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#301514 - 03/10/23 07:21 AM Best C and D batteries for car flashlights
Acropolis50 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/20/19
Posts: 69
We keep 4 cell , C and/ or D battery Mag-Lite flashlights, upgraded with LED build modules ,in out family cars as utility an emergency , nearly indestructible, flashlights. They are kept in the passenger cabin. But they r still subject to both high heat in summer and freezing cold in winter. So my question is, what in ur opinions , are the best batteries to use to survive the temperature swings, not burst their cases from corrosive battery failure and provide long life power to the LED bulb. Modules?

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#301515 - 03/10/23 04:06 PM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Acropolis50]
pforeman Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 237
Loc: Iowa
I too am searching for a good way to power the C/D devices (lights for the most part) and really have had bad luck with corrosive battery failure. I've changed out all the AA, AAA and 9 volt stuff with lithium cells and have had very good luck with that.

I lost a several flashlights and a couple of other devices to corrosive battery failure and managed to rescue only one light which prompted my total switch over to the lithium choices. I've considered using rechargeable C/D cells but don't find a lot of choice or good information on that so I'm still "looking" for good ideas.

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#301516 - 03/10/23 04:17 PM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Acropolis50]
wileycoyote Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 309
Loc: north central west TX
no one appears to make c & d-cells in 1.5V disposable lithium so you're left with alkaline

consumer reports and other testers indicated there isn't a huge different in better known brands (eveready, duracell, kirkland, amazon basics, etc)

i would buy whatever you prefer having a good long Best-Used-By date.

just don't leave them in a device! it is pretty much guaranteed that some will leak eventually. store them separately in a container that can withstand that sort of leakage (plastic has worked better for me than a steel ammo can).

while NIMH rechargeables are great for daily use, they loose to much energy over time, so might not be the best for longterm storage.


Edited by wileycoyote (03/10/23 04:20 PM)

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#301517 - 03/11/23 02:17 PM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Acropolis50]
Ren Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 520
Loc: Wales, UK
As others have said battery size limits the options to regular alkaline or Nimh rechargeables.

4 C/D cells generate about 6 volts and guess that is what your LED module is rated for, so theoretically possible to power them off 2 CR123a primary batteries in series, but would need spacers to make electrical contact at both ends and stop side to side rattling.

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#301519 - 03/11/23 02:28 PM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Acropolis50]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3816
Loc: USA
I've divested of everything C and D cell powered for CR123A, AA and (for a few things) AAA. For this reason.

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#301520 - 03/11/23 03:07 PM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: chaosmagnet]
wileycoyote Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 309
Loc: north central west TX
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
I've divested of everything C and D cell powered for CR123A, AA and (for a few things) AAA. For this reason.


zactly!

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#301521 - 03/11/23 03:19 PM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: wileycoyote]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2994
Originally Posted By: wileycoyote


while NIMH rechargeables are great for daily use, they loose to much energy over time, so might not be the best for longterm storage.


Modern NiMH like Eneloops have a lower self discharge and work well.
That being said no matter what battery I use you should pull it out and check and/or replace a couple times a year, end of winter, end of summer for example.

There are adapters that will hold 2-3 AA's in parallel in a C/D sized container, so you get one of those for each battery and fill them.


Edited by Eugene (03/11/23 03:20 PM)

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#301522 - 03/11/23 06:02 PM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Acropolis50]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 3216
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I have also gone full LSD NiMH AA/AAA for everything and will never go back to equipment-destroying alkalines.

However, I haven't noticed "heavy duty" batteries causing damage like alkalines do. True, they have less energy stored, but the LED modules help to make up for that. Perhaps H/D in the lights, and alkalines stored externally as backup?

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#301524 - 03/12/23 12:20 AM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Acropolis50]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2994
If they are "genuine" "heavy duty" they will have carbon instead of alkaline. Different chemical makeup, less power but less prone to leak.

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#301529 - 03/12/23 08:17 AM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Acropolis50]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 3144
Loc: Big Sky Country
Obviously YMMV and this is just me but I don't mess around with C- or D-Cells if I can help it. Bad enough that some things require a 9v! I have standardized around CR123a, AA & AAA although I'll admit that I've been moving slowly to 18650s where I can. The new breed of uber-weaponlights mostly run on the high powered rechargeables so I'm moving in that direction as much as I can.


