Electronic gadgets can be hungry battery eaters. If you are trying to figure out how to make batteries last longer, then here are 5 great tips to keep your money in your pocket when it comes to all those gadgets, batteries and their voracious appetites!
Most people have cell phones, cordless phones, eReaders, MP3s and more. We often wonder how we got on without any of these gadgets, but they all have one thing in common, they eat batteries!
1. Cellphones – Making batteries last longer in cellphones can be tricky but with these tips you will find it will mostly likely last you the life of the phone.
Skip the car charger – This has got to be one of the faster battery drainers around. I know this from personal experience!
Use a car charger for emergencies only. If you are down to your last bar of power and need to get help for you in your car, then plug it into the charger, but otherwise try and plan ahead and charge with the proper charger at home before you leave.
A car charger is not as direct a current for your cellphone battery the way the wall outlet at home is, so it will strain the battery, which of course will reduce its life, and the problem is those batteries are sometimes as much as the actual phone in cost. So, you want to take care of the battery that came with your phone.
If you really insist on using a car charger, then find one that is designed for your specific cellphone and not just a random universal one.
Let it Drain – If you can let the cellphone drain right down before charging it, it will help it to last longer between charges. This isn’t always convenient but if you see it is getting low on the way home from work or school, wait until before bed, turn it off and then plug it in for the night, it will be ready for use again fully charged!
Turn it off when you charge it. I know it can be hard to not have it on and be briefly out of contact, but it will charge much quicker and hold a full charge if you turn it off while it is trying to charge up. It will last longer.
2. Cordless phones at home – If you have a home phone and then have a few cordless ones for the extensions, then make sure you let it run down to about 15% charge left. With cordless phones, every time you take it out of its holder or cradle and then put it back, it counts as a charging cycle.
The problem with this is, that most of these cordless phone batteries are designed to be recharged between 300 and 500 times. So each time you take it off the cradle, use it, even for a minute to take a call or make a call then put it back in the cradle, this counts as one cycle.
So, if you can leave it beside the cradle after you use it, especially if you know there will be more calls to make or calls to answer, then put it back you will save many recycles. It is almost like a bank with these cordless phones. It is like you get to start with 500 dollars and then every time you pick up that phone from its cradle where it is in contact with the recharger it will cost you a buck when you put it back!. So, if you can make one withdrawal for the days calls, then you will make the batteries last much longer.
3. eReaders or Tablets or Laptops and even some MP3s – How to make batteries last longer in these devices? Make sure and charge them every month. These gadgets usually use lithium batteries, and if they are left to run down over a few months, they will no longer retain the ability to charge back up again.
Many people have found that out with their tablets and some laptops, that after months of not using it, then they try to use it, and it won’t hold a charge no matter how long it stays plugged in, and these are not cheap batteries to replace.
So, make a point the first of the month to charge these gadgets so that they will always be ready for you to use. A family member made this mistake when they had to be out of the country for work for 4 months and he left all his gadgets here, and when he got back his fairly new laptop would not hold a charge.
So, if you can’t be around, get someone to charge it up or plug it in, or even use it at least once a month to keep everything fresh, so you don’t lose that battery and its abilities to keep you portable!
4. Solar Lights – These are a great way to light up your gardens and paths without having to run expensive wiring and power connections! But like with anything else they have batteries, and if it is now the end of the season and you are seeing some lights on and some off, then don’t just throw them away, the contacts are probably dirty.
Take off the backing where the battery is, and with a cloth wipe the contacts between the battery and the gadget, then put the battery back in and see if it will work.
Photo Cell – Also make sure the area where the item absorbs the sunlight is not full of dirt. I had some solar garden lights that stopped working after a summer storm, and the little solar panels were full of dirt. So, clean that as well, and then let it sit out to absorb the sun and chances are it will be back on that evening. Making batteries last longer, is cheaper than having to keep replacing the fixture itself.
5. Don’t Leave Electronic gadgets in a hot or cold car – This will drain the batteries for sure and damage the gadgets, especially in the heat of summer. Plus this is a dangerous way to attract unwanted guests to your car if they see these electronic gadgets, so take them with you. The heat and the cold can totally strain the batteries making their life much shorter.