How to make a MagLite 3d as bright as possible

BuddTX

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Man, I love this forum!

Ever since Boy Scouts, I've always had a "thing" for flashlights. I've recently purchased a 2,000,000 cp and a 3,000,000, rechargable spotlight at Cabalas (http://www.cabelas.com/). I always needed to have the brightest, longest lasting light around!

I couldn't believe it when I found this site! This is great!

However, here is my question for the experts:

I have two 3D Cell Maglite flashlights, and I would like to make them as bright as possible.

Now, obviously, I don't want to spend a fortune in doing, this, otherwise I would buy a Surefire or similar light.

Some things that I have read on here are:

-Convert the flashlight to LED bulbs

-Put a 2D cell Radio Shack bulb in the light

-Buy a Carley Lamp and put that in there

-Use NiMh rechargable batteries.

-Put a different reflector in the light.

I like the size, weight and shape of the 3D cell lights, as I use both of these as "weights" when walking with my dog every night in a field that is not lit. It gives me a good workout when walking with the weights.

Now, what other alternatives in the same general weight, length, and shape of a 3D (or possibly a 4D) that might be around 50$ or so per light (maybe a little more, maybe a little less)!

Now, when you answer, please don't say something like "put an LED light bulb in there!". Please give me some details, as to go about doing this, rememer I am new to this!

Another question, are the NiMH rechargable batteries "better" than the new alkline batteries that are available from Duracell and Energizer?

Thanks everyone!
 

sunspot

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Lowe's hardware has a 3D xenon bulb for about $4.50 for a blister pack of two. I bought a pack and it visibly increased output. I forget the brand. Yellow and black on the pkg. I sent the other bulb to Stingmon for evaluation. At $2.25 each it was well worth it.
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John N

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Put (3) "D" 3V lithium batteries in there and replace the bulb/reflector with a 9V surefire assembly.

:)

Of course it will cost about $51 per set of batteries! :) Runtime should be alot better than a normal (3) 123A solution tho.

I guess you could also do the same with 9 or 12 123A cells.

-john
 

Gandalf

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by phred:
Lowe's hardware has a 3D xenon bulb for about $4.50 for a blister pack of two. I bought a pack and it visibly increased output. I forget the brand. Yellow and black on the pkg. I sent the other bulb to Stingmon for evaluation. At $2.25 each it was well worth it.
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<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Do you have a link for Lowes? Or is it local for you; I've never heard of it in Minnesota.

I've seen that Garrity makes a stainless steel flashlight with a xenon lamp, but it's a 2D, and the light is $12. As much as I like all the neat colors the 2D Maglite comes in, the 3D is the real workhorse
of the Maglite line. I think that and the 2AA are what's keeping Maglite afloat; thay are many, many years behind their competitors...... When was the last time they introduced a new product? (aside from color changes?)
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kb0rrg

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Carley lamps are a must for a 3D if you are a flashaholic. They are brighter and whiter. The beam quality is worse though IMHO. Radio Shack has a 3D bulb that is almost as bright.
 

vcal

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BuddTX,
IMO-by far the simplest and most practical improvement for your Mag. (when you take into account both brightness AND beam quality) is to just install xexon bulb from R.Shk. (#XPR103)-two bucks.
 

Quickbeam

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Put an LED bulb in there!

Sorry... Couldn't resist...
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If you decide to go with LEDs, it will NOT be brighter than the bulb already in there. You'll never get the "throw" or the wattage you can get from the incandescent bulb.

I've heard good things about the Carly bulbs, but I don't have one. I just crank my Mags to the tightest focus and leave them there......

NiMH batteries aren't necessarily "better" than alkalines, but they are rechargable and will save you money in the long run. In a flashlight you'll have reduced runtime compared to alkalines.

Re: Reflectors... Lightlover was supposed to have had a breakthrough with using thin plastic film of some sort to smooth out a maglight's beam, but he's not sharing it just yet... (what's it been, 6 months???
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)

Changing the reflector won't make it any brighter, it'll just change the shape and smoothness of the beam.

The only real way to get more light out of the same package would be to put in more powerful batteries and/or a higher wattage bulb. You'll get brighter light out of a 2-D bulb for sure... for about 2 seconds... longer if you're lucky! A halogen or xenon 3-D bulb might be an option - at least it'll be whiter light. Find them at RadioShack.

