Over the last several years we’ve seen a huge rise in the interest in high power torches and with higher power, comes the need for higher discharge batteries. Gone are the days of a Maglite using 3x D cells, a torch that needed a backpack just to carry it about! In the last 5 years, vast developments have been made with CREE and other LED light sources which require far less energy but output far more light. In 2019, the highest lumen AA powered torch was the Nitecore EA81, putting out 2150 lumens from 8 (yes EIGHT) AA batteries. Compare that to some Fenix torches that manage circa 1000 lumens from a single 18650, and you can see where we’re going…
What we have noticed, is the unbelievable cost of cells. I literally cannot fathom why anyone would pay up to £30 for a SINGLE Fenix 18650 battery?! Its absolute madness. Fenix do not “make” these torch batteries. Like all manufacturers, they simply take an already available OEM cell, place their own protection circuit and wrap on it and voila… It’s now up to 10x more expensive. What’s worse, is that some manufacturers also add ludicrous capacity and discharge rating claims to them to justify this. (More on that later)
Then there’s the “temperature” selling point. I’ve lost count of the number of cells now appearing, using “low temperature” as a marketing ploy, stating that they can be used down to -30’C. #NEWSFLASH# Pretty much all OEM cells can be used at this temperature. This isn’t “new”, it’s not something they’ve achieved through chemistry development. It’s been there from the start. You can find this information on the factory datasheet for the cells used under the wrap. Most 18650 batteries have an operational temperature range of between -30’C to +60’C.
We’ve carefully selected 3 cells to start with initially, based on the most popular capacities used by other manufacturers (Fenix, Nitecore, Olight, Keeppower, etc). These are the LG MJ1 (3500mAh), the LG M29 (2900mAh) and the Samsung 25R (2500mAh). Our other primary consideration has been price. Not only are these some of the best 18650 cells available but they are also currently the cheapest in their capacity “class” and the primary aim here is to provide the torch community with the same level of output, without the utterly ridiculous price tags. We’ll also be launching the NCR18650GA from Sanyo (used by Keeppower for their 3500mAh cell already sold by us), just to show the direct difference.
How are they made?
Our protected 18650 torch cells start life in the same way as all of our other products. They’re sourced directly from manufacturers or their distributors and arrive at the 18650UK warehouse ready for inspection. They’re batch tested using computerised battery analysis for compliance with the datasheet characteristics, then placed into temperature controlled storage.
When their time comes, they’re removed and start their journey to become the products you see on the website. In batches of 100 they’re visually inspected for any transit damage and each receives a thin strip of heat resistant tape. This separates the nickel strip connecting the positive end of the cell to the protection circuit at the bottom from the outer wrap. The cells (now upside down) first have the nickel tab for the protection circuit welded to the bottom of the cell can. Following this, the connecting strip is attached at the positive end, following the line of previously applied tape. The end is welded to the positive and another layer of tape added to secure the strip. Now turned the right way up, the button top is welded to the positive end of the cell and a further insulator added to prevent any accidental shorting by the end user. With assembly complete, the cell receives a final new clear outer wrap and once inspected, is ready for sale.
What are we competing against?
Effectively, any other protected 18650 torch battery on the market with a brand attached to it. This means Fenix, Nitecore, Keeppower, XTAR, Klarus, Olight, Eagtac, Ultrafire/Surefire/Trustfire, and many others.
What makes them different?
Nothing. Literally, absolutely. Nothing. How’s that for a sales pitch?!
What we’re offering is a no frills (can also be read as “no BS”) cell solution in direction competition to the current offerings, but without the completely unjustifiable price tag and wildly optimistic (or outright dangerous) ratings. No 50A discharge ratings. No 90000000000mAh capacity. No “this will work if you’re hiding in your freezer” (it will though…). Just genuine, tested, OE manufacturer cells with a protection circuit, at a fair price.
You want a cell with the maximum possible capacity and your torch only draws 5 amps at full power? Perfect, you need our new ES18650-PRO-MJ1. Easy!
As mentioned above, we test everything. Sometimes to destruction. From this, we can provide evidential proof of the numbers we provide for our cells.
Here are the test results for the LG Chem MJ1, used for our new ES18650-PRO-MJ1
What are you waiting for? Check them all out on the Torch Battery page now (You’ll be able to spot them, they’re the boring looking ones with just a clear wrap and cost far less money 😉 )