PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — You’re probably finishing up your holiday shopping and chances are there are some electronics on your list.
If you’re figuring out which batteries to buy to power those devices, Consumer Reports has put some of the most popular brands to the test to help save you money and time.
With three kids who love their electronic toys, Sylvana Timmerson goes through a lot of batteries. Like any mom, she wants to get her money’s worth.
“I can’t afford to buy batteries every week if they’re not going to be long lasting,” she said. “I have other areas where I’d rather spend the money.”
Since AA batteries are the most widely sold, Consumer Reports tested a dozen – including ones from Rayovac, Energizer and Duracell as well as store brands.
They tested different types, including lithium, nickel oxyhydroxide and alkaline.
“If you have a device that you use a lot or uses a lot of power like a digital camera, you may want to spend more money on lithium batteries or rechargeable batteries,” said Jim Langehenning, of Consumer Reports. “They cost a lot more than regular batteries but you’ll end up saving a lot more in the long run.”
To measure how long batteries last, testers loaded them into identical digital cameras.
They zoomed three times, took five photos with the flash, zoomed three more times, then took five photos without the flash. They repeated the test again and again until the batteries died.
The best battery for digital cameras and other high-energy use devices is lithium. The top-rated lithium battery was the Energizer Ultimate Lithium. Consumer Reports also liked the Energizer Advanced Lithium.
For remote controls and other devices that use less power, alkaline batteries are more economical. In that category, the Duracell Ultra Advanced was the top rated, and second was the Duracell Copper Top.
For toys, Consumer Reports recommends re-chargeable batteries to save money. While most alkaline batteries can be thrown out in the trash, re-chargeables should be recycled because they contain toxins that shouldn’t go into a landfill.