Safety Discussion; It’s NOT “just  a flashlight” anymore!

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WalkIntoTheLight
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SoCalTiger wrote:
It’s bad to assume that someone will notice and have time to react before something goes catastrophic is wrong. There is also a story I remember reading of someone blowing up an 8×18650 flashlight spontaneously on their balcony. He described basically only having about a second to drop the flashlight before it exploded. If it can happen that fast in your hand then it can happen in your mouth before you even realize it since you are probably holding it with your teeth. I wish I could find the thread, but I can’t.

Okay, yes, sometimes lights with lithium-ion cells can be dangerous and get people hurt. But, I think we should keep that risk in perspective. How often does something like this happen? Once every few years? Out of all the lithium-ion devices in the world, how often do they explode and hurt someone? Maybe a dozen times a year?

I think you’re in far greater danger driving to the store to buy one of these devices. (Okay, I know most of us mail-order them.)

Use quality cells, check them before and after charging, and use them correctly. 99.9999% chance you’ll be fine. If not, someone probably had your number anyway.

jon_slider wrote:
why do flashlights blow up when people put them in their mouth? Is drool shorting them out? or just random that the light blew in that position

I was going to post something inappropriate, but, well….

klrman
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With my first lithium powered flashlight, I was a little paranoid, but after much help from members here, I have many batteries now.  Common sense goes a long way and just being alive is also risky, so it's much better not to worry about it.

jon_slider
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klrman wrote:
Common sense goes a long way and just being alive is also risky, so it’s much better not to worry about it.

hmmm, lets test that common sense

someone lends a nonflashoholic, lets say their Granny for sake of example, an 18650 light that has no built in overdischarge circuit, loaded with an Unprotected ICR LiIon.

She leaves the light On overnight by mistake, and the next night it wont work, due to a drained battery.

Should she put the battery on the charger overnight, before going to bed?

Common Sense says yes, but that would be very very wrong..
Do you know why?

Do Worry About It!
That is the whole point of this thread, common sense is not that common.
Not everybody has the same “common” experience, so they also don’t have the same sense.

Some of us have a habit of holding a flashlight in our mouth sometimes. Does common sense tell us that is a bad idea, and that there are reports of LiIon lights blowing up in peoples mouth. Are we feeling luckier, or just smarter, with more.. uncommon sense:-)?

klrman
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jon_slider wrote:
klrman wrote:
Common sense goes a long way and just being alive is also risky, so it's much better not to worry about it.
hmmm, lets test that common sense someone lends a nonflashoholic, lets say their Granny for sake of example, an 18650 light that has no built in overdischarge circuit, loaded with an Unprotected ICR LiIon. She leaves the light On overnight by mistake, and the next night it wont work, due to a drained battery. Should she put the battery on the charger overnight, before going to bed? Common Sense says yes, but that would be very very wrong.. Do you know why? Do Worry About It! That is the whole point of this thread, common sense is not that common. Not everybody has the same "common" experience, so they also don't have the same sense.

 

In case you did not notice, I did mention "common sense" but your example was about someone, who severely lacked any common sense, lending out their flashlight to granny.  

zespectre
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Folks, it’s not about smarter or dumber, this entire topic is about a technology that NOBODY was born knowing. It’s not like “water flows downhill” that we all learn early on. This is about the general public perception that “it’s just a flashlight, no big deal” and how the truth is that we’ve gone WAY beyond that point.

My point is not to get into some esoteric debate about what people “should” know, my point is that we have opportunities to educate the more general populace and we should TAKE those opportunities especially as more and more powerful and energy intensive lights become commonly available in such venues as Amazon where by god Granny and the young ones WILL eventually discover them.

Great, let’s keep moving the technology forward, but lets also be good citizens and EDUCATE wherever we can.

I think we also need to put in a stronger advocacy for some basic safety features like lockouts, thermal regulation, and polarity protection that, honestly, should be a given in the higher power lights.

Back in the day they were “just flashlights” and we (the hobbiest community) got looked at really strangely when we said things like “you know, it’d be a good idea to have some actual testing standards for brightness, runtime, water resistance” but eventually we convinced manufacturers that in fact it WAS a good idea and they could improve their reputation and their sales and here we are now.

