Lithium batteries are more expensive than their alkaline equivalents, but perform for a much longer lifespan.
In a case study on Energizer AA batteries, using Energizer Ultimate Lithium and Energizer Max Alkaline, the lithium batteries were shown to outlast the alkaline batteries for 8 and even 10 cycles longer. Furthermore, Lithium Batteries hold on to their full voltage to almost the end of their charge life, while alkaline batteries decrease their voltage output throughout their performance.
Photographers, radio communications experts, and those who depend on medical devices prefer lithium batteries.
There are some cases in which alkaline batteries are preferable. Microphones and Smoke Alarms use alkaline, not lithium batteries. Alkaline batteries are less likely to present a fire danger. Airlines warn against bringing lithium battery cargo unless special safety packaging and permits have been arranged.
At room temperature, and under normal circumstances, lithium batteries are safe. Their cost per hour of operation is actually less than that of equivalent alkaline batteries. A Lithium Battery may cost 5 times more than an Alkaline Battery, but it will last for about 8 to 10 times longer in operation, with a similar shelf life when not in use.