Battery Facts

At Mr Beams® our products are battery-powered LED wireless lights. LEDs are direct current (DC) powered devices. Batteries for wireless lights provide DC power. White LEDs are efficient enough in their use of battery power to provide enough light to be an extremely good off-grid lighting solution. By efficiency, we are referring to the lumens of light generated per watt of power consumed. A decade ago, the light source was not efficient enough to produce a quality battery light for general illumination. Over the last few years, advances in LED technology have found their way onto the market. The light output, light color and usefulness of LED products meet or exceed what incandescent or fluorescent / cfl lights offer. A recent breakthrough are LEDs that can exceed 200 lumens per watt. By comparison, incandescent lights provide just 10 lumens per watt and fluorescent bulbs provide just 45 lumens per watt.

When we design a product, we always consider the application for the product and what battery life would make a customer happy in that application. One rule of thumb is that we try to provide greater than one year of illumination on one set of batteries under what we consider normal use will be. Some customers experience much greater battery life on a set of batteries and some customers experience less depending on how they use the lights.

For example, an MB980 ceiling light installed in an attic may only turn on a few times a month. In this application, one set of batteries will last for several years. If you use the MB980 in a walk in closet, it will be turned on every day, often several times in a day. The battery life will be shorter in the closet application but because of the superior energy efficiency of LED technology, a customer still could see more than a year of use before having to change batteries. So although we design our products to get the most battery life possible through intelligent product design for the applications where we believe the product will be used, we cannot control exactly how our products are used. Nonetheless, through years of experience with products in the field, we know that our initial thoughts on battery life and whether a customer will typically be happy with it are often true.

Battery technology is advancing rapidly as well. Electric cars, cell phones, smart phones, laptops, portable electronics and other battery powered devices are forcing battery manufacturers to go to market with higher capacity and better performing batteries. Nonrechargeable alkaline and lithium batteries, rechargeable Li-Ion, NiMH or even more advanced battery chemistries are finding their way into products and into the research laboratories of the better battery companies.

Below are tables of non-rechargeable batteries and rechargeable batteries. Alkaline batteries are the most commonly used battery in Mr Beams® and ReadyBright® products. NiMH batteries are the most commonly used battery in Mr Beams® and ReadyBright® products. NiMH and Li-Ion batteries are commonly used in our advanced technology emergency lighting and energy management products.

Common Non-Rechargeable Battery Types

Chemistry Type Nominal Cell Voltage Energy Density (Mj/kg) Typical Capacity of AA Cell (mAh) Typical Battery Size Notes
Zinc-Carbon 1.5V 0.2 1500 AA,C,D,9V Least expensive; Lowest capacity; Not recommended for high drain applications.
Alkaline 1.5V 0.2 2500 AA,C,D,9V Not expensive; Good capacity; Most commonly used nonrechargeable battery in Mr Beams products.
Lithium 1.5V 0.2 4000 AA,C,D,Coin Cell Highest capacity common non-rechargeable; Used often in cold temperature environments.

Common Rechargeable Battery Types

Chemistry Type Nominal Cell Voltage Energy Density (Mj/kg) Typical Capacity of AA Cell (mAh) Typical Battery Size Notes
NiCD 1.2V 0.15 1000 AA,C,D,9V Least expensive; Lower capacity; Moderate rate of self discharge
NiMH 1.2V 0.4 2000 AA,C,D,9V Not expensive; Good capacity; Lower rate of self discharge; Most commonly used rechargeable battery in Mr Beams products
Lead Acid 2.1V 0.2 N/A Battery Pack Moderately expensive; Lower capacity; Higher rate of self discharge
Li-Ion 3.6V 0.5 N/A Battery Pack More Expensive; Highest capacity; Advances in technology; Not available in typical AA, C & D battery sizes