What Kind of Batteries Should I Use For an LED Flashlight, Heavy Duty or Alkaline?

led flashlights

About Ben the Flashlight Junkie

Ben is a flashlight junkie, owning several tactical flashlights from companies such as Surefire, Fenix and Inova! In his free time, he goes fishing, camping, and hunting.

If you’re wondering about what you should use for an LED flashlight – heavy duty or alkaline batteries, then you’ve come to the right place.

“Super” or “Heavy Duty” batteries, are actually zinc chloride cells. There are also the “General Purpose” variety of batteries, but those are cheaper than “heavy duty” batteries. In “heavy duty” batteries, The cathode is a mixture of carbon powder and manganese dioxide. The electrolyte is a paste of ammonium chloride and zinc chloride, dissolved in water.

Unlike “heavy duty” batteries, alkaline batteries are actually dependent upon the reaction between zinc and manganese dioxide (Zn/MnO2). The alkaline battery gets its name from how it has an alkaline electrolyte of potassium hydroxide (compared to the acidic electrolyte of the heavy duty zinc-carbon batteries).

Both “heavy duty” and alkaline batteries have similar sizes and voltages, but alkaline batteries are the batteries that last longer, both when in use and when left unused on the shelf.

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