THE SAME, BUT DIF­FER­ENT

Scuba Diving - - SCUBALAB -

Our ex­pe­ri­ence has shown that bat­ter­ies — even seem­ingly iden­ti­cal ones — aren’t nec­es­sar­ily the same.

In test­ing lights with recharge­able lithium-ions (like the one shown at right), we use the sup­plied bat­ter­ies and charged them per in­struc­tions. For those us­ing dis­pos­ables, we use new, ma­jor-brand bat­ter­ies just out of the box, pur­chased at the same place and time.

With Li-ions (which are more dif­fi­cult to test than al­ka­lines), we’ve found that burn times can vary no­tice­ably, likely re­lated to a bat­tery’s use and charg­ing his­tory. And in this test, when the out­put of a AA light came out lower than ex­pected, we tried an­other set of bat­ter­ies — from the same pack­age as the first. The re­sult was nearly 40 per­cent more light out­put.

Bot­tom line: Use high­qual­ity bat­ter­ies that meet the light man­u­fac­turer’s re­quire­ments, and re­place them at the first sign of trou­ble.

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