Maglite Solitaire - Incandescent - Do you still use them?

junkman

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I have an old incon solitaire on my keychain that I still use. It's reliable and don't take up much space in my pocket. I use it and larger incandescent flashlites because a lot of stuff I work with uses color codes. 25 pair/cat5 cable or colored tape on power cables etc. My eyes have a hard time telling differences in color with LED lites.

I find the little solitaire is fine for up close inspection. And at night its enough for keep you from tripping or walking in to something. If I was walking from a bright location in to a dark room I would grab something bigger.
 

bykfixer

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To be honest Junkman, many who state Solitaires weren't bright enough also say their multi setting LED lights firefly mode are too bright with an output even dimmer than a Solitaire incan was.

When I restored a bunch of really old flashlights a couple years back the incan Solitaire was the perfect output to see how clean the inside of those old barrels were (or weren't) while trying to get current flowing past really tough tarnish spots.
 
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ampdude

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To be honest Junkman, many who state Solitaires weren't bright enough also say their multi setting LED lights firefly mode are too bright with an output even dimmer than a Solitaire incan was.

When I restored a bunch of really old flashlights a couple years back the incan Solitaire was the perfect output to see how clean the inside of those old barrels were (or weren't) while trying to get current flowing past really tough tarnish spots.

Good call. I'm thinking the exact same thing every time I read a comment about firefly mode being too bright.
 

Sovende

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Lots of replies, lots of opinions (pro & con) and lots of still have AND still use the lowly Mag-Lite Solitaire. I guess it's not as dead as some would have us believe :candle:.
I picked one up several years ago at a garage sale for a dollar (I think). Came in a little plastic case with a two ring lanyard and the instruction manual. The original battery must have leaked as evidenced by "stuff" in the battery spot of the tray. There was a Ni-Cd battery in there instead of the OEM alkaline one. I tossed it into the plastic "shoebox" where extra flashlight bulbs and miscellaneous related stuff gets forgotten 😳. It stayed forgotten until today when this post caught my eye. After wading thru the entire 7 pages (no, I didn't read each and every reply😉) I thought it might be time to get mine out so I could form my own opinion👍😎.
The Ni-Cd was mostly dead so I put a alkaline one in just to see if it still worked (just how much can go wrong with a NOS light?) Of course the bulb lit up. Not too bright to be sure but perhaps the battery was none too fresh. A fresher "Power Cell" alkaline battery from Menards proved to be quite a bit brighter. Lastly, I put in a freshly charged Ladda (IKEA) 900 mAh Ni-Mh battery and it seemed to provide an ever so slight improvement in output. All three "tests" were highly subjective but in ALL of them, the output was way more than a match, a BIC lighter or a birthday candle 😎.
So, while this Solitaire will never be a part of my "tactical" EDC, it may certainly prove to be useful when near "zero" bulk is needed and I don't want or need something twice as large in a belt holster or "printing" in a pants pocket!
Sovende
 

Grijon

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Add me to the "why yes, yes I do" column.

I just received a brand new incandescent Solitaire to round out a collection.

I had one years ago (technically I still have that one, but no idea whatsoever where it is) and gave up on it.

That was years before before I learned the ways of the moonlight and firefly modes, ha ha.

Now, in addition to the collection, I am very much looking forward to using it tonight in lieu of a moonlight LED.

I'm going to try it as a reading light, too, since I've been using what I believe is a sublumen setting on a Thrunite lately, so 2 incandescent lumens "ought" to be great (but I'm not holding my breath on that).

Woot woot!
 

DayofReckoning

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Using the Solitaire a few times over the years has reminded me of an important rule

An incandescent lamp MUST at least have 3 volts at min. 1.5V is just simply too little to drive a lamp to any kind of useful output. The Solitaire really is terrible, sorry to say.

Has anyone ever tried running a high quality Nimh battery to see if there is any improvement in output or CCT?
 

scout24

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They make the same light they always have. They've sold millions of them. The Solitare is useful for what it is. Are there subjectively better choices? Sure. Are they still useful? Sure.
 

bykfixer

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In its day the Solitaire was a huge improvement over a single aa light using a ##222 or 224 called lip stick lights or Tom Thumbs. Millions upon millions sold for that reason.

