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CR123A Battery Basics: Buying Guide and FAQ

Author: Apogeeweb
Date: 18 Feb 2022
cr123a batteries



Ⅰ CR123A Battery Basics

    1.1 What is a CR123A Battery?

    1.2 Maximum Capacity of the CR123A Battery

    1.3 The Manner of Applications of the Batteries

Ⅱ CR123A Battery Specifications

    2.1 Technical Specifications of the CR123A Battery

    2.2 Non-Rechargeable CR123A Battery Specifications

    2.3 Rechargeable CR123A Battery Specifications

Ⅲ Top 4 Considerations to Choose the CR123A Lithium Battery

Ⅳ Choosing the Best CR123A Batteries

Ⅴ Shopping for CR123A Batteries

Ⅵ Why Use CR123A Batteries for Arlo Cameras

    6.1 Higher Voltage

    6.2 No Voltage Drops

    6.3 Lighter Weight

    6.4 Longer Battery Life


    1. Why is it Called a CR123A?

    2. Are there Rechargeable CR123A Batteries?

    3. Can I Use 2 x CR123A Batteries Instead of an 18650 Battery?

    4. Why do I See Names like EL123A, 123A, and K123LA?

    5. Are all CR123A Batteries the Same?

    6. How Long does a CR123A Battery Last?

    7. What Battery is Equivalent to the CR123A Battery?

    8. Are CR2 Batteries the Same As CR123A?

    9. Where to Buy CR123A Batteries?

    10. Are CR123A and CR123 Batteries the Same?

    11. Can you Recharge a CR123A Battery?


CR123A Batteries, also known as 123 batteries, are high-capacity lithium-ion batteries that are widely used in security alarm systems. They are the preferred choice of PIR sensor manufacturers in wireless alarm systems due to their high capacity and long life. A CR123A battery can last up to three years in this application before needing to be replaced.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about the CR123A battery.

Top 5 batteries that will blow your mind!

By this video, you will know which CR123A Battery is best for you.


 CR123A Battery Basics

1.1 What is a CR123A Battery?

The CR123A battery is a cylindrical cell lithium battery. The shape is reminiscent of a smaller version of a C Cell Battery, or, to put it another way, it resembles a can. These batteries are widely used in a variety of applications, ranging from medical devices to military-grade technology. Because this battery has so many applications, it is very popular and, as a result, can be difficult to find in stock. Furthermore, the lithium nature of the CR123A battery allows for a shelf-life of up to ten years before use, making storage simple. The CR123 battery, also known as CR17345 and DL123A, is used in professional photography equipment. It measures 34mm in height and 17mm in diameter, has a nominal capacity of 1500mAh and can be used to replace the SF123 and Innotek BAT-003 batteries.

cr123a battery

CR123A battery

1.2 Maximum Capacity of the CR123A Battery

CR123A cells have a higher battery capacity, which is typically rated at 1500 mAh. In general, a higher capacity RCR123A cell will have a lower maximum drain rating than a lower capacity RCR123A cell.

1.3 The Manner of Applications of the Batteries

The most noticeable difference between the two types of CR123 batteries is how they both work. A CR123A power cell is a type of battery that is only intended to be discharged, and it must be properly disposed of once it is drained and empty.

RCR123A cells, on the other hand, are rechargeable batteries that can be discharged and recharged multiple times. As a result, they are an excellent choice for small electronic devices that are frequently used. Because of this distinction, each type is suitable for a variety of applications.

 CR123A Battery Specifications

2.1 Technical Specifications of the CR123A Battery

CR123A Battery Nominal Voltage:

3.2-3.3 Volts

CR123A Capacity (Lithium)

  1550 mAh

CR123A Operating Temperature:

-20°C – 75°C

CR123A Height:

34.2 mm

CR123A Width (Diameter):

17.0  mm

CR123A Chemistry:

Lithium Manganese Dioxide

2.2 Non-Rechargeable CR123A Battery Specifications

A non-rechargeable CR123A cell typically has a capacity of 1500 mAh and a nominal voltage of 3 volts. It has a life expectancy of seven to ten years, making it an excellent choice for home security devices and standby electronics that can be used in emergencies.

