Battery test/review summary

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HKJ
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Battery test/review summary

Battery test/review summary

The full comparison can be found on my website.

DSC_0536

I am working on a large LiIon battery test, this test contains mostly 18650 cells. Each tested battery is posted as a separate review with curves and data for the battery. This article will compare the results of these tests, but I will only include some of the results.

I do not plan to do many updates to the text of this article, but because the charts are fetched from my server they will be updated frequently. All the batteries I have tested will be included, and sometimes also for unpublished test/reviews that might be only partial done, these reviews will be published later when they are finished. This does also explain why a battery can be present in some charts, but not in other.

Because the charts will be updated I will not comment on how different batteries compares to each other in this article, that might not be valid after the next update of the charts.

Note: The picture above does show a sample of the batteries I am testing. At the time of publishing this article only half of them have been tested, but when I am finished many more than shown will have been tested.



18650 battery charts

Capacity

The first chart is the capacity at different current draw. To measure this capacity I have discharged the batteries down to 2.8 volt at the specified current rates (some batteries cannot handle 5A current draw and will not show a 5A bar).

CapacityTo3.6

Some lights cannot drain the battery down to 2.8 volt, but need considerable more voltage, especially to get full brightness. In the above chart I have measured the capacity drained when the battery is down to 3.6 volt, again at different current. Batteries that has a lot of capacity when measured to 2.8 volt does not necessary have that when measured to 3.6 volt, especially at high current drains.

Capacity-1.0

This curve shows how the battery voltage changes when capacity is used from the battery, this curve is made with a 1A current draw. The 1A bar in the above bar charts are based on this curve.

CapacityTime-1.0

Instead of showing the capacity of the battery, it is also possible to show how long time the battery will last at the 1A current draw.

Current

The batteries has a specified current, this current is the recommended maximum drain on the cell. If this specification is missing, it can usual be assumed to be 2xC, i.e. a 2400mAh battery will have a specified current of 4800mA or 4.8 Ampere. These assumed values are not shown in the chart.
Batteries with a PCB protection also has a trip current, this is at a higher value than the specified current. In my opinion 30% up to 50% above the specified current is best.
The "Protection trip" will be missing for unprotected batteries and because my test equipment is configured to starts at 3 ampere batteries with "Protection trip" below 3 ampere will also be missing.

Length

The 18650 specifications means that a cell is about 65 mm long, but protected batteries are longer, because a protection circuit must be added and sometimes there is also added a button top. Not all chargers and lights can take the longest cells.



Simple battery selection guide

This is a very simple guide in how to select the best battery for different types of flash lights, using the charts shown above.
Remember always to check if the light supports the length of the battery (See length chart above) and shape of the positive nipple (See test/review of battery).
The current estimate assumes that the leds are driven at full power.

It is strongly recommended to use protected batteries in most light both for safety and for long battery life (Any battery discharged to much take serious damage).



Lights with 2x18650 batteries in series

DSC_5779

These lights will usual use a buck converter to adjust the voltage, this means that a XR-E, XP-E is 0.5A, XP-G is 0.7A, and a XM-L is 1.5A. With two batteries in series the light can use all the capacity in the battery, while staying at full brightness. I.e. the "Discharge, capacity" chart is the one used here.
For 0.5A current, look for the batteries with the longest green bar, they will give most runtime.
For 0.7A current, look for the batteries with the longest green and blue bars, they will give most runtime.
For 1.5A current, look for the batteries with the longest blue and cyan bars, they will give most runtime.



Lights with 1x18650 batteries or 2xCR123 batteries

DSC_8407

These lights will usual use a buck converter, but typically have trouble maintaining full brightness when the 18650 battery voltage is low. For current XR-E, XP-E is 1A, XP-G is 1.5A, and a XM-L led will need 3A.
To find the battery that maintains the highest brightness for the longest time use the chart "Discharge, capacity down to 3.6 volt"

For 1A current, look for the batteries with the longest blue bar, they will give most runtime.
For 1.5A current, look for the batteries with the longest blue and cyan bars, they will give most runtime.
For 3A current, look for the batteries with the longest yellow bar, they will give most runtime.

Note: These lights will sometimes be fairly safe with unprotected batteries, especially with cell that can be discharged down to 2.5 volt.



