A flashlight is only as good as the batteries that power it are. It doesn’t matter if your tactical torch is capable of producing thousands of lumens, if it doesn’t have strong enough batteries to consistently put out its maximum lighting output. When it comes to buying batteries, you have the option to choose between disposable and rechargeable ones. Depending on how you use your flashlight, one type may be more adequate than the other for certain activities.
However, rechargeable batteries are almost always the better solution value wise. The main reason for this is the fact that finding batteries and a battery charger for sale is a one time thing, and you can utilise the same batteries for quite a long time, granted that they’re quality ones. When you look for a battery charger for sale, you’ll come across two basic types – NiMH and Li-ion.
These chargers are used to recharge NiMH AA, AAA, C, and D batteries. NiMH chargers are divided in two categories – smart and timer based chargers. Timer based models can be found almost everywhere and they run on a timer, which can result in an uneven charge or overcooking of the batteries that reach full charge, thus reducing their lifespan. That being said, make sure to buy a smart NiMH charger, because they terminate charge based on the voltage or a -dv/dt algorithm. Quality NiMH batteries can take on large charge currents, while not as good NiMH batteries prefer lower charge currents. Due to the fact that many flashlights use 4 batteries, it’s advisable that you get a 4 slot smart charger.
Li-ion chargers can be either dedicated or universal. The dedicated models charge Li-ion batteries only, while the universal ones can charge NiMH ones as well. Regardless, both types have a basic indication of charge status. However, there are also models that use a digital multi-meter to check voltage, both before and after the charge. This increases the batteries’ safety and longevity, as you can see whether they have been excessively discharged from a flashlight that doesn’t feature low-voltage protection, or whether a faulty charger overcharged them. Additionally, voltage indication can give you a clear idea of how much charge you have left in the battery, so that you can make a decision on whether you need to charge it or not. Some more advanced models can showcase the batteries’ internal resistance and test their capacity, thus giving you a clear picture on how your battery is degrading over time.