As the holiday season approaches, we’re all searching for the right present for our friends and family. The delight in their eyes just after unwrapping that perfect gift? Priceless.
Expanding possibilities with lithium-ion batteries
In recent years, batteries have advanced significantly. The most significant advancement has been the rise of lithium-ion batteries. Introduced in 1991, these batteries have grown in popularity because they are rechargeable and powerful. While we’re used to finding lithium-ion batteries in products such as phones, laptops and electric vehicles, now lithium-ion batteries are found in a stunning range of consumer products, from e-cigarettes to children’s toys, wearable technology to camera drones.
Lithium-ion battery technology offers some key benefits:
- Portability – When your devices are powered by lithium-ion batteries, a single charge can last for days, weeks or even months, depending on the type of product and how it will be used. This frees you from a tangle of charging cables, which comes in handy when offering a tablet to a child at the doctor’s office or bringing a portable espresso maker during your next camping trip.
- Performance – As the need for portable power has increased, so too has the reliability of these batteries. Lithium-ion batteries provide power for products as tiny as a rechargeable votive candle at a family table all the way up to technically advanced Mars landers and rovers.
- Lifespan – Lithium-ion batteries aren’t one-and-done products. They can be recharged hundreds or thousands of times, easing the burden on landfills and consumer pocketbooks. Meanwhile, the energy industry is developing more methods for lithium-ion recycling and responsible production.
The advantages for consumers are clear, but lithium-ion battery-powered products need to be treated with care. Reckless use, such as frequent dropping or overheating, can cause batteries to malfunction. Pay special care to children’s products featuring button-like lithium-ion batteries that can present a choking or poisoning hazard.
Tips for safe selection of battery-powered gifts
We’re all trying to get a jump on year-end holidays, birthdays and other festivities, but make sure to make time for safety when you’re shopping online or in a store.
Follow these helpful tips when selecting battery-powered goods:
- Know what’s inside – Carefully examine products so you understand how it’s powered, whether through lead batteries, lithium-ion batteries, electrical cords, etc.
- Look for the UL Mark – Online shopping sites often feature scores of reviews but determining the validity is challenging or even impossible. That’s why it’s so important to look for symbols such as the UL Mark. When you see the UL Mark on a product or product-listing page, this should give you the peace of mind that the manufacturer invested time and resources into having products tested against rigorous safety standards.
Checklist for safe gifting
The technology advances of the past few decades are astounding and many of them were powered by battery technology. Many changes in the quality and performance of today’s products are due to the development of lithium-ion batteries.
When selecting gifts this season, consider your recipient and how they may use the item. To make sure that your carefully selected gift has staying power, look for options with lithium-ion batteries.
Make sure to double-check for the UL Mark so both you and the user can breathe easy knowing that the battery inside meets relevant standards for safety.
To learn more about battery safety and UL’s industry-leading testing and certification services for lithium-ion battery manufacturers, please visit https://www.ul.com/services/battery-safety-testing