Charging batteries in the device or using external battery charger, which is better?

20 posts / 0 new
Last post
xtarflashlight's picture
Last seen: 3 days 11 hours ago
Joined: 01/21/2013 - 21:25
Posts: 175
Location: Shenzhen
Charging batteries in the device or using external battery charger, which is better?

Internal vs. external charging, which is better? – By Mooch

Recently Battery Mooch released a video about the comparison of internal and external charging. He listed the pros and cons of the internal charging and external charging, and told use which one to choose. On his blackboard, he wrote that he recommend external, for the following reason:
- Flexibility and testing/monitoring
- But check for wrap damage
- Choose what’s best for you
- Might not be what’s best for others though!

Using an external battery charger, you can choose the charging current by yourselves, test the battery capacity, and monitor the internal resistance and so on. And there are more and more new functions added on the external charger, such as reviving over-discharged batteries, adjusting the storage voltage of batteries, discharging batteries and refreshing NiMH battery memory.

Although external charger is not as convenient as internal charger to some extent, it pay more attention to prolong battery life and ensure charging safety.

What’s your opinion? Which charging method do you use frequently?

Edited by: sb56637 on 12/10/2021 - 07:22
Majoroverkill's picture
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: 01/12/2017 - 17:13
Posts: 1039
Location: Nevada

The only flashlight I charge internally is my L30 and only because the cell wont fit in my Miboxer C4 12. All of my other cells I charge on the Miboxer. I am approaching 100 cells so maintenance takes days to do. I need more chargers lol. I like having the USB there for emergency reasons but rarely ever use them. I like being able to monitor the cells as they charge.

Doug S.

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Last seen: 4 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 17611
Location: रॅकून सिटी Palm Desert CA USA

I prefer to use an external charger.

I only charge batteries in the device with keychain flashlights that have small non-removable batteries.

zoulas's picture
Last seen: 4 hours 18 min ago
Joined: 06/01/2020 - 08:35
Posts: 2125

Built in chargers are somewhat of a gimmick. You cant beat a quality external charger like the Miboxer. Also, if you rely on the built in charger you will be without a light for several hours while this thing is charging. Whereas with an external charger, you can charge a second battery while you are using the light.

Henk4U2's picture
Last seen: 20 min 9 sec ago
Joined: 02/13/2014 - 17:52
Posts: 4226
Location: The heart of the Netherlands (GMT+1)

I prefer the combination of good external chargers and good standard (eg. normal) batteries.

With an internal charger you can’t monitor the charging process properly
You add an extra source of faillure to the internals of the flashlight.
You get an external port with a rubber flap that is also a point of my worries.
Unless you have an magnetic charger, but they come mostly with proprietary batteries.

If avoidable I’ll never buy a light that needs a proprietary battery.
Those batteries are much more expensive, because same brand and competition is zero.
Who says they still will be around if you need a new one?
Bad for standarisation: every light needs their own specific proprietary battery.

Last but no least: flexibility. You can use your light while the other batteries are charging.
Because I have some 30+ Samsung 30Q’s, there is always one around if I need one.

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.

Sillen's picture
Last seen: 1 day 15 hours ago
Joined: 08/01/2018 - 06:39
Posts: 750
Location: Melbourne, Australia

External. 96% of the time I use my Miboxer C8, very rarely Lii500

Looking forward to BLF designed charger for 3A charging and 1A discharge

pennzy's picture
Last seen: 14 min 56 sec ago
Joined: 12/10/2017 - 19:45
Posts: 4156
Location: United States , Pa.

I like internal charging but use both. I feel better gifting built in charging lights to nubes. I also monitor built in charging with a usb meter. Internal resistance measurements on my MiBoxer are all over the place so I don’t give them much attention.

Last seen: 7 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 03/30/2020 - 12:14
Posts: 518

On his blackboard, he wrote that he recommend external, for the following reason:

- Flexibility and testing/monitoring – makes sense

- But check for wrap damage – um ok but this is what you do before putting it in the light and can’t get damaged once in so whats the check?

- Choose what’s best for you – not a reason

- Might not be what’s best for others though! – not a reason

I use both. once you have a few lights it doesn’t seem to matter if you swap a battery or charge one in a light. just grab another light

Helios azimuth
Last seen: 1 day 2 hours ago
Joined: 04/08/2019 - 22:23
Posts: 359
Location: Sierra Nevada Mountains

During a prolonged power outage, a battery can be charged inside a flashlight with a small solar panel. However, we all have enough batteries to make that unnecessary and I have not done it yet.

Last seen: 1 day 19 hours ago
Joined: 12/08/2017 - 16:46
Posts: 315
Location: Riverside, CA

Flashlights with built-in charging have their niche, but generally their chargers are crap.

