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Thread: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

  1. #1

    Default Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Hi everyone, first time poster short term lurker!

    I was wondering if anyone could take a few moment to offer me some advice, probably to a few questions you have heard 100's of times before, so apologies in advance!

    Firstly, i have a standard 2xAA mini maglite, can anyone advise me/link which led upgrade is best for this torch?

    Secondly, a friend at work has just bought a lenser p14 which i am shocked at how bright and well engineered it is.
    I would love something that good, so would i be better off buying something like a standard 4d maglite, and upgrading it?
    Upgraded will this be anthing like his p14 in terms of brightness, or shall i take the plunge and buy one myself?

    Ideally, i would like siomething that uses rechargable batteries, and possibly be brighter than his (childish i know). I work alot of night shifts in all weathers, so reliability is a must. Upto £60-70 would be fine pricewise.

    Thank you in advance for your time, and im sorry if i have put this in the wrong sub-forum!

    ETA: Another colleague has just shown me his Fenix LD20 which again, i am equally impressed with!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    WRT to your Mini-MagLite, what do you mean by "best"? Best brightness? Best runtimes? Best features? Best cost? What are you looking to do with this light? A Nite-Ize 1-watt drop-in would give you a pretty decent light but run times wouldn't be all that great. The Nite-Ize 3LED drop-in would give you great run times but output is not its forte. Custom sandwiches could give you even greater output and decent run times due to better emitters but these cost more.

    For a larger, carry light, again, you need to define what you want in a light. MagLites are mostly good to be used as hosts to make a better light out of but not great out of the box. You want a light that would blow away your friend's P14 in brightness? You have tons of options here. A Malkoff with a cut-down reflector (you lose the ability to quickly focus or defocus the beam) would give you a bit more light than your friend has but it would probably be cheaper to buy something ready to go. Maybe something with a P7 or MC-E? What kind of batteries do you want to use?

  3. #3
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Not worth the upgrade, just buy the Quark AA^2 with XP-G.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    +1 Don't waste your money the upgrade. There are so many choices to pick from, so take some time and do your homework.
    Quote Originally Posted by glockboy View Post
    Not worth the upgrade, just buy the Quark AA^2 with XP-G.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Quote Originally Posted by PCC View Post
    WRT to your Mini-MagLite, what do you mean by "best"? Best brightness? Best runtimes? Best features? Best cost? What are you looking to do with this light? A Nite-Ize 1-watt drop-in would give you a pretty decent light but run times wouldn't be all that great. The Nite-Ize 3LED drop-in would give you great run times but output is not its forte. Custom sandwiches could give you even greater output and decent run times due to better emitters but these cost more.

    For a larger, carry light, again, you need to define what you want in a light. MagLites are mostly good to be used as hosts to make a better light out of but not great out of the box. You want a light that would blow away your friend's P14 in brightness? You have tons of options here. A Malkoff with a cut-down reflector (you lose the ability to quickly focus or defocus the beam) would give you a bit more light than your friend has but it would probably be cheaper to buy something ready to go. Maybe something with a P7 or MC-E? What kind of batteries do you want to use?
    Right, firstly thank you for your reply. Ok, i do need to be able to focus the beam from flood to spot, battery wise, i need to use normal rechagable cells if that helps?

    A p7? im guessing thats a lenser as well? as is an MC-E?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Quote Originally Posted by glockboy View Post
    Not worth the upgrade, just buy the Quark AA^2 with XP-G.
    Again thanks, what is an XP-G? Sorry, im very new to this!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Quote Originally Posted by glockboy View Post
    Not worth the upgrade, just buy the Quark AA^2 with XP-G.
    Ah, can only get one of those from the states, would you rate that a better light than a fenix pd30 r2? Even though that uses cr123's? can i get those batteries in rechargable form?

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* mossyoak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Search is your friend...
    And Teeming With Souls Shall It Ever Be.
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    Flashaholic brianch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    If you prefer Fenix take a look at the TK40. It Uses AA batteries which are found rechargeable in many places. You can find 3.0V rechargable 123's but they are rare in good quality and finding a charger for them is equally challenging. The TK40 is pricey but it is a very bright light for the price.
    Brian C
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Quote Originally Posted by brianch View Post
    If you prefer Fenix take a look at the TK40. It Uses AA batteries which are found rechargeable in many places. You can find 3.0V rechargable 123's but they are rare in good quality and finding a charger for them is equally challenging. The TK40 is pricey but it is a very bright light for the price.
    Thats a lovely torch, but i cant justify blowing £125 on one haha, maybe £80!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    XP-G is one of the latest LEDs. Generally a floodier LED vs. the XP-E or XR-E.

