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Pila Rechargeable Batteries & Charger, retail (see below) (
Manufactured by Permalight (Asia) Co., Ltd. (
Last updated 07-06-04

I've never reviewed a rechargeable battery set before, so please bear with me here.

Q: What do you think of when you hear the term "Lithium Ion"?

A: If you're like most people, you probably think of those fragile rechargeable batteries that blow up on you when you try to recharge them or short them out.

The Pila 150S and 168S cells might make you think differently of these cells though.
The 150S cells are 1.5x the length of standard CR123A cells; they're designed to be used in pairs in place of three CR123A cells in some types of flashlights.
The 168S cells are 2.0x the length of CR123A cells, and are designed to take the place of two CR123As in some types of flashlights.

The Pila 168S fits directly in my SureFire L4 LED flashlight, so that's how I'll be testing it. I do not have a 3-cell (9 volt) flashlight to test the 150S cells in, so they're on the back burner for the time being.

The picture at the top of the page is of the Pila charger by itself, without the batteries. You'll see the batteries farther down this page.

The cells should arrive to you already fully charged, or just needing 10 minutes or so on the charger just to be sure they're topped off.

The above picture shows a 168S cell in the charger, being topped off.

The 150S cells will fit directly in the charger; just be sure the polarity is correct. Be sure the (+) and (-) signs embossed in the charging cradle are aligned with the (+) and (-) signs on each battery. Insert one or two of the cells into the charger, and plug it into a standard (United States) 110-120VAC outlet. Red lights on the charging cradle should then come on and let you know the battery / batteries are being charged. After approximately three hours (assuming the batteries were fully discharged), the red lights on the charging cradle should turn green. You can then unplug the charging cradle, remove the batteries, and install them in whatever they came out of.

To recharge one or two 168S cells, be sure the charger is unplugged first. Unscrew and remove one or both of the brass inserts you see in the charging cradle. Then, follow the charging instructions I gave for the 150S cells directly above.

The rated capacity of the 150S cells is 1,000mAh, and the 168S cells have a capacity of 1,400mAh.

As soon as I have the time, I'll run the 168S in my SureFire L4 (a light I *know* it works in!) and put it in my computerised automatic battery destroying satanic robot death machine, and then post the chart it creates right here.

This is a rechargeable battery set, not a flashlight. So I won't try to flush them, run over them with a 400lb electric wheelchair, slam them into a steel rod, let the dog go to the bathroom on them, or perform any other indecency on them that a flashlight might have to go through.

The individual cells have a circuit inside them that prevents the cell from becoming overcharged or overdischarged. I don't know what this circuit consists of, but since it is a safety device, I'd probably better not monkey around with it.

These cells have a self-discharge rate of approximately 2% per month. So if the device you put them in just sits unused for a year or so, you may not get the full capacity of the cells. The solution here is simple: just pop them in the charger every few months (once every four months is a good place to start) and they'll be good as new again.

The plug on the charger is not polarised (the "hot" side of the plug has the same size blade as the "neutral" side), so you *could* get zapped from the brass inserts or other exposed metal on the charger if the plug is in wrong.
Best avise here: put the batteries in the charger, plug it in, and leave it alone until the charge cycle is complete.

I checked my charger using a neon bulb with one side in my hand and the other touching metal on the charger, and did not get the bulb to light regardless of which way I had the plug in the wall or if it had batteries in it or not. But I've heard that some users have gotten zapped after touching metal on the charger while it's plugged in, so please take these results with large amounts of crystalline sodium chloride (lots of grains of salt).

This picture shows a 150S cell and a 168S cell.

Recharging cradle, 1 168S cell, and 2 150S cells were sent by Jon Burlinson ("JonSidneyB" on Candlepower Forums) and received on 12-10-03.
I've never reviewed a rechargeable battery set before, so please bear with me here.

IMPORTANT: Jon Burlinson's website isn't quite finished yet, so please don't email me saying something like "it doesn't work".

Retail prices of these batteries and charger from J.S. Burlys are:
150S $21/each, 168S $27/each, AC charger $43.
These prices are accurate as of mid-February 2004.

UPDATE: 12-18-03
The 168S cell works in the SureFire KL1, the SureFire KL4, and the Likki Lights AK-38. I know this, because I've tried the cell in there.
It does NOT fit in the Inova X5 or Inova X5T; the flashlights have a slightly too small inside diameter barrel for the cell to fit inside the flashlight body.

It fits in a SureFire Centurion M2 Millennium body, but I don't know where my KL3 bezel is, so I can't test it on one. The incandescent bulb does work, but you aren't supposed to use Pilas in such a high current device. So I can't recommend these batteries for an incandescent like that.

UPDATE: 12-23-03
The two 150S cells work in the Space Needle II, a homemade/modified flashlight that some of you might have. They also work in the Hyper Lux V, a flashlight made by TNC Custom Products.
Both of these flashlights use a 5W Luxeon Star LED and three CR123A disposable lithium cells.

UPDATE: 01-06-04
I tried the 168S cell (to replace the two CR123A disposables) in the new LEDXTREME PREDATOR, and it did not fit. The barrel of the flashlight has too small an inside diameter for the Pila cell to fit.

UPDATE: 01-11-04
The Pila 168S cell fits in and works in a Streamlight TL-2 LED. The light is dimmer in this flashlight (414,000mcd with a Pila 168S) vs. the two CR123A disposable cells it normally uses (792,000mcd with CR123As), but it's still plenty useful.

UPDATE: 01-16-04
I found my SureFire KL3 bezel a little while ago, and the first thing that came to my mind was "I wonder if this will work on a Pila 168S cell". So I tried, and it DOES indeed work.
The KL3 bezel is on a Millinnium Centurion M2 flashlight body.

UPDATE: 02-23-04
The 168S cell was tried in and works in the Positron Laser (a modified flashlight built in a SureFire C2 Centurion body). I know not a lot of these things are out there, but if you have one, this battery will work in it.

UPDATE: 02-26-04
A Pila 168S rechargeable lithium ion cell fits in and works in the SureFire L5. So if you're not easily able to obtain CR123A cells for this flashlight, you can use this battery in there and not have to buy CR123As at all.

UPDATE: 07-06-04
A Pila 168S rechargeable lithium ion cell fits in and works in the Pelican M6 LED flashlight. It runs more dimly (210,000mcd for the Pila, vs. 640,000mcd with disposable CR123A cells), but it DOES fit in and work in this flashlight.

Directly replaces CR123A disposable cells in MOST flashlights that use them

They do not work in ALL flashlights

    MANUFACTURER: Permalight (Asia) Co., Ltd.
    PRODUCT TYPE: Rechargeable Li:ION batteries + charger
    No. OF LAMPS: N/A
    BEZEL: N/A


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Pila Rechargeable Battery Set *

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