Best Low $ LED Upgrade For a '96-2002, 3-D Mag-Lite?

ButchW

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I'm not a "real' flashlight enthusiast but do enjoy a decent , but simple light, I have an old 3-D cell midnight Blue Mag-Lite form somewhere in the 1996-2002 era... I don't remember when or why I got this, but I like it's heft and ruggedness.. I wold like to get more light out of it, but I don't want to completely rebuild it... I'm thinking maybe a bout a rechargeable battery system too... All I need is a simple on and off and the adjustability of the existing light... Can you pros recommend a reasonably low cost, not too invasive or intricate set up?... I've used the search feature, but most of the results were pretty old, and maybe there is newer and better ideas... Thanks in advance..
Butch
 

ButchW

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Any you would recommend? I just want something with a little more throw, and a good flood,and 5k or so... No strobe needed, but a hi- low would be ok, but not necessary... A long run time would be nice...
Butch
 

hsa

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This one will throw further and be brighter than an incandescent Mag and will retain the adjustable focus but will be ringy.
It won't start fires at 300 lumens. It only has a single output. It will have better run time than your incan.
The only floody models are the multi emitter ones but they are more money, you said low $. They also need a more expensive battery set up.
 

ButchW

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It's on sale for $35... The 800 lumen is on sale for $40... Would that be a better way to go? What more expensive battery setup are you referring to?

Butch
 

Chicken Drumstick

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I'm not a "real' flashlight enthusiast but do enjoy a decent , but simple light, I have an old 3-D cell midnight Blue Mag-Lite form somewhere in the 1996-2002 era... I don't remember when or why I got this, but I like it's heft and ruggedness.. I wold like to get more light out of it, but I don't want to completely rebuild it... I'm thinking maybe a bout a rechargeable battery system too... All I need is a simple on and off and the adjustability of the existing light... Can you pros recommend a reasonably low cost, not too invasive or intricate set up?... I've used the search feature, but most of the results were pretty old, and maybe there is newer and better ideas... Thanks in advance..
Butch
There are many things you could do.

However these are the two I'd suggest.

1. Simple LED bulb drop-in. Here in the UK you can get an XHP35 PR base drop-in.

0gw7e2ji4p.jpg



It's really quite cheap here. Sure they will ship to the USA or you might be able to find similar more local.

I have this one and it's the best of this kind I've tried. You really need to do nothing else to make it a very usable torch.

You could stick with D cells or run AA Eneloops, which will make it much lighter to carry. A single AA Eneloop in an adapter (3 in series for a 3D) is quite nice. You could get some 2AA adapters or even 3AA. They also come in Series as well as Parallel configuration. Or look at running some Li-ion or LiFePo4 cells.

2. If you aren't after max output, but want to "improve" it. Try 7 AA Eneloops in Series using 3AA adapters and some AA blanks. Combine this with the stock Xenon 6D bi-pin bulb and adapter that Maglite sell:

lmxa601.jpg


It will be much brighter than a stock 3D krypton bulb and much whiter light. You might get away with a 5D bulb, but I haven't tried one at this voltage, so it might blow.

If you really want to top it off, you can add an orange peel reflector from Kaidomain (search for M*g and you'll find it), for a super smooth beam profile and lovely incan 100CRI light.
 

sween1911

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Ah, a fellow 3D Mag enthusiast! Despite all the different lights out there, I maintain that it's well worth taking the time to upgrade a classic.

Simple PR-base dropin is a great upgrade. The Lumencraft one in @hsa's post is well made.

I'm not a fan of the multi-mode ones just because it's sometimes dicey to tell what mode it will come on as, but that's just personal preference. I'm very picky with the spacing and timing of the modes and would prefer a moderate output single-mode but that's just me.

For batteries, you can get Eneloops (rechargeable NiMH AA's) and D-cell spacers. (I have my 3D running on a single 18650 inside a PVC pipe and a spacer I made from a dowel and a piece of wire. If you set that up and get a couple 18650's, you're good to go for awhile.)

If you're handy with a soldering iron, you can bypass the spring in the tailcap with a small length of wire to remove some resistance and get a little more current to the LED.
 
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hsa

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@ButchW. I have the 800 lumen conversion on the way right now. In about a week I could give you an opinion on it.
The multi emitter upgraded really need a Li ion battery. That requires an adapter and a charger. The expense can add up. It would be pretty cool (neat) though.
I will be running the 800 lumen version on eneloops with adapters. I will let you and Sween know what I think of it. I like Maglites and hate to leave an old one idle.
 

