6-Volt Lantern Battery
6-Volt lantern battery is a heavy-duty rectangular battery, commonly used in camping lanterns (hence the name) and similar flashlights, but also in various other applications where high-capacity, heavy-duty batteries are required.
As usual, 6-volt lantern batteries come in several chemistries and are often labeled differently, which may cause some confusion among the consumers.
Published: December 9, 2020.
6-Volt Lantern Batteries Features and Specifications
6-volt lantern batteries come as batteries with either spring-top terminals or screw-top terminals.
6-volt lantern batteries with spring terminals are more common for everyday use, while models with screw top terminals are used where extra firm connection between battery terminals and wires are required.
Also, 6-volt lantern batteries can be rechargeable and non-rechargeable - in most situations, non-rechargeable 6-volt lantern batteries are used.
And, to make things more interesting, non-rechargeable 6-volt lantern batteries can be carbon-zinc batteries or alkaline batteries.
To keep things as simple as possible, in most situations non-rechargeable zinc-carbon or alkaline 6-volt lantern batteries with spring terminals are used.
Spring-Top 6-Volt Lantern Batteries
Spring-top 6-volt lantern batteries feature physical dimensions of (H x L x W) 115 x 68.2 x 68.2 mm, with a positive terminal in the corner and a negative terminal in the center.
Common labels for these batteries also include MN908 battery, 996 battery, 4LR25Y (alkaline), 4R25 (carbon-zinc), 908A (alkaline), 908D (carbon-zinc), etc.
Note: some brands use 'in-house' labels, like Energizer EN529 and similar. But, they all also label these batteries as '6-volt lantern batteries'.
Screw-Top 6-Volt Lantern Batteries
Screw-top 6-volt lantern batteries feature physical dimensions of (H x L x W) 109.5 x 66.7 x 66.7 mm, with a positive terminal in the corner and a negative terminal in the center.
Common labels for these batteries also include 4LR25X (alkaline), 4R25X (carbon-zinc), 915A (alkaline), 915 (carbon-zinc), etc.
Internally, 6-volt lantern batteries feature four 'F-size' cells (33x91 mm) connected in series to provide nominal 6 volts.
Nominal capacity depends on the battery chemistry and load:
- carbon-zinc 6-volt lantern batteries usually feature nominal capacity in the 9-12 Ah range,
- alkaline 6-volt lantern batteries usually feature capacity in the 12-18 Ah range, although some low-current models feature nominal capacity up to 26 Ah. Most heavy-duty alkaline batteries have a capacity in the 12-15 Ah range.
Note: nominal capacity depends on the discharge current, discharge temperature, cutoff voltage of the device, and similar.
Personally, it is better to purchase a heavy-duty 6-volt lantern battery with good reviews and with somewhat lower nominal capacity that has been tested/used by numerous users in real-life situations, than the battery that has not been tested/used much, but have excellent features, at least on paper. Just my 2c.
Rechargeable 6-Volt Lantern Batteries
Rechargeable 6-volt lantern batteries are not as common as non-rechargeable models.
Rechargeable 6-volt lantern batteries may feature different chemistries, including:
- lead-acid chemistry: 3 flat cells, with a nominal voltage of 6 volts and capacity in the 4-5 Ah range,
- four NiCd F-size batteries in special battery holder: nominal voltage of 4.8 volts, capacity 6-7 Ah, may provide very strong currents,
- four NiMH F-size batteries in special battery holder: nominal voltage of 4.8 volts, capacity 12-18 Ah.
Note: Some manufacturers offer battery holders for D-size cells (34.2 x 61.5 mm), which have lower capacity (4-6 Ah NiCd, 8-12 Ah NiMH), but are often easier to find than F-size cells (33 x 91 mm).
Most rechargeable lanterns that are offered on the market use either non-rechargeable spring-top 6-volt lantern batteries or they feature built-in high-capacity rechargeable lithium-ion batteries which are recharged via USB port and chargers.
Long Story Short: If You are looking for a 6-volt lantern battery, go for a spring-top non-rechargeable 6-volt lantern battery from reputable brands.
While carbon-zinc batteries feature relatively short shelf life and somewhat smaller capacity, they are rather affordable batteries.
Alkaline batteries offer larger capacity and a shelf life of up to 5 years but cost somewhat more - if You need just a couple of these batteries (regardless of the use), perhaps alkaline batteries are the better choice, despite the price difference.
And when the old battery is replaced by the new one, dispose of the old battery properly - recycle it!