What are the best cheap flashlights to mod into a bike light?


Newly Enlightened
Dec 5, 2008
The switches kept failing with my Lowe's Task Force 3C. After taking two back to the store, I finally decided to see if I could modify it to work as a bike light (my original use when I bought it).

I removed removed the battery tube and replaced it with a film canister. I hooked up a positive wire to the spring with an alligator clip and slid the film canister over the negative lead, lodging it between the body and the canister (I don't know how to solder). I ran both wires through a little hole I'd made in the back of the film canister and connected that to 2AA battery holder via a two prong plug.

Then I made it all nice and secure and tight with zip ties and sections of bicycle tube.

Later, I added the toggle switch.

When I get around to buying some C or D cells and a charger, I'm going to make a 2C or 2D pack to have more run time.

For the most part, it works pretty good. There have been some issues with the quality of the radio shack wires and connectors but the basic setup is good. 2 rechargeable AA batteries give me just over an hour of good light. This light is really good for the type of riding I do - dodging potholes at 20 mph on my daily 14 mile commute.

Now I'm wondering. What other flashlights work good for this type of modification? I hear about "drop in modules" and all kinds of different emitters. Are there things I can do to this light that will make it brighter?

Finally, any ideas to improve on my design? I'm sure that an alligator clip to the spring isn't the best method to connect the wire, but what is? And what better plugs are there to connect various battery packs to the light? I need something that I can easily swap battery packs because I like the versatility of being able to use different type cels And of course, everything needs to be secureable to my bike and fairly water resistant. (though dark and rain is a condition I generally avoid.)

Before ....