Bicycle lights explained30 Mar. 2017
What battery is best
We use two types of battery's, the lithium-ion polymer and the cylindric lithium-ion. What impact do these have on your bicycle light?
In a series of three blogs, we take you into the world of bicycle lights. In this blog we will explain a bit more about the batteries we use in our bicycle lights. Do you want to read more about the brightness of a light in Lumen and Lux? Then you should read this blog about it. If you want to read more about our light bundles, then you read this blog.
The batteries in your bicycle lights have a major impact on the strength, brightness and lifetime of your light. We use two different types of batteries in our lights: lithium-ion polymer batteries and cylindric lithium-ion batteries. But what is the difference between these two?
What is a lithium-ion polymer battery?
This type of battery does not have a housing, they are sealed and packed in small aluminium bags. This makes them compact and lightweight, easy to produce in different sizes and shapes to fit our light designs. The lithium-ion polymer can be specifically shaped for the light. They are quite vulnerable and therefore a good housing is necessary. The outside houding of the light provides this protection against the outside world.
What is a cylindric lithium-ion battery
This type of batteries has its own solid housing. At BBB Cycling use the 18650 cel, which is famous for itss use in Tesla cars. The cylindric lithium-ion comes in a standard size and therofre cannot be produced in other shapes or sizes. Although, the standard size makes this type of batteries very strong and solid, and therefore provides its own strong housing. This type of batteries is available in many different quality levels. We use the ones from the best brands available: Samsung and Panasonic.
When determining the quality of a light, the quality of the battery (and thus also the lifetime) is one of the major determinants. With normal useage these batteries won't wear out fast and can be recharged many many times. The lifetime depends of course of the way the light is used. When always asked the maximum amount of power from the battery it will use more energy and thus has to be charged more often. When used with lower power the battery doesn't need as many recharges, and the power is pulled out on a lower pace. This benefits the lifetime of your battery while using it, and in regards to the overall lifetime of the battery. Below are 2 extremes.
1. As light as possible makes for a shorter lifetime.
2. Less light means a longer lifetime.
Some brands promise maximum capabilities. A huge amount of light in combination with a long lifetime. In real life it often occurs that these promises won't be kept and the amount of light won't keep up with a long lifetime or the other way around. Every producer of lights has to make a balance between these two variables.
At BBB we plead for a constant lumen output, this means that we tempt to keep the lumen output the same over time instead of starting at a high amount of lumen and then letting it drop over time. We have designed out lights this way to avoid your light slowly dying while riding back home. We rather see you riding with a slightly smaller lightbeam than with a slowly dying lightbeam. An example of this can be found below. A lower amount of lumen from the starting point you will get a more stable output compared to when you start with a maximun output in lumen. This will drop very quick over time.
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