18650 Battery FAQ (c by Colorado Para-Tech)
Q. What are 18650 batteries?
A. 18650 batteries are a class of Lithium batteries that are designed to be used with high power devices. The most common types are Lithium-Ion. They are rechargeable and can be recharged from 500 to 1000 times (depending on the brand) before they need to be replaced. With average use, these batteries will last 2-3 years!
Q. What does mAh mean?
A. mAh stands for milli-Ampere hour. It is a capacity rating that measures how much current a battery will discharge over a specified period of time (typically a one hour period). For example a 2000 mAh battery will sustain a 2000 milli-Amp (2 ampere) draw for approximately one hour before dropping to a voltage level that is considered discharged. However there are several factors that influence the total capacity of a battery.
Q. So a higher mAh rating will run longer, right?
A. Not necessarily. This is where it gets tricky. Many battery manufacturers over-rate their batteries. You will see cheaper batteries rated at 4000-6000 mAh, but they actually should be labeled 2000-25000 mAh because that is their actual capacity. Also, High Drain batteries have a much higher capacity even though they generally have a lower mAh rating.
Q. What's the difference between regular and High Drain 18650 batteries?
A. Regular 18650 battery have a faster rate of discharge than High Drain batteries, and High Drain batteries can handle higher current loads than regular 18650 batteries. What this means is a pair of regular 18650 batteries rated at 5000 mAh in a GL4-PRO will run for 2-3 hours continually and a pair of High Drain batteries rated at 2900 mAh will run 5-6 hours. We highly recommend High Drain 18650 batteries for use in the GL4-PRO Series lights.
Q. What is the difference between Protected and Unprotected batteries?
A. Protected batteries have a microchip added to prevent the batteries from overcharging and from being drained too low. If a 18650 battery is charged beyond its maximum voltage, it can explode. If it is discharged below its minimum rating it can overheat and catch fire. The protective microchip prevents these things from happening. Unprotected batteries do not have this protection and must be used with caution. We recommend that you always use Protected batteries.
Q. Can I use any charger to charge 18650 batteries?
A. No. Only use chargers that are compatible with 18650 Li-on (Lithium-Ion) batteries.
Q. Can I use different brand or rated batteries together?
A. No. Never use different batteries together. Always use batteries of the same brand, same voltage, and same mAh rating together. Mixing batteries can damage the batteries and possibly damage the light.
Q. Is there anything else I should know when shopping for 18650 batteries?
A. Yes, different brand batteries will have slightly different lengths, so some brands will be too long and fit too tightly in the battery holder.
Q. Which 18650 batteries are best to use with Ghost Light PRO™ lights?
A. The GL4 PRO Series lights are high drain devices, so always use "Protected" batteries! We have been studying and testing several different batteries in our lights and here are the ones we recommend for best performance and best price:
High Drain- (Longer Running Times)
- Orbtronic 3400 mAh or 3100 mAh, 2900 mAh
- Keeppower 3400 mAh, 3100 mAh, or 2900 mAh
- Eagtac (EagleTac) 3400 mAh or 3100 mAh
- AW 3400 mAh or 3100 mAh
- Olight 3400 mAh
- Nitecore 3400 mAh or 3100 mAh
Standard- (Shorter Running Times)
- Ultrafire 6000 mAh, 5000 mAh, or 4000 mAh
- GTL 5300 mAh
Important Safety Facts:
- Never use force to install (insert) Li-ion battery.
- Charge fully before first use.
- Use only high quality Li-ion battery CC/CV chargers.
- Do not expose to heat.
- Do not charge battery over 4.25V (another reason to use good Li-ion battery charger).
- Do not charge unattended.
- Do not store your Li-ion batteries fully charged (for an extended period of time-one month and more).
- After battery is discharged - don't leave it discharged > charge it as soon as possible.
- Store in cold and dry place at approximately 3.6V-3.7V (storage charge).
- Never try to charge Li-ion batteries with battery chargers that are not made for Li-ion batteries.
- Do not try to open, or modify this battery.