What are the Best AAA Batteries for your Flashlight?

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Do you need to know what my pick for the Best AAA Batteries for your Flashlight is right away?  Check out the Panasonic Eneloop Pro!

A flashlight is only as good as its power source. Using a reliable, cost-effective battery is important to ensure your flashlight turns on and stays on when you most need it. When looking for the best AAA batteries, you should consider several factors.

Battery jargon can get pretty dense, but picking the best battery for your needs can be largely based on a few major factors. Be sure to consider factors aside from just cost, especially when you’re powering a tool as versatile as a flashlight. For instance, if you use your flashlight for lengthy camping trips, you may be interested in batteries that are rechargeable and resilient in hot or cold extremes.

Find the perfect flashlight to go with these AAA Batteries with our Ultimate Guide to Picking Flashlights.

Here’s a quick list:

Factors to Consider When Selecting AAA Batteries

Value

Over time, batteries have become more affordable, smaller, and lighter, and more durable. Today, even large, specialized batteries such as rechargeable electric car batteries are becoming more affordable. With the use of rechargeable devices such as cell phones and laptops, rechargeable batteries have continued to advance technologically while their cost has decreased. When considering the value of batteries, keep in mind that different brands may come in different bulk pack sizes.

Shelf Life

By their nature, batteries lose power over time. Batteries are fully charged when they are manufactured, but as they sit in storage, chemical changes occur in the electrodes that cause battery power to decline. Different batteries lose power at different rates, based on battery composition, but most batteries lose their charge at a rate of a few percentage points a month. How batteries are stored also has an impact on battery shelf life, as higher temperatures are more likely to exacerbate chemical changes and reactions. To conserve power, store batteries at room temperature. Outdated advice says to store batteries in the refrigerator to reduce power loss over time, but this is not necessary unless this is the only storage place where that batteries will stay cool.

Durability in Extreme Cold or Heat

Not only can batteries lose power while being stored at higher temperatures, but extreme temperatures can impair a battery’s function in the device. Because batteries are powered by a chemical reaction, extremely cold temperatures will cause the reaction to slow down and the battery will produce less energy than it would at higher temperatures. Has your phone ever shut off while you were outside in the cold? As the chilled battery runs out of energy, it will not be able to produce enough current to keep up with energy demands. When a chilled battery is warmed up, it will work normally again. The last thing you want on a cold night is a frozen battery in your flashlight! Some batteries contain a different formula or different metals to operate at extreme temperatures. Lithium batteries can operate at -40 °F, while alkaline batteries do not usually operate very well under -4 °F.

Extremely hot temperatures can also impact battery life and discharge. In extreme heat, a battery can overheat and die; in a worst-case scenario, battery explosions are possible. As mentioned above, storing batteries in too-warm temperatures can cause the battery to deplete more quickly than in cooler temperatures. To extend a battery’s life, it is best to avoid extreme temperatures; however, if you’re using a flashlight in extreme temperatures, look for batteries that can withstand the heat and/or the cold.

Environmental Impact

When your flashlight dies and it’s time to replace the batteries, you can just toss the dead batteries in the trash. Now that mercury is no longer a component of batteries, this is generally the guidance from alkaline battery manufacturers. However, when you dispose of a single-use battery and they end up in a landfill, chemicals and metals like lead, sulfuric acid, and cadmium are contributed to the environment, leaching into soil and water. Incinerating batteries can add toxins to the air. Unfortunately, recycling for most single-use batteries is fairly uncommon in most of the United States. Using rechargeable batteries instead of single-use batteries is a good way to cut down one’s environmental impact.

Rechargeable Technology

Disposable batteries, also known as primary cell batteries, have long been the status quo in household use. However, the cost of disposable batteries certainly adds up, and the environmental impact of disposable batteries can be worrisome. Today, a number of rechargeable battery options are available to consumers who would rather reuse than dispose of. These batteries, also known as secondary cell batteries, can be recharged using a basic charging device when they run out of juice. With pretty quick charging times, these batteries can be just as convenient as disposable primary cell batteries. Secondary cell batteries can be charged and recharged hundreds or even thousands of times – good for your savings account and the environment!

Learn everything you need to know about Batteries with our Ultimate Guide to Batteries!

