US Made 200 Lumen light for about $10

Brighteyez

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Don't panic, it really isn't an eBay ad from China! And no, I'm not kidding, though I'm ROFLMAO! :D And it's only an inch longer than a Mini Mag!

I'm sure everyone has seen the Mag 2C -3CR123 mod
http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews/maglite_2c-123a_mod.htm or the variations of it using 6 AA batteries with various AA-D battery adapters.

While in Wal*Mart today, I saw these plastic Eveready 2D lights on the rack in either singles or 2 packs ($1.68/$2.99). Since I had some extra battery holders and bulbs laying around ... I got this hairbrained idea ... What the hell, it was $1.68 (with carbon-zinc batteries!)

When I got home, I dug up a couple of 3AA-1D battery adapters and pulled out a Mag-Num Star 6 cell bulb. Stuck 6 alkalines into the adapters, and replaced the bulb with the 6 cell Xenon bulb. When I lit it up there was this bright light with almost no artifacts (the light comes with a stamped steel faceted reflector.) The output level almost compares to my SL20 (to the naked eye,) and it's far brighter than any of the 2xCR123 lights. The drawbacks are that it does have a slide switch, and it is a cheap plastic tube, but the package and the light are clearly stamped as being made in the US.

Anyway getting back to the title ... I thought I'd total up the approximate costs

Light $1.68, 2 3AA-1D battery adapters $6, 1 Xenon bulb $3.19, for a total of $10.87, plus applicable taxes. The look on my face ... priceless! :lolsign: Add $1.20 for 6 AA Kirkland batteries if you want.
And to bring it in well under $10, including batteries, I suppose one could use a KPR118 bulb from Radio Shack ($1.39), the Mag White Star Krypton bulbs, or a KPR118 bulb from the hardware store.

It's light, and small enough to stick into a pair of trouser pockets, and a viable loaner, or a budget-price high powered light for the student flashaholics. I'd guesstimate the run time to be about 1.5-2 hours. ... and to think, I've got 2D mags like this with ringy beams ...

And no, I don't want to try an ROP with this ...

Oh yeah ... forgot ... Bubba Paris was in the store doing one of those autograph things.
 
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fire-stick

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What about using rechargables. But that'd probably double the price of the light. LOL

I bought a $3 light that uses 4AA. It's the length of a 1D cell light. I put a 3 cell krypton mag bulb in it, and I was impressed. With the faceted reflector the beam was pretty smooth.

All though I don't recall the 6D bulb being 200 lumens.. I could be wrong....

You should do a before after beamshot of your light..
 

Icebreak

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"(the light comes with a stamped steel faceted reflector.)"

Those type reflectors can produce a nice beam and handle the extra heat from that 6 cell modification.

It works well. Cost little. I think it's viable flashlight for many purposes. Plus it's strealthy and that's always fun. Good one, Brighteyes.
 
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David_Web

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According to FLR that mod puts out around 100 lumen (97.2)
Where can those adapters be bought? especially for 6$
 

cd-card-biz

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Excellent Brighteyez! While I'm really good at just buying lights, I have long wanted to try a simple project. I think this is it!

Printed your post and it goes with me to Wallyworld this week.

Thanks for sharing this,
:goodjob:
Bill
 

Brighteyez

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fire-stick - Yes, you could use rechargables or alkalines, hence the use of the KPR118 or Mag 6 cell Xenon bulb. But as a stashed light for a backup, the alkalines wouldn't require the maintenance to insure that the batteries are relatively fresh. But there is nothing that would prevent you from using NiMH AA batteries with it either. Just bear in mind that the body is probably a short lived item (what do want for $1.68?! ;) ), though you could certainly use the battery adapters and the bulb (which will probably outlast the body :) ) on another body.

Icebreak - Yeah, probably just a step above a "ghetto mod" :) While the reflector is steel, the bulb holder is plastic, so you'll want to keep that in mind. My use of a flashlight tends to be in short bursts, seldom lasting more than a couple of minutes, and I wouldn't generally use a light of this intensity for long periods of lighting anyway. I don't know if doing a run-time test to exhaust the batteries might not melt the bulb holder.

