Carbon-Zinc, Alkaline, NiMH, LSD NiMH… What Battery to Use and When to Use it

5 Sep


There are many types of single use and rechargeable batteries available out there and you have many options for use in devices that operate on the more common types of batteries, but the important question is what types of batteries will work best in different devices and situations? Starting with Carbon-Zinc batteries, these you would probably want to avoid as they are just a bit cheaper than the more standard Alkaline batteries, however their life and capacity are usually a few times less than what a standard Alkaline battery would offer, let alone a high capacity ones. So go for Alkaline batteries in devices that do not require a lot of power or are not always on such as remote controls for various devices, Alkaline batteries are also good for low power consumption device that are operating all the time. You can of course also use Alkaline batteries for devices that require more power such as a digital camera or a flash for a digital camera if you are not using it very frequently for example. If you are looking for batteries that need to handle higher current loads frequently, then you better think about going for rechargeable instead of primary batteries.

So, going for rechargeable NiMH batteries, but what type to use – the standard HiMH or the newer Low Self Discharge ones? Well, again it depends on the device you are going to be using them in. For example the standard NiMH batteries are not the best choice for use in low power devices such as remote controls, because of their faster self discharge even when not being used. On the other hand you can go for LSD NiMHs in a remote control without worrying about them self discharging in a year or two even if you don’t use the remote. Now, we said you can use the LSD NiMHs for low power applications, but for a remote control for example Alkaline batteries might be much better choice because they should normally last for a few years and will be much cheaper than a NiMH battery. The real strength of NiMH batteries is that they can handle pretty well in high load applications such as digital cameras or flashes that you are going to be using a lot and very frequently. Usually with NiMH batteries you would charge them right before you plan on using them with the idea that they will most likely be discharged from use like for example going to an event where you will take a lot of pictures. With LSD NiMHs you don’t need to recharge them right before you plan on using them, so it is more convenient, not to mention that when you pick them up at a store they will be pre-charged and ready to be used unlike with standard NiMHs that need to be charged prior to being used for the first time.

Generally speaking, there is no need to always go for the best or more expensive batteries as sometimes they may not work as well as you might expect in the device you got them for. You should consider what you need the batteries for and then decide which of these batteries will work best, and them you may consult our test results to see what battery performs best…

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