Sk68 modded 3 Nichia 319AT, 3 Cree XP-G3 - x1 Solorforce P60 drop in custom XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver - x2 Lumintop EDC05 CW - x2 Jaxman E2L tripple XP-G2 S4 
x1 Jaxman Z1 Zoomie, Cree MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Acebeam K40m thrower with MT-G2 Q0 LED - x1 Xintd SC-82 V5 Limited Edition C8, XM-L2 U4 1C, Qlight Rev.A 7135*8 3.04A Driver
x1 Convoy L6 moded with a Cree XHP-70.2 P2 1D LED - x1 Rare Olight x7 Maurauder with a Nuetral White LED - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Nichia 219c - x1 Astrolux MF-01 Cree XP-G3 - x2 Zebralight SC5w MKII  

x6 Lumintop Tool AA - x1  Olight i3E EOS - x2 Zebralight SC600w Plus MK IV XHP 50.2 4500k 80 CRI - x1 Fenix CL30R - x1 Lumintop C01 Bike Light

1000cri
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Lithium ion batteries can last quite a while under the right conditions. I have an Olight T20 that’s about 10 years old, I just gave away the original AW 16350s I bought with it recently. I don’t have a way to test capacity but they weren’t noticeably degraded. They did only have a few dozen charge cycles. Newer chemistries should last even longer.

Enderman
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18650s will not be replaced at least for another two decades.

Pulsar
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Enderman wrote:
18650s will not be replaced at least for another two decades.

Maybe we should start a pool on when they stop making 18650s Silly
WalkIntoTheLight
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Enderman wrote:
18650s will not be replaced at least for another two decades.

Wow, okay, that’s quite a prediction. I’m guessing it might be sooner, though.

There’s almost no consumer demand for 18650 cells, outside of some vapers and flashaholics. All the demand comes from manufacturers that use them in their products. Those manufacturers could switch to another form factor of cell, if it is cheaper and has better capacity, and the public wouldn’t care less.

I’m guessing that whomever wins the electric car war, will get to determine the cell type used in other products.

Enderman
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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
Enderman wrote:
18650s will not be replaced at least for another two decades.

Wow, okay, that’s quite a prediction. I’m guessing it might be sooner, though.

There’s almost no consumer demand for 18650 cells, outside of some vapers and flashaholics. All the demand comes from manufacturers that use them in their products. Those manufacturers could switch to another form factor of cell, if it is cheaper and has better capacity, and the public wouldn’t care less.

I’m guessing that whomever wins the electric car war, will get to determine the cell type used in other products.


It’s not cheaper though, and most likely never will be at least for a very long time.
Just like why almost nobody switched to 26650.
Tender
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Isn’t this part of being a collector by definition (the art of collecting), collecting things some of which may/will become obsolete, even though still operable, and only meaningful to enthusiasts? Vinyl records are an example – which have and are, interestingly, making quite a come back.

I highly doubt that 18650 cells will completely disappear from the market. Their manufacture may eventually become extremely limited and only available to hobbyists, but I believe that we are many years away from that.

Isn’t part of the fun of collecting being able to show “what has been” and the development of things?!

"Keep On Luxing" © and "May The Lumin Be With You" © (by my very self)

WalkIntoTheLight
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Enderman wrote:
WalkIntoTheLight wrote:

There’s almost no consumer demand for 18650 cells, outside of some vapers and flashaholics. All the demand comes from manufacturers that use them in their products. Those manufacturers could switch to another form factor of cell, if it is cheaper and has better capacity, and the public wouldn’t care less.

I’m guessing that whomever wins the electric car war, will get to determine the cell type used in other products.


It’s not cheaper though, and most likely never will be at least for a very long time.
Just like why almost nobody switched to 26650.

If the 18650 stays as the cheapest/best cell for electric cars, then I agree. Is that what companies like Tesla are using?

If Telsa’s gigafactory uses some other size, then it may become the new standard for cells. Assuming they’re willing to sell cells to manufacturers of power tools, etc. I think that’s probably 10 years away, but not 20.

If 18650 cells are the standard for electric cars, then they’ll be around for quite awhile.

Tender
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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:

If 18650 cells are the standard for electric cars, then they’ll be around for quite awhile.

They have been.

"Keep On Luxing" © and "May The Lumin Be With You" © (by my very self)

WalkIntoTheLight
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Tender wrote:
WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
If 18650 cells are the standard for electric cars, then they’ll be around for quite awhile.
They have been.

Well, yes, but if Tesla is moving to 21700 cells, that might become the new standard. However, I’m not sure what other car manufacturers are doing, so 18650 might be safe.

wle
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can’t you still get actual cassettes, for crying out loud?

plus, A and B-cell batteries, for 1923 tube radios..

wle

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I believe the 18650 will continue for a long time. The form factor will always come into play (18650 just describes a size really). Example – The AAA hasn’t been phased out because of AA batts. What will change is the chemistry and we will see 18650’s still, though not exactly lithium.

https://futurism.com/scientists-develop-better-battery-thanks-graphene/

I say buy your lights and chargers and be satisfied because by the time they are obsolete (chemistry-wise and voltage-wise) you will be buying the new chargers and batts. because of all the new benefits, and modding that stuff (older purchases) you are worrying about anyway. Afterall, like a good friend once told me. “If you keep waiting for something better you’ll never have anything because by the time they market it they have already been R&Ding better products and will have something new on the way soon.”

Should my information be incorrect in the slightest please inform me as i am always learning as well and may not recollect everything properly. ALSO, ANYTHING I WRITE PLEASE TAKE WITH A THOUSAND GRAINS OF SALT AND YOUR OWN LIABILITY, AS YOU SHOULD WITH ALL INFORMATION.

WalkIntoTheLight
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My real concern with 18650’s is not so much they’re going to go obsolete, but that government keeps putting on more and more restrictions on them. Right now, it’s getting almost impossible to get 18650 cells shipped to Canada. There’s still some places that will ship, but that list is growing smaller and smaller all the time.

Eventually, I think our government is likely to ban them for consumer sales completely. The only way to get them will be black-market, or salvaging them out of things like laptops.

All it will take is some kid to be burned by a lithium-ion cell, and our government will be all too eager to ban them for our safety.

GRAY LITNIN
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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
My real concern with 18650’s is not so much they’re going to go obsolete, but that government keeps putting on more and more restrictions on them. Right now, it’s getting almost impossible to get 18650 cells shipped to Canada. There’s still some places that will ship, but that list is growing smaller and smaller all the time.

Eventually, I think our government is likely to ban them for consumer sales completely. The only way to get them will be black-market, or salvaging them out of things like laptops.

All it will take is some kid to be burned by a lithium-ion cell, and our government will be all too eager to ban them for our safety.

Thats a very legit concern. Even more reason to buy while you can if you can swing it and get a few different kinds and try to future proof your purchases (some high discharge and some high capacity, low discharge ones) and they should/might last you through the slump till the new ones show up on the consumer market, if they ever do,(hopefully not too expensive either), who knows what tomorrow holds for any of us.

For what its worth the newer tech they are working on is much safer and even if they are shorted they can be brought back to life, albiet with reduced capacity.

Sad situation though. Good luck with your portable power sources!

Should my information be incorrect in the slightest please inform me as i am always learning as well and may not recollect everything properly. ALSO, ANYTHING I WRITE PLEASE TAKE WITH A THOUSAND GRAINS OF SALT AND YOUR OWN LIABILITY, AS YOU SHOULD WITH ALL INFORMATION.