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  • OT: flashight bulbs

    I have been looking for LED replacement bulbs for my 4 D cell Maglights, I have 5, for a while without any luck and yesterday I found some at a Harbour fright store, $10.00.

    Put It in this morning and it actually worked, the light output seems to be much brighter than a filament bulb, battery life should increase by a factor of 10 (according to the chart on the package back) and bulb life should go way way up (OK I bought it at HF so it might burn out tomorrow).

    It would seem that LED bulbs are becoming more commonly available.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

  • #2
    I bought LED replacement bulbs for my d-cell maglights 5 years ago.... from Home Depot. And they had been available prior to that....

    Comment


    • #3
      I've been doing the LED flashlight mods for about 10 years. Making and modifying my own flashlights is part of what got me into machining.

      The problem that Maglite replacement bulbs have is that there is no where for the heat to go inside that big old flashlight. The LED module might fit in the little metal holder but that is encased in plastic. A good LED module will have a limiter that will cut back the power as it gets close to overheating. They work, and they are better than the original bulb, but they are not perfect. A more effective replacement will do away with the stock mount and include a heatsink that conducts the heat to the outside of the flashlight.

      I still have 3 cell Maglite s hanging around, but they are part of my 'long life' group of lights for extended power outrages. They are low power, about twice the brightness of the stock light but will last for days. For normal use I have pocket sized lights that will run for 10 to 40 hours and are 10 to 20 times brighter (or more) than a stock Maglite.

      If you want to be amazed, check out these little bitty imports from China. For a couple of bucks it will light the yard or a tree 200 feet away and will do it on a AA battery. The beam is kind of weird since it is focused by a big lens but it's quite functional. http://www.amazon.com/FordEx-Group-3...4456870&sr=8-1

      Another interesting one is The Ultrafire 502B which has a much prettier beam but will evenly illuminate the whole backyard with no problem at all. I recommend getting the battery and charger too. It's less than $20. http://www.amazon.com/UltraFire-WF50...4456870&sr=8-3

      Eventually, you might want to look at the fancier lights from Surefire, Fenix, Streamlight, Pelican and McGizmo along with a lot of others. Expensive but quite nice.

      Welcome to the world of fancy flashlights.

      Dan
      At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

      Comment


      • #4
        I've seen replacement LED's for some of the Mag Lights at Wal-Mart.

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        • #5
          The one I bought looks just like a regular flashlight bulb but has an LED emitter instead of a filament.
          The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

          Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

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          • #6
            danlb.

            What is the deal with the Cree XML T-6 powered lights that
            are described as having 1,800 lumen output. The LED itself
            is only good for 1,000.

            .

            Comment


            • #7
              Chinese lumens
              Steve

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              • #8
                Or multiple emitters.

                .

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am extremely fond of a little NiteCore EZ AA I got a couple years ago and has lived in my pocket since. I am prone to losing such things, so I thought I'd pick up another just in case. Alas, it is no longer in production. The replacement that is coming has 3 light levels that can change automatically depending on how you aim it. Sounds weird, but cool; we'll have to see how it does. They call it a SENS-AA.
                  I'm here hoping to advancify my smartitude.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You ought to check out the newer stuff... picked up a Nitecore P25 Smilodon from Amazon earlier this year, love it. Even has a built in USB charger for it... cool stuff.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post
                      danlb.

                      What is the deal with the Cree XML T-6 powered lights that
                      are described as having 1,800 lumen output. The LED itself
                      is only good for 1,000.

                      .
                      You have to take the lumens claims with a LARGE grain of salt. The light resellers often just throw out a number that is larger than the competition. Then the competition looks at their advert and increase their claims. It takes expensive equipment to accurately measure lumens, so they don't worry about consumers call "foul".

                      To get to the 1000 lumen mark for more than a few seconds you need some very good cooling and a power source that will put out 3 amps for an extended time. You will not find both of those in a palm sized flashlight. As an LED heats the light output goes down. The Cree T-6 loses 30% of it's light at 150C. A 10 watt LED like the T-6 will hit 150 C in no time flat with poor cooling.

