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MAGLITE LED Upgrade vs. New Tactical Lite

Discussion in 'Gear & Accessories' started by yznhymr, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. yznhymr

    yznhymr Washington County, OR Member

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    I own a few old school (4D) MAGLITES and at least two (2AA) Mini MAGLITES and was wondering if I should spend the $ to add LED upgrade kits.

    Does the LED mod actually increase the lumens output or is a waste of time? I could care less about battery life.

    Does anyone recommend the kits or should I just go buy some new tactical LED Flash lights.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts -
     
  2. Working 4 U

    Working 4 U Eugene Active Member

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    I just saw the conversion bulbs the other day I didn't know they had them. The only thing that would be difficult is the twisting on of the maglight which might take 2 hands and then to focus as opposed to most tactical lites its a push of the thumb on the end of the flash light. Good question though.

    thanks
     
  3. Logical1

    Logical1 southeast portland, OR Member

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    I put them in my four cell, and it is really a marked improvent. I like having my billy club night stick back flashlight in my truck. It is actually a good light for camping again. Also more efficient than the incandescent light ever was.
     
  4. crazytimme

    crazytimme Tacoma area Member

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    The after market conversion for the mini-mag with the 3 LEDs and cap button is awesome.
    Even with severely run down batteries(regulated circuit, so stays the same brightness) it is brighter then a standard bulb with fresh batteries.

    When installing, the LED will only work with the correct polarity, and if using the new button cap, that both button and bezel are turned on.
     
  5. chase

    chase Wilsonville, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Will it depends how much you use it. Personally I always have a flashlight on me when I leave the house just part of my every day carry. I absolutely love my Surefire LX2 powerful, but small. Personally having big flashlights is cool for defensive purposes, but isn't that the purpose of a gun? I used to camp a lot and Maglites were the ultimate flashlights. But with the technology of LED and their huge improvement from their first generation you cant go wrong with LED. You get a lighter, smaller, more Effie light.

    Last time I looked at the powerful conversion kits they were over $100. Better use would get a Small surefire. Right now REI has a 20% off one full price item. My recommendation is buy a surefire, the lx2 and e2l are my favorites. If you don't like it then just return it and get all your money back. I don't work for the company's, I am just a extremely satisfied customer.

    Food for thought, good luck.
     
  6. M.Link

    M.Link Guest

    I bought a LED 'bulb' for my 4D and LOVE it. I bought the 3 LED/tail cap kit for my 2AA and it sucked! I bought both at Lowes, ide do it with the D-cell lights, not the little ones. Mag Lites are great, but don't compare to Surefires. I have a Z2 with LED kit and P6 tail cap and P6 defender bezel.
     
  7. crazytimme

    crazytimme Tacoma area Member

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    I should have have said what I use my mini mag for, a small handi work light, the same use the mini mag was made for. it is not a dramatic, I am going to blind a intruder with.



    Costco had a two pack of tactical LED's lights, but besides using AAA batteries which I wasn't found of, the button sucked. Push once low, 2nd - high, 3rd - flashing, 4th off, always that sequence unless you held it down after 2 full seconds the high would come on and turn off when released. Doesn't do you much good in a "tactical" situation does it.
     
  8. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    +1. I put the Maglite brand LED conversion and button tailcap assembly on my mini-Maglite and really like it. My wife saw it and had to have one on her's. You won't mistake it for a Surefire but it makes a significant improvment over the plain bulb. It's only $10 for the whole conversion kit so it's kind of a no brainer in my book. That said, if you really want a retina searing 80 or 120 lumen tactical flashlight, the upgrade won't do it for you. It just make a Mini-Maglite a couple or so times brighter than it was before.
     
  9. techieguy

    techieguy Well-Known Member

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    If you are not concern about run time and want a tactical or more light output from your 4D Maglite I would suggest a Malkoff LED upgrade like this one for a 4-6 D cell mag

    I have use a Malkoff LED in my old SF, but not in a Maglite they are good products and would recomend their products but for the price of their LED assemblies you can purchase a SF G2 LED...
     
  10. yznhymr

    yznhymr Washington County, OR Member

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    Thanks for all the great feedback. I'll probably upgrade one or two of the maglites and look into a Surefire - I'm sure I'll fall in love as soon has I see one/them in person.

    All the best!
     
  11. candyman

    candyman Scappoose, OR Active Member

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    the led and tail switch for the mini is great but you have to get the 1 led version

    the 3 led version is a pos
     
  12. haythrower

    haythrower SW WA Member

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    I work for an LED manufacturer, and deal with this question regularly. I would suggest the new tactic lights have a much better performance capability than a retrofit solution. So if you are into brightest light and longest battery life, buy a new tactical light. If you want ruggedness in your existing Maglite, the retro fit way is OK, but keep in mind there are limitations.
     
  13. phathom

    phathom Vancouver, WA Member

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    The led option is definitely worth it. Had it on one of mine now I have 2 without it and am looking to get it upgraded with the led and push button on the back. I definitely think it's worth it. They have the kits for like $20 at dicks for the setup
     
  14. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    one worked fine, the other gave me the red "low battery" signal even with new batteries. Took them back to exchange, they were out of them and as of a couple days ago hadn't gotten any more in. And I agree, not really usable in a tactical situation. Would be OK in our MH for normal use though.

    I still like my Surefire 6P with the LED conversion even though I had to ship it to SureFire to get it working correctly. After the conversion I was using a set of batteries about every two weeks rather than every two months. I sent the whole thing back including the used batteries. They sent it back and since then (about 8 months now) I haven't used even one set of batteries. Must have been something wrong with the conversion unit.
     
  15. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    The Nite-Eyez product is an ok upgrade. It's cheap and usefull for most situations. You'll get a diffused beam, not a projected beam like a standard bulb. Those Malkoff upgrades are just like a much brighter incandescent bulb and are worth the money. A 3D cell Maglite with the upgrade is still cheaper than a streamlight of the same output rating.
     
  16. turq

    turq Molino,oregon Member

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    Find the vendor in Portland for ledlenser.com ie. coastportland.com
    product from Soligen,Germany.
    They offer advanced LED lights. ; intensity adjustable; focusable; my head lamp uses 3 AAA. The AAAs last much longer than the 123 batteries. My use is for hunting where I need the light for 5 days(AM). I had a mini Mag lose a bulb 1/2Mile in, had to walk back to camp in the dark;whaa...
    The AA or AAAs last a long time with leds; the bulbs last a really long time. When I saw the broad beam AND a spotlight beam With intensity adj. I was sold.
    That Co. also has the Tactical flashlights(focusable) the Ledlenser Co. makes.Good Luck
     
  17. The Cheese

    The Cheese somewhere special Member

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    I just modify mag lights myself. I have one that I use all the time with a 225lm led in it that still has the batteries I put in there 2+ years ago. They are great. I also modified a MagCharger to throw out 800lumens which is fun. Up next will be the 2700lumen 3D mag light just for giggles. There are some really simple mods that you can do yourself if you wanted to so that you can get better output for the same amount of runtime.
     
  18. taroman

    taroman Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I put the LED in my 3D. It about doubled the output, and it's still a great club!
     
  19. torpedoman

    torpedoman land of corrupt politicians Member

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    look up the u tube video for building your own i've done several for friends and they outperform the surefire and only cost about 7 bucks (batteries not included)