Do lithium-ion batteries need to be fully charged before first use? Or how long should I charge the new devices before the first use?
Many questions were brought out concerning charging the lithium-ion 18650 battery for the first time. If you are asking one of those questions, read this article.
I’ll show you how to charge your new devices or more exactly the new li-ion batteries properly:
Li-ion batteries vs. Ni-Cd or Ni-MH batteries
You must know that cells used in devices have advanced a lot over the years. We started with the nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd), next nickel-metal-hydride (Ni-MH), then came lithium-ion (li-ion) and a reasonably short-lived stint on lithium polymer (li-ph).
The main difference between li-ion18650 batteries and other types of rechargeable batteries is the memory effect. Please reading the best18650 battery review here.
Simply speaking, it means that the Ni-Cd or Ni-MH batteries will become harder to charge if we don’t fully discharge them first. But Li-ion batteries don’t require us to do that.
You may hear somewhere from someone that we need to charge our new devices over 12 hours the first time before using. It’s true with devices powered by Ni-CD or Ni-MH batteries.
Most modern devices (such as flashlight, handy tool) nowadays are equipped with li-ion cells, and li-ion cells don’t require you to charge for a long time. Find out the best 18650 battery for flashlight at here.
In the opposite, that practice is harmful due to being overcharged. The li-ion batteries are activated before being carried out of the factory. It’s available to use on the way you brought it home.
Therefore, it’s not compulsory to fully discharge and recharge the new li-ion batteries or new devices before using. Lithium-ion batteries have maximum capacity available from the beginning, and the 1st charge is similar to the 10th charge. Just top up the battery and freely use it.
Here’s are essential things need to be noted when you charge Li-ion batteries:
1. Use original charger
I see that not many people take good care on the charger. This vital object is often neglected. You should use the original charger from the device’s manufacturer.
Because manufacturers tune the BMS (Battery Management System) in the cell to best work with the configuration of the charger provided by them. It is made right for the device, so it’s better than any other chargers found on the market.
In case you lost your charger somehow, please buy a new one from prestigious manufacturers. Don’t save money by getting a cheap charger home. Its low-quality can cause shorter run times, premature battery failure, even fire or explosion.
2. Do partial charge rather than a full charge
Common sense suggests us to do a full charge rather than a partial charge. A big number brings a better outcome than a small number, that’s what we think. So we will leave our devices charged until they get to the 100% level and we believe that we’re doing good.
However, Li-ion batteries seem to run out of common sense. A full charge offers you a larger capacity, meaning longer run time. But in the same time, it may be a stress to your devices or the batteries.
In the long run, it’s obviously not healthy for your devices and cuts down battery life. In contrast, with a partial charge, you have to accept that you can’t have a full battery’s capacity. But you will be ensured that your cells are not overstressed.
Thus, disconnect your devices when they reach 85% battery level or a little higher. If you forget to check it sometimes, don’t worry. It’s still okay.
3. Discharge the batteries fully once a month
Though we’re talking about charging, how can we take the discharging apart? Discharging leads to charging. A partial charge should go with a partial discharge. We’re advised to let the li-ion battery drained to 0% and not to charge to 100%. It’s like the mantra for li-ion batteries.
But, we have some extraordinary occasion when we need to let the batteries drop down to 0%. Do you know the smart battery in your devices that can tell you how many minutes are remaining to use?
Partial charges are good, but non-stop partial charges can cause the “digital memory”, reducing the accuracy of the device power measure as a result.
So, to avoid that, we simply discharge our devices completely. This practice will help to re-calibrate the smart battery. Battery specialists recommend a full discharge after about 30 charging times.
4. Charge or discharge at the appropriate temperature
Temperature is always an important factor to everything, including li-ion cells. Users should keep them under the recommended temperature: from 20 to 25 degrees of Celsius.
Engineers measure that every 10 degrees variation will decrease 20-30 mAh of the capacity. Higher deviation equates to bigger capacity’s loss, equates to faster degradation.
Of course, we’re not able to turn the temperature up or down as we want. The only thing we can do is taking your devices away from the too hot or too cold area.
Please never charge or leave your devices near hot places such as inside the car, oven in the kitchen. Don’t exceed 60 degrees if you want to replace them soon. Especially in the winter, the outside temperature may drop down under the freezing level, just don’t charge the batteries.
There’re times that our devices are hot after we use or charge, please stop using it. The cells are trying to warn you that they’re over-stressed.
That is how you will charge new li-ion batteries correctly. It’s not complicated; you just need to pay a little attention when charging and discharging. A good charging habit not only ensures safety but also expand the battery life. I hope that this article helps you. Share it now!