Re: making lights
I agree whole heartedly! This is only temporary, and it will be fixed. Another reason SLA batteries die quickly is that they're designed to be maintained at a charge, not continually discharged and charged like normal flooded batteries. My job entails a lot of battery research, and we're doing a lot with SLA batteries right now. The one in particular we are using is designed for use in warehouses as a backup power supply. What we're trying to do is figure out the best way of maintaining the battery in a constant use environment, which has proven difficult. One thing is to let it slowly discharge a small amount (say 5-15% of capacity) and recharge only the amount of amps that has been discharged. Do that for a week, then do a deeper discharge (about 25%), then followed by an equalizing charge for a specified number of hours at a certain rate. This is all dependent on the size/model of each battery, but we are slowly gaining data for many types. This, of course, is the "normal" method of use. When the battery is needed, it gets used and recharged depending on how deep the discharge was. It does get confusing, and i dont think I'll really be paying that close of attention to the amp-hours charged and discharged to be completely honest. I'm just going to use it and charge it as necessary.
I figure that if I get a year's worth of use out of it, I'll be happy. $25 isn't going to kill me.