Owners of electronic devices are familiar with AAA, AA, C, D, and 9-volt batteries and their everyday use. However, the LR44 is one of the most ever-present battery models, yet it is still an unknown product for many people. Most may not know what an LR44 battery is by name but will likely recognize what it is on sight.
The LR44 battery has become indispensable in recent years because of its widespread use in many smaller handheld electronic devices. Most consumers own a product that runs on a LR44 battery. Anyone who uses portable electronics probably has a device powered by a LR44 battery without even realizing it.
What Is an LR44 Battery?
LR44 batteries are also known as button or coin batteries because their small size and round shape resemble those of a button or a coin. They are also known as coin batteries because people use a coin to open the battery case.
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which sets and governs the international standards for all electrical-related technologies, assigns the name of the LR44 battery. The letter L represents the alkaline chemistry of the battery, and the letter R represents the battery shape, which is round. The 44 represents the battery’s dimensions, precisely its height and diameter.
What Types of Devices Does an LR44 Battery Power?
The relatively low weight, small size, and inexpensive price of the LR44 battery make it one of the most frequently used power sources for smaller electronics. Examples of portable electronic devices with an LR44 battery include cameras, watches, toys, remote controls, garage door openers, calculators, flashlights, electronic keys, computers, medical devices, and digital thermometers.
The reasonably low cost of the LR44 battery, dependable performance, ample availability at retail outlets, and its compatibility with other smaller electronics are the primary reasons why the LR44 battery is frequently used to power those devices.
Types of Coin or Button Batteries
The market has numerous varieties of alkaline, silver oxide, and lithium button or coin batteries. The LR44 battery is 1.5 volts, alkaline-based, and is disposable when its voltage runs out. With 1.55 volts of power, silver oxide batteries have a slightly higher energy capacity and are also disposable.
Some portable electronic products contain the more expensive and longer-lasting lithium versions of the LR44 battery, which have 3 volts of power. Most lithium coin or button batteries are disposable, but at least one rechargeable battery model is available.
Is the LL44 Battery Interchangeable?
There are equivalents to the alkaline LR44 battery in silver oxide models only. Alkaline and silver oxide coin or button batteries come in different sizes, so buying the appropriate battery for the specific device is essential.
It is important not to replace an alkaline LR44 battery with a lithium equivalent because of the differences in voltage. This difference could damage the device being powered if it works at all. That is why it is essential to check the manufacturer’s recommendations before purchasing replacement coin or button batteries like the LR44 battery.
LR44 Battery Equivalents
Several manufacturers produce alkaline and silver oxide versions of the LR44 battery. The alkaline equivalents to the LR44 battery include model numbers AG13, L1154, LR1154, 76A, A76, and 157. The silver oxide versions of the LR44 battery include model numbers SR44, SR44SW, 303, and 357.
When buying a replacement for an LR44 battery, referencing a chart that lists the precise equivalent battery model numbers that can be used in place of the LR44 battery will save money, time, and effort and help avoid damaging electronic devices from using the wrong battery.
LR44 Battery Usage Life
It is hard to give a specific usage life for an LR44 battery because different factors influence its life span, such as how many LR44 batteries it takes to power the electronic device, the frequency of the device usage, and the amount of energy the appliance uses over time. This is a different measurement from the battery’s shelf life.
Generally speaking, electronic devices powered by an LR44 battery that are used regularly will require replacement batteries more often than devices used less frequently.
LR44 Battery Shelf Life
Since it is difficult to predict the usage life of the LR44 battery accurately, its packaging typically displays the battery’s shelf life, which describes the length of time the LR44 battery is still functional when it is not in use. Depending on the device, the average shelf life for a LR44 battery can last as long as up to three years.
However, batteries that are not being used gradually lose their energy and will not work after a while. This should not discourage consumers from purchasing spare LR44 batteries for use at a later time, especially for electronic devices that are used heavily and may require frequent battery changes.
LR44 Battery Pros and Cons
The LR44 battery is versatile in its use. It offers multiple benefits, such as maintaining its performance in high and low temperatures and having a longer performance life than other battery types. The LR44 battery is highly potent relative to its small size.
The primary downside to the LR44 battery is most commercially available models are not rechargeable, so they have to be disposed of once they have reached the end of their life. This can be an issue for consumers looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Safety Measures for LR44 Batteries
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has established a mandate for manufacturers to follow to help ensure the safe usage of coin and button batteries like the LR44 battery. The main safety measure adopted by battery producers to prevent them from being accidentally ingested is the addition of a coating on coin and button batteries that gives them a bitter taste if a small child or pet puts them in their mouths.
Other LR44 battery safety precautions required include warning labels for the battery or the packaging and included literature, the addition of battery compartment performance requirements, and specially marked packaging. Child-resistant packaging is another safety precaution that LR44 battery producers have implemented in accordance with the CPSC’s requirements.
To ensure compliance with the product safety mandates for the LR44 battery and other coin and button batteries, the CPSC requires battery manufacturers and importers to issue a General Certificate of Compliance (GCC) for electronics designed for general use and issue a Children’s Product Certificate (CPC) for electronics intended for children’s use.
Careful Use of LR44 Batteries
The compact size and light weight of coin or button batteries make them convenient for usage in smaller electronic devices. Those same features also make them a hazard for small children and pets. LR44 batteries can be extremely harmful or even lethal to small children and pets if they swallow them.
The risks from ingesting coin or button batteries can include ruptures that cause chemical leaks, choking, collapsed lungs, and aspiration pneumonia. There are specific measures adults can take to minimize the health risks to small children and pets that can result from ingesting button or coin batteries.
To prevent the accidental ingestion of button or coin batteries:
- Identify any electronic devices powered by them and store them out of the reach of children and pets.
- Store unused coin and button batteries in a secure place where they cannot be easily accessed.
- Ensure friends, family members, and childcare providers know the risks of coin and button batteries to small children and household pets.
Handling Expired LR44 Batteries
Many single-use LR44 batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, silver, and cadmium. They may also contain lighter metals, such as lithium. They should not be disposed of with regular household trash. Properly disposing of LR44 and other types of coin and button batteries mostly depends on their chemical makeup.
To reduce the risks to small children and animals and to prevent environmental contamination from the chemicals contained within coin or button batteries, it is essential to dispose of them properly. Whether the coin or button batteries are made from lithium, silver oxide, or alkaline, they should be taken to an authorized battery recycling facility for safe handling and proper disposal.
Proper Disposal of Expired LR44 Batteries
When it is time to dispose of them, LR44 and other coin and button batteries can be taken to retail stores with battery return programs, designated battery recycling companies, and municipal hazardous waste collection services that collect household electronics that no longer work. Keep them away from small children and household pets for their safety.
When disposing of undamaged LR44 or other coin and button batteries, it is important to keep them separated from other batteries. Wrap the entire battery in electrical tape or enclose each individual battery in a separate plastic bag. This helps to prevent the batteries from coming into contact with each other. In the case of lithium batteries, this interaction poses a fire risk.
If the LR44 or other coin and button battery leaks or is otherwise damaged, contact the manufacturer or a local government waste management agency for guidance on their safe disposal.