    There are quite a few which will easily blow away your friend's puny light. Quark, Fenix, Nitecore, Olight. Not sure of the ability to take Li-Ion rechargeables (3.7 volt) except I know the Quarks do. You can do that research. Any of the AA versions would give you the ability to use off the shelf rechargeables, Eneloops for example.

    P.S. you can troll the Marketplace for some better prices on used lights.
    Too many lights! Stop me!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    If you're after the maximum brightness and whitest LED drop-in, only one should be considered in my opinion, the Terralux TLE-5EX. All the others are not worth even considering in my experience.

    Note that absolutely no Mini-Maglite drop in LED bulb will come remotely close to your friend's Fenix LD20 in terms of light output. Maglite upgrades just aren't cost effective in general so if you want to match that LD20's output, get an LD20.

    People have recommended the Makloff Devices drop-in upgrade, which I've read in numerous reports here is the best for D cell Maglites. I don't doubt it, but just try finding one of those things for sale. Good luck because they have been listed on the Malkoff Devices website as "Sold Out" for a long time now.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Search's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Quote Originally Posted by mossyoak View Post
    Search is your friend...
    lies!


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Quote Originally Posted by working class View Post
    Again thanks, what is an XP-G? Sorry, im very new to this!

    Pretty please:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=212701
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  15. #15
    Flashaholic* LEDninja's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Quote Originally Posted by working class View Post
    Right, firstly thank you for your reply. Ok, i do need to be able to focus the beam from flood to spot, battery wise, i need to use normal rechagable cells if that helps?

    A p7? im guessing thats a lenser as well? as is an MC-E?
    Most lights under discussion here are fixed focus. If you need to focus the beam from flood to spot you might as well stick with the LED Lenser P14 torch(4AA) or the smaller LED Lenser P7 torch (4AAA).
    LED Lenser lights are not discussed much here as they are an European outfit with very few dealers on this side of the pond. Also their early lights were not weatherproof.

    P7 on CPF do not mean the LED Lenser P7 torch. It means the SSC-P7 LED, a powerful LED that uses 4 dies and can produce 'up to 900 lumens'. Or 4X as bright as the LED used in the LED Lenser P14 and P7.
    MC-E is Cree's version of 4 LED dies in 1 LED case. Again 4X as bright.
    XP-G is a new LED where the die is 2X bigger in area than the standard 1mm*1mm LED die. Almost 2X as bright.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Lighthouse one's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    If you really want to stay with the Mag lights...the new AA and D cell Mags with the rebel led are quite good. The aa model has several modes: high,medium,low. The Rebel Led is very tiny when you look into the light.
    Lowes had the D cells on sale at half price...might do it again.
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lighthouse one View Post
    If you really want to stay with the Mag lights...the new AA and D cell Mags with the rebel led are quite good. The aa model has several modes: high, low, blink, and SOS.
    Fixed it for you...

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* Monocrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Cheapest upgrade for the 2AA Mini-mag would be the 3-LED NiteIze kit. Sells for about $10 or $12. Replacement lamp consisting of 3 LEDs. Nice floody light output. Not bright as Hell, but definitely an improvement over a stock Mini-mag. The kit comes with a small, tailcap switch. Nothing fancy, but serviceable.

    A beefier switch would be the one Terralux makes for the Mini-mag. Although it is a reverse-clickie, it's better than the forward-clickie that comes with the NiteIze kit.

    My favorite combination is the NiteIze 1watt replacement LED, with the Terralux clickie installed; along with a Maglite pen-clip on the body. The 1watt LED is brighter than the 3-LED lamp from NiteIze. Got the 1watt from Target. Got the TerraLux clickie from Lighthound.com

    When you're on a tight budget, it makes sense to upgrade an existing light. Buy something better after saving up your money. But until then, a reasonably priced upgrade is a good idea.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Hi Working Class,

    I wouldn't bother upgrading your Mag if you want performance.

    I'd go for a 4Sevens.com Quark of some sort and make use of the free shipping - 10days to a couple of weeks to the UK, sometimes faster. Since you're ordering only one you're not likely to get a customs charge, but to be safe have it sent to a non-business address.

    If you're willing to splash out as much as £60-70 I'd go for a Quark 123-2 Turbo (see the 4Sevens manufacturer forum on cpfmarketplace). Bright, nice beam, good throw, very well made.

    You can get a charger and a 17670 rechargeable Li-ion battery from AW (see the Dealer section threads on cpfmarketplace). You can later opt for some other bodies and battery configs to use with it if you so choose.

