So, you have your new lights, and you get the batteries all charged up and start to play and practice with them, do a few shoots and needless to say your impressed with the lights and the battery set up. But Lithium batteries, well in fact any battery, needs maintenance and care to maximise their life. Here is where you may potentially have an issue in the future.
Months later, after you have been busy using your lights on a regular basis, you may have now been busy doing family stuff for a few months and not using the lighting as frequently. This situation may give you a few issues with your batteries if you are not aware of a few basic things to do with your lithium batteries.
The following potential problem should not be seen as an issue with the batteries, but something some people are not aware of.
The best way maybe to give an understanding of potential issues is like this.
Winter arrives or you pop your 2nd car into the garage for a long period. You have put your car into storage for winter or maybe just a few months as it is a nice sports car. But in this case, you would probably connect your battery to a Trickle Charger to keep it charged as the battery charge will naturally fall over a period of time. You may well indeed remove the battery and again connect it to a trickle charger. Unfortunately, you cannot trickle charge your lithium light batteries, so we have to take care and run a bit of maintenance on the batteries ourselves.
So, months later you are ready to use your lights, out with the batteries and chargers, plug the chargers in and you MAY be faced with a dead / shutdown protected battery. Here is a list of dos and don’ts that you would need to follow to keep your batteries running correctly.
· Remove your batteries from your lights at the end of each shoot as a precaution anyway, but always when you are storing them for a period of time over more than a few days.
· Check the charge whilst on the light heads, before removing and storing, if they are nearly flat, pop them on charger.
· They do not need to be fully charged, in fact better if they are not in a fully charged state, so 50% plus charge, should be perfect for storage.
· Set up in your calendar a MONTHLY reminder to check and charge your batteries, if necessary, charge only if they have depleted, which should not be much at all.
· Get the batteries onto your lights and pop them a few times and check the battery level on the heads, this is a better indication of the power than the LEDs on the actual batteries.
· Pop the batteries back to where you store them, in a cool place with NO hugely varying temperature movements.
· Rinse and Repeat Monthly
· Give your chargers and cables a general visual check.
· Do not leave your batteries attached to the heads when not in use.
· Do not store them in an area of high temperature.
· Do not store them or leave them for any period of time in direct sunlight, like inside your car, even whilst travelling to and from jobs. Car boots are cooler for transport or next to a studio window with the sun shining onto the lights or batteries.
· Do not plug your batteries in and go to bed leaving them charging over night for the mornings shoot or leave them for excessive periods on the charger at any time. Once charged, remove them from the chargers.
· Do not empty your batteries to 0% on a shoot, always try to swap out with fresh batteries when they get down to a single bar, or as you can during the shoot.
If you are swapping out batteries during a busy all-day shoot, allow the battery you have taken off to cool, before placing on chargers. As an example, when I am doing multiple subject fast shoots, along the lines of 6 pops per minute of the lights for hours at a time. I use 3 CITI400PRO’s and have 3 spare batteries always ready to swap out during the shoots, where I can pop the lights up to 3000 plus times per shoot during the day.
PiXAPRO CITI600 Range Batteries
Not specifically for PiXAPRO PRO battery range, but they do have a protection shut down built into them. This can be reset if you should find yourself with a non-charging battery, just contact your retailer for assistance.
So, a few simple tricks and to dos, to keep those batteries working away for you for many years with no issues.