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Alkaline vs Lithium Batteries

Before I became an expert in batteries, it was difficult for me to differentiate between alkaline and lithium batteries. I know some folks out there still don’t know how to differentiate between these two types of batteries.

What comes to your mind when you hear about lithium and alkaline batteries? Is it their difference in runtime, power, voltage, price, weight or operating temperatures? Alkaline and lithium batteries differ in a number of ways as we will discover in this post as we read on. Lithium batteries were initially created to be rechargeable and built-in devices like laptops, cell phones and many other devices. Currently, they have expanded further and can be found in AA and AAA rechargeable batteries.

Power – the first huge difference between alkaline and lithium batteries is their power. Lithium batteries are very powerful and normally their power doubles or even triples that of alkaline batteries. This in turn makes them have a longer run time than alkaline batteries. For instance, when used in digital cameras, lithium AA batteries can last up to seven hours longer than alkaline AA batteries.

Voltage – normally, lithium batteries have a higher voltage than alkaline batteries. So, in case you decide to replace alkaline batteries with lithium batteries, you should ensure that the right voltage, type, or size is replaced. For example, if the alkaline battery being replaced is of 1.5 volts, the lithium battery should also be 1.5 volts with the same size. This will make sure that no damage is made when the replacement is done.

Operating temp – not all types of battery can perform well in adverse weather conditions. Alkaline batteries may be easily available and cheap but cannot be relied on in extreme weather conditions. One of the distinctive features of lithium batteries is that they can still function in both extremely hot or cold conditions. This feature makes them suitable for outdoor activities such as hunting, taking pictures and can be used in flashlights and cameras.

Weight – although lithium batteries have higher voltages and longer runtime than alkaline batteries, they are still very light and highly portable. This makes them suitable for light devices. Hence, instead of using heavy alkaline batteries in devices like small LED flashlight and remote control, you can replace them with lightweight lithium batteries.

Price – if you are on a budget or just want simple batteries, then alkaline batteries are the best for you. But if you don’t mind spending a few more coins on a quality battery that performs better, then the lithium batteries are the best. Lithium batteries are costly because of their excellent features and durability. Get these if you want a powerful battery with long runtime.

Typically, lithium batteries are rechargeable batteries while alkaline batteries are not rechargeable but disposable batteries. If you attempt to charge alkaline batteries, this might make them explode or be damaged. Choose the right charger for your lithium batteries and don’t use them below the recommended voltage of 2.5 volts.

Bottom line
Depending on your needs and budget you can decide to either buy an alkaline battery or a lithium battery. Alkaline batteries are cheaper and non-rechargeable, while lithium batteries are costly and rechargeable. Also, lithium batteries offer lots of benefits to its users as it has a longer runtime, power and can be recharged. In addition, lithium batteries are lightweight and suitable for outdoor activities like hunting, fishing and touring. Unless you want something cheap and for temporary use, then you can go for the alkaline batteries. For use, we highly recommend lithium batteries for greater performance and long-lastingness.


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