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Should You Switch to a Rechargeable Headlamp? Take a Look at the Impact.

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

In modern times, you can't go more than a few hours without creating some kind of waste. Food wrappers, clothing tags, spent pens, or broken parts. It's challenging to reduce your environmental impact, but one way to make a difference is to make better purchasing choices from the get-go.

If you are in need of a headlamp, you may be wondering what is the best route to reduce the amount of junk that ends up being thrown away. Which should you pick, rechargeable or non-rechargeable? In this post, we'll be looking at the difference in waste production between rechargeable and non-rechargeable headlamp usage.

Left – lithium ion 18650. Right – 3 alkaline AAA’s

Most rechargeable headlamps use a specific type of lithium ion battery called an 18650, weighing 45g. A high quality rechargeable lithium ion 18650 battery will have about 3500 milliampere hours (mAh) of power available to make light. Non-rechargeable headlamps use 3 single-use AAA alkaline batteries. A typical set of 3 AAA’s would have 3300 mAh of power in total (1100 mAh each battery).

18650 battery in a Lynx OGT Raven Headlamp

When well taken care of, an 18650 battery will last 500 cycles. So, we would have to use up to 1590 AAA's to get the same amount of light output over the lifetime of just one lithium ion battery. That’s over 18 kilograms of alkaline battery waste compared to just 45 grams for a lithium ion cell.

Left – 18L water jug represents the 18kg of waste from alkaline batteries.

Right – 45g golf ball represents the waste from a lithium ion battery.

Over it’s lifetime, a rechargeable lithium ion battery will save up to 400 times it’s weight in waste material!

During your own life, that difference can multiply into a staggering amount of waste. Here is a graphic showing just how much:

(Left) The 1590 alkaline batteries you would use in a non-rechargeable headlamp, vs the single lithium ion you would use in a rechargeable headlamp (right).

Alkaline and lithium ion batteries are both recyclable, however they require complicated multi-step processes to extract materials back out of the used cells. The best way to reduce your battery waste is to use fewer batteries. Switching to a rechargeable headlamp (or any device) is an easy, environmentally-conscious decision.

If you're ready to switch to a rechargeable headlamp, check out the Lynx OGT shop!

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