Instead of trying to upgrade the 3-D mag, it sounds like you would be better off getting a whole new light. Look at Princeton Tec and Underwater Kinetics for ideas.
http://www.princetontec.com/
http://www.uwkinetics.com

Here's another: http://www.pelican.com/

Lithium battery lights will give you brighter light in a smaller, lighter package. You may want to check out Streamlight and Surefire as well, but they tend to be at the high end and way above the price range you mention.
 

Gandalf

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If you put in a halogen, (or if you can get a xenon lamp) for the 3D Maglite, you won't lose much in run time, but you will increase the output by about 70% (using the halogen lamp). I have the lamp number at home Somethng like HPR53, for the halogen, but I'm going by memory( Translate: don't trust this number). They do brighten up a 3D cell Maglite substantailly, and aren't expensive, relatively speaking; around $5, or less

I'mm trying to find a source for xeneon lamps for Maglites, too: 2D, 3D, 4D

Carly has a minimum order of about $50
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sunspot

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BuddTX. Yes. Lowe's does have a web site( www.lowes.com ). I don't know if they list the bulbs. I don't know how far Lowe's sales area extends, it is all over the southeast US. I like the Radio Shack idea better. They are all over the US and seem to be cheaper.
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sflate

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Sorry if I missed this info somewhere, but...
How does the carley bulb compare to RadioShacks? Sounds like Carley's is a bit brighter but RS has better beam quality. Is this correct? I already have a carley bulb, just wondering if I should drive to RS and try there's for $2.
 

Squid

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Can anyone comment on the Magnum Star Argon replacement lamps offered by Maglite??? They claim that they producer 15% more light than the standard krypton lamps.
 

snakebite

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argon?
argon is a cheap as hell common fill gas.
only advantage is that it is cheap
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Alaric Darconville

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My present 3D Mag was already equipped with the KPR103 lamps, but I couldn't resist going to the Shack and getting the XPR103.

The package states:
EXTRA BRIGHT
XPR103
XENON LAMP
3.6 Volts * 800mA
For 3 "C" or "D" batteries
Fits 3-Cell Snakelight(R)

the back:

"Extra bright Xenon lamps are brighter than Krypton lamps."
It also reiterates the voltage and current, and also describes the brightness: 3.0 MSCP. (whatever that means)

The KPR103 bulb is marked: 3.6V, .75A (750mA). Therefore, the new bulb does draw 50mA more than the old, but it's probably not going to be THAT noticeable.

But, after all these numbers, you probably want to know if it was brighter.

Well, I tried both the KPR that was still in the head assembly, and then the (until now) unused KPR103 that was in the tailcap (to make sure the bulb already in use hadn't dimmed due to the normal blackening that occurs in filament bulbs over time), and both were equally bright (and painful to look at) with the Ray-O-Vac rechargeable alkalines that had been in there since last being charged in March (or earlier.)
I didn't think there was room for improvement, but I put the XPR103 in -- and WOW!!! It was almost horrifically bright, except that light is never horrific. I don't have pictures, but a friend of mine was watching and he was surprised a Mag light could be so bright.

At $1.99 +tax, it was definitely well worth the upgrade.

Thanks, CPF members! I'd have never thought to get that bulb without having read it here first!
 

Brock

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I like the XPR103 in the 3D mag. The Carley is just a bit brighter, but the beam isn't as nice, very "ringy". The XPR103 has a smoother beam and is much brighter then the standard Mag lamp. I would go with the XPR103. Just my $.02
 

Frank

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If you buy the XPR103 from the Radio Shack website, the catalog # is 272-1182.
 

sflate

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> I like the XPR103 in the 3D mag. The Carley is just a bit brighter, but the beam isn't as nice, very "ringy". The XPR103 has a smoother beam and is much brighter then the standard Mag lamp. I would go with the XPR103. Just my $.02 <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks Brock, your $ .02 is worth at least a nickel by me!!

I agree, I have the Carley and it is very 'ringy'. For $2.00 I will give the RS a try.
 

kb0rrg

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I second Brock 100%
Carley - Bright, bad rings and wedges
RS - slightly dimmer, slightly better beam
 
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