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Cconversion of old incandescent Maglite flashlights to Led's

dogman

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#1
Conversion of old incandescent Maglite flashlights to Led's

I have owned about every style of maglite that has been made over the years, and they all have suffered from the 'If you drop it while running you probably are going to blow the bulb' weakness they have, which is about the only weakness they really have.

Now I know they have started to make led models, tho those are the only ones I have never owned. All of mine are the old school ones and the youngest is in the 15 year range or more old. About a month ago I was thinking about my emergency lighting and walk-a-round lights, concerning battery life and lighting weakness when away from or not using backup power ac and dc.

Found there are drop in led bulbs for maglites that are completely turn key with no fuss or muss. With the added benefit of making the battery's last longer, better light output and the flash light dam near drop proof.

I bought the upgrade replacement led module, a 'Terralux TLE-6EXB MiniStar5 LED Upgrade (It uses a Cree core) for 2 and 3 cell C and D Maglites' for my 20+ year old three cell flashlight and I could not be happier!

Found mine on amazon for about $15.00 with shipping and the module should never need to be replaced! Now in the process of upgrading my other maglites to led modules and keeping the old bulbs for backup if ever needed.

I just hate to buy again what I already own. So the upgrade is for me well worth it, I love the scrapes and banged up look of my old flashlights. :cheerful:
 
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Eat Beef

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#2
I've been thinking about getting one myself, thanks for the review. Does the adjustable beam work with the LED?

The old 3&4 D maglights are great if that's all you're carrying, and they're big/tough enough to put a serious hurt on someone if you need to. The problem is that if you're trying to use one with a gun they're just too big. I also prefer the CR123 batteries as their shelf life is longer. Still, a maglight is tops for a general duty flashlight.
 

dogman

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#3
I've been thinking about getting one myself, thanks for the review. Does the adjustable beam work with the LED?

The old 3&4 D maglights are great if that's all you're carrying, and they're big/tough enough to put a serious hurt on someone if you need to. The problem is that if you're trying to use one with a gun they're just too big. I also prefer the CR123 batteries as their shelf life is longer. Still, a maglight is tops for a general duty flashlight.
Beef, everything works the same! Nothing changes, except you get a one hell of a brighter light with a better cleaner beam spread and with less artifacts in the beam and longer battery run time. Plus probably never having to buy another bulb for the light! When focused into a tight beam, my beam was tight and round,looked like a mini sun with no spots or artifacts, clean.

The specs say

140 Lumens
17 hrs run time and 7x brighter than a standard bulb.

Have not tested the run time yet, if ever. and the light is whiter and very much brighter!

This one methinks one can not go wrong!
 
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TomD

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#4
I've got a Fenix TK15 powered by a single rechargable 18560 battery (or two 123's).. It's about 1 inch in diameter X about 6", weights a few oz and is insanely bright (337 lumens max). It has totally redefined flashlight for me, the performance and size is just in another galaxy compared to older or cheaper lights. Waterproof and shockproof too.

Incandescent bulbs have been described as electric space heaters that put out some light as a byproduct. LED's can be 10 times more efficient in terms of lumens per watt.
 

dogman

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#5
Tom, I have to totally agree with you, Leds are the way to go period!

There is one philosophy that I go through life if I can, when it comes to flashlights and other common battery powered electric or electronic equipment.

My view is with battery powered stuff, I try and stay away from anything that takes specialized or hard to find not common (locally) battery's, as far as primary cells go. Where I can I do go with rechargeable types plus spares. Nothing is worse than the need too count on something and it dies, and finding replacements on the spur of the moment is darn near imposable.

Even the battery packs for my hand held ham gear, I find out what kind of cells they are using and buy enough replacement cells so I can rebuild my power packs.

These replacement led modules that I am putting into my old flashlights are a wonder, no more dropping the light and being in the dark! Yea!

Call me old school, I have learned to use my maglite with my defense guns very well over the years. And as stated in another post, if all else fails the flashlight does make a dandy club!

To each their own!

:wink:
 
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#6
My house and camp flashlight is an UltraFire C88, about half the size of a 2D cell Maglite, polished aluminum reflector, stainless bezel, all o-ring sealed, glass lens, Cree Q5 emitter, 3 light levels, uses 3 AAA cells.