A non-rechargeable CR123A cell is also designed to withstand high current drains, making it an excellent choice for devices that require a large amount of power in a short period.

2.3 Rechargeable CR123A (RCR123A) Battery Specifications

An RCR123A or rechargeable CR123A battery typically has a capacity of 500 to 800 mAh and a voltage of 3.6 or 3.7 volts. However, as a cell designed to be recharged and used multiple times, RCR123A is a desirable power cell that is recommended for frequently used devices.

Top 4 Considerations to Choose the Cr123A Lithium Battery

  • CR123A batteries are fully charged and ready to use when they arrive in the package. They will typically keep a full or near-full charge for at least ten years. They will also keep a fully charged state for roughly the same amount of time even when stored inside the flashlight.
  • Because CR123A batteries have more capacity than rechargeable batteries, they will have longer run times. Because the voltage remains more constant as the capacity of the battery is depleted by use, the light will typically continue to operate at a reduced output even as the capacity of the battery becomes quite drained.
  • When rechargeable 16340/18650 batteries are stored for up to a year, they gradually lose some of their charges, often up to 30%. Their capacity degrades quickly during use, but they keep the voltage at or above their nominally rated level very well. Rather than gradually dimming, your light will continue to provide full output until the batteries are depleted, at which point it will abruptly stop.
  • A standard CR123A battery may be better for you if your tactical light needs a battery that is ready for immediate use, with full capacity even if it may sit relatively unused for periods.

 Choosing the Best CR123A Batteries

CR123A batteries are widely used in modern digital cameras, security systems, and even high-output flashlights. Even though there are a plethora of CR123A battery options available, the quality and battery life are far from standard.

Best CR123A Battery | Batteries (Top 7 best in 2021)

 Shopping for CR123A Batteries

Battery life and shelf life are both important considerations when shopping for CR123A batteries because they determine how long your batteries will last while being used in electronic devices or sitting in storage. Another important consideration is compatibility, as not all rechargeable CR123A batteries will work in devices that accept standard CR123As. It is best to check your device's owner's manual before purchasing to ensure that a rechargeable option will work for your device. Finally, consider your electronic device's power consumption. If it consumes a lot of power, consider using high-quality batteries with longer battery life or a rechargeable option to save money in the long run.

 Why Use the CR123A Battery for Arlo Cameras

6.1 Higher Voltage

The CR123A battery has a higher voltage than other batteries, so they can provide enough energy to your Alco Security Camera. The voltage of CR123A batteries is 3.0 volts (nominal). The most common voltage for a CRA123A battery is 3.7 volts.

6.2 No Voltage Drops

The constant voltage curve of a Lithium CR123A battery allows for high power. Voltage drops can cause erratic performance, putting a security system's performance in jeopardy, especially if it's connected to a wireless network.

6.3 Lighter Weight

The CR123A is lighter than most batteries. Most CR123A batteries are significantly lighter than AA batteries.

6.4 Longer Battery Life

The CRA123A has a battery life of 3 – 5 years on average, which is why it is known as a camera battery. When compared to other types of batteries, these batteries are more durable and last longer.


1. Why is it Called a CR123A?

The name of a CR123A cell, like that of many other batteries, contains a wealth of information about its chemistry and size. The CR denotes the battery's chemistry, a prefix used by the IEC to indicate the use of lithium chemistry, specifically LiMnO2. The 23A refers to the battery size, which in this case means that the CR123A is two-thirds the length of a standard A-size battery.

2. Are there Rechargeable CR123A Batteries?

Yes, but they're also known as RCR123A or 16340 batteries. They are 16mm shorter than CR123As, use lithium-ion chemistries, and typically have lower energy capacities. The RCR123A battery typically has a voltage of 3.6–3.7 volts, and not all flashlights and cameras can use both CR123As and their rechargeable counterparts.

