Hi All: A buddy of mine has an 80's 2xAA Petzl (I think 'micro') headlamp with the screw-type 3V bulb. I am wondering if the Terralux TLE-1S screw-in 'universal' LED retrofit would fit this Petzl lamp?
Any experiences with new LED's in good old Petzls?
My first headlamp was a late 1980s Petzl Micro, and I tinkered with LEDs in it several years ago. This is my, perhaps flawed, understanding of the issues, and I am happy to be further educated on the subject.
The problem you may encounter is the different light patterns created by incandescent bulbs vs. LEDs. Incans throw a lot of light out the sides as well as forward, whereas LEDs throw more light forward and less to the sides. The reflector in an incan light is shaped to capture all this side lighting and focuses it forward. Likewise the reflector in an LED light is specifically shaped to work with the LED in the light. Swap LEDs in an LED light for one with a different emission pattern and the beam is changed, often not for the better. This is why manufacturers, like CPF’s McGizmo, will make the same diameter reflector in several configurations, each to best match and harness the light from a different LED.
Look a this Phillips Luxeon PDF file, pages 13-14 or this Cree PDF, page 8, to see some different light emission patterns. Also notice in the Philips’ document a LED called a “side emitting”. This LED was cut in the shape of an hourglass to force more light out to the sides, making it more compatible with existing incan flashlight reflectors. A lot of the old drop-in LED replacements from TeraLUX and EverLED were side emitting LEDs. In addition, notice that a lot of the TerraLUX replacement bulbs come with a replacement reflector, a built in reflector or a LED that sits high out on a holder to allow for more side-spill.
With a focusing light, like a Mag or your Micro headlamp, you can often monkey around enough with the placement of a high mounted LED within the reflector and get an acceptable beam. So, to answer your question, the TerraLUX TLE-1S might work in the Micro … but then again.
Here are some other screw base "bulbs” you might try. Some are side emitting. Some must match the number of cells your light uses.
I used a cut-down EverLED, where I opened the hole in the Micro’s reflector, ground off the “PR” flange on the EverLED, and basically just shoved it into the screw-in hole. It mostly works fine, until you adjust the focus or turn the headlamp on and off one time too many times and the EverLED falls out . Not the best solution, but it was all that was available at the time.
Last edited by tnuckels; 11-08-2009 at 08:51 PM.
Reason: Clarification, side emitting NOT batwing
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TNuckels: Thanks for your thoughts---I am a big fan of the Terralux drop-in LED's as I haven't the skills or patience for modding! Here, battery duration and reliability are way more important than beam artifacts, so I think I will get one of the TLE-1S screw-type---we shall see! Then park a swatch of red Tyvek sheathing tape on the battery case, ready to stick on the lense for night work!
I have upgraded two micros with standard 26mm dropins equipped with 5 mode boost drivers. One cree R2 and one P4 warm white. Works great! (except for the narrow beam)
You have to remove the reflector, then fasten the dropin in its place. (I used a plastic ring to keep it fixed)
You also have to cut out a hole in between the lamp compartment and battery so the dropin reach down into the battery compartment. Where the socket was.
I then bent the flat copper leads to the bulb to make them come in contact with the dropin when it is screwed in. So you get thet original twist on/off switch.
May be able to post some pics if someone is interested.
TLE-1S LED for 80's 2xAA Petzl 'Micro' works fine!
Thanks for your help! I got a TLE-1S in the mail from LED replacement and visited my buddy in Juneau, Alaska, where it was a straight screw-in replacement. Nice bright light, focus still works, 6 hour burn time on nimh cells with a further 6 hour regulated much lower idiot mode if you forget to change the batteries....
So, thanks for everybody's help! Much more useful than the original incandescent bulb!
Just a screw-in replacement! Now if getting down through the avalanche zone to Skagway to get the ferry to get to Juneau was as easy!