How is Mag doing now ??

Robocop

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I am still curious in that if the drop in output is not noticeable then why even have the circuit throttle back the power in the first place.....why not simply start the circuit out at half power to have much better runtime if the brightness "looks" the same.
 

Bror Jace

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I also think the public is still rather ingorant of LED lights ... and Maglite has done little to change this.

I talked my uncle into buying a 3AA for around the house ... but that's it. :(

Of course, I'm the only person I know that's really into lights.
Others around me may have picked up MagLEDs in the past 6 months and never bothered to inform me.
 

bridgman

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>>I am still curious in that if the drop in output is not noticeable then why even have the circuit throttle back the power in the first place.....why not simply start the circuit out at half power to have much better runtime if the brightness "looks" the same.

Simple -- most people use flashlights for short periods of time and the brighter light DOES let you see more and makes the light more useful. The fact that it's hard to tell the difference when the brightness creeps down gradually isn't the point -- you really can see more when the light is brighter.

With my rechargeable incandescents it's not all that obvious when the batteries are running down a bit because they are still putting out an awesome amount of light... but if I toss the batteries on the charger for a couple of hours it's always a shock how much brighter & whiter the light is and how much further into the woods I can see.

Same thing with the LED running at full brightness vs. throttled back as the thermal management kicks in...
 

HWman

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The psychology of a purchase:

We hobbyists have the most distorted view of what the average person thinks.

A low end bicycle costs, perhaps, $75 to $100. A decent bicycle costs about $300. The local bicycle shop sells an off-the-rack bicycle for over to $6000! That's about twenty times what a decent bicycle costs.

A low end audio system costs a few hundred dollars. A decent audio system costs a couple of thousand dollars. A high end audio system costs a (couple of??) hundred thousand of dollars. That's hundreds of times the price of a decent audio system.

To the specific hobbyist, those items are justifiable. More accurately, the price is justifiable, to them.

On the other hand, $7000 for a bicycle sounds crazy to the average person. And, $100,000 for an audio system (let's start with $60,000 for speakers...to say nothing about the mandatory new listening room) is insane. Yet, I know ordinary people who are hobbyists that go to such extents.

The average person probably owns only one flashlight, doesn't know the manufacturer, doesn't have spare batteries, doesn't know if the batteries are still good, doesn't know exactly where the flashlight is, etc.

A CPF member owns at least a dozen flashlights, knows the manufacturer's web site in detail, has dozens of spare primary cells, knows the charge status of each secondary cell, etc. And, finally, a CPFer knows where each flashlight is, has one in every room, always carries one around, and (when at home) is never more than ten feet away from a flashlight.

Many CPF flashlight threads contain the phrase "...but it looks like a good candidate for a mod..." and I think of the Adcom (an audio amplifier manufacturer) anecdote.

Almost three decades ago, a hobbyist replaced several of the classic Adcom amplifier's components with better parts and told the Adcom engineers of the better results. Laughing it off, the engineers relished the possibilities of what they could have done with the extra $300 (that the hobbyist spent for the parts) in the original design (that cost $600).

A low end flashlight costs $1. A decent flashlight costs about $7. (A Maglite costs about $20). A high end flashlight costs, perhaps, $600. That's thirty to ninety times the price of a decent flashlight!

The incandescent MagLite is the reference standard for quality flashlights so it is hard for the uninitiated buyer to rationalize the twice the price MagLED. The MagLED is about five times the price of a decent flashlight and about thirty times the price of what is in the average kitchen drawer.

The average person will spend five to ten times the low end price for a decent product if he feels that it is going to be used and is of demonstrably superior quality. Perhaps this is the average person crossing the line to become a hobbyist (or a craftsman looking for quality tools). The quantum leap is where the hobbyist becomes a fanatic (obsessive-compulsive???).
 

Robocop

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HWman you make some very good points and yes I can very much relate to your post.....I foolishly think nothing at all of buying a 200 dollar light however frown at the thought of paying 200 dollars for a car stereo receiver.

I am trying to look at this from an average consumers point of view and not that of a flashaholic.....Being as Mag has done so very well catering to the general public I would dare guess to say that they are not at all worried if we picky flashaholic people point out the weaknesses of their design. I am saying that to point out that it seems to not only be us but also the general consumer who is not purchasing their Luxeon products also.

So now that their product is not moving well with their target audience how do they proceed.....surely if they keep going they will eventually have to somehow offset the costs of slow sales on one product or it may make their most profitable product rise in cost.