So now, I think we need to try and do it again because something like a flashlight, being marketed to the general public, really needs to be “appliance” level safe and simple and error resistant. I don’t think it’s going to be all that tough to do but we do have to start holding companies accountable for good SAFE designs or we’re headed toward that place where “the government” tries to regulate it……and you know how that usually winds up (UGH).

Tonights forecast, 100% chance of dark.

klrman
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Good points and we should do our best to share our knowledge to others.  If there is a silver lining, it will be when the new solid state and aluminum batteries come on the market as they are supposed to be fool proof.  

ChrisGarrett
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jon_slider wrote:
klrman wrote:
Common sense goes a long way and just being alive is also risky, so it’s much better not to worry about it.

hmmm, lets test that common sense

someone lends a nonflashoholic, lets say their Granny for sake of example, an 18650 light that has no built in overdischarge circuit, loaded with an Unprotected ICR LiIon.

She leaves the light On overnight by mistake, and the next night it wont work, due to a drained battery.

Should she put the battery on the charger overnight, before going to bed?

Common Sense says yes, but that would be very very wrong..

Do you know why?

Ehhh…if granny charged it back up the next morning, most probably nothing at all would happen, however, if she put it away in a drawer for six months, then maybe so?

Copper dendrites forming was/is more of a lithium-cobalt issue and we don’t see many of them these days.

Anyhow…

Chris

jon_slider
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ChrisGarrett wrote:
jon_slider wrote:

She leaves the light On overnight by mistake, and the next night it wont work, due to a drained battery.

Should she put the battery on the charger overnight, before going to bed?

Common Sense says yes, but that would be very very wrong..

Do you know why?

Ehhh

Overdischarging is a mistake. Recharging an overdischarged cell can also be a mistake.
LiIon Safety 101 http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/908350#comment-908350 says:

Don’t over discharge your batteries.Batteries begin to suffer damage if discharged to 2.5 volts.Batteries should be discarded if they discharge to 2.0 volts.

In any case, we all want to be safe. Im in favor of system designs that promote safety, for example build overdischarge protection into a light.

I agree education is important. I encourage everyone to share the info in LiIon Safety 101
I also agree there are other flashlight design features that can improve safety.

Ultimately, the choice to use LiIon carries higher risk than other power options. It is not a trivial matter, and most people are unaware of the risks.

I predict a new warning label
The State of California has determined that LiIon batteries contain elements known to cause Cancer.

and people will buy them anyway, until the next more modern, hopefully safer, power source becomes available

WalkIntoTheLight
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jon_slider wrote:

someone lends a nonflashoholic, lets say their Granny for sake of example, an 18650 light that has no built in overdischarge circuit, loaded with an Unprotected ICR LiIon.

She leaves the light On overnight by mistake, and the next night it wont work, due to a drained battery.

Should she put the battery on the charger overnight, before going to bed?

My granny smoked in bed. So, as I said, it’s all about relative risk.

jon_slider wrote:

I predict a new warning label
The State of California has determined that LiIon batteries contain elements known to cause Cancer.

and people will buy them anyway, until the next more modern, hopefully safer, power source becomes available

New power sources are likely several years away, if not longer. I do think it’s going to get more difficult to obtain lithium-ion cells, simply due to shipping restrictions. Almost every shipper thinks they’re going to take down all their planes, burn all their postal carriers, sink the Titanic, etc.

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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
I do think it’s going to get more difficult to obtain lithium-ion cells, simply due to shipping restrictions. Almost every shipper thinks they’re going to take down all their planes, burn all their postal carriers, sink the Titanic, etc.

yes, on the one hand banggood just announced they can now ship LiIon again
otoh, I know someone that just sold their HDS because they were afraid that Airport security would confiscate it, due to the Lithium Primary cell inside. They now carry an AAA light when travelling by air.

all that notwithstanding that present regulations permit carrying LiIon in carryon luggage

fear is not always based on rational considerations

WalkIntoTheLight
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jon_slider wrote:

all that notwithstanding that present regulations permit carrying LiIon in carryon luggage

fear is not always based on rational considerations

Airline safety is most definitely not based on evidence. They make you turn off electronics on take-off, supposedly because they think it might cause problems and bring down the plane.