David_Web - I was going by Mag's rating for this bulb, it's probably in bulb lumens. You can get the adapters at $3USD ea from Litemania over in the Dealers Corner forum on this site.

Xenon - The 5 cell Mag Xenon bulb (probably rated at about 5.75-6V) is known to blow with 6 alkalines, but works great with 6 rechargeables. I have that combination in a 2 D Mag, but it can only use rechargeables. Using the 6 cell bulb enables versatility in dropping in alkalines if the batteries run out and you don't have a charger or spare NiMH batteries handy. In 2D Mags, I've noticed that the output from a 5 cell bulb is whiter, but I"m not sure that the throw is that much different from that of a 6 cell bulb.

cd-card-biz - Yes, it is very easy, just drop in the bulb and remember to put the adapters in with the correct polarity. I don't think there is anything that should prevent you from using a slightly better quality body either (like maybe one with a button switch,) but I'd avoid anything that has a battery monitoring circuit (like the fancy $5 RayOVac "Industrial".) Just bear in mind that the parts cost much more than the light, and the cost of gas to get to Wal*Mart may cost more than the sum of the parts.

Also, please note that Wal*Mart does not carry any 6 cell bulbs, if you want to get the Mag Xenon, you'll have to find a local resource (price can vary between $3-4), or alternatively, the KPR118 ($1.39 at Radio Shack) will also work, albeit not quite as bright.
 
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fire-stick

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David_Web said:
According to FLR that mod puts out around 100 lumen (97.2)

FLR- "As a result, I was able to get what appears to be a much more accurate Lumen calculation factor. Here it is:

LED lights: multiply the Overall Output chart number x 1.39
Incandescent lights: multiply the Overall Output chart number x 1.62"

-----------
http://flashlightreviews.com/features/output_vs_throw.htm#lumens
------------

So, it's 157 lumens... Which is still pretty smokin' bright for a little light....

Brighteyez--How wide would you say the hotspot is from 3 feet?
 

Brighteyez

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Thanks, I was looking for that formula then got distracted by some stupid little thing (oh! it was work! :) ). Do bear in mind that Doug's measurment is from a Mag, it may differ with this reflector, but you're right, it's a hot little light, and you can't even touch it with the high priced CR123 'tactical' lights, but it's simple construction also makes it lightweight and very compact as well (less than 7").

I dunno how wide the hotspot is from a meter/yard. Maybe about 3 inches? Actually maybe a little less, as the output from that Eveready reflector more like a hot spot and then a surrounding ring of bright light, and then side spill (and the side spill is actually a larger circle than my SL20. On a more serious point though, if you're going to get hung up on the size of the hot spot on a $1.68 light ... well you know. ;) My point was more that the output from this $1.68 body was smoother than I got from the Mag (I put the Mags together as backup lights for SL20s). As an afterthought, it occurred to me that it was just a plain cheap, dirt cheap, means of getting a high output light, and given it's cost, it could be a temporary usage item (salvaging the battery adapters and bulb between body changes.)

While I thought is pretty whimsical, it dawned on me that the adapters aren't readily available, and it may require shipping from Korea ($5), so if there's a bunch of people interested, you guys might want to consider some sort of group buy or something to minimize the shipping expense, however it does incur additional repacking and redistribution unless there is a group that are all located in somewhat close proximity.

Again, I do want to emphasize that I chose the cheapest body that I could find, more as a means of making a point of making something that was cheap and potentially a giveaway. For those who might desire something more durable, you might want to consider other 2D flashlights as potential hosts (I did this with Mag 2D bodies originally.)

fire-stick said:
FLR- "As a result, I was able to get what appears to be a much more accurate Lumen calculation factor. Here it is:

LED lights: multiply the Overall Output chart number x 1.39
Incandescent lights: multiply the Overall Output chart number x 1.62"

-----------
http://flashlightreviews.com/features/output_vs_throw.htm#lumens
------------

So, it's 157 lumens... Which is still pretty smokin' bright for a little light....