Seems as if their incandescent line is so well liked and priced that maybe their incandescent success has doomed their luxeons to failure unless they can somehow lower the cost to appeal to their incandescent customers....or maybe they should just stick with what works and abandon their luxeons all together.

It seems as if it is a no win situation for Mag......if they were to add better heatsinking in a totally new design sure it would make all us picky type here very happy however I do not feel as if our numbers could solely support the luxeon line of such a huge company as Mag......if they keep the current design we picky type will not buy them and neither will their larger average consumer customers due to the cost.

Could the slower sales be a result of simply not advertising better the advantages of their new Luxeon products? I honestly believe that sysadym was correct in saying when the average buyer looks at 2 lights identical in appearance on the same shelf but one is 20 dollars higher....well they will almost always choose the cheaper version.

So would Mag be smart to redesign their luxeon design to hope that the hobby and true light people like us will buy them?....would this be better for them than staying like they are and hoping they catch on like their other products have done?

I actually do wonder what percentage of Mags total sales of their Luxeons actually do bring in.....would anyone here say it could be something like ten incandescents sold for every one luxeon?
 

HWman

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The economics of the MagLED

The primary consideration of any business is to maximize profit for the owners (or stockholders who are actually the owners). [We'll ignore considerations like pollution, ethics, politics, etc.]

The MagLED is a significant improvement of an industry standard. An industry standard does not mean that it is the best or worst; it is only a point of reference.

The MagLED does not increase production costs at all! The existing incandescent 2D,3D,4D basically use the everything!

The LED consists of one part whereas the incandescent uses a collet and a bulb. Thus, simplified assembly!
The LED (assuming it is working) never fails and has no rejects or returns due to manufacturing or shipping.
The LED uses the same plastic retail container as the incandescent. Zero manufacturing cost change and zero retailer display change.
The LED package's artwork is just a minor artwork change, not a new cutout; just a minor printing change.

Most importantly:

Any new (superior) product must not disenfranchise existing customers.

The MagLED does not have a negative impact upon customers (both existing and future). It is a significant improvement that compels everyone to buy it. Yet, because of the painless and inexpensive upgrade, existing customers can partake of the superior product at no additional "upgrade penalty" cost!

[Consider MiniMagLite 2AA and MagLite 3D combo packs with batteries at Costco for $20 and MagLEDs at Walmart for about $18.50... Total cost of $38.50. Subtract about $4 for the five batteries, getting a net of $34.50. That makes the 3D body plus MagLED upgrade cost less than $30, depending on how much you value the Mini-MagLite. ]

I will make some very conservative guesses for the purposes of this discussion. It's too late (4:00 a.m.) to actually do an estimate of parts cost so let's just say that the MagLite body costs $3 to $5 and the MagLED costs $5 (but should cost $3 after initial manufacturing startup costs are defrayed). [Or, maybe its double that.]

Profit margins remain the same when you buy any combination of the products. So, everyone on the business end is very happy.

Old and new customers are very happy. Stockholders (private owners in this case) are very happy.

Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!

[Compare the above with what Toyota does every year with a new Camry!]


Ohh! CPFers are not happy.

Well, in a few years other manufacturers will start putting LEDs in everything. MagLite won't care. They will have made tens of millions of dollars in the meantime. Then, with all of that money sitting in the bank, they will create a new generation head (with heatsinking) that retro-fits onto existing MagLite bodies. The interchangable heads will have different variations of LEDs as the technology improves.

Years from now, the CPFers will say, "the newest MagLites are junk," and MagLite Industries will still be stuffing millions of dollars into the bank.

Ohhh no! Did I really just post that! I'll lose millions in consulting fees!
 

HWman

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Please note, my Economics of MagLEDs was not in response to Robocops reply.

As a former salesman, I feel compelled to say that American consumers are ignorant and fail to diligently research...

Consumers are not really aware of LEDs. Yes, they have them and "use" them. Just like they use computers for email and surfing the web. I have been rambling this morning so I won't list what a computer can really do...

Ideally, in a pitch black parking lot, a salesman would stand outside Target (or Walmart, HomeDepot, OSH, etc.) and approach exiting customers.

She (dressed in attractive attire of course) would ask where is your car? Pointing an incandescent MagLite, she says, "That it?" Pointing a 3D MagLED, she says "Ah! That's better!" She asks the thoroughly sold customer for a $20 bill and hands him a bag with the upgrade MagLED bulb and change inside.

