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Rechargeable Batteries In EDC Lights

Every time I haul out this subject matter it gets interesting, so let's leave the lumen argument out of it on this video. Instead let's cover the source of power one chooses to go with. My EDC lights of choice are the Streamlight Protac 1L. They run on a single CR123 and are very small. I photograph them with a couple of 9mm rounds so people can understand just how tiny these great lights are. I use Panasonic batteries in them because they are known for their consistent power output. This is a far cry from the wild variances that one can find when talking about rechargeable batteries. Assuming that one has a reputable battery source, investing in rechargeable lights and or batteries instantly must become a case of "two is one, and one is none." I'll cover that in a minute. First let's consider the larger issue at hand. Having had a lot of experience working in the LED lighting tools industry I can tell you that there are over-volt batteries coming into the country that are a serious problem. I know that to some people a voltage variance doesn't seem like a big deal but consider this. When you're talking about devices that are meant to operate on 3 volts and you have a rechargeable battery that's putting out 4 volts you're talking about an increase in voltage of over 30%. An increase of that nature is a big deal no matter what you're trying to compare it to.

As I mentioned before, the other issue is that as soon as you go into the world of rechargeables you have committed to having two of anything you invest in. Whether that be two rechargeable lights or two batteries with a charger. This is why I tend to lean towards swiping batteries out as soon as I've noticed a drop in light output. Each of my EDC lights takes a CR123 battery that gets tagged with its date of installation. I use a Sharpie Marker and write the day and year as a four digit code. If you replace your batteries at the first of the year you would write 0120. I write 0120 instead of 01/20. Why? Because if I should forget to write it as a four digit code I don't want to mistake that forward slash as a one. It would suck to think that your battery went in service in November of one year instead of January. That could cost you when you need that light work at a crucial moment.

The other argument for swapping batteries as opposed to going with rechargeables is that rechargeable lights tend to take a dump at the worst possible time. Take this as gospel from a former cop. Rechargeable lights never hold a decent battery life and the battery life that they do have tends to degrade very quickly because of the lights constantly getting put onto the charger. I would ask my fellow cops to jump into the conversation and help me out on this one. How many times has your Scorpion taken a dump on you right when you needed it? In closing I'll say this again, if you are intending on getting into rechargeable lights and or batteries operate under the notion that you need to run everything in doubles. That way you won't get left hanging.


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~Abner Miranda 

Is a former Police Officer, an FBI trained Hostage Negotiator, a First Responder, and Spanish Interpreter. He is currently a Firearms Instructor, an Armorer, and a regular contributor to our industry of both written and digital media.

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1 comment

  • Dear Abner,

    I think your training sessions are excellent and I look forward to each one.

    In your last presentation about EDC lights, however, you used the term retarded.

    Would you consider using a different word to describe a poor product?

    Thank you and may God bless you and go with Christ.

    Howard Smith

    Howard Smith Feb 07, 2020

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