When I was restoring vintage lights a few years back the incan Solitaire was my go to light for inspecting inside barrels for cleanliness. I still use one from time to time knowing its charms and flaws are there. For things like inspecting gun barrels, or other narrow, shiney spaces it performs very well.
 
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Hugh Johnson

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I find the output, tint, and cri perfect for middle of the night stuff at home.

Personally, I have great night vision. However, I knew a guy who had great vision except at night. Something to do with fewer 'rod' photoreceptors. Add short/near sight issues, differences in peripheral vision, and personal preference, and I'm not surprised that people are complaining about the output.

It's been talked about how the beam has rings. I'd say the beam is rings. Therein lies the problem for me. I have a back problem and can't afford to slip or stumble. I also have young kids who leave things lying around everywhere. The chance of missing something is greater with this light.
 

snakebite

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anyone ever do a performance test of a stock solitaire with a energizer l92 lithium?
seems that the l92 stays well above 1.2v almost the full cycle.
higher average= brighter over the batteries life.
i would expect a shorter bulb life as the steep sag of an alkaleak is not there.https://data.energizer.com/PDFs/l92.pdf
 
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bykfixer

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Intriguing. I had not thought of trying that or an eneloop pro in an incan Solitaire. I'm afraid to now since the bulb in mine is about 20 years old and frankly I don't have any Maglite replacements for it. I do have some Brinkmann and a few really hard to find incan Keymate replacements. I may try a Brinkmann bulb this summer.

When I contacted Streamlight about bulbs for it their response was "we made the Keymate in incan?" 😂. Then I found some at eBay.
 
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chillinn

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For the Solitaire lamps, only alkaline is recommended by MagLite. There are at least 2 other lamps that will fit and work for 10440 LiFePO4 and high voltage Li-ion, respectively (look around incan forums for the threads concerning them), but without replacing the plastic lens, reflector and socket with materials that can take the heat, these things melt. A glass lens can probably be found, but finding a replacement aluminum reflector and ceramic socket ranges from hardly possible to very unlikely.
 

Grijon

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I used my new Solitaire nightly until the included alkaline ran out.

I put in an Energizer Ultimate Lithium...and the bulb died within a few <30-minute uses.

Haven't replaced the bulb yet, but had to laugh when it happened and when I saw the question in this thread so soon after.
 

bykfixer

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I used my new Solitaire nightly until the included alkaline ran out.

I put in an Energizer Ultimate Lithium...and the bulb died within a few <30-minute uses.

Haven't replaced the bulb yet, but had to laugh when it happened and when I saw the question in this thread so soon after.
(Paul Harvey voice) And that…… is the rest of the story
 

martinaee

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Are there any "drop in" led modules/bulbs for the incan solitares? I know they are super cheap anyway, but I would actually use mine more if I could turn it into a ~10-ish lumen E01 of sorts haha. Drop in sort of like Nite-ize had/has for the 2AA incan mags?
 

chillinn

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Are there any "drop in" led modules/bulbs for the incan solitares? I know they are super cheap anyway, but I would actually use mine more if I could turn it into a ~10-ish lumen E01 of sorts haha. Drop in sort of like Nite-ize had/has for the 2AA incan mags?

Pretty sure there was once a kit, just like for the 2xAA Maglite, mounted power LED with bipin under the mount, and possibly included a clicky tailcap, but so rare you'll never see the Solitaire kit. For the 2xAA incan, someone on these forums discovered and provided a hiCRI LED that just happened to match 2xAA voltage (correction, sorry, it was a 3V for primary CR123A only for Tad Customs E socket only, not MagLite... won't fit reflector). I jammed a 5V 3mm red LED in the Solitaire that I just happened to come across and it fired really dim with 10440. I suppose it is possible a 1.5V 3mm LED exists, but someone that has more knowledge and experience with loose driverless LED will probably be able to say they don't exist, or you'd have to order 10000 of them to get 1. MagLite sells an LED Solitaire, and the charm of the original is that it is incan, so I'm not sure the journey is even worth it. Now... a kit to turn LED Solitaire back into incan is what we need.
 
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bykfixer

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Maglite made a kit to turn an LED Solitaire back to incan, sorta……
The spectrum warm version is pretty sweet. Kinda pricey and not easy to find, the spectrum warm puts out a real nice incan looking beam.

I do not know of any Solitaire LED upgrades that were made in bulk such as the Nite Ize minimag kit.
 
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