How many MagLite incandescents are sold every week by one store? A couple? How many MagLEDs after a demonstration? A couple per hour?

Sales would be easy and tremendous if a simple (and dramatic) demonstration could be made.

Just think about all of those sales that are made at the swap meet (flea market) by people selling rug cleaner by demonstrating it. How about the late night infomercials selling junk excercise equipment. Those are tough sales. Think how easy it would be to sell a MagLED just by shining it into someones eyes inside the store!

California is going crazy. They want to outlaw incandescent bulbs and force compact fluorescents (CF) on everyone. CFs are ten times the price of incandescents! Perception is the key here!


Everyone here is mistaken. The MagLED isn't $10 more expensive than the MagLite incandescent. It is actually cheaper!
 

WildChild

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Here in Canada, Canadian Tire, the main Maglite seller replaced all the incandescent line with MAG-LED 2D, 3D and 2AA. But I don't how well they sell. They are slightly overpriced here... But there are about 2 times per year a 40% rebate on all Maglites there.
 

Lobo

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HWman said:
Everyone here is mistaken. The MagLED isn't $10 more expensive than the MagLite incandescent. It is actually cheaper!

I live in Sweden, so the pricing is a bit different from yours, but here a 2DMaglite incan goes for roughly 45USD and a 2D Magled roughly 80USD...
 

AndyTiedye

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Lobo said:
I have to agree with most post posters here, the MagLED is still a terribly good light for most purposes, even proffesional. Those who really need something better, they realise it and turns to other solutions (Streamlight, Pelican, Surefire etc), and some of THEM end up here in the end. :grin2:

...and WE buy a hell of a lot of Mags -- either to collect 'em or to mod 'em!

I just ordered a bunch of these:

http://www.batteryjunction.com/tle-6k2.html
theshorelinemarket_1939_40580856
 

bridgman

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In every store I have seen the MagLED is definitely more expensive than the incandescent. Sometimes the difference is relatively small, but at other stores the MagLED is almost 2x the price of the incandescent.

I imagine build cost on the MagLED would be a couple of dollars higher -- the MagLED is a module so still needs the collet, so the delta is simply "bulb vs. LED module".
 

ringzero

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Robocop said:
why even have the circuit throttle back the power in the first place.....why not simply start the circuit out at half power to have much better runtime if the brightness "looks" the same.

Mag could have easily done it that way, but why? As it stands now the MagLED has a "double-output mode" when used in brief bursts.

Flashlights are frequently used that way outdoors - for spotting something, or to check out the source of a noise.

What disadvantage is there in having the "double-output mode" kick in automatically when you press the switch? You never have to think about it or activate it manually. The decline is gradual enough to be barely noticeable without measuring equipment.

Personally, I think this is a great feature and wonder why it isn't incorporated on more lights.


.
 

Northernflame

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Hi.

I'm pleased to see that the thread is still going strong.

HW Man, Robocop.

Agreed on the outrageous prices (markups). I had a surefire, nice FL. However I find surefires to be perhaps 150% over priced.

Secondly Mag Instrument did do a good thing by sticking to the most available type of batteries if you not in a country that has a resonable price for cr-123's . You might as well leave the ex surefire in a box somewhere.

Maglites are "practical" in design, nothing fancy, and built to last.

When you get down to it there is a modicom (SP?) of economic common sense. Mag made it's profit off the incan light bulbs, Just like inkjet printer makers make 99% of thier money off the ink cartridges.

It's isn't much of a stretch to invision that Mag purposely left out the obviously necessary heatsink for it's led line in order to have the led bulbs burn out quicker in order to more closely match ther sales of incan bulbs $$$.

The bulb dimming is almost impossible to see whenre there is any kind of daylight about. Even the light meter has problems detecting the dimming.

In the pitch black dark yes you can see the dimming.

A simple solution would be to come up with a universal C/D cell LED maglite heatsink mod.
 

bridgman

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>>It's isn't much of a stretch to invision that Mag purposely left out the obviously necessary heatsink for it's led line in order to have the led bulbs burn out quicker

I think they just left the heatsink out to make it inexpensive and easy to install as an upgrade. The module seems to be designed so that it automatically cuts back on current (and brightness) as it warms up to prevent overheating.

I like to think Mag is working on a new generation of products with a good thermal path to the flashlight body and stunning brightness but I kinda doubt it.
 