IMO most "serious lights" run on either CR123a or 18540 batteries.
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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#301530 - 03/12/23 10:51 AM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Acropolis50]
Ren Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 520
Loc: Wales, UK
Yeah, if use a flashlight regularly, one that can use both lithium-ion rechargeable and lithium primaries is the way to go, imo.

Whether it's AA and 14500, or CR123a and 16340, or 2*CR123a and 18650.

Have the rechargeables for daily use whilst can recharge them, and the primaries when can't.

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#301531 - 03/12/23 11:22 AM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Acropolis50]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 3144
Loc: Big Sky Country
It really is ideal to have rechargeables with lithium primaries as backup or in storage. I live in Montana where the ability of lithium to function down to -40 or so is pretty crucial.
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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#301537 - 03/15/23 02:03 PM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Acropolis50]
roberttheiii Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 393
Loc: Connecticut, USA
I keep one maglite around and I use Ni-Hm D cell rechargeable batteries in it. I do not keep it in a car and I recharge it before significant weather events.

In your situation, I'd probably just keep a good quality primary cells (Duracell, Kirkland, and Amazon Basics are my go to) in the lights and replace them annually.

Pretty wasteful as the cells are probably fine after a year, so hopefully you have someplace you can consume them. Maybe a camping lantern you use regularly or something.

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#301538 - 03/15/23 02:54 PM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Acropolis50]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2994

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#301543 - 03/21/23 09:01 AM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Acropolis50]
Acropolis50 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/20/19
Posts: 69
Many thanx for everyone’s input. I already do use a battery tester and visual inspection 1-2 times a year. I also keep an extra set of akalines in a plastic zip-loc , as a backup.

Digesting all the input, I’ve decided not to go to rechargeable. It would be OK for my and my wife’s flashlights, but less access for my grown kids, who safety equipment I still attempt to monitor. ( sigh )

The idea of using Heavy Duty Batteries with alkaline back-ups is interesting. Does anyone know which brands are true carbon vs alkaline batteries?. Does it say so on the battery cases?

I also liked the idea of using either AA or CR-23s s with spacers instead of akalines. Anyone know we’re or what to Google to find such spacers ?

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#301544 - 03/21/23 12:59 PM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Acropolis50]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 3216
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: Acropolis50
The idea of using Heavy Duty Batteries with alkaline back-ups is interesting. Does anyone know which brands are true carbon vs alkaline batteries?. Does it say so on the battery cases?

Yes, the best ones say "super heavy duty" right on the package. That's a carbon-zinc-chloride chemistry.

Looking on Amazon, there are all sorts of brands like Eveready and Panasonic (probably all made in the same factory somewhere).

It might be best to try them in one of your lights and see if you get the performance you want.

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#301587 - 04/23/23 05:25 PM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Acropolis50]
Tirec Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/24/07
Posts: 53
Loc: Rocky Mountain West
For the basic batteries, I'm a fan of the Energizer Max batteries. For rarely used devices, they're economical, and have a good life. They also have a no-leak guarantee https://www.energizer.com/about-batteries/battery-leakage.

When it comes to leaking, avoid the Duracell family. This includes the Costco/Kirkland, and Sam's Club store branded batteries, that are (or at least were) made by Duracell. I've had so many flashlights or other electronics damaged by Duracell brand batteries. Some batteries leak while still in the original packaging.

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#301588 - 04/23/23 11:50 PM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Tirec]
Acropolis50 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/20/19
Posts: 69
Thanx. Rethinking my last post, your solution seems viable and the path of least resistance.

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#301589 - 04/24/23 02:43 PM Re: Best C and D batteries for car flashlights [Re: Tirec]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 3216
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: Tirec
For the basic batteries, I'm a fan of the Energizer Max batteries. For rarely used devices, they're economical, and have a good life. They also have a no-leak guarantee https://www.energizer.com/about-batteries/battery-leakage.

Interesting! I had not heard of those. I guess I tuned out all things alkaline when I went to NiMH.

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