ButchW

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There are many things you could do.

However these are the two I'd suggest.

1. Simple LED bulb drop-in. Here in the UK you can get an XHP35 PR base drop-in.
I m' looking at those, thanks
You could stick with D cells or run AA Eneloops, which will make it much lighter to carry. A single AA Eneloop in an adapter (3 in series for a 3D) is quite nice. You could get some 2AA adapters or even 3AA. They also come in Series as well as Parallel configuration. Or look at running some Li-ion or LiFePo4 cells.

2. If you aren't after max output, but want to "improve" it. Try 7 AA Eneloops in Series using 3AA adapters and some AA blanks. Combine this with the stock Xenon 6D bi-pin bulb and adapter that Maglite sell:



It will be much brighter than a stock 3D krypton bulb and much whiter light. You might get away with a 5D bulb, but I haven't tried one at this voltage, so it might blow.

If you really want to top it off, you can add an orange peel reflector from Kaidomain (search for M*g and you'll find it), for a super smooth beam profile and lovely incan 100CRI light.
I think I would like the LED lamp, and I'm researching what battery type I'll need..
Ah, a fellow 3D Mag enthusiast! Despite all the different lights out there, I maintain that it's well worth taking the time to upgrade

Simple PR-base dropin is a great upgrade. The Lumencraft one in @hsa's post is well made.

I'm not a fan of the multi-mode ones just because it's sometimes dicey to tell what mode it will come on as, but that's just personal preference. I'm very picky with the spacing and timing of the modes and would prefer a moderate output single-mode but that's just me.

For batteries, you can get Eneloops (rechargeable NiMH AA's) and D-cell spacers. (I have m3 3D running on a single 18650 inside a PVC pipe and a spacer I made from a dowel and a piece of wire. If you set that up and get a couple 18650's, you're good to go for awhile.)

If you're handy with a soldering iron, you can bypass the spring in the tailcap with a small length of wire to remove some resistance and get a little more current to the LED.
All great info, thanks... Does the Enloops give you much run time?... It seems like a small battery system for this big light... Would the 18630 be abetter choice?.. I'm not sure about the ahs or voltages of all these different battery's..

@ButchW. I have the 800 lumen conversion on the way right now. In about a week I could give you an opinion on it.
The multi emitter upgraded really need a Li ion battery. That requires an adapter and a charger. The expense can add up. It would be pretty cool (neat) though.
I will be running the 800 lumen version on eneloops with adapters. I will let you and Sween know what I think of it. I like Maglites and hate to leave an old one idle.
Thank you... I was looking at that 800 lumen conversion, but didn't want something too aggressive, but a good light, with a long battery life... How much $ do you think a set up would run... I have no batterys, adapters or charger... Looks like this old flash light is getting expensive:)
 

sween1911

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The 3D with alkalines would be three 1.5 volt batts for 4.5volts, though alkalines will sag under load. The fully charged 18650 will put out around 3.8 to 4.2 volts, which is perfect for a PR bulb that is made to work in a 2 or 3-cell D light.
 

alpg88

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There is no need for rechargeable for pr drop ins, they do not pull enough power to justify their use. if you had a drop in that needs 3+ amps, then yes, but with pr drawing less that stock bulb, regular alkalines will work just fine, not to mention you need an adapter for AA. leaking cells are different story, but if you were using alkaline cells before, then you already know the risks.
I have moded several dozen of maglites, with probably any combination possible, i found 95% pr drop ins are worse performers than stock bulb, i have several laying around that i tried, but was disappointed, i can send you them for free. you only cover shipping, i think i still have original maglite pr drop in, and another one that i forgot the name of, as well as showerhead 5mm leds drop ins, however that one is for 4 cells, you can use 4 c cells in 3d light, if you remove the spring, and use a smaller one, so the last cell goes into the tailcap. you'll need to put a 1 inch pvc pipe so c cells can be centered. However i have little doubts you'll be disappointed as i was.

However i would try lumencraft pr that is 300+lm, that one is a lot brighter than any pr i tried, thou all my pr are 10+ years old.
 
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fivemega

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2x21700 with spacer will fit in 3D M*g and will power up a 6 cell (7.2V) bulb.
Also will work with 7.2 Volt LED.


Low self discharge.
Higher voltage (7.4 V)
Higher capacity (5000mAh)

Lighter weight.
 
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