Home security systems work great when they have power, but with today’s wireless options, ensuring that the energy keeps coming can be a bit of a challenge. They need great batteries to keep them going for long periods of time without fuss, and these batteries also have to be able to to fit into ever-smaller components. The batteries also need to be reasonably inexpensive so that you have no hesitation in replacing them when necessary.
There are several options that meet these criteria. Here are some of the top choices:
- Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)
- Lithium Iron Phosphate
Unlike lithium-ion batteries, plain lithium ones aren’t meant to be rechargeable. Instead, they are good for supplying low levels of power for prolonged periods of time, or for supplying sporadic bursts of energy and holding their charge in between. For this reason, they are common in computers (where they are typically used as the CMOS battery), hearing aids, watches, and other such equipment.
In home security systems, lithium batteries are great for the control panel, entry alarms, smoke detectors, and other such components. These components are typically in a “standby” state unless something specific happens to activate them.
These are the kind of non-rechargeable batteries that you can get in pretty much any grocery, hardware, or big-box discount store. Their prevalence makes them the simplest choice, but they are not the best. While they can now hold a charge for about a decade when not used at all, they discharge fairly quickly once put into operation. That said, if you need batteries for your system in a hurry, you can always find some of these. Replace them with lithium or a rechargeable option when you can.
Nickel Metal Hydride
Unlike the above two kinds, these are rechargeable. Like all rechargeable batteries, they tend to discharge faster than their non-rechargeable cousins. The upside is that you can recharge them over 100 times, so you save plenty of money on replacement costs. This composition has all but replaced the older Nickel Cadmium type, and it offers many benefits over that version. It has no memory effect, holds a charge longer, and does not need special disposal.
Despite these positives, NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries have one drawback: They’re not good for low-drain components like alarm sensors.
Lithium Iron Phosphate
Also known as LiFePO4 batteries, these are the latest in rechargeable batteries. They have more stable chemistry, and deliver 3.2V. Due to the voltage, this option does not replace 1.5V batteries, but other voltages are likely to become available in the future.
Which Batteries to Use?
Security system manufacturers will surely recommend a battery type for all of their equipment. Some may even claim that their recommended kind is the only kind that will work. Sometimes these claims are far too restrictive, but it’s still a good idea to make sure that using another kind won’t void the warranty.
If you decide to select a battery type on your own, one of the best options is lithium. Even though these aren’t rechargeable, they can handle the low drain of alarm sensors and similar equipment. You also don’t have to worry about discharging them too much, while this is an ongoing concern with many rechargeable options.
For those interested in helping the environment, rechargeable would seem like the way to go. Unfortunately, not all of these are compatible with all systems and components. You may find that you’re actually better off going with a more universally-accepted non-rechargeable type and then taking those batteries to a recycling center when they’re used up.
Check Out Protect America’s Home Security System
For a monitored system that includes cameras, entry alarms, monitored smoke detection, home automation, and an easy touchscreen control panel, try Protect America. This wireless offering includes up to $1,400 worth of free equipment with a signed contract. Service starts at just $19.99 per month.
Of course, Protect America will provide the information you need about batteries and compatibility, so you won’t have to wonder what will work with your system. This way, you’ll be able to keep it running for years to come without any hassles. Just contact us for more information and to get a quote.