                      My Ultrafire 502b draws only 1.5 amps from a 3.75 volt battery. That should put it around 500 lumens. Compare that to the 4D mag which is supposed to put out around 75 lumens with fresh batteries, and less than 50 after a few minutes as the batteries run down.

                      I know folks who have pushed LEDs well past the design power. They use active cooling with massive heat sinks and custom battery packs. The light output is impressive. These are the same folks that have modified Maglites so that they will light a piece of newspaper on fire.

                      Daniel
                      At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by caveBob View Post
                        You ought to check out the newer stuff... picked up a Nitecore P25 Smilodon from Amazon earlier this year, love it. Even has a built in USB charger for it... cool stuff.
                        Oh, there are MANY nice new lights. I have a Nitecore Defender on the kitchen counter for peeking into cabinets. A very nice light. But then again I have at least 1 flashlight within reach of every spot where we spend time. There are only 5 on the end table to the left of my chair, and 2 more (and a laser pointer) to the right of me. 4 next to the back door. 5 next to the front door. 2 next to the garage door... Several of these were more than $100 when new. Now my once rare 200 lumen 3 D maglite is humdrum. Oh well.

                        Dan
                        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks.

                          Guess I can set aside the notion of playing the beam
                          of one of those nine emitter, 11,000 lumen flashlights
                          on the surface of the moon.

                          Would those 8000 lumen driving light clusters as sold
                          by Baja Designs (similar to units from Deal Extreme) be
                          more likely to fulfill their potential as a result of a vehicle's
                          greater electrical and heat dissipative capacities? The
                          days of multiple 8" Cibie units w/ 100W halogens has past.

                          .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post
                            ......... The
                            days of multiple 8" Cibie units w/ 100W halogens has past.

                            .
                            Perhaps, I know it's just a matter of time until technology catches up in order to make some of these new light sources practical.
                            Until then on, my truck at any rate, 100W airplane landing lights (deer lights) at 13-15 bucks a pop still make a very compelling reason to stay with the old tech solution...at least for now. Those babies really light up the night!

                            But yes I can appreciate the new wave of led lighting. I'm starting to switch a lot of my lighting already to led, and the only "conventional" flashlights I have in service look like candles in comparison to my led ones.
                            Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                            Bad Decisions Make Good Stories

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post
                              Thanks.

                              Guess I can set aside the notion of playing the beam of one of those nine emitter, 11,000 lumen flashlights on the surface of the moon.
                              You can certainly shine it on the moon. Just don't expect to see the reflection.


                              Would those 8000 lumen driving light clusters as sold by Baja Designs (similar to units from Deal Extreme) be more likely to fulfill their potential as a result of a vehicle's greater electrical and heat dissipative capacities? The days of multiple 8" Cibie units w/ 100W halogens has past.
                              Unlike incandescent lights, LEDs are not as mature nor understood. It's easier for companies to make wild claims about LEDS. Here's an example...

                              Overdriving a light is when you make it brighter by upping the voltage/current. Using a 6 volt bub in a 12 volt system is an example. If you overdrive a halogen lamp it will burn out fast. How fast it fails depends on how much it is overdriven. People notice fast and return them under warranty. When you do the same with LEDs you might get 25% to 50% brighter, and only shorten the life from 15,000 hours to 500 hours. That's long enough that most people will not return it as defective.

                              So it's quite possible to make an 8000 lumen driving light cluster that is efficient, sturdy and long lasting. Predicting which ones will live up to the claims is almost impossible until they have been on the market a while. Even then, there's always the possibility that a minor design change will turn the next generation into a piece of crap.

                              I keep toying with the idea of replacing my headlight bulbs with custom LEDs, but I'm aware of the difficulty in designing them to hold up and stay cool enough when I drive in 115 degree heat. 1500 lumens is enough, and I can get that with 4 LEDS but getting them to focus in the existing headlight reflector would be a bitch.

                              Dan
                              At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

                              Comment

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