Lithium vs Alkaline Batteries: What’s the Difference and Which Is Better?

As the days get shorter, and we head into the colder months, stocking up on essentials is of the highest priority.

Whether it’s for emergency prep or the kids’ toys before a road trip, you always need batteries. Since they come in a variety of sizes and power, choosing the right kind of battery for your home can be a hassle.

If you’re pitting lithium vs alkaline batteries for your home needs, you’re not alone. These two types of batteries are the main frontrunners in the industry. They’re well-trusted and considered reliable among all age groups and home demographics.

Keep reading to learn more about both types of batteries to help you decide what’s best for you.

Battery Basics

Batteries store chemical energy in their casing and convert it into electrical energy. Electron flow within batteries creates a current that can power all kinds of devices.

Each battery also has two electrodes that the electrons must flow between. These are the anode (negative) and the cathode (positive). Electrons flow from the negative to the positive electrodes in energy production.

Electrode composition and much more makes the difference between alkaline and lithium batteries. Below are the main differences between the two and how to decide which will work for you.

What Is an Alkaline Battery?

Globally, the alkaline battery industry was worth $17.3 billion in 2019. They are the most commonly used batteries in the world.

Alkaline batteries get their power from the zinc and manganese dioxide reaction. The zinc lies in the battery’s anode. The cathode contains a mixture of manganese dioxide and carbon powder.

These batteries are popular for many reasons. One is that they are not comprised of any heavy metals. This means little to no explosion risk when dumped in landfills.

Alkaline batteries also tend to cost significantly less than other battery types. Due to their energy density, these also give off high and consistent levels of energy. This makes them popular for powering devices you use daily.

Even though these batteries have a lot of pros, there are still some drawbacks. Alkaline batteries, like most other kinds, are disposable. This means they continue to take place in the disposal-replacement cycle.

What Is a Lithium Battery?

Lithium batteries are almost as popular but are used for a lot of different purposes. They are also quite different from their alkaline counterparts. You may recognize them as the small, circular batteries in watches and calculators.

Lithium batteries have two times the voltage production than other battery types. This gives them a longer shelf-life but also makes them more expensive. If you need larger, higher voltage batteries, check out this link. Relion’s deep cycle lithium batteries are perfect for bigger devices like your boat or RV.

Many people also confuse lithium batteries with lithium-ion batteries. The difference seems minuscule, but it really matters. Lithium-ion batteries can be recharged, while regular lithium batteries cannot.

One of the lithium battery’s claims to fame is the performance in extreme weather. They can’t be overheated, but they withstand extreme cold quite well. They are also even higher in energy density than alkaline batteries.

Lithium vs Alkaline: What’s Best for You?

The choice you make in your batteries will be entirely dependent on your needs. Alkaline batteries are best for low-drain devices like flashlights, radios, or alarm clocks. Keep them on hand for emergencies, natural disasters, and any of your passive home power needs.

Lithium batteries are best for consistent-use devices like hearing aids, car locks, or thermometers. These are also best for your outdoor device needs since lithium batteries can withstand even the extreme cold.

If you liked this guide to lithium vs alkaline batteries, check out our blog for more help with your home needs.

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