View Full Version : SureFire Battery Life

Shadi Khalil
April 6, 2008, 12:45 AM
Hello all,

I have a Surefire G-6 or G-3..I'm not really sure which one it is, its black with a push button and twist cap, in the 30-40 dollar range. How long do the batteries ussually last? I've had mine for about a month. The batteries that came with it were Brand new and they just died today. I dont really use the light that much, not enough to burn the batteries out that quick, or so I thought. Do the batteries generally not last very long? I imagine the LED light uses alot of energy considering how much light it puts out. How long do your batteries last? I use the Surefire brand. Is there a better, long lasting brand?

Thanks guys/gals.

April 6, 2008, 01:21 AM
In mine - I don't remember the model, but it uses 2 batteries - the Surfire batteries last about an hour. The light doesn't become dimmer as the batteries get weaker, you'll be going along and the light will start to dim, then it's dead in about 30 seconds.

I believe the LEDs actually have a longer battery lifespan.

April 6, 2008, 01:33 AM
The two-CR123 battery versions that have incandescent lamps normally last for an hour and some change, but will get dimmer as time goes by. Incans are not regulated, so as that hour goes by, it will dim, but not enough for someone constantly using the light to notice. By about 50-55 minutes, you will notice dimness, and about ten minutes after that, the light will go out. What helps is that the batteries are able to "rest" and regain some of their charge if you only use them for short bursts of light. And the LED versions will last longer -- about 3-4 hours of peak light, followed by several hours of "less than tactical light."

April 6, 2008, 01:43 AM
Instead of buying batteries from surefire or other places like that, search for battery station or the like and you will find the 123 cells for $1.oo apiece, not 4 or 5 dollars like surefire and others get.

Shadi Khalil
April 6, 2008, 01:45 AM
Sounds like I should always have some spares on hand. Good thing i did today. Well even the short battery life, I love my surefire and dont know how I went so long without one.

thanks for the replies fellas.

April 6, 2008, 11:13 AM
because with CR123's, you do get what you pay for. The ones that are a 1.00 apiece tend to be foreign made and not have as much protection built in. Plus they tend to not last as long in high-drain devices like surefires compared to oh say surefire brand, usa panasonics, or dura-gizer brands. There is a slight chance with foriegn or poorly made cells of a KABOOOM. I would just be careful.

April 6, 2008, 11:14 AM

black bear 84
April 6, 2008, 01:18 PM
Yes, run time with regular incandescents lamps is about 60 minutes, with the HOLA lamps such as the P-61 and P-91 it is 20 minutes, and the LED's are giving 4 hours to 50 % output.

It is not rare to buy new batteries, put the liight in the shelf and found them dead two or three months later.
It have happened to me several times, the cheap 123's are a major offender but it also happened with brand name batteries, too.

When you replace batteries, do it in pairs, otherwise you could be setting yourself for an explosion, as one battery try to recharge the other.

Black Bear

April 6, 2008, 07:18 PM
"How long do your batteries last? I use the Surefire brand. Is there a better, long lasting brand?"

I think I've got ~10 flashlights now, and I've switched all of them over to LED lamps and NiMH rechargeable batteries. I get them here,


and always have some in a charger (I have 3 of them). The NiMH batteries will hold a charge for months, and can be recharged up to ~1000 times. They strike me as a better idea than putting alkalines in the trash. 5 years of using them now, and not one has gone bad yet.

Just a suggestion.

April 6, 2008, 10:49 PM
yeah,the LED's last longer because they arent putting out the IR spectrum.so unless you're using some type of night vision,the LED is probably the way to go.although some people dont like the blue light from the LED,and it tends to "wash out"...or create a "wall of light" more when theres dust/debris/fog in the air.i havent had any problems with it personally,i tend to prefer the LED light,even aside from the extended life.

my G3LED(3-CR123's) claims arround 6 hours of "tactical level lighting"(IIRC is supposed to be 60+ lumens,max is 80 on the G2 and G3) and arround 9 hours of "usefull light".i havent timed it out,but that seems about right.

ive heard Panasonic makes the Surefire batteries and they tend to be cheaper.thats what ive been buying,$1.50 at G&R Tactical(out of stock ATM).

G&R also sells the LED lamps if you want to switch out your incan's.

April 15, 2008, 12:23 AM
If you can't get battery life you can at least get batteries cheap. I always get my CR123 batteries off ebay for my dog tracking system, last time it was $15 for 16 Panasonics with shipping.

April 16, 2008, 06:24 AM
I've been using Panasonics and get about an hour. I'd stay away from battery station, I've heard of lots of problems with them.

April 16, 2008, 10:09 AM
Instead of buying batteries from surefire or other places like that, search for battery station or the like and you will find the 123 cells for $1.oo apiece, not 4 or 5 dollars like surefire and others get.

In near 13 years of using surefire lights the only two I've ever seen blow up were from no name batteries.

Genuine surefire 123's cost around 2.00 each, not 5 dollars each.

Unless you like using generic, poor performing batteries that will void your warranty then use only surefire brand batteries.

