3D Maglite: Want to Increase Output

ThirstyTurtle

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Hey guys, so I'm no noob although this may be a bit of a newbie question.

So a year and a half ago, a 3D LED maglite really got me into lights. I've since bought many lights and even modded an old 2D incandescent maglite to the 5*XP-E DX dropin.

Anyways, what I really want to do is get a deeper reflector for my 3D XP-E maglite (to concentrate the light in a smaller area, i.e. less spill) and increase the output.

I have tried but can't find a direct fit deeper SMO reflector, but I'm sure there is one.

Also, I know an XP-E can do a lot more than 130ish lumens that this thing is doing. I'd really like to get more like 300 in a tighter beam. I'm willing to get some Ni-Mh "D" sized cells or some AA holders so this thing can pull more current. I'm just wondering if there's a way to give more current to the emitter aside from replacing the whole thing? I'd love to be able to just get some higher output cells or something but I doubt it's quite that simple.

What do you guys think?
 

Jash

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I'm thinking you'll have to replace the whole thing. As it stands the XP-E gets pretty warm due to the lack of mass for heatsinking. If you want to drive it harder, well, it's going to be new driver, bigger heat sink and a lot of trouble.

Plus I don't think you'll find a deeper reflector than the stock one. There's only so much room in a flashlight, and the newer Maglites do not lend themselves to easy and cheap modding like the older style.

If you really like the D cell sized lights, perhaps look at the Fenix TK60. It'll absolutely stomp all over a Maglite as far as output and throw is concerned. And you have the benefits of modes. I love mine. It sits next to the drivers seat in my car.
 

Showmethelight

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As someone who owns a TK60 I'd also recommend it for anyone desiring a 3-4 cell D flashlight and what those bring to the table, that said I would equally recommend a 3-4D incan MAG simply modded up to the malkoff XML drop in. The tk 60 runs about $120 and the mag + drop in would run around $105 or so and the output is very similar. The fenix brings multiple modes to the table of brightness and strobe and SOS, the malkoff mod MAG brings the ability to be easily modded every few years when LED's make a jump. The edge probably goes to fenix right now, but four years from now whatever is in my 4D maglite is probably going to be blowing away the TK60.
That all aside, I'm only familiar with the easy and popular drop ins for incan D maglites, those being the fusion 36 LED "showerhead" drop in off ebay, $26. The terralux triple XML drop in, $55-70 depending on source (terralux also offers other plug and play options with lower lumens); and of course the Malkoff devices drop ins, of which I currently have the XML in a 4D $70 when in stock. Malkoff devices also offers other drop in options though im unsure of LED maglite compatibility.
As for the reflector, the only way I can see a deeper one fitting, given how the flood to throw adjustment works would be to have the cam cut down in scale or removed and that distance added to the reflector, does sound do-able for sure, never seen anything like it available though. If price isn't to much of a concern you could look at the five mega 2.5" throwmaster heads, those have had me drooling for a long while but the price point has kept me away. Id take this topic over to the modified flashlight section where youre bound to get advice from someone who has done something along the lines of what youre looking for.
 

ThirstyTurtle

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Well I appreciate all of your suggestions but I guess I just won't e doing anything. I already have plenty of lights and definitely don't need to be spending $100 on another one. I was hoping for something cheaper just to make the maglite punch a little more since I love it's size and style.

Thanks anyways guys.
 

Showmethelight

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Well I appreciate all of your suggestions but I guess I just won't e doing anything. I already have plenty of lights and definitely don't need to be spending $100 on another one. I was hoping for something cheaper just to make the maglite punch a little more since I love it's size and style.

Thanks anyways guys.

Im not sure budget wise what youre looking at but I wouldnt give up yet, so long as you dont need 900+ lumens there are likely sub $30 options, i know there is for incan 3 D's.
 

Jash

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Well I appreciate all of your suggestions but I guess I just won't e doing anything. I already have plenty of lights and definitely don't need to be spending $100 on another one. I was hoping for something cheaper just to make the maglite punch a little more since I love it's size and style.

Thanks anyways guys.

