6V Lantern Battery Equivalents and Replacements
6V lantern batteries are small, rectangular batteries commonly used in lantern flashlights (hence the name), traffic light cones, and various industrial applications where a rather compact battery with a large-capacity is required.
Most 6V lantern batteries come with spring terminals, but for applications where secure fit is required, 6V lantern batteries with screw terminals are used more often.
6V Lantern Battery Features and Specifications
6V lantern batteries are commonly non-rechargeable batteries that feature two types of terminals (springs or screws) and are made using two different chemistries (carbon-zinc or alkaline).
Spring Terminal 6V Lantern Battery features physical dimensions of (H x L x W) 115 x 68.2 x 68.2 mm and are commonly labeled as 4LR25Y battery (IEC, alkaline battery), 4R25 battery (IEC, carbon-zinc battery), 908A battery (ANSI, alkaline battery), 908D battery (ANSI, carbon-zinc battery), but other labels are used as well, including Lantern 6V Spring-Top Battery, MN908 battery, 996 battery, PJ996 and similar.
Screw Terminal 6V Lantern Battery features physical dimensions of (H x L x W) 109.5 x 66.7 x 66.7 mm and are commonly labeled as 4R25X (IEC, carbon‑zinc), 4LR25X (IEC, alkaline), 915A (ANSI, alkaline), 915 (ANSI, carbon‑zinc) and similar.
Internally, 6V Lantern Batteries are actually four carbon-zinc or alkaline F-cells (4 x 1.5V) connected in series, providing the output voltage of 6 volts.
So, the nominal voltage of 6V Lantern Battery is obviously 6V, nominal cutoff voltage is 3.6 volts, while nominal capacity depends on the chemistry and is usually around 8-10 Ah for carbon-zinc and 15+ Ah for alkaline batteries.
However, actual capacity depends on many factors, including drain current, battery age, storage, and operating temperature, cutoff voltage of the powered device, and similar.
For example, Energizer 529 battery is an alkaline (Zinc Manganese Dioxide) spring-top 6V lantern battery that features a capacity of (measured @21°C, down to 3.2 volts):
- discharge current 25 mA: ~18Ah capacity,
- discharge current 100 mA: ~14Ah capacity,
- discharge current 250 mA: ~11Ah capacity,
- discharge current 500 mA: ~9 Ah capacity.
For more information about this battery, feel free to check Energizer 529 Battery Datasheet PDF (external link, opens in the new window).
Rechargeable 6V Lantern Batteries
Rechargeable 6V lantern batteries are not very common. Most rechargeable 6V lantern batteries are lead-acid batteries with three 2V cells connected in series.
Although such batteries can withstand hundreds of charging/discharging cycles, they are being phased out by the much lighter and environment-friendly lithium-ion batteries that are commonly built-in in the lantern flashlights and charged via USB ports and/or solar panels, making them ideal for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
Long Story Short: If You are looking for a 6V lantern battery, check what kind of terminals your battery needs to have and go for the battery from reputable brands.
Carbon-zinc batteries are cheaper but feature smaller capacity and somewhat shorter shelf-life. Alkaline batteries feature larger capacity, more stable output voltage, longer shelf-life, etc.
Considering their prices both carbon-zinc and alkaline batteries are reliable sources of electric power that can withstand rather heavy use - just be sure to know the limitations of these batteries and they will serve You well.