Olight's new 2.4v battery - what's in it?

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Correllux
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Olight's new 2.4v battery - what's in it?

I saw some recent reviews of Olight’s new i5R EOS copper light (Olight link ) that runs on an included 14500 or any AA cell, and one thing that caught my attention was the mention of its 2.4 volt lithium-ion battery.

Oh great, yet another propriet…wait, 2.4 volts?!?

I can’t seem to find out any solid information about it but photos show it to be a 1420mAh lithium-ion cell with onboard USB-C charging port in a 14500 package giving 3.4Wh.

They state that running a normal 3.7v lithium-ion cell will damage the light. No idea what emitter is in there. No Olight reviewer ever seems tech-oriented and thus there don’t seem to be any helpful measurements yet, but the manual states that full brightness may not be reached when using standard AA cells vs. the included special one.

So…how are they doing all of this, what’s going on?

My first guess was adoption of a lithium supercapacitor and everything kind of makes sense there except for the nice large capacity. Browsing around the web briefly, about the most I see for the 14500 size supercaps is 500mAh. The ones that list 1400mAh are 18650 size. These (on alibaba mostly) are listed as lithium titanate (or LTO if you add the “oxide”). I don’t know if that’s a significant difference in naming or not. That’s about all I can find.

Representative example from a company who seems to be one of the bigger players: https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/24v-2-4v-Lithium-Titanate-Huahui_...

Wiki entry on lithium supercaps: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_capacitor

Or…is it possible that they’ve added some kind of boost circuitry to the cell in the add-on charging board and the magic jellyroll within is a lithium-ion similar to the rechargeable low volt Tenavolt cells?

I can’t find the Olight cell for sale anywhere or else I’d consider getting one to take a peek inside…really curious about this one.

The light itself isn’t very impressive at all in terms of output or performance, typical Olight there.

Cell photo borrowed from 1lumen’s review.

will34
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I ordered one of the new i5R Cu, will do some testing when it arrives. Discharge curve should be able to tell the chemistry or if it’s flat it might be a 900mAh 14500 with an step down converter.

2.4V could also indicate 2x Nimh in series but highly unlikely, and it would be more expensive to make a custom usb to nimh charging circuit.

I wonder if it would’ve costed less to change the driver to be compatible with li-ion as well.

Henk4U2
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Probably manufactured by Orbtronic.

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

def_nvar
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the light only has a boost converter, so to use li-ion you need to convert to less than LED drive voltage.
the battery has a buck converter so it can output a voltage lower than its discharged voltage.
converting 3.7 -> 2.4 -> 3.0 is more efficient than 3.7 -> 1.5 -> 3.0 because of smaller difference of voltages.
You waste less energy and generate less heat, which is great for the Li-Ion cell.
also, for same power, higher voltage = less current. this means they can use smaller conductors (not an issue here) and smaller components (enables more volume inside the battery to be used by the Li-Ion cell instead of the buck converter).
Or you could make a buck converter that can handle more current but I doubt it’s what they did here.

Using a buck converter battery will give you constant output until the end but also means you can’t measure the cell voltage and at the end of discharge, the light will simply “drop dead”.

This battery can probably be used with any single AA light (because they use a boost converter) but it would damage devices that can’t handle the voltage.

as a battery exclusively for 1xAA lights, this one is actually pretty clever.

mortuus
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this cell makse no sense, not sure why they didnt just went for normal 14500 ? i like their lights but this is just so odd use such a weird battery with not that much higher voltage vs standard non lithium ones for a whopping 350 lumens xd.

lumintop tool aa is a good example of a nice aa/14500 light. puzzles me why olight cant do such light and make it like 500 lumens turbo or so.

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Correllux
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def_nvar wrote:
the light only has a boost converter, so to use li-ion you need to convert to less than LED drive voltage.
the battery has a buck converter so it can output a voltage lower than its discharged voltage.
converting 3.7 -> 2.4 -> 3.0 is more efficient than 3.7 -> 1.5 -> 3.0 because of smaller difference of voltages.
You waste less energy and generate less heat, which is great for the Li-Ion cell.
also, for same power, higher voltage = less current. this means they can use smaller conductors (not an issue here) and smaller components (enables more volume inside the battery to be used by the Li-Ion cell instead of the buck converter).
Or you could make a buck converter that can handle more current but I doubt it’s what they did here.

Using a buck converter battery will give you constant output until the end but also means you can’t measure the cell voltage and at the end of discharge, the light will simply “drop dead”.

This battery can probably be used with any single AA light (because they use a boost converter) but it would damage devices that can’t handle the voltage.

as a battery exclusively for 1xAA lights, this one is actually pretty clever.

Well now that’s interesting. I’d have never thought about a two stage conversion process like that, but it does make sense. Is this just theory or do you know that this is how their cell/circuit is working in this light?

