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Thread: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    The lifetime stash of bulbs thread got me wondering: how many hours a day or week do you use incandescent flashlights, and what are you doing with them?

    Lately Iíve been using incan Maglites about 3 hours a day; two hours of D-cell use in the morning for ceiling-bounced room lighting and another one hour of AA MiniMag in the evening to read.

    What are my fellow CPFers doing?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Funny that you post about incans. Lately, I've been going simple with my flashlight setup. Programming them for 1 or 2 modes and that's it. In doing so, I've picked up some my Surefires (C2, 6P, M3) and putting incan bulbs and playing with them. I forget how well they throw and also how well colors are rendered, despite them being such a warm tint. I'm sure the relatively short runtimes and bulb life will soon remind me of why LEDs, for the most part, are better overall.
    Who needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you have friends on CPF?
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    Flashaholic* Greenbean's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Hmmm,

    I have had my Phillips bulb modded Mag-Charger with FM reflector by the back door for a few years now.

    Itís a rather bright incan but when Iím running out to the shed itís nice because I can put it between my ribs and upper arm and use both of my hands to work the padlock.

    Obviously it gets used more in the fall when itís darker outside.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    in my case, maybe an hour a year now, between half a dozen inc lights, or even less, they are shelf queens mostly, kept only as collectable items. i also have few 2d lights and 6v lanterns as loaners.

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    Flashaholic* id30209's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    I have around 5h per week. Hopefully it will be more when i finish building one AlanB regulator for short FM Elephant II.
    Biggest users are FM 1794 with AW softstarter, M6 with PhD regulator (WA1185) and 2D Mag with also PhD (WA1164)

  6. #6

    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Back when I lived in a place with no free lumens (ie light pollution) my incan minimag was plenty bright for most of my flashlight needs. A mid 1990's model still has the original bulb after probably a couple hundred hours. It's retired now. Replaced by LED lights.
    My 2000-ish Solitaire incan was used for about 15 years before a small LED light replaced it. Same bulb.

    These days I use a 2C light Scout24 gifted me the most incan-wise. It puts out maybe 10-15 lumens but the beam appears a lot brighter and is very useable in low light scenarios, trouble is where I live you can drive around at night without even turning on your headlights. Anyway it probably has 20 or so hours on the vacuum (pre-krypton/xenon) PR2 bulb.

    I have several really really old lights with the original bulb in them that still light. Some are 100 years old and the bulbs are very rare so they rarely get used. Only me and Mrs. Fixer get to see those lit. Everybody else has to just take my word for it.

    My 1969 Kel-Lite 2C has a pair of 18500 lifepo cells driving a 4 cell Maglite bipin I figure to get maybe another charge out of before it poofs. Each charge is good for about an hour before the low voltage circuit kicks in. But that's an hour of about 150 lumens from a 2C flashlight so it's fun while it lasts. I'm at about 5 hours on the original (Maglite) bulb in that one.

    My ROP scares me. So it comes out to play on those "holy crap that's bright" moments when I brag a little to friends or family by shining it on a neighbors light sensing porch light to turn it off from 50 yards away. lol. Yet the unprotected batteries get mighty warm mighty fast so I see that ultra-low resistance photon thrower feels like I'm carrying a hand grenade with the pin pulled. An older member Kabible fixed up a 2C Maglite with free flowing innerds and a custom reflector by (iirc) the sandwich shoppe. He sold it here for a lot less than it would have cost me to build one. Dam thing is so radical the fillament glows for like 3 seconds after the power is cut off. I have about 1 hour on the bulb it came with but managed to score a few more back in like 016 before they became more rare than an honest politician.

    I suppose my 1980's 2D Maglite has the longest 'running' bulb in it for incan lights I still use. Maybe 50 hours a year on that one for about 3 years now. A PR base Maglite xenon and ultra clear poly carbonate lens on that one probably kick out the front about 30 or so Maglite style lumens on new Rayovacs.

    My table lamp in my den has a krypton but I installed in 2012 that still lights up every evening for a few hours. They said 10 year lifespan and I'm not finding that incorrect yet.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 10-09-2019 at 04:00 PM.
    John 3:16

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    I'm not sure why the myth continues that incan bulbs always burn out, or burn out quickly. Is it from watching too many bad scary movies? Lack of experience using incan lights? Whatever the subject is, most internet discussion forums tend to become echo chambers over time, so I imagine as more time goes by and less and less users will have experience with incans the idea that incan bulbs will burn out after using them a little while will only become more pervasive than it already is.

