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What are CR123 Batteries Used For?

Batteries That Pack a Punch

CR123A batteries are compact, lightweight cells with relatively large voltages. This makes them ideal for applications that require tons of power while maintaining a small package. Digital cameras were some of the first devices to put CR123’s to use. Their bright flashes, LCD displays, and various other functions required the high voltage provided by lithium chemistry batteries. Today, as digital cameras adopt more proprietary power sources, CR123’s have become the go-to power source for high performance flashlights.

CR123’s are generally around 33.4 mm (1.31 in) long and 17 mm (.66 in) in diameter and they weigh only 17 grams (.6 oz). This makes them significantly shorter than a AA battery, whose length is over 44mm. While substantially smaller, the CR123 generates over twice the voltage, with 3 volts coming from each cell.

It’s this power-to-size ratio that makes them ideal for high-output devices like LED flashlights. With two CR123A’s in series, a light can get 6 volts from a configuration that’s far shorter than a 2 x AA light, which would only be generating around 3V.

Luckily for the users of high-performance devices that use CR123’s, lithium technology has come a long way over the past few years. PTC protection circuits are able to protect against a variety of once-common issues. This works by disconnecting the circuit between the battery’s terminals if either current or voltage becomes too high. Of course, this is only true of batteries with PTC protection, like all of the cells sold on CR123Batteries.com.

Still have more questions? Check out the guides in our Knowledge Center!