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Thread: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

  1. #1

    Default Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    I want to start a new thread related to the another thread. We all know there are some tremendous upgrades for Maglites that deliver an enormous amount of light that cost a little bit and are well worth the money. But what about the guy that has one or more Maglites around that knows the incandescent isn't working, dim yellow light, drains battery and just wants to upgrade them a little bit just to make them serviceable expensively? There are the TerraLUX LED bulbs for $16. What are other bulbs in this price range that may be better that people could try so they would be happy with this simple upgrade?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    The nite-ize have come a LONG way since back when they were either 5mm or 10mm LED options only. Last time I picked up a 2-cell nite-ize PR bulb for the MIL from the local hardware store, it was on close out for $7 and works very nice. A slightly cool, almost neutral tint and good, reasonable output. Was a smaller emitter, IIRC it looked like an XPE.

    The hands down budget winner is the Rayovac LED bulbs for ~$3. Similar output to the factory incan bulb but exceptional runtime. A bit towards "angry blue" on my examples, though. Great for a blackout light anways. I have a number of them stashed in tin foil for my "oh sh1t" can as they would work with any PR bulb application within their voltage range.

    Now minimags are easy! Similar output to stock bulb without POOF and with, literally, weeks of runtime (I'd have to look for the thread but I feel like when I did a test it was 1+ month continuous of 2AA). Look at a 5mm LED stuck in place of the bulb. Just have to trim the leads a little and hog out the reflector a little bit. Works great! I've tried it with Nichia GS and it worked amazing. I also tried it with some warm white LEDs from ledsupply which worked great. I have some other high output LEDs which I'd rather use but just haven't messed with them yet.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    I would check out "Adventure Sport Flashlights", Matt the owner has a whole bunch of Maglite stuff there, everything from high power/lumen multi LED dropins with reflector and heat sink to small but still bright LED dropins down to $16. n change. you could even run your Maglites with rechargeable batteries like nimh or li-ion. It is plug n play install type of stuff too.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    You might want to watch this video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK7NbWqvB-k

  5. #5

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck91 View Post
    The nite-ize have come a LONG way since back when they were either 5mm or 10mm LED options only. Last time I picked up a 2-cell nite-ize PR bulb for the MIL from the local hardware store, it was on close out for $7 and works very nice. A slightly cool, almost neutral tint and good, reasonable output. Was a smaller emitter, IIRC it looked like an XPE.

    The hands down budget winner is the Rayovac LED bulbs for ~$3. Similar output to the factory incan bulb but exceptional runtime. A bit towards "angry blue" on my examples, though. Great for a blackout light anways. I have a number of them stashed in tin foil for my "oh sh1t" can as they would work with any PR bulb application within their voltage range.

    Now minimags are easy! Similar output to stock bulb without POOF and with, literally, weeks of runtime (I'd have to look for the thread but I feel like when I did a test it was 1+ month continuous of 2AA). Look at a 5mm LED stuck in place of the bulb. Just have to trim the leads a little and hog out the reflector a little bit. Works great! I've tried it with Nichia GS and it worked amazing. I also tried it with some warm white LEDs from ledsupply which worked great. I have some other high output LEDs which I'd rather use but just haven't messed with them yet.
    Nite-ize might be a little better.

    The Rayovacs are economical but I would want better performance then the factory bulb.

    I am not familiar with this and I definitely want to upgrade my Maglite Mini. Sometimes that is the only flashlight you can fit in tight spaces. Standard 5mm LEDs have prongs on them like the factory Mini Mag bulbs? How much do they cost? ThevTerraLUX FORVTHE Mini-Mag is $16 too.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Quote Originally Posted by LED Monkey View Post
    I would check out "Adventure Sport Flashlights", Matt the owner has a whole bunch of Maglite stuff there, everything from high power/lumen multi LED dropins with reflector and heat sink to small but still bright LED dropins down to $16. n change. you could even run your Maglites with rechargeable batteries like nimh or li-ion. It is plug n play install type of stuff too.
    I wish I would have know about this earlier. I am going to try and cancel my order for the TerraLUX and look into what Adventure Sport Flashlights has to offer. Like to support small busnesses. In your opinion, is his stuff better then the Malkoff $44 Maglite drop in for the money? Just curious.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Quote Originally Posted by hsa View Post
    You might want to watch this video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK7NbWqvB-k
    I watched this video five times before I saw your post and I can never understand the name of the first bulb which is the $15 or $16 one.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Quote Originally Posted by mjac View Post
    I wish I would have know about this earlier. I am going to try and cancel my order for the TerraLUX and look into what Adventure Sport Flashlights has to offer. Like to support small busnesses. In your opinion, is his stuff better then the Malkoff $44 Maglite drop in for the money? Just curious.
    I would not say the Adventure Sport products are better but they have differences that you can consider such as lumens and cost. the Malkoff stuff has a good rep for very high quality build but they're not quite as bright as some of the AdvSpt. dropins. Fwiw I bought a 3/6 D cell Fire Fly 800 lumen dropin built with the reflector, good output, build quality seems to be good as well. I would prefer a different UI as far as the on time memory but thats just my preference. I did have a unintentional torture test by it accidently dropped it out of my 2nd floor bedroom window and it landed on my driveway and still works like new.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Quote Originally Posted by mjac View Post
    I wish I would have know about this earlier. I am going to try and cancel my order for the TerraLUX and look into what Adventure Sport Flashlights has to offer. Like to support small busnesses. In your opinion, is his stuff better then the Malkoff $44 Maglite drop in for the money? Just curious.

