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Maglite Flashlight - Cheap/easy way to upgrade to LED?

MrCookieBar 1,776 1,706 July 6, 2012 at 10:45 AM More Amazon Deals
I have a couple of old incandescent flashlights (D cell and AA cell), and I'm thinking of upgrading to a LED bulb.

Amazon has some $15 replacement bulbs, but I want a slickdeal!!!
http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&r...lbs&page=1

Dealextreme has plenty of flashlight parts. But I don't want to spend $30 upgrading a ten year old flashlight. Or buy something that doesn't fit.

Candlepower forums has some interesting projects. But I just want something that just drops in. Replacing parts is okay, but I don't want to use a soldering iron, or change my flashlight into a rocket launcher.
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Joined Aug 2005
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#2
Why, pray tell, are you interested in spending money on upgrading an old flash light when you could just buy a new flash light?
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#3
Quote from kakomu View Post :
Why, pray tell, are you interested in spending money on upgrading an old flash light when you could just buy a new flash light?
It's cheaper.
- Upgrade (full price - see my link) is ~$14.
- New Maglite LED is ~$25.

Plus, some of the reviews say the upgrades are superior to the newer Maglite flashlights.
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#4
Make a post over here http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/content.php those guys are the experts. You will however probably get laughed at because these guys spend hundreds of dollars on flashlights and maglights are very consumer to them.

They like to run rechargeable lithium cells batteries to get more voltage that LED's like to get more lumens out of them.
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Vague questions receive vague answers . . . . . .
#5
Quote from MrCookieBar View Post :
It's cheaper.
- Upgrade (full price - see my link) is ~$14.
- New Maglite LED is ~$25.

Plus, some of the reviews say the upgrades are superior to the newer Maglite flashlights.
You can get a brighter flashlight for $9 [meritline.com] or the much brighter one for $17 [meritline.com]. The only reason I would keep a D cell Mag is if I needed a flashlight for more than 5 continuous hours or to use as a baton.
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#6
Quote from flea View Post :
You can get a brighter flashlight for $9 [meritline.com] or the much brighter one for $17 [meritline.com]. The only reason I would keep a D cell Mag is if I needed a flashlight for more than 5 continuous hours or to use as a baton.
Thanks - I already have the $9 flashlight. SlickDeal from Meritline for about $5. It's a nice pocket size flashlight.

My American-made Maglites are "man-size" with D-cells.
- Seems like a larger size is more convenient when I'm working in the dark on the car, or around the house.
- Those big flashlights are great for quick kinetic energy transfers, when required. Cool
- If there's a power outage, it would be nice to have a flashlight that will run for 100+ hours on those D cells.
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Joined Jun 2010
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#7
Quote from MrCookieBar View Post :
I have a couple of old incandescent flashlights (D cell and AA cell), and I'm thinking of upgrading to a LED bulb.

Amazon has some $15 replacement bulbs, but I want a slickdeal!!!
http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&r...lbs&page=1

Dealextreme has plenty of flashlight parts. But I don't want to spend $30 upgrading a ten year old flashlight. Or buy something that doesn't fit.

Candlepower forums has some interesting projects. But I just want something that just drops in. Replacing parts is okay, but I don't want to use a soldering iron, or change my flashlight into a rocket launcher.
Harbor Freight has cheap to free 9LEDs running on 3xAAA with purchase.They also have C and D cells flashlights too.
Flashlight - Harbor Freight Tools [harborfreight.com]
12" 15 LED 3D Flashlight Gordon - Item#94524
8" 4 LED 3AA Flashlight


Review each product before buying


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#8
Wal-mart and others sell generic brand Mag-Lite LED upgrades. I got one for a 2 AA cell Mag-Lite for under $5.
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#9
Quote from larrymoencurly View Post :
Wal-mart and others sell generic brand Mag-Lite LED upgrades. I got one for a 2 AA cell Mag-Lite for under $5.
Could not find any at my local Walmart yesterday. Plenty of plain old replacement bulbs, but no upgrades.
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#10
Do yourself a favor and look for a deal. The LEDs they use in those replacement kits are surface mounted to a custom pcb. The pre-mounted emitters you can buy online look quite a bit larger than those and if you buy just the emitter you would have to surface mount it. Then you have to deal with designing the circuit and, depending on the design, you could reduce the lifespan of the LED (HINT: throwing a single resistor into the mix will work but won't qualify as long lifespan design, but that may be ok). And then finally you have to deal with heat dissipation and making sure that the heatsink you mount the thing to is large enough to dissipate enough heat (Again, too much heat means lifespan and light output reduce significantly). There's quite a few design factors you have to consider and it's by no means out of reach, but just realize that this will be a labor of love, not a cost saving opportunity.

EDIT: Good site to get LEDs from. http://ledsupply.com/
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Last edited by brbubba July 9, 2012 at 07:41 AM
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Reading comprehension isn't just for school children!
#11
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#12
I've used the ones from Walmart before. Upgraded a 4D maglite and compared it to a brand new 3D LED maglite. The maglite LED one seems a little better. I got the 3D one for $10 on BF from Lowe's IIRC (I know, doesn't help you now). As for the AA mini maglites... I've converted some with the Walmart kits ($6-8 I think). My experience with those ones has been terrible. They work OK and get good battery life, but light output is very low.

Anyway, based on cost and performance, you might be able to find a better deal actually replacing the maglites than the bulb. On the other hand, if you find something better, let us know! I've got a few mini maglites lying around...
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#13
Quote from MrCookieBar View Post :
Could not find any at my local Walmart yesterday. Plenty of plain old replacement bulbs, but no upgrades.
They used to sell one that used a single LED and included an end cap with a pushbutton that replaced the original and contained the electronics.
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#14
Quote from MrCookieBar View Post :
Could not find any at my local Walmart yesterday. Plenty of plain old replacement bulbs, but no upgrades.
Try Wal-Mart.com with Web2Store Shipping.
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