The new Ikea Ladda batteries are a good choice if you use batteries for your flashes, LED panels, flash triggers and other devices. I discovered them recently and decided to buy two packs of 4. After using them on my flashes for some days, I see no real difference from the Powerex Imedion I use. So I am investing in a few more packs because batteries are something I use a lot.
With a price of $6.99 for each pack of 4 AA type batteries, the new batteries from IKEA are a real bargain. A pack of 4 AA Ni-MH, 2000mAh Panasonic Eneloop costs somewhere around $14.99. The Ikea Ladda, which are LSD Ni-MH (Low Self-Discharge nickel-metal hydride), offer 2450mAh.
Eneloops are rechargeable up to 2100 times while the new Ikea Ladda only accept up to 500 charges. This may explain the difference in price. Or it may not, as some people who tested the batteries say that they’re rebranded Eneloops Pro. Eneloop Pro batteries have a capacity of 2550mAh, are rechargeable up to 500 times and each pack of 4 costs $36.10. People in different forums online suggest the Ikea LADDA are Eneloop Pro. Physical characteristics, charge and discharge cycles point in that direction, they say. Even if they are not, the difference in price suggests which direction many people will go. I included!
There is another aspect to consider: the Ikea batteries are “made in Japan”, where there is only one manufacturer of LSD batteries: FDK. Does it mean that different brands in the market – Amazon Basics, Black Fujitsu, Eneloops Pro and “IKEAloops” as some call them – all come from the same place? Ikea now offers two capacities in AA batteries: 2450mAh and 900mAh, both sold at the same price.
Although I did not test the new batteries, I used them with my flashes, as I do with my Imedion batteries, and saw no difference. I use Powerex Imedion AA 2400mAh which cost $12.91 per 4-Pack along with some old GP Recyko AA 2100mAh. I used Sony CycleEnergy and Eneloops before, but had problems with both brands (like leaking Eneloops, probably those Panasonic makes in China), so stopped using them altogether.
When I first bought the IKEA batteries I thought to use them on devices like remote flash triggers, that don’t need as much power as flashes. Now that I tried them with my flashes, I guess I will use them as my Powerex Imedion, which cost almost double. The Ikea Ladda batteries are quite new in the market, told me a sales assistant at the Ikea I visited. On the same visit, I bought a battery charger that works as expected and allows to charge 12 batteries, AA or AAA.
The Storhogen battery charger with storage costs $34.99 and offers 12 separate charging channels. That makes it possible to charge up to 12 rechargeable batteries at the same time, and to mix AA and AAA batteries. In terms of design, this is not a professional looking charger. It looks like a book, especially when closed, and the marketing does suggest it can be placed in a bookshelf or on a table. This is a slow charger, so if you need to charge your batteries rapidly, you need to look elsewhere. Rechargeable batteries, though, will have a longer life cycle when charged slowly, so this is a good solution to have home.
My regular charger for batteries is the Powerex MH-C800S 8-Cell Smart Charger for AA / AAA NiMH / NiCD batteries. It charges up to eight AA or AAA nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) or nickel-cadmium (NiCD) batteries in approximately 1-2 hr. The charger has eight independent charging circuits capable of charging 1-8 batteries in any combination. A large LCD screen shows the charging status of each battery. You have a choice of rapid and soft charge modes. Rapid charge enables eight batteries to be fully charged to their maximum capacities in 1-2 hr. Soft charge takes about 3-4 hr but provides greater battery life, as well as compatibility with older, lower-capacity batteries.
The Powerex MH-C800S has an integrated deep conditioning system which charges, deep-discharges and then recharges batteries automatically, in order to offer maximum rejuvenation. The eighth generation MH-NM7008 Powerex Precision Microprocessor ensures batteries are charged to their maximum capacities without being over- or undercharged. It affords maximum battery longevity, delivering just the right amount of charge every time. All this for $39.95.
Looking at the specifications, the Powerex MH-C800S is, no doubt, the best solution. But the Storhogen charger from Ikea allows me to charge 12 batteries at once, and that makes sense to me. Furthermore, it charges batteries individually and offers safety of operation through a separate safety timer and temperature sensor. After fully charge batteries, charger will go into trickle charging, enables batteries to be stored in the charger. The LCD display indicates charging status and also damaged or non-rechargeable batteries.
With the Powerex MH-C800S used to charge, test and condition batteries and the Storhogen to recharge batteries, I’ve the capacity to recharge many batteries at a time. I am also curious to see how the Ladda batteries perform after a few charges. Brand new batteries need 2 to 3 times of charging and usage cycles to optimize the battery performance. From what I read online, the charge capacity of these “Ikealoops” improves with use, so it will only get better. Not bad for some $6.99 batteries from Ikea. Are these Eneloops? Who cares, if the price is good and they work!
One final note: Ikea has other rechargeable batteries and a small charger you might want to look at. I centered my attention on the Ladda and the Storhogen charger because they are the kind of products I use.