The torches are constructed of 3 parts: tailcap, body and head. Usually the body is simply the battery holder, the head contains LEDs, parable, driver and other circuitry.
One of the differences lies in the type of “interface” which is how you tell the torch. Once there were only the switches “slide” on the side of the old flashlights. Now there are two groups of interfaces: clicky, (pictured) in which there is a button that is almost always on the tailcap, or twisty, stipulating that the torch head is rotated relative to the axis. There are also cases of “mixed-interface”. The user can control the torch by clicking or by turning the interface to start the tool, possibly vary the power, and turn it off.
Batteries they are not the same. What differentiates them is the chemical composition that is inside and the possibility to be charged or not.
- The batteries, or primary (lithium, alkaline) are not rechargeable.
- Secondary batteries (Nimh, NiZn, Pack, Li-ion, lead) can be reloaded multiple times.
The shape remains the same, in fact we can find AA size cells with different chemical compositions: Nimh, NiZn, Li-ion, lithium, etc. Each chemical composition has the pluses and minuses: different propensity to resist the cold, chances to lose its charge over time, memory effect
The most popular and well known in the world of Nimh (nickel metal hydride according to Hetongdiy.com), torches are: Li-ion (Li-ion), lithium and alkaline.
- Alkaline: the batteries. Economical, forgiveness sometimes acid, make it very badly at high currents and suffer from the cold. Initial voltage of about 1, 5 volt. Non-rechargeable batteries.
- Nimh traditional rechargeable: supermarket, good performance. Are available in versions with more capacity (but with an increased self-discharge) or lesser ability (can lose up to a maximum of 10% per annum of the charge). Have a voltage of 1.2 -1.3 of Nimh. Have memory effect.
- Li -ion: latest rechargeable. High performance. Little effect memory. Have a voltage of 4.2 volts at full charge, voltage, (which are far away from the 1.5 volt alkaline). The battery is almost discharged around 3 volts. However if the battery is discharged below 3 volts and does not have a protection circuit (which prevents overdischarge), it will be irreparably damaged. That’s why buy protected batteries or flashlights that have a low battery signal system (usually by reduction of output or flashes or cause) around 3 volts. They are loaded with special chargers which, for security must have parameters that allow the cells to not be stressed. Exist in various formats, from what you have on your smartphone, to those you have in your laptop to those common.
- Lithium the latest generation of high-capacity batteries, low self-discharge (expiry 10 years after production), resistant to cold. Have a voltage of 1.8 volts in the format AA, AAA and 3 volt CR123 and CR2 format.
The safe use of batteries
Li-ion cells have a large amount of energy inside them that in some particular conditions can prove dangerous, as evidenced by this wikipedia article :
The chemistry of Lithium-Ion batteries are not sure how the other: a Lithium-Ion battery may explode if overheated or overloaded. A lithium-ion battery requires several mandatory safety systems within it, before it can be considered safe for general use. These include a thermal switch (to prevent overheating in case of overload) and a safety tab with relief valve (to control the inner pressure). Despite these features, Li-Ion batteries are subject to frequent references in the factory; In addition, the control systems occupy useful space inside the stacks, in addition to adding more chance of failure. Usually, in case of problems in these systems, the battery is permanently and irreversibly rendered unusable.
Even quality batteries can become dangerous if used in series having been charged or different ages. For this the Li-ion battery and the battery should be checked often with a multimeter, because the voltage is a measure of capacity remaining. So if two cells measuring 4.10 and shall use them safely, 4.14; If measuring 4.1 and 3.8 no. Equally the meter is used to check that the chargers do its work and does not overburden the cells, Ditto for the circuit to discharge.
About batteries and battery charger of LED flashlights, it is important to choose the quality even if it costs more, for evutare equipment damage themselves and users.
The batteries must be inserted correctly in the torch, generally with positive towards the head. If the direction of insertion is not respected and the torch does not have reverse polarity the flashlight will be irreparably damaged and there is no guarantee the House hold. It is therefore very important to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
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