Brighteyez--How wide would you say the hotspot is from 3 feet?
 

nerdgineer

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The idea seems fine. Are you sure about the made in USA part (not that I care, but it's in the title)?

I can't find any such mention about the plastic Eveready 2D light.
 

Brighteyez

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Yup. Actually there's no branding on the flashlight itself. It just says "Made in U.S.A." There are no Eveready markings on the plastic body. EDIT Turns out there is also a "Eveready" branding on the slide switch. It can also be found at Radio Shack /EDIT I don't doubt it, producing injection molded plastics is one of the few things that can still be done competitively in the U.S. and it is generally of superior quality to the trash out of China (which is somewhat reminiscent of the junk plastics from Japan during the 50's and 60's.

With regards to "can't find any such mention", you've lost me. Could you rephrase that one please? If you meant that you couldn't find it at Wal*Mart, sorry I can't help you, I don't stock their stores, I just happen to notice them in our stores; they may eventually show up in your stores or may show up next week. But they are under Eveready packaging, and comes with two Eveready carbon zinc batteries. Look for the pricing. $1.68 in a single pack, and $2.97 for a two pack.

I still haven't figured out what to do with the carbon-zinc batteries. I'd offer to give them away but the postage alone would exceed the value of the battery and then I'd have to add handling costs to cover materials and gas to the post office (no charge for my time, since everyone thinks that the shipper should work for free. ;) )

nerdgineer said:
The idea seems fine. Are you sure about the made in USA part (not that I care, but it's in the title)?

I can't find any such mention about the plastic Eveready 2D light.
 
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Brighteyez

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Measured it last night. It's about 6 inches using the Eveready body and reflector. I think I might try it with a Garrity body http://www.garritylites.com/page67.html , our local hardware chain has these in bulk with their own branding for $1.99 (but they sell the one in Garrity's packaging right along side of it for $2.99!) They look like they might have a tighter spot.

fire-stick said:
Brighteyez--How wide would you say the hotspot is from 3 feet?
 

mdocod

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I'm thinking- for a few dollars more: the Garrity G-tech, or Rubber Tuff-Lite might be good hosts. With actual buttons rather than sliders, and slightly better build..... Idunno.

A little story: I made one of the 3x123 mods out of a Coleman green 2xAA flashlight. Using a Mag Xenon. (very similar mod)... I left the light sitting up on my desk... My Fiances brother and his kids came over and started playing with flashlights. I wasn't home at the time, but from what I gather they ran that little light for about 30 minuts straight- now the bulb is perminantally melted into the reflector... So I guess it depends on the quality of the reflector, but some plastics may not take the heat as well as others.
 

Brighteyez

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The Eveready light was used because it was the cheapest thing that I saw and it was more of a whim.

Use any 2D light that you want, as long as it can stand the heat, and for those who are actually going to build a light like this for actual frequent use, it would indeed behove you to use a better quality light as a host. I wouldn't think of using the Eveready (or RayoVac, Garrity, et al equivilants) as anything more than a quasi-disposable (salvage the battery adapters and maybe the bulb). The lights that I originally used this conversion on were Mag 2D bodies and even those were for backup purposes.

There is one advantage to using these bottom-of-the-line slide-switched hosts, they're incredibly small compared to other 2D lights. The Eveready 2D body that I used is actually shorter than my Stinger!


mdocod said:
I'm thinking- for a few dollars more: the Garrity G-tech, or Rubber Tuff-Lite might be good hosts. With actual buttons rather than sliders, and slightly better build..... Idunno.

A little story: I made one of the 3x123 mods out of a Coleman green 2xAA flashlight. Using a Mag Xenon. (very similar mod)... I left the light sitting up on my desk... My Fiances brother and his kids came over and started playing with flashlights. I wasn't home at the time, but from what I gather they ran that little light for about 30 minuts straight- now the bulb is perminantally melted into the reflector... So I guess it depends on the quality of the reflector, but some plastics may not take the heat as well as others.
 
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