Modifying for unhandy enthusiast?


Newly Enlightened
Feb 9, 2022
Los Altos
Hi, I have some older lights that I was curious about how hard doing an emitter swap would be, or if I'd have to change the driver.

Older well built form factors, which is why I want to preserve them, but the output and cool white simply is sad, and more importantly, are beaten by normal people cheap Chinese flashlights- which is unacceptable.

The first is literally this one:

I was thinking of trying to swap for neutral or warm SST20 already on a board from Mohrlumens. The driver from what I understand is in the tailcap, so if I can not mess with the driver I'd be pleased as punch. It's single mode so I was thinking an emitter swap would be simple and the LED might not be optimally driven but no issues with safety or it working.

Less likely, but would be enjoyable to get swapped is the ITP C6 3W, also this exact model

Same thing, I'm on a high CRI/warm/neutral kick and upgrading everything I can. Is it possible despite the fact this one is variable brightness? I was thinking because the format is 1x18650 these aren't going to be the worst candidates for dipping my toe into learning about modifying lights.

Thanks CPF!

Jose Marin

Jan 4, 2015
St. Louis

These 2 videos from Matt with adventure sport are great and helped me get started. As long as you can take apart any light you want to mod down to mcpcb so you can either replace it with a new mpcpb and led or re flow the factory mcpcb with new led [same foot print] you are golden.


Feb 10, 2004
Old Dominion, USA
I happen to think your approach is the best way to get started, older lights which you don't mind experimenting with.

Depending on the model of light the hardest part is physically getting at the components that need to be replaced/upgraded. For a straight emitter swap that usually involves getting it open at the front head end. After it's open, you'll be able see what can/needs to be replaced.

If you're fortunate, it'll be a simple 1-for-1 replacement of the existing emitter and PCB. I suspect that could be the case with the Niwalker. The important thing will be to -
(1) get the emitter of your choice on an appropriate diameter PCB,
(2) a suitably spec'd emitter (e.g., forward voltage), and
(3) possibly a spacer/centering piece if needed.
From there some fine tuning may be required which will usually involve tweaking with the focus by adjusting the reflector to emitter height. Warning - be sure to watch your polarity and check for electrical short circuiting, BEFORE powering up, that's the #1 beginner's gotcha.

Reflowing an emitter onto a PCB is next level but could be an option if the emitter PCB is an unusual size. Matt's referenced video is a great, there are also plenty of threads on CPF with more detail.

Good luck with your mods!


Flashlight Enthusiast
Jan 22, 2004
Pleasanton (Bay Area), CA, USA
The first few projects will be somewhat destructive, so if your goal is to keep the light body, maybe take a step back further.

What I did that helped me a lot is to start with building a light - but not inside of the body. Just build up the components on a small piece of plywood on a table or work bench.

If you want to go completely back to basics, then perhaps start with an LED mounted on a "star" board, driver, wires, etc. (and a pair of sunglasses - no I am not kidding)

LEDs and components are super cheap today vs 20 years ago, so you can experiment and take the risk of burning out parts at relatively little cost.

With very simple tools - like a drill, you can mount the star board on a chunk of Al to keep it from overheating too fast.

Soldering an LED is a little bit tricky, but if you use solder paste, it can be done with a few tries.

Many LEDs can be purchased pre-mounted on a star pcb so that might be an acceptable path to start with?