    To answer the OP's question, right now I have an E1e with an MN01 and a beam filter sitting next to me on the table. I like the soft low incan light it provides around the house at night powered by a single CR123A or two AA batteries. My incan uses change by the day though, and certainly by the week. I was playing around with an HID in the back earlier.
    Last edited by ampdude; 10-10-2019 at 12:20 AM.
    ampdude

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Thank you for the responses so far!

    ampdude, I think you nailed it as to the myth continuance. I've seen a lot of movies and I've never used incandescent flashlights as much I have been these last few weeks. I've had these lights for years now and I try to keep two extra bulbs per light, but I have not been changing them much.

    bykfixer, those are some incredible numbers! I never would have guessed that flashlight bulbs would go hundreds of hours. That is awesome and so fun to hear. You make me wish that I kept track of total hours per light and bulb, ha ha.

    id30209, I am thinking that my first hotwire project will be this winter. That is so cool that you're using those lights so much weekly.

    alpg88, Greenbean, badtizcool, thanks for the responses! It's so funny how much more fun our hobby is when we can know what others are doing.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    About 99% of my incandescent lamp use is with my SureFire A2.

    It still sees regular (weekly but not daily) occasional use. I would guess maybe an hour or two per week, in total.

    And with its soft-start circuit, I cannot recall the last time I had to replace a bulb
    ... is the archimedes peak

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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    I've never had an A2 bulb go bad either. I've never even heard of such a thing! I think about the only way you could do that to a good one would be to drop it hard while it was running.
    ampdude

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    I have a few Surefire incandescent P60s and a P90, but I have never run them much because of the battery runtimes.

    I would be interested in a Light Miser (or however your spell it) tailcap.

    I'm also thinking about doing a long-term underdrive test on a P60 by daily running it an hour on a 16650 to learn firsthand just what happens and how long it takes.

    Maybe now I need to keep an eye out for an A2, too...lol, thanks guys!

    Archi, is yours stock on primaries?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    P60's run for an hour on just two batteries, and I've run P90's forever on lithium ion cells for free lumens. My favorite combo has always been P90 in a C3 with two 17500's. If I run out of juice or the temp gets too cold or hot for lithium ions I can always throw in three primaries (CR123A's) and carry on.
    ampdude

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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grijon View Post
    ....

    Maybe now I need to keep an eye out for an A2, too...lol, thanks guys!

    Archi, is yours stock on primaries?
    [IMG]https://i.imgur.com/lg155W0.jpg
    [/IMG]

    I have a few (others not pictured)

    Some are stock, running on (2x) CR123A, but most of my A2 use is with a @calipsoii ring and rechargeables.
    Last edited by archimedes; 10-11-2019 at 09:04 AM.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  14. #14

    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    This thread causes me to use my incan lights more often lately.
    John 3:16

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Quote Originally Posted by ampdude View Post
    P60's run for an hour on just two batteries, and I've run P90's forever on lithium ion cells for free lumens. My favorite combo has always been P90 in a C3 with two 17500's. If I run out of juice or the temp gets too cold or hot for lithium ions I can always throw in three primaries (CR123A's) and carry on.
    OK, you have me looking at 17500s now, LOL.

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    [IMG]https://i.imgur.com/lg155W0.jpg
    [/IMG]

    I have a few (others not pictured)

    Some are stock, running on (2x) CR123A, but most of my A2 use is with a @calipsoii ring and rechargeables.
    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    This thread causes me to use my incan lights more often lately.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Now that it's getting dark earlier, incans are used for evening walks. There are good streches of very dark street/no street lights and my Mag running a Tad high lumen bulb or M3 head on a Leef 2x18650 also running a Tad bulb or KT1 also running a Tad bulb, well you get the idea 😁 the throwers are nice to bounce light off street signs/reflectors way down the waaayyy...on misty nights, the "shape" of the beam is really fun to see in action.

  17. #17

    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    I'm thinking 4C Maglite season. 3 cell krypton of course.
    John 3:16

  18. #18

    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    and,, I thought, I was the only one using incandescent lights nightly simply to check on windows and door locks before going to bed.

