These days, we use batteries for so many things — in our digital cameras, computer accessories, flashlights, the smoke detector, toys, and even the remote control. The list of uses is certainly long.
With so many applications, disposable batteries can quickly turn into a mountain of toxic waste for the landfill. Rechargeable batteries are an environmentally friendly alternative to power your devices.
The truth is — rechargeable batteries are more expensive than the disposable batteries; but, because you can re-use them over and over again, you end up saving money in the long term.
Cylindrical batteries usually comes in sizes AA, AAA, C or D. Meanwhile, lithium-ion batteries are usually square and flat. More recently, there are now also batteries that are specific for solar lighting.
Most rechargeable batteries need to be charged for a certain amount of time when you first get them before they are used, but there is also the pre-charged variety that you can use right out of the package. Of course, they eventually must be charged, but it does give you a head start on the process if you don’t have time to wait for the charging process to finish.
Below, you will find our recommendations for the best rechargeable batteries you will need for a variety of devices. We'll examine their uses, longevity and strength along with other information you will need to know that may be specific to the devices that you are using.
|Battery capacity:||800 Milliampere Hour (mAh)|
When you have a lot of devices, you need a lot of batteries. This 12-pack of AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries is suitable for all of your household devices, such as digital cameras, toys, remote controls, flashlights, and portable audio players.
What makes these batteries so convenient is that they are pre-charged and ready to use right out of the pack. So while you will have to invest in a charger, you don’t have to charge them right away to be able to use them.
Some pre-charged reusable batteries lose their power quickly, especially when they are not being used, but these AAA 800 mAh batteries have an extremely slow self-discharge rate. They will maintain 80 per cent of their capacity after one year of storage if kept at 20 C.
Some batteries work better in certain environmental conditions and temperatures. These can be used in a wide range of weather conditions, from -20 C to +70 C for true reliability.
This makes them a good choice for emergency equipment such as flashlights and portable radios as well as your everyday devices. Plus, you can charge and use these batteries up to 1,000 times, making them a long-lasting and smart investment.
|Battery capacity:||2,000 Milliampere Hour (mAh)|
This pack of four pre-charged AA rechargeable batteries are ready to go and contain recycled material.
Lots of our devices require AA batteries. If you like that rechargeable batteries are better for the environment, then you’ll be glad to know that these four AA Energizer rechargeable batteries go one step over and above – they contain four percent recycled battery material, making them even more eco-friendly.
These NiMH batteries are pre-charged and ready to go right out of the package, and pack a powerful punch of universal 2,000 mAh for longer use. Each battery can be charged and used up to 1,000 times, perfect for all of your devices like toys, digital audio devices, and wireless electronics.
And if you don’t need to use the batteries right away, that’s not an issue. When fully charged, the charge will last for up to one year in storage. With these batteries, it’s best to use a long-charge charger rather than a quick-charge model.
|Battery capacity:||2,800 Milliampere Hour (mAh) for AA, 1,100 Milliampere Hour (mAh) for AA,|
|Battery size:||AA, AAA, spacers for C and D|
Instead of searching around for the right battery when you need it, this variety pack of rechargeable batteries gives you an array of the most frequently used batteries, plus a convenient box to store it all in.
In this box, you receive 12 AA 2800 mAh Ni-MH rechargeable batteries; 8 AAA 1,100 mAh Ni-MH rechargeable batteries; two C-size spacer battery adapters; and, two D-size spacer battery adapters.
To create the C or D sized batteries, just plug the AA batteries into the C size spacers and D spacers and they can be used as real C batteries and real D batteries. Now you have lots of batteries to meet all of your needs.
You can use the batteries right out of the box, as they have been pre-charged to between 15 and 20 per cent of their full capacity by solar energy. Once fully charged, though, they will last you for years, as they can be charged and used up to 1,200 times. They are also low self-discharge, retaining 75 per cent of their power during three years of storage.
|Battery capacity:||600 Milliampere Hour (mAh)|
|Battery size:||9 V Lithium-ion|
We’ve included 9V lithium batteries and a charger into this list because if you don’t already have a charger and are looking for lithium batteries, this four-battery set is an affordable option.
These rechargeable lithium batteries are ideal to use in tactical lights, walkie-talkies, battery-powered lanterns, cameras, smoke alarms, clocks and portable radios, with a temperature range of -10 C to +45 C.
Each 9V battery has 600mAh of power and can be charged and used up to 1,200 times, and safely stored between -10 C to +40 C. It’s important to note that the standard voltage of this 9V battery is 7.2V-8.4V.
These batteries have a very low self-discharge while in storage and also have a temperature control valve to ensure safety. If the temperature goes above 70 C, the valve will automatically open and release the internal gas pressure to avoid an explosion.
|Battery capacity:||1,000 Milliampere Hour (mAh)|
If you’re into solar lighting, then you know you need rechargeable batteries that store their energy from a solar panel. This pack of 10 batteries can also be used in regular devices as well.
These AA batteries are designed specifically for solar powered light units like garden landscape lamps and path lights. They will also fit any other device or light that uses AA size Alkaline, 1.5V or 1.2V rechargeable batteries, so you can also them in your TV remote control, audio device, a wireless mouse or keyboards, camera, Xbox pads and home medical devices like a blood pressure machine.
Each battery provides 1,000 mAh of power and can be charged up to 1,000 times using solar cell lights or standard charging units. While the batteries do come pre-charged, they are only at 30 per cent capacity so it is recommended that you fully charge before they are used.
NiMH: This type of rechargeable battery has slowly been replacing the nickel cadmium (NiCd) variety as the preferred choice for rechargeable cylindrical batteries in sizes AA, AAA, C and D. This is because they offer up to 50 per cent more energy capacity and they don’t have the toxic ingredient of cadmium.
There are standard NiMH batteries, which means you must charge them fully before you use them and there are pre-charged NiMH batteries, which means you can use them right out of the box, and then charge them later. Which type you choose is really a personal preference because at the end of the day, the batteries will have to be recharged, although it can be really convenient to use them on day one.
NiMH batteries are best to use in “high-drain” devices that you use often or for long periods of time, such as a digital camera, the camera flash or a GPS receiver. These are not the best batteries to use in items that are not used often, like an emergency flashlight.
Also, most NiMH rechargeable batteries have various self-discharging rates, which means they will all lose a certain percentage of power when they are stored away and not in use. Some may lose between one and five per cent of stored power in a day, while others may lose between 30 and 40 per cent in a month. A lot depends on how they are stored, and the temperature in which they are stored when not in use.
Capacity: The stored electrical power within a battery is measured as milliamp hours (mAh). The higher the mAh rating, the longer the battery will last. It’s a good idea to look for an mAh rating of more than 1,000.
Use: How and where you intend to use the rechargeable batteries will determine which ones you should buy. Different devices use different types of batteries. AA, AAA, C and D rechargeable batteries are cylindrical in shape, while lithium batteries are usually rectangular. Always check the device you have to determine the size battery to use.
Another thing to check before purchasing batteries is to find out in which temperatures they work best. Some outdoor devices, such as lighting, may need batteries to operate, so you would need ones that do well in cold temperatures. The same can be said for warm temperatures. Check the packaging of the rechargeable batteries for the optimum temperature range to function well before making a decision.