Our Theory about Batteries January 18 2013
Rechargeable batteries are everywhere, and there is an appeal in the idea of creating less waste through re-useable batteries. Little USB rechargeable bike lights are adorable and convenient. How come the Blink / Steady isn't USB rechargeable?
Less complexity for us.
Our main misson in making this light was to make something well made, simple and durable. In making something that can last a long time, complexity is generally the enemy. To this end, we didn't want to sacrifice more space and complexity on the circuit board for a recharging circuit. We've really crammed as much as we can into a tiny space.
Long long life.
Cell phones and laptops and anything with a Lithium-Ion or Lithium-Polymer battery can recharge for many many cycles, but eventually that battery pack dies and you need to throw it out. Often these battery packs are customized (as they would have to be in our light) and is integrated into the part, and you ultimately have to throw the whole product away.
Have you ever pulled out an old calculator from 15 years ago? Put new batteries in it and it still works. Blink / Steady lights are designed to last a long time, and you should always be able to find some AAA batteries and keep your Blink / Steady going for years to come.
Less toxic and recycleable.
Though Alkaline batteries used to be hazardous waste, batteries now contain far less mercury than they used to and are suitable for disposal in the landfill along with your regular trash. Because they contain many fewer heavy elements than Lithium batteries or NiCad batteries, they are also less toxic to recycle.
Life Cycle Analysis
Of course we can't be sure whether or not we're doing the right thing by using standard alkaline batteries. We feel like we probably are, but the life cycle analysis of a Lithium-Ion Battery vs an Alkaline is hard to find. Anybody have any real facts? The above is just what we feel is right.