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    Flashaholic* fivemega's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grijon View Post
    I have a few Surefire incandescent P60s and a P90, but I have never run them much because of the battery runtimes.
    I use P61 in this host powered by pair of 18650. Much brighter than P60, much longer run time and free lumens.
    Also possible to use P90 and P91 using four 18350 (2P/2S)
    Another possiblity is using four primery cells (2P/2S) with P60. slightly overdriven P60, Whiter beam color, 2.5 hours run time and excellent for emergency use.
    Last edited by fivemega; 10-14-2019 at 07:49 PM. Reason: spelling correction

  20. #20

    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    I'm thinking 4C Maglite season. 3 cell krypton of course.
    Youíd use a 3 cell bulb in a 4 cell light to overdrive it?

  21. #21

    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    So far so good frodo.
    It doesn't turn it into a sunlamp but it definitely makes a 4c brighter.
    I keep a 3 cell bulb in the tailcap for the eventual day it 's but thus far it has a couple of dog walk type hours on it.

    Tried some Tung Saul, Chicago Miniatures and Brinkmanns that only lasted a couple of minutes but the Maglite made ones are tough.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 10-15-2019 at 05:43 AM.
    John 3:16

  22. #22

    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    I'm at about 7 Hrs a week. I generally only use incans. They're 6Ps with different chinese knockoff bulbs. One is really bright and one is pretty dim. One for outside and one for inside. Both are running over 16650s. My EDC is an LED light but I hardly use that.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    So far so good frodo.
    It doesn't turn it into a sunlamp but it definitely makes a 4c brighter.
    I keep a 3 cell bulb in the tailcap for the eventual day it 's but thus far it has a couple of dog walk type hours on it.

    Tried some Tung Saul, Chicago Miniatures and Brinkmanns that only lasted a couple of minutes but the Maglite made ones are tough.
    That's why I keep my krypton mag bulbs around. They seem to tolerate overdriving pretty well. I haven't tried it much with the mag xenons though. They have the rep for being less forgiving.
    ampdude

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    I have blown two 5-cell xenon White Star II bulbs in less than an hour by putting them in a 6-cell light on NiMH, but I haven't tried it with any others yet.

    I've got 4 hours of 16650 time on a stock Surefire P60. It sure is fun using a P60 without burning two batteries per hour.

    Thanks for all of the responses, everyone!

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumen83 View Post
    ... I generally only use incans...My EDC is an LED light but I hardly use that.
    This is pretty similar to my situation the last several weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by rjking View Post
    and,, I thought, I was the only one using incandescent lights nightly simply to check on windows and door locks before going to bed.
    Ah ha ha, not by a long shot, it seems!

    Quote Originally Posted by rrego View Post
    ...on misty nights, the "shape" of the beam is really fun to see in action.
    There is something so incredibly satisfying about seeing the beam shape in mist/fog/steam/whatever, and I do feel like incans are even more satisfying in this than LEDs.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivemega View Post
    I use P61 in this host powered by pair of 18650. Much brighter than P60, much longer run time and free lumens...
    That's really cool, fivemega, thanks for sharing it!

  27. #27

    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Maglite kryptons seem to play nice with the voltage alkalines provide when over driven 1 cell higher from 4 cells and up. A 2 cell bulb in a 3 cell light doesn't last very long. I prefer the beam the kryptons provides over the PR base xenons in a Maglite. Now in fixed head lights by Don Keller like Kel Lites or Bianchis, the xenon looks pretty good.

    I know, I know, alkaleaks and all that but they are a lot more friendly to incan bulbs. I suppose it's the sagging output over time versus the steady feed of output with rechargeables.
    John 3:16

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Right on, bykfixer. I figured that the jump from 5 to 6 was the smallest so would be a good place to start, but two things happened: the bulbs kept blowing in the big light and none of the smaller lights have needed a new bulb yet! LOL

    So I still plan on testing a 4-cell bulb in my 5D light, but I'm waiting for the original bulb to go out first...

    Got my first set of NiMH D cells, so my 4D incan Maglite that I've been running on alkalines is going to get even more use. All my other D incan Maglites have Eneloops in 2xAA parallel adapters so far. If these LSD NiMH Ds work out well I plan to convert all the Mags to LSD NiMH.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* Grijon's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    ...I know, I know, alkaleaks and all that ...
    I have been very vocally anti-alkaline in the past, but I've now run something like three dozen alkaline D cells through incan Maglites with no issues. The cells are never in the light for more than 2 or 3 weeks tops, and I've been blessed with no leaks so far.

  30. #30

    Default Re: How many hours on your incans, and for what?

    i used to put 1 cell less bulb in maglites, my experience are same as others here as far as output, however i noticed 1 thing, overdriven krypton bulbs are more likely to burn out if dropped while on. the filament is brighter, but less shockproof.

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