What’s the Best Smart Battery Charger for Deep Cycle Batteries?
So you’ve invested in a deep cycle battery. Now you need to charge it, but not just any charger will do. Like mobile phones and TVs, battery chargers are getting “smart”. So unless you’re the nostalgic type who still uses a flip phone, you’ll want a smart charger. But what’s the best smart battery charger for your deep cycle battery? Read on to find out!
What is a “Smart” Battery Charger?
First of all, what is a smart battery charger? Like a smartphone, it’s an upgrade for older technology. Smart battery chargers do more and know more. By knowing, we don’t mean they’ll spy on you–they simply know when to stop charging. This means they won’t overcharge your batteries and ruin them. No need to stand around waiting and watching until you think your battery is fully charged so you can unplug it. What a relief!
Advantages of a Smart Deep Cycle Battery Charger
Besides the anxiety-reducing “set it and forget it” feature, smart battery chargers have other advantages over traditional chargers:
- Prevent damage due to overcharging or undercharging
- Save money by prolonging the life of your battery
- Charge batteries more efficiently
- Lithium smart chargers can charge batteries faster
- Monitor your charge via Bluetooth (compatible lithium batteries only)
- Provide constant current, constant voltage (CCCV)
- Can display charge levels and time to charge (when charging lithium batteries)
- Often are smaller and weigh less than traditional chargers
How to Pick the Best Smart Battery Charger
Here’s the bottom line: the best smart deep cycle battery charger is the one that meets your needs. When you’re sorting through the endless options out there, here’s what you should consider:
Your charger must support your battery type.
Some smart chargers support a few different battery types, like lithium, AGM, and lead acid. Others only work for one type. You’ll need to pick a charger that matches the type of battery you own.
If you use a lithium battery, we suggest using an Ionic Lithium smart charger, as opposed to a charger built for another type, but that is also compatible with lithium. Why? Because a lithium smart charger ensures you can take advantage of all the benefits of lithium batteries, such as a faster charge, and anxiety-busting Bluetooth capabilities.
Your charger should match your battery’s voltage.
This part’s easy– but extremely important. Choose a battery charger that matches the voltage rating of your battery. For example, if your battery is rated 12 volts, you need a 12V battery charger.
Consider the amp rating/charging time.
Besides voltage rating, battery chargers also have an amperage rating (A). This rating must be compatible with the amp hours (Ah) of your battery. Keep in mind that these two numbers won’t be an exact match. Here are some guidelines for choosing the best smart battery charger when it comes to amp rating:
- A charger’s amperage rating affects how fast your battery will charge. For example, a 12V 4A battery charger will charge a 12 volt lithium battery at a rate of 4 amps per hour. This means that it can fully charge a 12V 12Ah battery in 3 hours.
- In general, the higher the A rating of your charger, the faster your battery will charge.
- Don’t buy a charger that has too low of an amperage rating for your battery. This can cause your battery to charge at a snail’s pace. For example, a 3A charger would take 30 hours to charge a 100Ah battery.
- Make sure the amp rating isn’t higher than the amp hour rating of your battery. That can damage your battery.
Single or Bank Charger?
Do you want to charge a single battery? A single smart battery charger will do the trick. What about charging 2 or more batteries at once? In that case, the best smart battery charger for you is a bank charger.
Check out this 4 bank smart charger that can charge 2, 3, or 4 batteries all at once. When used with lithium LiFePO4 batteries, you can view the charge level as well as time to charge. As an added bonus, it’s not just limited to lithium. You can charge lead acid or AGM batteries with it as well, and combine different battery types and charge them at the same time.
The Best Smart Deep Cycle Battery Charger Overall
As you may have already guessed, the best smart battery charger on the market right now, and the most technologically advanced, is the Ionic Lithium Charger. And when you use it to charge lithium batteries, it just can’t be beat.
This winning combination ensures both your battery and the charger are “smart”. You’ll be able to take advantage of the latest technology, designed to eliminate “battery woes” like overcharging, slow charging, and reduced battery life span.