Lightmax

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bridgman said:
I also feel Mag is doing a crappy job of promoting their LED models, and they're taking a big hit in the marketplace because of it. :rant:


If Mag would put a $5 regulator in these lights, along with a copper -or- aluminum emitter assembly, they could promote GREAT THROW & OUTPUT along with FLAT REGULATION and EFFECTIVE HEAT SINKING.


For $10 additional, they wouldn't be able to keep these things on the shelves.
 

cerbie

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Sure they would keep them on the shelves. The current ones are easily worth $10 over the other Mags.
I feel compelled to say that American consumers are ignorant and fail to diligently research...

Consumers are not really aware of LEDs. Yes, they have them and "use" them. Just like they use computers for email and surfing the web.
We have a winner.

Most folks don't have a clue about how LEDs can perform beyond the 5-30 LED no-name lights. Sure some get the occasional Luxeon model, but not many. A white LED to most means an angry blue color. A stock LED Solitaire would not stay on shelves...but a full multiple D-cell LED?

"Why use crappy LEDs, and pay more for it? I want a real Maglite."

While they would never get anything better (extra money going to a nice heatsink and/or reflector is a waste for Mag, in all honestly, unless the heatsink can also reduce costs), I think most people would gobble up the LED ones if they saw them used.
 
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Cydonia

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HWman said:
As a former salesman, I feel compelled to say that American consumers are ignorant and fail to diligently research...

Consumers are not really aware of LEDs. Yes, they have them and "use" them. Just like they use computers for email and surfing the web. I have been rambling this morning so I won't list what a computer can really do...

I must reluctantly agree with this opinion. People are too busy to spend the time researching much of anything. Can't blame them really…

I've got a bunch of dumb questions no one can really answer, but I'll list em anyway since they are Mag related and have a different perspective:
  • Just out of curiosity, can anyone shed some light on Maglite's international reputation?
  • Are MagLED lights recognized as good value by different consumers in other parts of the world?
  • Or are Maglite's virtually unknown and very rare outside the USA?
  • Think the ratio is something like… for every 100 Mag's sold at home only 1 is sold overseas?
  • From CPF members in Europe we know that Maglite's cost a lot of money. (a result of various import taxes mainly.) So I guess this makes em really rare in other parts? So... folks in the EU have no cheap basic Maglite to choose like we do here. What's their cheap basic solid Maglite equivalent then?
  • Finally, can you imagine what it must be like to not have a cheap Maglite option?! When a 3D Mag costs $50 in your country...
 

Toohotruk

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I think they are relying on "word of mouth" to get the message out, for instance...when I saw the 3D MagLED modules on sale at Home Depot for $15, I picked one up out of curiousity. The next morning I went to work early when it was still dark, I showed a couple of my coworkers my new acquisition and they were blown away. The rest of the day, all I heard was "So where's that fancy new flashlight I've heard so much about?" So the next dark morning I showed it to a few more coworkers, and they were blown away. I've heard at least 10 of my fellow workers tell me that they either bought a MagLED module (or a couple), or one or more of the AA LEDs completely due to either seeing mine, or hearing about how bright mine is.

It's a certantly that those that bought one either as a direct, or indirect result of my little show-and-tell sessions, have shown theirs to people they know that were blown away and went out and bought their own. I also ordered a MagLED module through my work for my company issued 2D, and once the rest of the guys in the maintenance dept found out the company would buy them, they all ordered one for their lights. I'm sure that will result in some of them buying one for themselves and as gifts for others, who will undoubtedly show theirs to people they know who will be blown away...see a pattern?

I think they sell more of these than people here realize...just because the shelves are always full, doesn't necessarily mean they aren't selling...it may simply mean they have good stockers at that store...I'm sure that when MAG release their LED line they were well prepared for a very large volume of sales by keeping their distributers well supplied with their products.

That's just been my experience...:shrug:
 

Monocrom

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Robocop said:
So whats your take on this....is Mag doing well with the Luxeons and if not what will there next move be?

From an Enthusiast stand point, the company isn't doing very well. From a stand point of making profit while selling to the masses, they're doing very well!

Let's be honest, it wasn't until all the smaller companies made a tiny dent in Mag's profit margin that LED lights were introduced. (And it's not like Mag came out with brand new models). The new LED Mags are good enough..... for the average consumer who needs a flashlight.

Easily one of the biggest reasons for Mag's success is that you can find Maglites everywhere. Go to the most rural, out of the way, hardware store you can imagine and you can bet that they will have Maglites for sale.
 
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