An ultra clear lens (UCL) may give you a little more light than the stock plastic lens. These cost a couple of bucks and don't scratch up like the plastic lenses. Just don't drop your light head first on something sharp and hard.
 

StorminMatt

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Anyways, what I really want to do is get a deeper reflector for my 3D XP-E maglite (to concentrate the light in a smaller area, i.e. less spill) and increase the output.


I have tried but can't find a direct fit deeper SMO reflector, but I'm sure there is one.


Also, I know an XP-E can do a lot more than 130ish lumens that this thing is doing. I'd really like to get more like 300 in a tighter beam. I'm willing to get some Ni-Mh "D" sized cells or some AA holders so this thing can pull more current. I'm just wondering if there's a way to give more current to the emitter aside from replacing the whole thing? I'd love to be able to just get some higher output cells or something but I doubt it's quite that simple.

The main thing holding back the LED Mag in terms of output is heatsinking. Yes, an XP-E can put out more than it does. But the problem with a stock Mag is the cammed focusing system. Simply put, you can't have an LED that slides in and out when focused and also mount it to the body of the light. Because of this, there really isn't a thermal path between the emitter and the body. So the emitter would overheat if you tried to supply it with higher current. If throwiness is something you're after, you might consider a Malkoff XP-G2 drop-in. This gives you 300 lumens vs 130. And at $40, the price isn't too bad. The only issue is that it might not work with the stock, deep dish reflector. You might be able to modify a switch so that you can set it deeper in the light. But I've never tried it. In any case, you will need to switch to an incandescent switch.



As someone who owns a TK60 I'd also recommend it for anyone desiring a 3-4 cell D flashlight and what those bring to the table, that said I would equally recommend a 3-4D incan MAG simply modded up to the malkoff XML drop in. The tk 60 runs about $120 and the mag + drop in would run around $105 or so and the output is very similar. The fenix brings multiple modes to the table of brightness and strobe and SOS, the malkoff mod MAG brings the ability to be easily modded every few years when LED's make a jump. The edge probably goes to fenix right now, but four years from now whatever is in my 4D maglite is probably going to be blowing away the TK60.

I actually was trying to decide between a TK60 and XM-L2 Mag last winter. And while the things brought up here are true about a Fenix TK60 vs a Malkoff XM-L2 Mag, there were a few things that swayed me toward the XM-L2 Mag. First of all, I find I never use lower modes on a flashlight. So I don't need modes. Secondly, besides emitter changes on the drop-in itself, there are LOTS of other mods that are easily available for the Mag that are going to be harder to come by on the Fenix. Upgrade parts like reflectors, lenses, tailcaps, and switches for Mags are pretty much universal. For a TK60? I'm guessing they're harder to find. And who knows how hard it is to tear down a TK60? Of course, with the Malkoff, you can put the unit in different lights. Has your 3D Mag just become too thrashed over the years? Pull out the Malkoff and drop it into a new light. The same goes if you want to get a different color Mag or want to stick your Malkoff into a 2D and run it on a 32650. Finally, although the price of a Mag+Malkoff is close to the price of a TK60, most of us aleady have a Mag or ten laying around. So you likely don't have to buy the host itself.
 
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Chodes

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Malkoff XPG not mentioned yet. $39. It will achieve the OP's requirement.
300 Lumens. You would need an incan Mag D switch, easy to get and cheap.
Means the Mag switch with LED can be removed and kept.
Complete opposite to Mag technology, designed with adequate heatsinking.
 

Showmethelight

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As per how easy the TK60 is to breakdown... I'd say not easy or user friendly, the entire head is factory sealed with something, so at minimum you'd have to try heating it up to melt the glue/epoxy? And by then you're voiding warranty if that mattered. I agree with all your other points on why the malkoff is winner over the tk60 outside I do find lower modes handy even with a big light. It's nice to get long run times in power outage situations and fenix does make a great diffuser for the light.
 

vestureofblood

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Hi ThirstyTurtle,

As others have said there is really no way to jump up the output of your light as is. However what you want is certainly attainable.

An LED with the dome removed will give you the beam like your looking for out of the reflector you already have. You get about double the throw, with a super bright hot spot and narrower spill.

