Although 18650 batteries look a lot like AA batteries, they are a bit bigger in size and have a larger diameter. Due to this extra volume, they can carry more power. This trait has made them popular for not only flashlights but also various electrical equipment.
So, you might have questions like where can I utilize these batteries, where can I buy 18650 batteries, when these will be the best fit and etc.
Where Can I Buy 18650 Batteries?
There are dedicated e-commerce sites that will sell you the battery from these brands, 18650Batterystore is such a site. This is where you are most likely to get the spec you want.
Then also there is giant like amazon where you are most likely to get the best deal. You can also walk in into a Walmart store and pick the battery yourself.
Besides these, you will also find these batteries in local electronic shops in your area.
What Battery Can I Use Instead Of 18650?
What alternative you can depend on the device you are trying to use. Although there are a few alternatives, there could be some limitations.
Like, if the device has fixed space, you might not be able to install different batteries. Because alternatives have different dimensions.
In case, you have the freedom to use the power cell to your advantage you can use alternate batteries like 21700, 20700, 26650. They are similar to 18650 but comes in different sizes.
Their volts, capacity, discharge rate and etc. also vary compared to 18650. So, if your device can handle the alternates then you can go forward with your choice.
But beware of battery specs before you make your choice. Make sure it meets the requirement of the device you intend to use.
How Much Does A 18650 Battery Cost?
The cost of the 18650 batteries can fluctuate depending on supply and demand. Due to rare mineral shortages before, the price had spiked and became normal once the crisis was over.
As of now, you will get these from 10 dollars to 25 dollars at most. Depending on the manufacturer and market stability, these prices are quoted.
Even though all of them are mainly made of lithium-ion, due to the use of advanced technologies the price differs by this much.
Can I use CR123 instead of 18650?
You can use the CR123 battery if they fit and your device can handle it. In most cases where the battery cell has a fixed dimension like in a flashlight.
You won’t be able to fit CR123 batteries in it. Because CR123 and 18650 have different diameters and lengths.
You can use CR123 instead of 18650 only if you can tweak the device. You will be easily able to switch between the two batteries if you intend to use them on a personal project or something like that. Given that the equipment will be able to handle those batteries.
Are AA batteries the same as 18650?
No, they are not the same. These two batteries have different specs and are made for different use cases.
The 18650 battery is a lithium-ion cell that is somewhat bigger than an AA battery, measuring 18mm x 65mm.
Because of their large capacity and discharge rates, they’re frequently utilized in torches, laptops, and other high-drain devices. They have the ability to deliver greater current for a longer length of time.
Dry cell alkaline batteries, such as the common AA, are created as dry cell rechargeable batteries, such as Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) and Nickel Cadmium batteries (NiCad). They have altogether different use cases than 18650 batteries.
How Long do 18650 Batteries Last on a Single Charge?
Capacity, device power consumption, frequency of usage, temperature, and other factors all impact how long it takes for a battery to drain from full to zero.
If you need an estimate, it can take anything from 8 hours for low-intensity use to 3 hours for high-intensity use.
Equipment that consumes a lot of electricity includes cordless tools and some spotlights can eat up the battery fairly quickly. While using equipment that uses low electricity flow, a single charge will last a long time.
Why Are Some 18650 Batteries Longer Than Others?
The 18650 specs indicate that a cell is approximately 65 mm long, although protected batteries are longer due to the addition of a protection circuit and, in some cases, a button top. Not all chargers and lights are capable of handling the longest batteries.
Unprotected 18650 batteries, except for the Panasonic 3400mAh cells, are all extremely close to 65mm in length. Protected cells, on the other hand, are a different matter.
To supply the protective circuit, a tiny PCB is attached to the cell, which adds 3 to 5 mm to the overall length. In some situations, the extra length might be problematic.
How Many Years Do 18650 Batteries Last?
The normal cycle life of most current 18650 batteries is 300 to 500 cycles (charge, discharge cycles). When dealing with high-amp or high-drain circumstances, this can drop to 200 cycles.
When the maximum discharge current limit (A) is exceeded, the cycle life can be reduced to 50 cycles. Your cells may be able to cycle more than 500 times under ideal conditions.
Furthermore, if the maximum discharge current limit (A) is exceeded, the cycle life might be cut in half. If you’re a power hog, don’t worry; appropriate usage can lengthen the battery’s life cycle.
Even though 18650 batteries look similar to CR123 or AA batteries, they have different use cases.
In some devices you can replace one with the other, you can also do it in your pet projects. But most devices have fixed slots for power cells. So, you won’t be able to other types of batteries in them except 18650.
These are the things should know beside the answer to the question Where can I buy 18650 batteries. And to get the best performance from the battery follow the instruction manual of the device.