Maglite LED replacement

Lightman2

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Apr 11, 2011
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Hi All. Been some years since I have been here….life's busy. Just bought a new but cheap Maglite 3 x D cell. It is an older model that comes with a LED but also a standard old krypton lamp in the tail cap…..so the lamp can be replaced. The manufacturers rep said the light is rated at about 180 lumens which is likely correct because it isn't that bright. Also noted is that the current LED offers no flood, likely due to the reflector inside. So I am looking for either a higher lumen rated LED I can use for more light and/or a LED array that can offer more flood and more light. Note, this Maglite has the old plastic cone reflector inside. Any help much appreciated.
 

knucklegary

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^^ Matt Smith is the owner of Lumencraft and a member here. I have just used his drop in.
Which drop in did you get?

All of Matt's reflector drop-ins look shallow/floody with exception of the 300lm LED bulb that probably doesn't have greatest beam (rings) in stock reflector
 

hsa

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^ The 800 lumen firefly. It's not at all floody, it throws. I measured 60k candella. I had a 2D lite so I got a 2cell extension. I run it on 4 black eneloops in adapters. I just wanted to make use of a perfectly good old light. It's long now. I have had fun with it. It doesn't have adjustable beam though.
 

alpg88

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Those reflectors do have some throw, and very useful spill, (his are the same ones you buy on DX or KD......., the driver and led part is what Matt makes, other sellers also use those reflectors) .but it depends on the led a lot, and not just die size, primary optic angle also plays a equally large role, as well as their position, some leds like xre, xhp, and few others can go in deeper than xm, or xp leds)
I tried xml2, and a L2 led in the same reflector, beams were different. also those reflectors are not all the same, they may look similar, but slight change in curvature or angle and the beam is noticeably different, i went thru a dosen or two of such dropins, from various seller, some work better with one type of led, others with another type. since they are made on many different factories, they do come out different.
I have Matts drop in with a uv led, it has a pretty tight beam, and throws pretty well, Seems like Matt picked such reflectors that work best with leds that he uses.

One of my favorite lights is a shorty that i moded from a no name cheap light that used a bulb before, i think it was the first light i cut up, and turned into a short one, it uses such reflector and an old xre led that looks like sub 2000k, and it throws a very tight beam.
 
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hsa

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According to the Lumencraft site the LED is sst-40. I don't know anything about that one. It does have good spill though, but about an 8 degree beam, it looks like to me.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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IMO, it is more economical to simply buy a Maglite ML300L than to fix up your old one with a drop-in. But, maybe not as fun as fixing up your old one, kind of like spending money on hotrodding an old car vs buying a new car that goes fast--different kind of satisfaction. Me, I'm lazy that way (and thrifty). I'd rather buy a new Maglite that suits my needs than spend more money to fix up my old one, but that's just me. There are A LOT of folks on here that are IMO Burger King flashaholics, because they want a flashlight built "their way". :) There's nothing wrong with that, it's their money, and they can spend it however they want.
 

hsa

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I wanted to support Matt Smiths Lumencraft operation. He is a local boy.
I have ML mags, they are wonderful.
I promised myself that I would not buy another flashlight until I upgraded the old one. (sentimental)
That was 30 flashlighs ago, finally kept my promise.
Never had a 4d maglite, now I do.
Problem with good advice is it always interferes with my plans, re economical.
Flashlite conversion was fun and easy, I like it.
It was cheaper than hookers and blow.
 
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In for a penny -
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In for a pound -
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Variety is the spice of life.
 

Lightman2

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Hi All. Yes, I just had an email in from Lumencraft. Maybe I was a bit hasty buying the Maglite old model but it was US$27 dollars. So yes buying a Lumencraft upgrade is going to put me at a loss vs had I bought a ML. So what do I do now? So much for my saying, an educated buy is a good buy.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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Hi All. Yes, I just had an email in from Lumencraft. Maybe I was a bit hasty buying the Maglite old model but it was US$27 dollars. So yes buying a Lumencraft upgrade is going to put me at a loss vs had I bought a ML. So what do I do now? So much for my saying, an educated buy is a good buy.
Welllll, you could resell it, or, you could look at cheaper drop-ins, or, keep it as-is and relegate it to some lesser duty that it is adequate for. What is the candela rating on it?
 

Lightman2

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Apr 11, 2011
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Hi ISM, thanks. Yes looks like that could be the way forward. I do like the upgrade option it's just that I reside outside the US so with freight and currency conversion it makes upgrade a bit tough vs a new light. Looking at the ML300L. Does anyone know what the focus is of the new Maglights? I really don't like their old plastic reflector that has the lamp move in and out as you rotate the head. The wide ring of light is good for nothing so hopefully the ML300L has a good balance of tight beam and flood. I will also YouTube ML300L and see if I can find a video
 

Stress_Test

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Feb 18, 2008
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Well, personally I find those big old Maglites (C & D size) are really good for two things:

1. With a low-power LED drop in, it's a loooooong runtime power outage light that you can just set and forget.

2. As a loner light; it's an absolute no-brainer that you can hand to anyone with no explanation needed. Good reliable light that you won't cry (much) if they accidentally drop it down a well or something. At least not as bad as losing a 100+ dollar light!

I've had several of the old Nite-Ize drop-ins (both the 0.5? watt and 1 watt) and they still work fine.

In fact not long ago, gave my 3D with the 1W Nite-Ize bulb to an elderly family member for a road trip.

So I guess what I'm saying is, don't feel like you have to throw a ton of money into it to make it useful.
 

alpg88

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Apr 19, 2005
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Hi All. Yes, I just had an email in from Lumencraft. Maybe I was a bit hasty buying the Maglite old model but it was US$27 dollars. So yes buying a Lumencraft upgrade is going to put me at a loss vs had I bought a ML. So what do I do now? So much for my saying, an educated buy is a good buy.
Cut your loses and run, this hobby is addicting, you will keep buying lights and what you spend now will be peanuts compared what you will spend on your collection that you will accumulate, just ask anyone here.
 
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