Why use lithium batteries?
Power up your gadgets with batteries
We have come a long ways in terms of our gadgets that we are using today. From digital cameras to tablet pcs and everything in between, you name it and it exists and if it doesn't it's in the works and will appear on the market sooner than later. How we power these cool gadgets isn't usually a concern of ours but there have been major advances in science taking place that are worthy of discussion. Most of us do not think about differences between batteries - you either get the store brand or the name brand and you honestly pay for what you get.
Energizer introduced the lithium battery to the mainstream public and everyone began to wonder what all the hype was about. These batteries were said to last 7 times longer than a regular alkaline battery and had a shelf life of "several years". Now instead of using rechargable batteries for taking pictures with your digital camera or surfing the web with your wireless mouse, you can choose to spend a few dollars more and get a high quality battery that will not only last longer, but perform better as well.
See for yourself...
Most popular brand of cylindrical lithium batteries for everyday use
Is there a difference between lithium batteries and regular alkaline batteries? Try this experiment out:
- One Alkaline battery, Rechargable or single-use
- One Lithium Battery, Advance or Ultimate
- One Battery-powered shaver, Another battery powered device that is similar will work just fine
- It's easy, just put one type of battery in and turn razor on, note speed and power of the razor.
- Swap out batteries for other type and turn razor on. See a difference?! Each type of battery will perform differently. You will see the greatest difference between a regular store brand AA and a lithium AA.
- NEVER MIX BATTERY TYPES. For example you shouldn't use a lithium battery and a rechargable battery at the same time in the same device. Even using two different brands of alkaline AAs is not a good idea. Maybe this is why they are sold in multiples of twos?? :)
Difference between lithium batteries
Do you notice a difference between lithium batteries and regular alkaline batteries? Rate lithium batteries below!
Lithium Batteries: What's all the hype about?
Now that you have seen the superior performance of lithium batteries in a simple razor, imagine how it would benefit your wireless game controllers, digital cameras, and other battery life sucking devices (the Wii controller would be a great place to use these!). Now, gadgets and devices requiring little battery juice should continue to use regular alkaline batteries. They do not require the high performance that lithium batteries provide. Quite simply, you would be wasting your money putting lithium batteries in all your remotes. Sure, you may not have to change the batteries in the remotes for a couple years, but how often do you change them anyway? Be smart and choose batteries based on the device you are powering.
Difference between lithium batteries
So now that we understand why we would use lithium batteries it's time to complicate things. There are two front runners in the lithium battery imarket, Enegizer Ultimate Lithium and Energizer Advanced Lithium. Don't worry, the differences between the two is quite simple and is really a matter of price. In most stores the difference in price is only a couple dollars, so don't worry about choosing the wrong type of lithium battery.
Differences between lithium batteries: Energizer Ultimate and Advanced lithium batteries:
1. Max Discharge: Ultimate produces stronger volts (3.0 amps continuous)
2. Shelf Life: Ultimate will last longer with a 15 year shelf life, Advance sill has long shelf life at ten years
3. IR Varies slightly between the two types.
IR refers to internal resistance. Energizer desrcibes in detail what IR is and it's measurments in technical terms on their website. (It is a PDF file).To put it into other terms IR is a measure often used to describe battery life. If the IR drops to a certain level, your battery will no longer work (and also why the batteries work at a slower place right before they are ready to be changed. So basically Ultimate Lithium is expected to have a longer life span than Advance.
You've seen the commercials on TV I'm sure.. This is where they get that measurement lasts 8x longer..
4. Price. Like I said before Advance Lithium will cost less than Ultimate Lithium, but only by a couple dollars and this will vary by store.
I found a four pack of Ultimate for $5 on Amazon
and a four pack of Advance for $3.50 on Amazon
This price is less than the average retail price. You will spend $5-6 on a TWO pack on Ultimate and $3-4 on a TWO pack of Advance in most big-name retailers such as Wal-Mart or Walgreens. But, you also have to consider shipping costs when purchasing online, so either way you obtain your lithium batteries will end up costing you the same amount of money.
In most cases, all your cool gadgets will have optimum performance with either type of Energizer lithium battery and it comes down to a matter of choice. Either way you go, you will notice a difference between what type of lithium batteries you use. Good luck and enjoy experimenting with the wonderful world of science!
Product datasheets from Energizer website
- Advance Lithium
The standard Energizer lithium battery
- Ultimate Lithium
The most powerful Energizer lithium battery
Buy some batteries
What do you think?
Suzee (author) from DeFuniak Springs, FL on March 14, 2018:
yes! good point Paul! Thanks for commenting.
Paul Fafard on February 13, 2018:
ALL ALKALINE cells leak and destroyed my expensive night vision binoculars along with my rangefinder and numerous flashlights and radios. Lithium cells on the other hand never leaked and performed flawlessly in every piece of electronics I use them in. For me only lithiums from now on.
Suzee (author) from DeFuniak Springs, FL on April 01, 2016:
I apologize in the delay in answering your question William, I had my second child and have finally been able to update my hubs!
Thank you for your comment, and I hope I am able to answer your question...
Battery chemistry and construction differ in the two systems. Since lithium is a very active material, it provides a great deal of power relative to the amount of material used in a battery. The lithium discharge curve is longer and flatter than alkaline, providing a consistently higher voltage throughout the life of the battery. (Source: http://www.batterymart.com/c-battery-facts-faqs.ht...
In my opinion brand name generally doesn't matter as much.
William on January 31, 2015:
Checking with eBay, best deals on 1.5v Lithium-ion AA cells are available at around $10 each, with free shipping: (4 AA li-ion rechargeable cells + charger = $40, 8 AA li-ion rechargeable cells + charger= $80).
On the other hand, 100 AA "industrial" Energizer akaline cells = $28 (free shipping), or 100 AA Duracell alkaline cells = $32 (free shipping).
Generic 100 AA "N-Rgy" brand cells= $20 (again, free shipping)
The question is:
Will a $10 li-ion cell outlast $10 worth of "brand name" (Energizer or Duracell) alkaline cells (about 33 cells) or $10 worth of "generic" brand cells (about 50)?