Lights with 1x18650 batteries and linear driver (7135 chip)

DSC_8296

In this type of light the current in the led is the same as the current drawn from the battery. These light need as much voltage as possible to maintain regulation. For current XR-E, XP-E is 1A, XP-G is 1.3A, and a XM-L led will need 3A. if it is possible to count the number of 7135 chips in the driver, it is very easy to calculate the current. Each chip is 1/3 ampere, i.e. 3 chips is 1 ampere.
To find the battery thats maintain the highest brightness for the longest time use the chart "Discharge, capacity down to 3.6 volt"

For 1A current, look for the batteries with the longest blue bar, they will give most runtime.
For 1.3A current, look for the batteries with the longest blue and cyan bars, they will give most runtime.
For 3A current, look for the batteries with the longest yellow bar, they will give most runtime.

Note: These lights will often be fairly safe with unprotected batteries, especially with cell that can be discharged down to 2.5 volt.



Other lights

For other lights a tailcap current measurement can help with establishing the current draw.
Or use power calculations to estimate current: For each led add the watt together: XR-E and XP-E is 3.5W, XP-G is 5.4 W and XM-L is 10 W, divide sum by number of batteries and by 3.7, the result is the current.
An example for A 3 XM-L light with 4 batteries: 10+10+10->30 watt, 30/4/3.7 -> 2 ampere from each battery (It does not matter if they are series or parallel).
Use the "Discharge, capacity" for lights with two or more 18650 cells in series or the "Discharge, capacity down to 3.6 volt" for lights that only works on a single 18650 battery or uses a couple of 18650 in parallel.



When mostly using low modes

For low modes it is the 0.2A red and 0.5A green bar that is most interesting. To see which one, use a tailcap current measurement. For currents below 0.2A it is fine to use the 0.2A bar, lower current draw will not change the rating of the batteries significantly.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:47
kreisler
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Thanks for all!

Maybe you could "evaluate" or judge the cells with a final grade, e.g. 10/10 or five stars Wink

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
sb56637
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Very nice HKJ! Thanks so much for sharing your data with us here in such a clear format.

Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

MixoMaxo
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Looking at the first photo I was amazed looking at the batteries number

suddenly I realized that you still have half of work to do.. go back to your job slave xD

Joking we really appreciate your professional and dedication, you are the reference point in that, ty a lot for your time m8 Smile

btw a dumbs proof star/score system like suggested from kreisler about capacity (at 1,3,5A), price/quality, PCB quality, safety

yes that is great and easy to read but I bet that not all will try to read the graphic

HKJ
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kreisler wrote:

Maybe you could "evaluate" or judge the cells with a final grade, e.g. 10/10 or five stars Wink

I was thinking about it when starting the battery test, but decided against it. It is simply to difficult, because it depends on the situation what parameters are important. What is best: A short flat top battery or a long battery with a small button top, both using the same cell?

I do give a little bit of rating with "good" and "very good" in the conclusion. For a "very good" battery it must use a cell from a big manufacturer and not have any issues.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

Buwuve
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Thank you for the test. I bookmark it on my browser to find it quick in the future.

Light up the darkness.

cd520
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Nicely done tests/review. I appreciate your effort!!

HKJ
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MixoMaxo wrote:
Looking at the first photo I was amazed looking at the batteries number

suddenly I realized that you still have half of work to do.. go back to your job slave xD

 

That picture only show about half the batteries I hope to test and with one to two batteries each week it is going to be a long time before I am finished.

The testing is running 24/7 Smile, except when I need my equipment for other stuff.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

MixoMaxo
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Damn quoting just that make me look awful and hated by all xD

I was just joking, we know just charge/discharge at 0,2A 1 battery 1 time take more of day...

so pls just read "really ty for you job is really appreciated" from my post above Smile

HKJ
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MixoMaxo wrote:

Damn quoting just that make me look awful and hated by all xD

I was just joking, we know just charge/discharge at 0,2A 1 battery 1 time take more of day...

so pls just read "really ty for you job is really appreciated" from my post above Smile

I enjoyed that remark, it was a fun way to show your appreciation for my work.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

stevetexas
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In future, i only buy Very Good cells.

raw
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HKJ, I admire your dedication, professionalism and details given to all your tests. And thanks for sharing with us here! Whenever I needed guide, it is always your site. Cheers

PS: I still need some time to digest all those charts, I know, I'm slow.

SashiX
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Keep up this excellent work, HKJ Big Smile

HKJ
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stevetexas wrote:

In future, i only buy Very Good cells.

I will add more ratings when I get to the cheaper cells. The Trustfire Flame 2400 I called "Acceptable for a cheap cell", I do not like batteries that are way below specified capacity.

When I get to batteries where the two tested batteries has very different capacity, I will have to find some lower rating, because this is a sign that the cells are old, used or very cheaply manufactured.

 

raw wrote:
I still need some time to digest all those charts, I know, I'm slow.

I is always possible to ask question about them, this might also help me to write a better explanation.

