CR123 is a cylindrical lithium-based battery used in small devices like cameras, light meters, smart home gadgets, etc. It has a nominal voltage of 3V and a capacity of up to 1500mAh. It weighs only 16.5g and has an excellent shelf life of up to 10 years. The length of this battery is 34mm while the width is 16.5mm.
Duracell manufactures CF123 batteries with a maximum shelf life of 96 months(8 years).
What does CR123 stand for?
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) decides nomenclature of batteries.
- The prefix C indicates that the battery uses lithium chemistry, specifically LiMnO2 (Lithium-Ion Manganese Oxide).
- R denotes the battery shape, i.e., round
- The numbers that follow denote the size of the battery. 123 denotes that this battery is two-thirds the size of a standard battery.
Must read: Important Battery Terms & Characteristics Explained (with Examples)
What is a CR123 battery?
CR123 is a primary battery with a power capacity of up to 1500mAh. The positive terminal (i.e., cathode) is made of heat-treated manganese dioxide. In contrast, the negative terminal (anode) is made of metallic lithium. Due to a chemically stable composition, the battery capacity remains almost the same (~90%) even after 10 years of preservation at ideal conditions.
High voltage can harm electronic devices. That’s why PTC (Pressure, Temperature, Current) protection is built into the CR123. It disconnects the battery from the circuit if the current exceeds a threshold.
CR123 Battery Equivalent
CR123A batteries are lithium-based batteries and equivalent to CR123 in almost all specifications. Other equivalents for CR123 are 123A, 2/3A, BR2/3A, CR123, CR17345, CR123A, CR23, DL123A, EL123A, K123LA, L123A, SF123A and VL123A.
CR123 vs CR123A Batteries. Which One is better?
CR123 and CR123A are almost similar in most aspects. Some of the important differences between them are explained in the table below:
|Weight||16.5 g||16 g|
|Length||34 mm||34.4 mm|
|Width||16.5 mm||17 mm|
If the battery dimension is not a concern, prefer the CR123A battery. It has a slightly higher battery capacity than CR123.
CR123 Battery Specifications
A CR123 battery (manufactured by Energizer) can provide a continuous current of 0.30mA for a load of 100 ohms for up to 60 hours. It can give a pulse discharge of 1800mA (3sec ON/ 7 sec OFF) for approximately 50 minutes, keeping the voltage almost constant (~2.5V). More specifications of this battery can be found in the table below:
|Operating Temperature||-40°C to +70°C|
|Typical Volume||7.0 cubic centimeters|
|Max Rev Current||2 uA|
Read also: 9 Types of Battery Sizes & Where are they Used?(AA,CR2032)
CR123 battery is compact-sized and has higher energy density. That’s why it is used in high-current draining applications. The following are some applications of CR123.
- LED torches
- Digital cameras
- Security devices
- Military equipment
- Alarm systems
- Portable lighting system
- Safety equipment
- Security sensors
- Smoke detectors
- Motion detectors
How long do CR123 batteries last?
The lifespan of a CR2013 battery depends on its frequency of usage. If the battery is used continuously for an application requiring 0.30mA current, it will last up to 60 hours. But if the battery is used occasionally, or not used at all it can last up to 8~10 years.