Its replaced my old Q-beam spotlight.


http://img864.imageshack.us/img864/1360/c88.jpg
 
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#7
I have a double C MagLite with a LED i bought seperatly and could not be happier.

I like this set up a lot.

3 years life so far and still ticking.

E-A
 

Ishkabibble

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#9
I have purchased two fleabay LED flashlights and a couple drop in lamps for the Maglights but most died within less than ten runtime hours. I hope you have better luck than I did. I will not buy more.

Dinodirect sells 900 lumen LED flashlights for $40 shipping in. They are as bright as they advertise, waterproof, and more durable than any other light I've owned to date (with exception to mags, which I feel are on par for quality). You can see what I bought at http://www.dinodirect.com/led-tactical-flashlight-trustfire-tr-1200-cree-mc-e-5-mode-900lumens.html. They take 3.7V 18650 batteries, which are very cheap or free if you take apart a laptop battery pack.

The advantage of the drop in Mag lamps is that you can focus the beam. The Dinolights I bought are fixed focus but will sufficiently illuminate a tree three miles away, which is satisfying. It's twice as far as my mag will illuminate even when I focus the beam.
 

Fatboy

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#10
Lowes and Home Depot sell the LED replacement bulbs
They do AND historically on Black Friday they have had the entire new LED light for less than you can purchase just the replacement bulbs. Keep you eyes open, the new sale flyers should be "leaked" soon.

Sorry for bumping an old thread but this time of year, I put most of my "discretionary" purchases on hold untill the Black Friday ads come out. Everybody likes new gear and most everybody likes it when you can get more for the same amount of $$$$!
 

Garyw

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#11
Incandescent bulbs have been described as electric space heaters that put out some light as a byproduct. LED's can be 10 times more efficient in terms of lumens per watt.
I use incandescent lights to keep my pumphouse warm enough to keep the pump from freezing. It is getting expensive and hard to find 100W incandescent bulbs anymore. My take on good flashlights is most chinese flashlight fail with the switches. The LEDs are great too bad switches are poor. I got two duracell flashlights for christmas that are heavy, use c batteries they do have a wide angle to tight beam They also have a high power and low power setting by using the switch,and work excellent. I am impressed they came from Costco for 2 flash lights they were about 20 dollars. So far so good.
 

nickndfl

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#12
Stay away from ebay lightbulbs especially if they are from china. Most of the stuff burns out or goes haywire in a month.
 

wallew

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#13
I've been using Greg McGee Engineering LED flashlights for more than seven years.

I bought two, one small one that runs on three AAA batteries and one large one that runs on one rechargeable batteries (#18850) - and I got the 1200 lumen version on the larger of the two flashlights. Pretty dang bright and I could see well over 1/2 mile with no problems. Plus much smaller and way lighter than my four Maglights.

http://shop.gregmcgeeengineering.co...en-XM-L-1200-Lumen-option-on-checkout-007.htm

I like Greg McGee's flashlight so much, that I bought a second one about a year ago. I just had to have it. I'm considering purchasing two more. Never hurts to have great light when you need it. That and probably four rechargeable batteries per flashlight means years of trouble free operation.
 

oldgaranddad

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#14
I've converted 2 Mag-Lites to LEDs. A 4D cell model and a monster 6 D cell light. Both work great.
 

Alton

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#15
A Mini Maglite has long been a daily companion, almost like a pocket knife has been in my pocket since I was 8 years old. For the mini mag the Terralux upgrade has been the superior upgrade even over the Maglite LED mini mag. Nevertheless, there is a caveat here. You would be wise to coat the Terralux connecting pins with a dielectric grease before installing in your mini mag and perhaps larger Maglite models (I keep a 3-c-cell model at the house). Oxidation and unintended condensation can oxidize the Terralux pins and if you pull the unit from the mini mag it will also pull the connectors from the mini mag lamp base and you WON'T be getting them back in thereby hosing the mini mag. I have NOT experienced such difficulties with my 3-c-cell Maglite but it is not in and out of the cold weather or handled and abused like my mini mags.

Also on Amazon I've been able to find crystal glass lenses for all my Maglites. Highly recommended for strength, clarity and brightness over the Maglite poly lenses!