3. Can I Use 2 x CR123A Batteries Instead of an 18650 Battery?

Occasionally, but not always. Some 18650 battery-powered flashlights and devices have long, spring-loaded interiors to account for varying battery lengths, allowing for the use of two CR123A batteries. Because 18650s are slightly thicker than CR123As, a battery sleeve may be required for a secure connection. We always indicate whether our flashlights are compatible with multiple battery sizes so you don't buy the wrong size cell, and you can shop for CR123A flashlights here.

4. Why do I See Names Like EL123A, 123A, and K123LA?

These are just variations on CR123As, which can also be referred to as 123, 123A, CR23, and other abbreviations. Some battery manufacturers brand their products, such as Duracell's DL123A and Energizer's EL123A.

5. Are all CR123A Batteries the Same?

No. The size, terminals, and nominal voltage of the CR123A battery are the same as for any other size. Any CR123A battery should fit in any device that requires one, but this is not always the case, as I discovered when I tried to use some cheap ones in my light meter. However, just like an AA battery, there are cheap ones that may only last an hour or two in a device, whereas a good name brand one may last 5 times as long. Most of the time, you get what you pay for. That Duracell battery will outlast an Amazon Basics or Dollar Store brand battery. And, because a CR123A is a 3-volt battery, some are a single lithium cell, while others are two alkaline cells connected in series. Both are functional, but lithium is more powerful.

6. How Long does a CR123A Battery Last?

The lifespan of a CR123A battery is heavily dependent on the battery's manufacturing quality and application. Assuming the battery is new and purchased from a reputable source, there is still a wide range of service life available depending on usage. A CR123A battery may last less than a month for a frequent application that requires a large amount of energy, such as a soldier's weapon light. With the right conditions, the service life of a more passive application, such as a home security alarm panel, can be over a year. Essentially, how long your CR123A battery will last is determined by what you require it to do.

7. What Battery is Equivalent to the CR123A Battery?

Although there are no direct replacements for the CR123A battery, there are batteries that are similar in size but have different chemistries and capabilities. The 16340 battery, for example, is the same size and shape as the CR123A, but it is made of lithium-ion rather than lithium manganese dioxide. This means the 16340 is rechargeable and can be used in the same places as a CR123A. Even though the 16430 battery will fit, it may not perform as well as a CR123A battery or have the same life span.

8. Are CR2 Batteries the Same As CR123A?

The CR2 battery is not interchangeable with the CR123A battery. Because the CR2 battery is slightly shorter than the CR123A battery, it will not fit in the majority of applications that require a CR123A battery. These batteries do have some similarities, such as the fact that they are both made of lithium manganese dioxide and are both 3 volt batteries. 

9. Where to buy CR123A Batteries?

CR123A batteries are very common and well-liked. This means that a wide range of manufacturers produces these batteries, and a wide range of retailers sell them. It's important to remember that not all CR123A batteries are created equal, and not all retailers are equally committed to quality. To avoid low-quality or, worse, counterfeit batteries, only purchase your batteries from a highly reputable retailer who sells only the highest-quality brands.

10. Are CR123A and CR123 Batteries the Same?

Yes. The CR123A and CR123 batteries are interchangeable. These batteries are also known as 123, 123A, DL123, DL123A, and SF123.

The letter C in CR123A and CR123 denotes a lithium battery. The letter R stands for round, and the number 123 represents one-third. So 123 batteries are one-third the size of cell batteries. Some manufacturers add the letter A to indicate that the cell is an A cell.

11. Can you Recharge a CR123A Battery?

The CR123A is a non-rechargeable 3v lithium cell with a 17mm diameter and 34.5mm length. Because it is not rechargeable by definition, the answer is no.

However, rechargeable batteries of the same size and voltage as a CR123A are available. A 16340 Li-ion cell, for example, is 16mm diameter and 34.0mm long, with a fully charged voltage of 3.7v, so this would be a compatible battery for some devices - you'd need to check with the device manufacturer.






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