What batteries to use in Security Systems

By | June 1, 2015

This is a question we do get asked, our recommendations are listed below:

The questions are normally referring to the Batteries recommended for use inside Wireless Sensors on Internal & External Alarm Systems, which are often using standard sized batteries such as PP3, AA, AAA etc.

Should we use Lithium or Alkaline Batteries in our Alarm Sensors.

Should we use Lithium or Alkaline Batteries in our Alarm Sensors.

Internal Alarm Sensors:

In most cases sensors located inside warm & dry rooms work fine with standard Alkaline Batteries, but we would strongly advise using well known brands (which clearly advertise long life) and we would not recommend using cheap unknown brands or rechargeable batteries.
Some of these sensors may however be using the small coin shaped batteries, these will be lithium and they will need the same when time comes to replace them.

If the Internal Room where the Sensor is going to be fitted is prone to extreme cold conditions, then we would recommend using a Lithium Battery (see details for the External Alarm Sensors).

External Alarm Sensors: 

Sensors that are sited ‘Outside’ can obviously be prone to very cold conditions during the winter months, therefore we would recommend the use of Lithium Batteries for these sensors during the cold weather. Some customers will choose to use Alkaline Batteries during the warmer months and then switch to Lithium Batteries for the winter months, other customers will simply use Lithium Batteries all year round.

If you are using a Sensor inside a cold building, such as a Garage, Shed, Barn or Steel Container then it will also be worth considering using Lithium batteries during the colder months.


Alkaline batteries can perform below standard in particularly cold conditions, this is due to the fact that Alkaline batteries are designed using water based electrolytes, very cold weather approaching freezing point can lead to a sluggish, less powerful or even dead battery. Obviously the battery being fitted inside a sensor will be protected to some extent from the cold wind & temperatures.

Cold weather has also caused Alkaline Batteries to burst or leak in rare incidents.

Lithium batteries perform very well in cold conditions due to the fact that the operating temperature is designed to be around -40° to + 60°C (-40° to 140°F) although at -40° the performance is diminished, but they are more than effective at temperatures down to -20°C
( -4°F), therefore more suitable for Alarm Sensors being used Outside or in Cold Buildings.

Lithium  Batteries will also typically outlast an Alkaline equivalent by up to 6 to 8 times, but will cost at least 2 to 4 times more, therefore in most cases being better value.


We would not choose to use rechargeable batteries inside Security Sensors, it is our opinion they do not last very long between charges and do not have the performance of both the Alkaline or Lithium batteries.

Further advice available from Ultra Secure Direct

By Mark Walter Google