Certain brands (I’m looking at you, Olight!) use custom batteries and/or are sealed so if you like a specific light of theirs, you just have to suck it up and wait for it to die.

Otherwise, it’s my Miboxer ftw

edit: ack – I guess the magnetic-charging olight I’m thinking of does have a removeable 16350 battery, so I could charge it externally if I wanted. I do have others where that’s not an option tho

KawiBoy1428's picture
Last seen: 3 days 18 hours ago
Joined: 04/11/2014 - 18:05
Posts: 4274
Location: The Motor City

Charging batteries in the device (only in an emergency) using external battery charger 99.9% of the time, will NOT buy any flashlight with sealed in or Proprietary battery ever again…. F-Off Olight

KB1428 “Live Life WOT

SIGShooter's picture
Last seen: 4 hours 3 min ago
Joined: 07/14/2013 - 02:10
Posts: 2320
Location: northern california

I never use the built-in chargers in my flashlights that have them since it’s faster to swap in another battery. I also always check the battery’s voltage after it comes off the external charge which is a bit of a hassle (admittedly a tiny bit Smile ) if I use internal charging. If I’m going to take the battery out of the flashlight to check its voltage I might as well charge it externally.

Last seen: 4 days 2 hours ago
Joined: 08/24/2011 - 14:43
Posts: 1019
Location: France
azj wrote:
Flashlights with built-in charging have their niche, but generally their chargers are crap.

Would you care to elaborate ?

I was under the impression they were your run of the mill cc/cv chips.

Last seen: 2 hours 27 min ago
Joined: 11/02/2018 - 17:07
Posts: 1437
Location: Vancouver, WA

They have their place. Internal charging is fine in my book IF you can remove the battery and charge it externally. I do not like sealed, proprietary batteries like Olight and Imalent have. you will get better performance on an external charger anyways, plus options for testing discharge/charge, refresh, iR measurement, etc.

Last seen: 1 day 19 hours ago
Joined: 12/08/2017 - 16:46
Posts: 315
Location: Riverside, CA

JamesB wrote:
Would you care to elaborate ?

I was under the impression they were your run of the mill cc/cv chips.

It’s like anything else, you get what you pay for, more or less, however in this case most of the time you have no idea. Discharge protection? Overvoltage protection? etc.
They certainly wont run through a discharge/charge cycle like a good external one will, nor would I expect them to.
Lightbringer's picture
Last seen: 31 min 37 sec ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 16177
Location: nyc

Wow, I’m feeling positively lazy in this crowd.

If my light has a charger, I’ll let it finish and then — once — test its final voltage. A little low is okay, but even slightly high isn’t.

Once tested, I’m good. I’ll use the internal charger unless there’s some pressing need not to.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

bushmaster's picture
Last seen: 1 hour 15 min ago
Joined: 07/09/2017 - 15:40
Posts: 653
Location: Colville, WA USA

Probably just bad luck but every internally charged flashlight that I’ve owned other than the Zanflare F1 has overcharged the battery. Not too much in most cases, 4.25 or so but I don’t like that. I prefer just to charge lights the old-fashioned way.

Keep your nose in the wind and your eyes along the skyline.
Del Gue

Last seen: 2 days 15 hours ago
Joined: 03/09/2018 - 02:11
Posts: 371

At home — an external charger, given its benefits, and the luxury being at home affords.

On the road — a light with an internal charger that needs nothing else, except the wall adapter and cables already along for the ride to charge the phone and tablet.

No desire to lug along more stuff like a battery charger, even something as small as an MC1. Nobody will find me with one of those precious electronic accessories bags seen on Amazon. All the stuff I carry (multi-port adapter, cables) fits into a clear PP divided case that can be had at a Japanese dollar store. If the TSA gets nosy, the fact that it’s clear makes it easier to screen.

Am willing to concede to bringing a portable battery pack, but in my case, it’s a PB2, which can serve double duty.

Katherine Alicia
Katherine Alicia's picture
Last seen: 11 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/21/2020 - 17:27
Posts: 229
Location: Central UK.

External always unless it`s an emergency, like you`re out and need to use the cars USB to charge it.

texas shooter
Last seen: 5 hours 23 min ago
Joined: 08/26/2012 - 02:14
Posts: 1864
Location: Texas

External chargers even with lights that have built in chargers. I work and use flashlights in some very bad weather. Charging ports are the weak link that let water and crude in. I keep a few Xtar Ant MC1 Plus Li-ion USB chargers in the car, home and work. Cheap, small and easy to use. Olight UC Universal Magnetic USB charger for long batteries.

Topic locked