Monday, January 19, 2009

The New Rechargeables: Faster, Better, Last Longer

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko

Years ago when my children were little, we had a ton of battery operated toys. We had everything from portable video games, remote control vehicles, games, musical toys and much more. The cost of replacing all those traditional batteries was enormous until I invested in a set of rechargeables. I thought it had to be a good move, a no-brainer.

Wrong! As it turned out, the recharged batteries lasted only a matter of 15-30 minutes in most toys, making it impossible to keep up with the recharging. I do place some value on my time!

That said, when rechargeable batteries began to become more popular again recently, I was the ultimate skeptic. I held out until after I began writing this blog. Now it is my duty to test these things and report to you. I fully expected a failure and a waste of my money.

Surprise! The batteries and recharger, which I purchased at Costco, are amazing. I put them to the test by placing 2 freshly-charged batteries into two matching Christmas light-up decorations. I turned them on and ran them for the same amount of time each day, just waiting for that rechargeable to die. The joke was on me. The name brand battery began to grow dim and flicker near the end of the holidays, while the rechargeable was still glowing strong.

An additional pleasant surprise came when I read the package and learned that these new rechargeables are RECOMMENDED for use in electronics. I put one in my camera and still haven't had to replace it. It has been several months now. I would not have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself.

The familiar name brands that you have come to know are all jumping into the game now. I'm starting to see rechargers and rechargeable batteries for sale--even at the grocery store. They were expensive though, so shop around. Here are a few options:

Green Batteries (they also offer a downloadable battery guide with info on the different types of rechargeable batteries.)

Energizer Rechargeables

Staples Assorted Rechargeable Batteries

Only Batteries

Assorted Rechargeable Battery Brands (including mine: Sanyo Eneloop)

The cool thing about mine is there is only one battery (size AA) for AA, C and D batteries. You simply place a AA inside a "spacer", which is the size and shape of the C or D battery. Cool, huh? This gives me much more flexibility in which size batteries I need.

FYI, even rechargeable batteries need to be recycled when they are spent. When your batteries will no longer hold a charge, or become damaged, visit RBRC or call 1-800-822-8837 for recycling information in your area.

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