 

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

jacktheclipper
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Thank you for all of your efforts HKJ .

What I do

 

dthrckt
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thanks very much

I've been feeling a little uneasy about choosing the 2250s over the couple of good 3100s for use in the DRY.  I figured that over many cycles they might fare better than others, since they'll handle even higher current discharge than i will do - but now in your second and fifth graphs, I see another reason to choose them.  WOW.  I might order some more lol

edit; actually, I misunderstood the 5th graph at first.  still, very interesting and helpful to visually compare this data.  hard to imagine how confusing all the available offerings would be w/o this sort of work.  thanks

Olli1783
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Thanks!!

Noctigon Meteor M43 

KDLST
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You sir, are a genious!!

Especially thanks for stating which bars are important for which lights/outputs, never would have figuered that one out for myself.

And thus we have learned another great thing Cool

my9221
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HKJ's reviews are always superb! Thank you!

stevetexas
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all 3 of my wives approve of this....2 of them continue to beat me

aurum
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Hi

what about the new Trustfire 3000mA we can see in the first picture? Maybe I just misunderstand your charts ... I can't find them. Thanks

HKJ
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aurum wrote:
what about the new Trustfire 3000mA we can see in the first picture? Maybe I just misunderstand your charts ... I can't find them. Thanks

 

I will be testing all the batteries shown in the picture and many more, but just now I have only tested half the batteries shown in the picture.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

PierCC
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my9221 wrote:

HKJ's reviews are always superb! Thank you!

 

+1!

motodeficient
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aurum wrote:

Hi

what about the new Trustfire 3000mA we can see in the first picture? Maybe I just misunderstand your charts ... I can't find them. Thanks

 

Also excited to see your thoughts on this cell

ChibiM
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I guess this is the place I will look before buying any "high quality" cells.

For now Ill stay with the trust fires/flames..

Im just thinking. Would it be a good idea to keep some of these Reviews untouched by other users, eg questions/discussions etc.
And make another thread for discussing. I guess this thread will be a very useful one. With all these cell comparisons.
Usually people need to read about 10 pages about 1 cell to see if the cell is actually good or not. But with all these reviews in 1 thread.. its probably  better to not get everything mixed up..

just sharing my thoughts

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Wow really good work HKJ. I really appreciate the time and effort have put in and continue to put into this. Looking forward to the results of the other batteries in line.

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That's a huge amount of work already. Thanks for taking the time to do it.

 

Looking forward to updates.

 

I neither have the equipment nor the time to do such tests so thanks for doing them. I couldn't do them.

 

Any cells you want to test?

 

If I have them they will get posted to you,

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

HKJ
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ChibiM wrote:
Im just thinking. Would it be a good idea to keep some of these Reviews untouched by other users, eg questions/discussions etc.

Why should they be left without comments? The review is always at the top and you do not need to read the comments (But they might contains some useful information).

Don wrote:
Any cells you want to test?

 If I have them they will get posted to you,

Not at the moment, I have work for the next two months.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

2100
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Thank you very much for doing all these tests and contributions!  And most important of all very open and absolute transparent reporting of results with an open mind to test them! 

I am very pleased to see that the Callies Kustom performing to par.  Still remember that time when xlimm4 was cornered by some "so-called" respected folks (not here) and thread locked because it was said that it is another thing to just slap on a PCB on a Panasonic and that "does not make it a Reliast or AW".  heh...

I am sure with the XTAR 3100 and revised int-outdoor protected Panny 3100s come out, they will all give us more good choices!

ChibiM
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HKJ]</p><p>[quote=ChibiM wrote:
Im just thinking. Would it be a good idea to keep some of these Reviews untouched by other users, eg questions/discussions etc.

Why should they be left without comments? The review is always at the top and you do not need to read the comments (But they might contains some useful information).

I was thinking about other short reviews, or even just a thread about a specific battery, that took a lot of comments, but after a lot of different comments, people concluded they were not as good as they thought.. blue IO 3100cell for example. Thats why.

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Thank you very much for your time and devotion HKJ!

Current Collection:

BLF: BLF-GT90, BLF-GT70 (CW Sliced), BLF GTmini, BLF-LT1; 

BTU: Shocker (3 x SST-40 @ 8A)

Solarforce: L2P (XM-L2 U3 @ 4A), MPP-1 (XP-L HI @ 6A), MPP-3 (3 x XM-L2 U2 @ 12A), M6 (Nichia 319A @ 6A), M8 (XHP-50.2 @ 9A), 9x (9 x XM-L2 U2 @ 2A)

Coming Soon: Lumintop: BLF-GT4; 

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