    If you want a smaller form factor from the start, get a QTurbo head, an AA or 123 body and a rechargeable Li-ion AA or 123 (from AW).

    Jetbeam do some nice kit too, I think within your budget. I'm not too familiary though. Search is your friend.

    Hope this helps,

    Chris

  20. #20
    Flashaholic asfaltpiloot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    A few weeks ago a bought a Terralux TLE-5EX for my minimag 2aa
    just for the fun and i like it. It puts out a lot of light.
    You will lose the focus. But with that amount of light you wont miss it ( i have'nt).
    http://www.cpfreviews.com/TerraLUX-TLE-5EX.php
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/tle-5k2.html

    Take care,
    Robert

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* MarNav1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    There are some TLE out there in the Seoul version too, not sure when they changed over. Mine is very bright, and has an excellent beam, bought it in the B/S/T forum for $15. Great upgrade from stock. I only bought it out of curiosity myself. Quark seems like a good recommendation (I don't have one) so why not go with that? I haven't seen anything from LED Lenser that impressed me, others may digress. Use the search function and study amd learn what you need before you buy, will save you some dough. And then once you are under the CPF spell, then you just buy everything you can get your hands on. N'joy.
    Last edited by MarNav1; 12-17-2009 at 07:56 AM.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Quote Originally Posted by asfaltpiloot View Post
    A few weeks ago a bought a Terralux TLE-5EX for my minimag 2aa
    just for the fun and i like it. It puts out a lot of light.
    You will lose the focus. But with that amount of light you wont miss it ( i have'nt).
    The Terralux TLE-5EX for the 2AA Mini-Maglite retains the focusing ability of the original incandescent bulb and reflector. It says so on the Terralux website:

    http://www.terraluxcorp.com/terralux...2/Default.aspx

    My TLE-5EX still focuses too. It's pretty much a useless feature, just like with all Maglites that I've seen and used because anything "floodier" other than the absolute tightest pencil beam results in an ugly donut hole pattern.

    If yours doesn't focus like the original Mini-Maglite incandescent bulb configuration any more, then the LED is not extending into the Terralux reflector as far as it's supposed to. One of my brand new TLE-5EXs had an improperly made reflector that didn't have a large enough hole at the bottom and thus it prevented the LED from sticking far enough into it and the beam was stuck on a flood pattern. If that's the case with yours, email Terralux at their website and they'll send you instructions on how to get the problem fixed. Use the Customer Support email address listed on this page:

    http://www.terraluxcorp.com/terralux...3/Default.aspx

    I'm going through that process right now.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* John_Galt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    A few points: I myself have an LD20 It is an excellent light, in terms of output, runtime, regulation (it actually stays bright, and doesn't dim slowly over time), fit and finish.
    The Quark series from 4Sevens (google it) is also excellent, I would say on par with the quality of Fenix, perhaps even slightly better overall. It also has the addition of a lower "moon mode" of ~0.2 lumens, perfect for walking around the house at night in the dark.

    As for focusing. Most quality LED lights are fixed focus. This is because focusing a small point-source emitter, such as an LED decreases the output noticeably. The focusing feature of M@g-lites and the like was their to disguise the fact that the reflector/bulb combo isn't worth much. It neither floods well (big, ringy artifact filled "O" of light with a dark spot in the center), nor throws well (aside from an artifact filled spot a few inches in diameter). Because of the small emitter size of LED's, small reflectors (in diameter and depth) can focus light in two ways at the same time: A cnetral, tight, throwing hotspot, and a dim corona of spill light, and not one or the other.
    Also, if you are going to spend 80 quid (did I get the spelling right?) on a light, you can get a nice, fixed focus light and a diffuser.


    I would suggest any of the nice, fixed focus lights from Quark, Fenix. Nitecore, etc. And a diffuser. You may find that you don't even need the diffeuser.
    I love my HDS/Ra Clicky... My only wish would be a 5th(accessible thru a 2click press) mode, and a 2AA tube.

  24. #24
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    "I concur" :)

    I liked the focusing feature, used it a lot for work, but recently learned by first hand experience that when you have a good light, you don't actually need it - because you have best of both worlds, excellent and consistent hotspot, with a usable spill light. I look forward to checking out quark in the near future, as many people here say it's the good stuff, but for now I can definitely say fenix LD20 eats the 2AA maglite for breakfast.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic asfaltpiloot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone give me some upgrade advice please?

    Hi, Locoboy.
    Thanks for the info.
    I do have some focusing but it isn't much.
    I don't really use or miss it.
    Sorry to hear you're having problems with yours.
    Hope it turns out ok.

    Take care,
    Robert.

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