Product Reviews

There are plenty of battery brands and styles to choose from when it comes to AAA flashlight batteries. Check out these picks for some of the best AAA batteries for your flashlight needs.

Panasonic Eneloop Pro

Want to give rechargeable batteries a try? This rechargeable battery can be used again and again – it can be recharged up to 500 times in its lifetime! Eneloop batteries are known to be reliable and resilient to cold weather, making them a great choice for use in a flashlight.

Pros

  • Maintain 85% of their charge up to 1 year when not in use.
  • Can be recharged hundreds of times
  • Come with charger, but a variety of chargers work for recharging
  • Arrive pre-charged and ready to use
  • Recyclable at end of life
  • Rated for temperatures down to -4 °F
  • Batteries can be recharged when fully or partially discharged

Cons

  • Battery power tends to drop quickly towards the end of its charge
  • Slightly larger than disposable AAA batteries, causing tight fit in some devices and off-brand battery chargers
  • Charging from full discharge can be slow; better “smart” chargers are available for faster recharge
  • Won’t work well at extreme temperatures less than -4 °F

Energizer AAA Max E32

The premier U.S. brand for single-use batteries, Energizer has made a name for itself with reliable batteries with a long shelf life. If you’re looking for batteries to put in a device like an emergency flashlight that doesn’t see much regular use but has to be ready to go, these Energizer AAA Max batteries are an easy pick.

Pros

  • Up to 10 years shelf life
  • Formulated without mercury for reduced environmental impact
  • Easy to buy in bulk
  • Ideal for stockpiling for emergency situations
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Not recommended for extreme temperatures
  • Some consumers note packages nearing expiration dates; check the date printed on the package!

AC Delco AAA Batteries

A top competitor with Energizer and other top brands, AC Delco also promises a shelf life of up to 10 years. These AAA batteries have a coating to prevent leakage and corrosion and are formulated without cadmium, which reduces some negative effects of disposing of the battery. The AC Delco brand is priced very competitively, with some packs selling for about half the price of Energizer and performing just as well.

Pros

  • Up to 10 years shelf life
  • Formulated without mercury for reduced environmental impact
  • Great price point: can be purchased bulk at a significantly cheaper price than many leading competitors
  • Anti-leakage protection

Cons

  • Not recommended for extreme temperatures
  • Packaging can be difficult to open; pre-open to be ready for emergency situation

Rayovac AAA Batteries

Rayovac assures quality in their batteries by testing each battery twice before distribution. These batteries have a storage life of up to 10 years and are manufactured in the U.S. It is notable that Rayovacs come at a cheaper price point than top brands, especially when bought in bulk.

Pros

  • Up to 10 years shelf life
  • Anti-leakage protection
  • Money-back guarantee (restrictions apply)
  • Prices lower than top brands
  • Re-sealable packaging
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Not recommended for extreme temperatures

Energizer Lithium Ultimate

Lithium batteries generate energy with different compounds than alkaline batteries. Instead of using zinc and manganese as typical in alkaline batteries, lithium batteries generate energy with an anode composed of lithium metal or a lithium compound. The difference in these metals causes lithium batteries to have a longer lifetime and produce higher voltages. Lithium batteries also have other benefits, including durability in extreme temperatures. However, these batteries are more expensive than alkaline batteries.

Pros

  • Up to 15 years shelf life
  • Lightweight compared to alkaline batteries
  • Produces 1.75 volts or more (compared to alkaline, which produces around 1.5 volts)
  • Perform in extreme heat and cold: -40 °F to 140 °F
  • Will last longer in high-energy devices like flashlights

Cons

  • Highly toxic; do not incinerate to dispose and be sure batteries are fully discharged before throwing away (ideally, you should bring to a recycling center for proper disposal)
  • Higher cost than alkaline batteries

Conclusion

Many factors come into play in the quest for the best AAA batteries to power a flashlight. Different batteries may be better for different uses, from emergency flashlights in storage to your go-to high-powered camping flashlight. The Panasonic Eneloop Pro checks my battery needs boxes. Rechargeable batteries are more affordable and effective than ever, and I feel good about recharging instead of disposing of a lot of single-use batteries. Better yet, these batteries are effective in most weather conditions and retain a lot of their power in storage.

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