If you not apposed to sending me your light I'd be glad to build you such a light engine. Or if you have a soldering iron you can install it the engine your self. A de-domed XPG2 would put out in the neighborhood of 450 OTF lumens and blow the stock XPE so far out of the water you wouldnt ever hear from it again :tinfoil: ....

Just a thought.
 

ThirstyTurtle

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An ultra clear lens (UCL) may give you a little more light than the stock plastic lens. These cost a couple of bucks and don't scratch up like the plastic lenses. Just don't drop your light head first on something sharp and hard.

Great idea! I bought 5 UCL's when I modded my 2D mag and never thought to throw one in the 3D so DONE.
 

ThirstyTurtle

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Malkoff XPG not mentioned yet. $39. It will achieve the OP's requirement.
300 Lumens. You would need an incan Mag D switch, easy to get and cheap.
Means the Mag switch with LED can be removed and kept.
Complete opposite to Mag technology, designed with adequate heatsinking.

But an XP-G, while achieving similar throw due to more lumens will have a less narrow beam right? I think the XP-E is nearly pencil-thin already and the XP-G would mess that up I'd think. However I like your idea!
 

ThirstyTurtle

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Hi ThirstyTurtle,

As others have said there is really no way to jump up the output of your light as is. However what you want is certainly attainable.

An LED with the dome removed will give you the beam like your looking for out of the reflector you already have. You get about double the throw, with a super bright hot spot and narrower spill.

If you not apposed to sending me your light I'd be glad to build you such a light engine. Or if you have a soldering iron you can install it the engine your self. A de-domed XPG2 would put out in the neighborhood of 450 OTF lumens and blow the stock XPE so far out of the water you wouldnt ever hear from it again :tinfoil: ....

Just a thought.

Could I de-dome the XP-E already in there? Not sure it even has a dome...

I'm more than willing to lose the focusability in the name of better heatsinking and higher output.

Does DX.com or someone make a mag-sized XP-E dropin that's driven higher than the stock one? I'm willing to grind on things and do my own wiring if I can get a 300+ lumen XP-E out of it.
 

StorminMatt

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I'm more than willing to lose the focusability in the name of better heatsinking and higher output.

Does DX.com or someone make a mag-sized XP-E dropin that's driven higher than the stock one? I'm willing to grind on things and do my own wiring if I can get a 300+ lumen XP-E out of it.

You don't actually lose ability to focus with something like a Malkoff drop-in. The head of the light will still turn. And it can still be retracted to some degree. However, focusing becomes slower. And the range through which the light can be focused becomes less.

As far as an XP-E drop-in, I know of nobody who makes one. Generally speaking, an XP-G is the smallest emitter that is readily available in a drop-in upgrade. If you want to drive an XP-E harder, some sort of custom setup would be required. Not sure if you could get a Malkoff XP-G2 upgrade and swap over to an XP-E (or if this would drive it too hard). But something like this might be possible.
 

vestureofblood

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Could I de-dome the XP-E already in there? Not sure it even has a dome...

If you really want to do this for dirt cheap and are willing to take some risks then ya. If you took the switch assembly out you could either dedome it by cutting it off with a razor ( not my first choice) Or you could flip it up side down in just enough high octane gasoline to cover the LED for 24 hours. Then when you come back to it the dome is basically devolved.

Any time you embark on a mission like this there will be some risk of killing your LED. If you do it carefully this will work. It will give you a longer throw. It will give you a tighter beam. Doing this does however reduce the total lumen out put very slightly and will also take the color tint of the LED a shade more neutral.
 

AmperSand

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Doing this does however reduce the total lumen out put very slightly and will also take the color tint of the LED a shade more neutral.

A shade more neutral?
I just made a 3d (rebel model) with xpg2 and 2.5amp driver.
The xpg2 was 1a tint that was on the very blue side of cool white and now its more like 4500-5000k. Lots more throw dedomed to boot. Did it in a very risky manner however. Pinch and pull between fingernails after breaking the edges of the dome free, I had done it to xre's in the past with good success.
Guess YMMV but in this case I was really unhappy with the blue and am overly impressed with the dedome! Never noticed such a tint shift with the XRE's.
 
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