1. There has never been any evidence to indicate that.

2. They say it’s okay to use your electronics at 30,000 feet, but why is it better to crash from that height?

3. If it’s that easy to crash a plane, every terrorist would be doing it. The airlines would make everyone board the plane naked.

I think it’s only a matter of time before their paranoia spreads to lithium-ion devices.

klrman
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Another reason to hoard more batteries in case they really get banned i the future.

ChrisGarrett
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jon_slider wrote:
ChrisGarrett wrote:
jon_slider wrote:

She leaves the light On overnight by mistake, and the next night it wont work, due to a drained battery.

Should she put the battery on the charger overnight, before going to bed?

Common Sense says yes, but that would be very very wrong..

Do you know why?

Ehhh

Overdischarging is a mistake. Recharging an overdischarged cell can also be a mistake.
LiIon Safety 101 http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/908350#comment-908350 says:

Don’t over discharge your batteries.Batteries begin to suffer damage if discharged to 2.5 volts.Batteries should be discarded if they discharge to 2.0 volts.

In any case, we all want to be safe. Im in favor of system designs that promote safety, for example build overdischarge protection into a light.

I agree education is important. I encourage everyone to share the info in LiIon Safety 101
I also agree there are other flashlight design features that can improve safety.

Ultimately, the choice to use LiIon carries higher risk than other power options. It is not a trivial matter, and most people are unaware of the risks.

I predict a new warning label
The State of California has determined that LiIon batteries contain elements known to cause Cancer.

and people will buy them anyway, until the next more modern, hopefully safer, power source becomes available

Over discharging isn’t a welcomed occurrence.

Over discharging doesn’t lead to ‘venting with flames’. I’d would venture to guess that it’s never led to a ka-boom.

Some chemistries/cells don’t like to be left in a discharged state for X amount of time, because copper dendrites can form from the separator in some designs, much like ‘tin whiskers’ formed up in that satellite in space and killed it.

The ka-boom results during the charging phase after those dendrites have formed over time, essentially causing a short, spiking the temperature and wah-la—hoverboards!

No bueno, for sure.

Anyhow, I agree in principle that there needs to be an educational phase before handing li-ion anythings to a novice, unlike NiMH power devices.

But running down a li-co cell to 2.00v and then quickly charging it back up most probably won’t be catastrophic.

Chris

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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
jon_slider wrote:

all that notwithstanding that present regulations permit carrying LiIon in carryon luggage

fear is not always based on rational considerations

Airline safety is most definitely not based on evidence. They make you turn off electronics on take-off, supposedly because they think it might cause problems and bring down the plane.

1. There has never been any evidence to indicate that.

2. They say it’s okay to use your electronics at 30,000 feet, but why is it better to crash from that height?

3. If it’s that easy to crash a plane, every terrorist would be doing it. The airlines would make everyone board the plane naked.

I think it’s only a matter of time before their paranoia spreads to lithium-ion devices.

They allow devices at 10,000 ft and above. Cell phones and other devices can interfere with navigation and communication devices in an aircraft.

Here’s a simplified version. You can search FAA regs to find out more in depth.

A good example is interference to the localizer for an ILS approach. The instrument is basically a radio that communicates with the ground to line the aircraft up with a runway. 2 axis.

Basic ILS instrument

typical antennas on the ground

typical setup in a Cessna 172

Garmin instrument ILS combined with GPS in a more complex aircraft

WalkIntoTheLight
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RobertB wrote:
Cell phones and other devices can interfere with navigation and communication devices in an aircraft.

A good example is interference to the localizer for an ILS approach. The instrument is basically a radio that communicates with the ground to line the aircraft up with a runway. 2 axis.

If that were at all a possibility, they wouldn’t allow you to carry a cell phone on the plane at all, even in luggage. It would be a terrorist dream if all they had to do was make a phone call to potentially crash a plane.

zespectre
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Um.. you guys want to stop hijacking my thread please?

Tonights forecast, 100% chance of dark.

T18
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Solution, hand crank powered flashlights,

Pablo de Llama
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T18 wrote:
Solution, hand crank powered flashlights,

Thats not exactly a solution is it? Silly

 

Besides, properly designed, I can imagine one of those having GT lumen output levels.

 

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