How much is inside a couple of "D" cell batteries? Like lipstick, no one seems to know how long batteries last in your flashlight. As part of the planning for the flashlight party, I got together with Colleen and Julia to find out.

Julia, Colleen and I had two flashlights and two sets of batteries, a cheap set and a high-tech looking pair of Duracell D cells with M3 technology.  The label described them as Ultra The Most Powerful Duracell Battery.

We made wagers regarding which flashlight would last the longest. 

Guesses for the Duracells: Rob 45 minutes, Julia 6 hours, Colleen 9 hours, Vincent guessed about 2 weeks, but give him a break, he is only 5 years old.

How long do you think a couple of  "D" cell Duracells will last?

At exactly 8 pm, we started the cheapo batteries in the chrome chinese flashlight, but efforts to get the cheap orange Home Depot flashlight were fruitless.  We would have to do this one set at a time. First the "super heavy duty" eX-cell batteries, then the Duracells in the same flashlight.

With one flashlight blazing, we decided to take care of all the tasks around Colleen's apartment that could use a little flash-light.

We checked the circuit breakers!
We found out what was making that snapping sound out back!
We checked the pilot light on the water heater!
We scoured the bathroom for Colleen's earrings!
We fixed the leak in the kitchen!
Within two hours, I knew my guess had been wrong.  The flashlight showed no signs of dying.  midnight, one a.m., two a.m., I was falling asleep.  I didn't was to miss the flashlight's finale, so I made note of the time and went to sleep.

Imagine Colleen & Julia's surprise when I showed up the next morning at Noah's bagels with my flashlight still going! 

The flashlight lasted all day! 

I had expected much less out of those two little batteries.  I think it was because they are so small, it is hard to imagine anything taking so long to empty out of them.

That night I turned off the flashlight again, it had dimmed a little, after 20 hours of use. and again I didn't want it to die in my sleep.

So there I was.   The weekend was over and I had a dentist appointment. I brought along the flashlight.

I had begun to notice that people are unnerved by a flashlight that is on for no apparent reason. The dental hygienist wanted to turn it off & so did Ken.  So did the guy at Carl's Jr.

The batteries were lasting and lasting..and these were still the cheap-o batteries.  after about 33 hours, the flashlight had lost most of its power, and was now just a brown circle of light.  It was enough to read by, but I wouldn't want to have to find a lost contact lens with it.

After 40 hours the flashlight was down to a little glowing wire.  It was pretty much useless, and the wire glowed for about 7 hours before it went completely dead.

Now it was the Duracell's turn.  At a retail price of $3.69 for the pair, they were going to have to be very good indeed to match the value of the 48 cent eX-cells.

They were going to have to be 7 times as good.

On Wednesday morning, I loaded up the Duracells & they began their quest for knowledge.  I thought that they would probably beat the cheap batteries, but that they would have a hard time doubling their burn-time.

All day and night Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday they lasted.  The Duracells lasted, and were retaining almost their full power throughout the test. Impressive. Finally on Sunday night they died.  116 hours in total! 

I had no idea batteries lasted this long! My experience with flashlights is that they work for 5 minutes, and then get very, very dim, so how is it that these batteries lasted so damn long?  


In any case, I was now certain that the batteries would be adequate for party-use...unless the party went for 4 or 5 days.


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