Are Eneloops really safer?

Hey guys not trying to start something, I really know nothing about the safety of nimh cells. I recently gave my sk68 clone to a friend of mine’s 8 year old daughter who is crazy about flashlights. She loves it so much she sleeps with the light under her pillow. Are eneloops safe for use by a little kid in her light. Dad would be doing all of the charging duties of course. This brings up my second question. Will the Intellicharger I4 that her father owns be good enough to charge them or does he need a dedicated nimh charger? the I4 says it charges nimh. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.

The Eneloop will be fine, she shouldn’t be able to do it much harm…especially as she seems to just “love” the light. I’ve been using Eneloops for several years in my camera flash units, never had any trouble with any of em and am still using the first ones I bought with much hard use and 5 or 6 years behind em.

Safety is not a problem, NiMH is inherently less risky then li ion, not to say a short circuit could not cause sparks (it is electricity after all)

Eneloops perform better then their competitors, i don’t think they would be much safer, but i doubt their name brand competitors are much less safe, they just have higher voltage sag, higher self discharge, likely less cycles of charging before death (not that i have ever had much problem with that).

I would be more concerned about vision damage, little kids are more likely to get a direct beam in the eyes, and the more powerful it is the more likely it can do damage, especially over repeated and sustained exposure. I would start with a driver that only gives it a bit of output and increase it over time as she gets older.

I don’t know much about that charger but smart chargers are better then dumb ones though they are less common and more expensive.

Bort, that’s funny…he said the girl is 8…that’s like 24 in boy years. :stuck_out_tongue:

not very inspiring, most 24 year old boys around here i would not trust with one of my lights either

edit: i once loaned a 30 year old woman a halogen light with a lead acid battery (750 lumens maybe) and i stressed do not drain it and put it on the charger immediately after use. I got it back a two months later drained and battery destroyed

She is a very smart little girl and has a passion for our hobby. She turned 8 about a month ago and collected $100 from family members. Her mother took her shopping to spend her birthday money and she insisted on keeping $20 for the Dollar store. They took her to to the dollar store where she bought out every AA light in the store as well as a pretty good stock of AA cells. I sold her Daddy my spare Jacob which she fell in love with and was putting it through its paces shining it on far away trees and houses until her daddy told her she couldn’t shine it on the houses. I loaned her my sk68 clone to see how she would like one like it. Well her and her daddy have Father/Daughter flashlight time every night. Needless to say I gave her the light. This little girl is smart enough to not shine in her or others eyes. She is closely supervised when playing with her new powerful ( to her ) light. I know her little stash of AA cells wont last her long with daily use so I want to get her some rechargable cells that are safe. I am telling you guys. She is going to be one of us.Lol.

Thats so touching, i would get some eneloops and a bc700 or other smart charger, the batteries will probably still be working when she is ready to go off to college

A very nice gesture manxbuggy1. It sounds like she is already just like one of you guys.

Any battery ever made can short out and get very hot, smoke, catch fire, leak hazardous things, explode. Any battery technology can do that. The chances are rare with NiMHs, but they exist.

I have seen NiMHs short out to the point where they expanded and smoked. I did not see flames, but I have read it can happen, especially in an enclosed space that cannot vent well. (meaning a flashlight).

I would just make sure any child was trained and understood the basics, like do not leave a flashlight on unattended and shut it off when the light gets dim, until the battery can be changed. Also, that if for any reason the light shows any sign of a bad smell, gets "too hot", leaks or swells, get away from it and get an adult's help.

There is nothing "safe" when it comes to many things in life, but that's just part of life and if I had to recommend a battery, it would be NiMHs, but a dead short is a dead short, no matter the battery technology.

Sometimes I think we get a bit carried away on the safety thing. Like OL says, life is dangerous! Look how comfortable we are with the great number of wall outlets around the house. The kids are right down there on that level. Enough power to potentially kill them. But, they somehow manage to survive. There are a great many things like that in our lives that we have assimilated and forgotten, but they are still there, still dangerous. The family pet can kill. Those cute Hello Kitty/Spiderman pajamas, being nylon, can cause all kinds of issues in a house fire or even if a kid is playing with matches. Cotton? Not so much. But we dismiss the facts, overlook things because we’ve told ourselves it’s ok. Ok, for US, because we have accepted the known dangers and filed away the necessary precautions. But for someone that doesn’t have that knowledge, well, it can get ugly. Candles burn houses down quite frequently. Their danger is accepted. They get left unattended.

Life truly is dangerous, it’s not the least bit fair or selective, and we have all but forgotten that facts are sometimes horribly influenced by circumstance.

Why do you think life is Precious?

Eneloop is the standard that every other Nimh battery gets compared too. They are well known and liked for there low self discharge, true capacity and most importantly their reliability. When you go to use them they just work and keep working for years. They have almost a unblemished impeccable track record for reliability. I would have no problem personally, letting a 8 year flashaholic use them as stated above.

Thanks for the good info guys. Eneloops it is then. I know li-on batteries wouldn’t be safe for a child to use but was hoping that the eneloops would and thanks to your input I am now confident they are the right choice.

Actually, speaking of dead shorts, this is one area where NiMH presents a greater danger than alkaline batteries. You probably won’t see any fireworks if you short an Eneloop. But the fact is that a NiMH battery can dump ALOT of current compared to an alkaline battery. So you will want to tell your child to NOT carry NiMH batteries in a pocket full of coins, Hot Wheels, etc. If an Eneloop shorts on such metal articles, it can easily bring them to a temperature that can cause burns. In fact, it would be best to buy plastic battery cases and tell her that batteries must be stored in them at all times.

This is not to say that NiMH is too dangerous for a child. In fact, the danger from shorting them is probably less than the danger of a child ingesting the residue of a leaked alkaline battery. But it’s still something that a child needs to be educated on.

The possibility of an 8yr old carrying in her pocket or bag loose niMh cells AND at the same time having an electrically-conductive material that forms a letter C (something than can short the + and - ends of the cell) is quite very, very nil.

Even if she is the type of a curious little girl who likes to experiment with shorting the both ends of the cell, a small, sudden spark can jolt her out of her curiosity without any damage. It happened to me!

Don’t worry!

with eneloops or another battery?

teaching responsibility in general is something that can and should be started at any age

Yes, with any AA/AAA/C/D cells, unlike the rectangular 9V.

Of course, teaching responsibility and a few cell basics is a must. I don’t think anyone here will disagree with that.

You’ve got plenty of info on the NiMh part. I don’t have and I4 but I do have an I2. IMO it’s kind of ‘aggressive’ in it’s charge termination on NiMh. I tried it on a few cells, don’t think they were Eneloops, but they got kind of hot so I decided not to use it for that purpose anymore. Try it and monitor the cells for temp.

Why not the 9 volt? With the + and - contact ends “side-by-side”, you would think a short on this type of battery might be common.

I remember as a child we would “test” the remaining power left in a 9-volt battery by touching our tongue to the two contacts. I remember an odd metallic taste, but no real shock or jolt, especially being 9 volts!

Why was that? Are the 9-volts different in some way?

9V batteries of all types have high internal resistance. You won’t draw much current from a 9V, even into a dead short.

even the lithium ones?