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Lithium Battery Essential Knowledge

Lithium Battery Essential Knowledge

18 Jul, 2022

What is the lithium battery?

1. Lithium metal cell

The lithium metal cell is a disposable non-rechargeable cell


2. Lithium-ion cell (Li-ion battery) and lithium-polymer battery

They are both rechargeable batteries.

2.1. Li-ion battery size

The first consideration in choosing the right battery for a torch is size. Li-ion batteries are available in the following sizes:

(1) 18650

(2) Lithium metal CR123A 

(3) 16340 (also known as RCR123)

(4) 14500 (AA size, but 4.2 V)

(5) 17670 (it is often used in place of two CR123A batteries)

(6) 10440 (AAA size, but 4.2 V)

2.2. The working principle of lithium-ion battery


During discharge, the anode loses electrons while lithium ions migrate from the electrolyte to the negative electrode; the charging process is reversed, with lithium ions migrating to the anode.


2.3. Disadvantages of lithium-ion batteries

More than disposable lithium metal batteries, these rechargeable lithium-ion batteries can be a safety hazard as they contain a flammable electrolyte that can lead to an explosion or fire if damaged or charged incorrectly.

Please see the end of this document for safety precautions for lithium batteries.

2.4. Areas for future development of lithium-ion batteries

Extending life, increasing energy, improving safety, reducing costs, increasing charging speed, etc.

2.5. Applications

Nowadays, our consumer electronics (mobile phones, computers, torches, new energy rechargeable cars) are all using lithium-ion batteries.


The lithium batteries used in Olight's torches, head torches, bicycle lights and tactical weapons lights are produced by LG, SAMSUNG and PANASONIC, and then we process them and add protection plates to make Olight batteries.

Types of lithium batteries commonly used in Olight

1. Olight Lithium Metal Batteries

(1) Lithium manganese battery: 3.0V, e.g. CR123A

(2) Lithium iron batteries: 1.5V, such as AA and AAA batteries

The above two types of lithium metal batteries commonly used by Olight are cylindrical and non-rechargeable.

2. Olight Lithium-ion Batteries

(1) Lithium-ion batteries: 3.6/3.7V, cylindrical in shape and structure, such as: 10400, 14500, 16340, 18500, 18650, 21700, 26650

(2) Lithium polymer battery: 3.7V, the battery shape and structure of the square, the use of this battery products are: Open 2 penlight, PL Mini weapon light, Baldr tactical weapon pistol light.




The shape and structure of common lithium batteries

1. Rectangular battery structure

2. Cylindrical battery structure


3. Button cells

Generally speaking, button cells are non-rechargeable dry batteries (e.g. Olight's imini torch uses non-rechargeable button cells); however, there are also rechargeable button cells, which are lithium batteries.




Safety of lithium batteries



1. Explanation of the safety of lithium batteries

1.1. Safety of the battery itself

(1) thermally sealed diaphragm: when there is a pinch or squeeze, the diaphragm can ensure rapid closure to prevent internal chemical reactions.

(2) Positive temperature coefficient (PTC) components: when the battery generates heat to a certain temperature, the resistance of the PTC components becomes larger as the temperature rises, thus reducing the current and guaranteeing the safety of the battery, similar to a fuse.

(3) Safety valve: when the internal air pressure of the battery increases, the safety valve will burst to release the internal pressure, thus ensuring that the battery will not explode and other extreme situations. These means of protection are generally placed outside the electrochemical system of the lithium-ion battery, making it difficult to proactively and promptly sense various abuse situations such as shocks, short circuits, overheating, etc., and quickly respond.

1.2. Safety of external protection

(1) Circuit Protection Boards

Overcharge current protection

Overcharge voltage protection

Over-discharge current protection (short-circuit protection)

Over-discharge voltage protection (low voltage protection)

(2) Temperature protection

Low-temperature protection

High-temperature protection

(3) Physical protection

Shock buffering

Short circuit isolation



2. Safety precautions for people using lithium batteries

2.1. Charging-related

(1) Please use a special charger for charging

(2) Do not reverse charge the battery

2.2. Temperature

(1) Do not place the battery near a fire or heat source, or throw the battery into a fire

(2) Do not store, charge or use a torch in a vehicle or similar place where the temperature may exceed 60°C

2.3. Note on human damage to the battery

(1) Do not disassemble the battery

(2) Do not pierce the battery with a sharp object such as a needle or screwdriver

(3) Do not intentionally use metal objects to short-circuit the positive and negative terminals of the battery

(4) Do not hit the battery with a heavy object such as a hammer

(5) Do not use damaged or deformed batteries or batteries with broken jackets.

2.4. Basic knowledge of battery use

(1) Do not use rechargeable batteries without protective plates

(2) If the battery is to be stored for a long period of time, remove the battery from the product and store it in a room temperature and dry place

(3) Batteries need to be transported with approximately 30% capacity

(4) Do not mix old and new batteries or different types of batteries

(5) Do not immerse the battery, throw it into water/seawater or get it wet

(6) Do not use batteries that are deformed externally

(7) Do not use batteries with swollen cases

(8) If skin is contaminated with electrolyte, rinse with plenty of water and seek medical attention if serious.

(9) When the battery is smoking, you should reduce breathing and move away quickly.

Finally, and most importantly: keep batteries away from children!



Transport regulations for lithium batteries

Please refer to the UK National Chemical Emergency Response Centre for transport regulations for batteries.



Lithium Battery Certification


2. UN38.3

3. PSE / KC

4. UL

5. IEC62133-2:2017

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