General all purpose needs.

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Lightuser
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General all purpose needs.

Hello Hello.
I could use a few suggestions here to get my bearings straight on a few topics & what most would probably consider common knowledge. I used to have somewhat of a grasp on this stuff but it’s been years & the tech/standards have come along way since then. The last time i was digging around this type of stuff was when 3000mah 18650’s just became available from AW, stuff like 26650 housings could only be found at one vendor & IMR batts were becoming popular…. So it’s been a while to say the least.

Fast forward to now… I have a need to purchase some general use 18650’s i can put into any light i have & not be concerned.. However, there are soooo many viable options available in this category my head is spinning & I really need to avoid going down a rabbit hole of research on this one as time is of the essence.

Aside from that, i do have a few other battery questions i can’t seem to find answers to.

With that said, here is what I’m trying to figure out.

1. Protected vs Unprotected..
Years ago, it was common for most to suggest Protected cells. I see a lot of newer lights have LVP these days. Are Unprotected batteries the new industry norm with LVP having become more common?

2. Button Top, Flat Top, light fitment & charging.
I know these needs/ requirements usually fall within whatever the user has for equipment but, which style are lights more commonly designed around these days? Also, have the majority of chargers become better suited for both? I know my old ultrafire WF-139 has trouble making contact with some flat tops i have.

3. Ive always wondered this… Is there any drawback to using high apm, high mah, batts for applications that don’t require them? Just for example, a 3500mah 10A battery in a 200lm light from yesteryear? To me, it seems as if it would make sense to just buy 5-10 of whatever will cover my highest demand in order to avoid having any that i can’t use in certain lights.

4. Usb / Magnetic charging.
I’m about to pick up a Skilhunt H04 RC. With all these alternative methods of charging these days, are there any cautionary measures that need to be taken? For example, using the light itself to randomly charge additional batteries while away from home? Is that appropriate?

5. I know this question is probably a daily topic, but goes back to my original comment about my head spinning.. Can someone point me in the direction of a few protected 18650 3500mah+ industry staples that can be used anywhere? I’d rather unprotected, but most my lights are non-lvp & my family ignores my requests not to use them.

6. Lastly.. I have an old retrofitted G2 Nitrolon I’ve been meaning to find a single cell for. A while ago i saw a 16650 rated for 2000mah+. Most 17670 that I’ve heard will fit this light are 12-1300mah. Would a 16650 been a more powerful alternative?

This is much longer than i anticipated, so i appreciate any helpful insight.

patmurris
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Welcome to BLF! Smile

1. Protected cells are safer but cost more, are often bigger and longer and do not usually allow more then a few amps draw. If your light has LVP, go unprotected.

2. Flat tops are the most common and will be handled by most modern chargers. However, some lights do need button tops – like the Q8 and other soda can lights with parallel cells. In any case you can ‘solder blob’ a flat top to add a raised pole on the positive end.

3. High amp cells usually have a little less capacity. So if you don’t really need the amps, go for the highest capacity.

4. More and more lights come with onboard USB charging which i find very convenient and even necessary for lights i want to gift. However, charging batteries unattended is never a good idea – although i’ve never heard of a major catastroph using a reputed charger. The same applies to charging batteries inside a light. Even more so since you don’t really know how reliable is the charging circuit.

5. Panasonic NCR18650B is a classic:
https://www.banggood.com/fr/4PCS-NCR18650B-3_7V-3400mAh-Protected-Rechar...
There may be better deals floating around.

6. No idea.

niajef
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i dont know all, but im gonna try

i think 1, 2, and 5 can be grouped together.

yes i think most lights prefer unprotected for size, and most people prefer unprotected for high drain, aka power, so flat top is becoming increasingly popular, as i understand it, protected only exist for button tops, flat tops can only be unprotected (although someone correct me if im wrong, i did see a listing on BG recently saying flat top protected, i just thought it was a typo).

“Can someone point me in the direction of a few protected 18650 3500mah+ industry staples that can be used anywhere?”

well first, 3500 is pretty much the max capacity for a 18650, so theres no +, and second, because of the point i mentioned in the first paragraph, this isnt really feasible, a lot of lights wont be able to fit protected button tops, as the length is basically 21700 length. but if you really want them, i have some samsung 35E, they are pretty decent.

Lightuser
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Thanks for the infos folks.

I think I’m up to speed a bit better now.

When were talking about the protected 3500mah 18650s, are they any longer than the 3000mah protected 18650s?

I ask as i have some protected 3000mah button tops right now & they fit all the lights i currently have. So as far as fitment goes, unless the 3500’s are longer, i don’t think I’ll run into trouble under my circumstances.

However, on the flip side to that, none of the 18650 lights i have, require button tops. I’m just trying to make charging on this old ultrafire platform, easier, without adding solder dabs (although good suggestion).

Also, I’m not 100% sure, but i don’t think any of my lights have huge amp requirements. I’ve got one custom dropin i had made for me with a XML-T6 or U3 (can’t remember) from yesteryear. I also can’t recall whether it was a direct drive type of mod, but i don’t think it pulls even close to what the new stuff does.. The newest light i have is a Sofrin SP31 V2.1 that was gifted to me.. The rest of my lights all have run of the mill p60 type dropins from when Lighthound was around… XPG’s, XML’s, etc..

One more question.
When i see XM-L2 being referenced, is this just a newer version of the original XML? Or a totally different series.

Serlite
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The 18650 cells should still be the same size, regardless of capacity. Depending on the nature of the protection circuit though, you could see some slight variance in length.
But if your current lights work fine with your protected 18650s, they probably have enough tolerance to accommodate any others.

If your lights max out at around 1000 lumens with CREE emitters, the current draw (probably 3ish amps) shouldn’t be high enough for you to worry about the cell you put in.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to buy cells that can provide more current than you currently need, in case you get a brighter light later.
So yeah, grabbing a bunch of NCR18650GA cells would give you lots of capacity and a higher discharge rate if you need it one day.

Lightuser
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Serlite wrote:

If your lights max out at around 1000 lumens with CREE emitters, the current draw (probably 3ish amps)……

So yeah, grabbing a bunch of NCR18650GA cells would give you lots of capacity and a higher discharge rate if you need it one day.

Yes.. They are all around there somewhere..1000lm or less. 3amp does ring a bell.

Let me ask you, why NCR over INR? This is where i get lost with advantages/disadvantages & end up in a rabbit hole.(I’ll read up on this in the meantime & probably get my answer)

Regardless, yes, that was the idea, try to future proof my cell purchase, but at the same time, try to ensure i get cells that will provide the best runtime for what i have now (yet, with an understanding there may be a small compromise on one end of this future vs now scenario).