April 16, 2008, 10:24 AM
Yep, I usually pick up a box of 12 or 2 a year at a gunshow. Typically about $22-$25 per box including tax.

April 16, 2008, 11:52 AM
From the Surefire website. (http://www.surefire.com/maxexp/main.pl?pgm=co_disp&func=displ&strfnbr=6&prrfnbr=24436&sesent=0,0&search_id=820245) The runtime for the standard G3 is only 60 minutes.

I just got my first Surefire yesterday, the LED equipped E2L. Runtime is 100 hours on low (low is just as useful for me as a mini maglite) or 11 hours on high (which is like a spotlight).

As mentioned above, one of the huge advantages of LED technology is longer battery life for the same amount of light output. You pay a bit more initially for the technology, but save in the long run on batteries.

PS - Surefire batteries (http://www.surefire.com/maxexp/main/co_disp/displ/carfnbr/97/sesent/00) are only $1.75 each from their website. Almost $6 for two last time I saw them as Bass Pro. :eek:

April 16, 2008, 11:55 AM
i thought those lithium bats. were supposed to have a long shelf life??? that's why i use them for night stand lights so i wouldn't have to worry about them being dead when i need them,,,these lights don't get used much,, just sitting around

guess i need to check them from time to time,,,but i haven't been disappointed yet

also i would think that if your bats are going dead and you are not using the light,,,there must be a voltage leak,,,or they are accidentally getting turned on


April 16, 2008, 12:04 PM
also i would think that if your bats are going dead and you are not using the light,,,there must be a voltage leak,,,or they are accidentally getting turned on

surefire bats have a gauranteed 10 year shelf life while still retaining 90% of their original power... as for the generics, well.. When is the last time you heard of anything generic lasting and performing for years?

IMHO buying a $65-$600 surefire light and using generic bats in it is like buying a $2400 HS precision .308 rifle and shooting late 60's surplus garbage ammo in it... it just doesnt make sense.

April 17, 2008, 10:14 PM
Yeah, but geez...does my Surefire M6 eat batteries (especially with the 500+ Lumen lamp installed !)

I love this beast ! :D

April 17, 2008, 11:17 PM
Even I, with all the shipping hassle, can OTC batteries for $2 each or less.

I use an L2 Lumamax and rarely have to change batteries.

That reminds me I have some Surefire demos I have to list.....

WildlightemupAlaska TM

April 26, 2008, 10:06 AM
I have about 40-50 Titanium brand generic batteries that I purchased for about 1.00 each. I have not have a single bad cell so far. I have a few than I have kept for sample testing and they are all within .1 volts of their original. They actually give me more time (tested personally) than name brand Energizers.
Here is an older review:

And if you really want to ask around (Some of these people are very serious about their batteries):

Of course I only paid about $60 for my flashlight so maybe I'm less picky.

April 26, 2008, 04:31 PM
LEDs use less energy, but I'll be you've been experimenting a lot with the new light or pocket carrying it with locking out the tailcapf (accidental undetected activations.

Surefire batteries are good, but I too went to the cheaper by the 50 packs from various online battery and flashlight retailers. So far the Tenergy (Chinese) have be faultless at a dollar or less delivered. Sadly the rechargables don't seem to work in SF's but do in the Fenix flashlights, saving me even more for a work light; though I wouldn't trust a Fenix for critical work like I do my SFs; old bias I suppose. I carry duplicates of everything I consider critical gear, not just spare batteries.

May 2, 2008, 12:45 PM
12 pack of CR123 Lithium Batteries - 3 Volt
12 pack of CR123 Lithium Batteries - 3 Volt

CR123-12Regular price: $36.00Sale price: $17.95

12 Replacement lithium batteries for Streamlight Scorpion, Twin-Task TT-1L, TT-2L, TL-2, TL-2LED, TL-3, TL-3LED, NF-2, TLR-1, TLR-2 Flashlights. The CR123 battery has a shelf life of nearly ten years.

This is a 12-pack of CR-123 3-Volt lithium batteries. Save $ when you buy 12.


May 5, 2008, 10:47 AM
Surefire doesn't charge $4-$5 for batteries. you can get a box of a dozen from them for $21 last time I looked.

My experience with my 9P (three 123s) is that there is no dimming. In every case where the batteries had to be replaced, I use the light one evening and it works perfectly, the next day no light at all. I don't use the light a lot (I keep it in my nightstand with my 1911 and use it maybe twice a week).

To avoid problems, I swap the batteries out every two months, no matter what the useage. I love the light, but it seems a tad dangerous (especially for cops) to carry a light that can simply fail completely without warning.

May 11, 2008, 07:47 PM
If any of you are thinking of switching to an LED the Malkoff drop ins are the cat's ass. http://www.malkoffdevices.com/shop2/

May 12, 2008, 10:30 AM
I think they are suppose to last an hour, but I use mine here and there. I have several lights that use this size batteries.

I went to Ebay and found Battery Station batteries.
I got 20 batteries for $27.
They seem to last just as well as Surefire.