Certainly clever, does seem a bit over the top in terms of complexity and cost vs. our usual approaches. And still with the somewhat lackluster performance from a cold white emitter….so.

Correllux
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will34 wrote:
I ordered one of the new i5R Cu, will do some testing when it arrives. Discharge curve should be able to tell the chemistry or if it’s flat it might be a 900mAh 14500 with an step down converter.

2.4V could also indicate 2x Nimh in series but highly unlikely, and it would be more expensive to make a custom usb to nimh charging circuit.

I wonder if it would’ve costed less to change the driver to be compatible with li-ion as well.

It’d be interesting to see those results if you can post them here. I’m not an Olight fan – just recently reconfirmed that but picked up a couple for somewhat bargain prices along with their freebie gift lights. For this copper version and the seemingly costly complex circuit approach, I’m surprised the cost of the light is as low as it is (with standard monthly discounts…).

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def_nvar wrote:

… as a battery exclusively for 1xAA lights, this one is actually pretty clever.

The downside is you’re stuck with the one cell that came with the light and probably can’t get any other cells anywhere. I think that drawback outweighs any slight advantage in efficiency.
Rayoui
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It’s a AA light. Cells are available everywhere

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They shoulda just put the buck circuit in the light instead of in the battery.

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The thing to remember is this isn’t a new light design; they’ve had this model with the boost only driver for a long time. Without redesigning the light or driver, they’ve come up with this Li-ion cell with a built-in buck circuit to make it compatible with the existing driver for those who were whining about not having any rechargeable Li-ion options for this AA light.

It’s basically a band-aid fix. A clever one, but one that wouldn’t be necessary if they’d just retrofit the necessary circuitry into the light to make it compatible with existing Li-ion cells.

def_nvar
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also buck-boost-topology (the converter selects which mode to use to generate a stable preset voltage) is more complicated and requires more components in the light (two coils IIRC) but you gain the ability to run on 3.7V and it can be just as efficient as pure boost or pure buck if done right.
It’s what I think a propper 1.5V AA+14500 3.7V light should have.

maybe this is a cost-transfer-measure so the consumer thinks “wow these lights are cheap” but gets shocked when they see the Li-Ion battery prices (hidden cost of ownership)

or the lights currently on the market use boost converter for AA voltages and a linear driver for Li-Ion-voltages (converts excess voltage to heat), in which case this would be a good step forward in efficiency and runtime on turbo before overheating.
buck-boost-topology would do even better here than buck->2.4V+boost->3V but maybe it was too difficult, not to mention chip shortage / global supply crisis wreaking havoc on your designs.

zoulas
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Sounds like more proprietary technology from olight. Shame.

will34
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Same voltage from fully charged or depleted, and charging algorithm is CC/CV at 0.35A, i have no doubt this is a shorter 14500 with a buck converter. The battery is better built than those AA USB rechargeable batteries and also works on other AA flashlights.

The copper i5R however is a huge disappointment, some reviews mention it is “slightly greenish” but holy crap it’s green as a goblin, easily the worst green tint I have ever seen in the last few years, surpassing the manker E14 III. The tail switch has this strange behaviour where if left off for more than 5 minutes at the next turn on it will flash briefly like it’s not making proper contact, but it’s not the switch. The clip does not secure well to the body and I had it come off twice in one day.

There was so much hype in the edc gear community around the i5R but in reality it feels kind of “meh”… All they did was introduce a new battery and a wave groove in the tailcap? I might keep it just because it is made of copper and because I paid msrp for it.

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Too smart for their own good.

Hard pass for me and I have an iT5 copper.

Chris

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mortuus wrote:
this cell makse no sense, not sure why they didnt just went for normal 14500 ? i like their lights but this is just so odd use such a weird battery with not that much higher voltage vs standard non lithium ones for a whopping 350 lumens xd.

lumintop tool aa is a good example of a nice aa/14500 light. puzzles me why olight cant do such light and make it like 500 lumens turbo or so.

Same as every thing in life money, if its a proprietary battery they can make more money in the long run.

Like car companies using specialized servicing parts is to stop people servicing cars at home or at private mechanics shops.

def_nvar
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but 2.4V should be compatible with ANY 1xAA LED light!!

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def_nvar wrote:
but 2.4V should be compatible with ANY 1xAA LED light!!

I’m not that well-versed in electronics… but won’t 2.4v be a bit too much for flashlights that use only single AA flashlights (those that are not compatible with 14500), as long as it is LED based?

Rayoui
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It should be fine because 2.4v is still under the forward voltage of a standard white LED (~3V) so it just means the boost converter won’t have to work as hard. It might confuse the driver if it’s designed to use both AA and Li-ion though. In that case, it might just go into low voltage protection and refuse to turn on.