    The Malkoff quality is unimpeachable. I have a number of their modules, though only one of their Mag drop-ins. It is as well done as any of their other offerings. That said, its becoming dated with the cool white XPG2 as the only option. IMHO if I were to need/want a drop in that offers better performance than a PR LED bulb then Malkoff woul be my go-to. Also, if you don't mind voiding their warranty you could EASILY replace the LED with anything you want as it is basically just right there on top.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    The Rayovac bulbs that they used to sell at Walmart for $3-4 were OK if you didn’t need a lot of output and didn’t mind the blue tint…lots of run time with these. I think Dorcy sells similar bulbs for around $5.



    The 55 lumen Nite Ize is a big step up – brighter, whiter beam and can be used in any 2-6 cell PR bulb light. I think these were around $8 at home depot last time I looked.

    These are great if you want more output and don’t want to spend a lot:


  11. #11

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Quote Originally Posted by LED Monkey View Post
    I would not say the Adventure Sport products are better but they have differences that you can consider such as lumens and cost. the Malkoff stuff has a good rep for very high quality build but they're not quite as bright as some of the AdvSpt. dropins. Fwiw I bought a 3/6 D cell Fire Fly 800 lumen dropin built with the reflector, good output, build quality seems to be good as well. I would prefer a different UI as far as the on time memory but thats just my preference. I did have a unintentional torture test by it accidently dropped it out of my 2nd floor bedroom window and it landed on my driveway and still works like new.
    Much to my surprise LED Supply just sent me an EMail allowing me to cancel my order. So now I am going to look at Malkoff's stuff and Adventure Sport Flashlight's stuff and decide on what to do. By the way, what Batteries do guys like ya'll use that know what they are doing?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck91 View Post
    The Malkoff quality is unimpeachable. I have a number of their modules, though only one of their Mag drop-ins. It is as well done as any of their other offerings. That said, its becoming dated with the cool white XPG2 as the only option. IMHO if I were to need/want a drop in that offers better performance than a PR LED bulb then Malkoff woul be my go-to. Also, if you don't mind voiding their warranty you could EASILY replace the LED with anything you want as it is basically just right there on top.
    LED Supply has allowed me to cancel my order. So I will look at the Malkoff stuff and the Adventure Sport Flashlight Stuff and see which one gives the most for the money. But everyone says the Malkoff stuff is bullet proof. I don't think I was getting my money's worth with the TerraLUX even though it was only $16. Once it starts breaking down you are back to square one. Get something good right up front.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    [QUOTE=xxo;5360092]The Rayovac bulbs that they used to sell at Walmart for $3-4 were OK if you didn’t need a lot of output and didn’t mind the blue tint…lots of run time with these. I think Dorcy sells similar bulbs for around $5.



    The 55 lumen Nite Ize is a big step up – brighter, whiter beam and can be used in any 2-6 cell PR bulb light. I think these were around $8 at home depot last time I looked.

    These are great if you want more output and don’t want to spend a lot:

    [/QUOTE

    LED Supply has allowed me to cancel my order so I am now free to look at anything I want. I am going to look at the Malkoff Products and the Adventure Sport Flaslight Products. The Malkoff Maglite 3D Drop In is $44. The 3 to 6 cell Adventure Sport LED drop in bulb puts out 276 verified lumens and may be a better value. We will see. But either way it will be much better then the TerraLUX. Thanks for all of ya'lls help.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    As already noted the Malkoff products are high quality rock solid stuff, but as also mentioned by Buck91 the led options are pretty much the Cree XPG cool white and I didn't want to go with that so I opted the go with ASF. I got the FireFly 800 lumen XML dropin and I'm running it on 2x 26650 Vapcell 5000mah 20A continuous in a 3D cell maglite with a dummy spacer that I made. The Malkoff dropin needs to mod the reflector or buy a new reflector to use with the dropin just a heads up. The batteries you use with whatever you decide to go with must match the working voltage range of the specific dropin/bulb and consider the size of the Maglite you're going to use also.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Quote Originally Posted by LED Monkey View Post
    As already noted the Malkoff products are high quality rock solid stuff, but as also mentioned by Buck91 the led options are pretty much the Cree XPG cool white and I didn't want to go with that so I opted the go with ASF. I got the FireFly 800 lumen XML dropin and I'm running it on 2x 26650 Vapcell 5000mah 20A continuous in a 3D cell maglite with a dummy spacer that I made. The Malkoff dropin needs to mod the reflector or buy a new reflector to use with the dropin just a heads up. The batteries you use with whatever you decide to go with must match the working voltage range of the specific dropin/bulb and consider the size of the Maglite you're going to use also.
    You are way beyond me in sophistication with your set up. I just bought the Adventure Sport 280 Lumen drop in and standard Duracell Batteries. But I think this $16 upgrade will still be a significant improvement over the stock Maglite with the incandescent in brightness and run time. Good for the money.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Nice mjac! I think you're gonna like the upgrade you get for the money. That has the highest lumen rating I've seen for the "bulb style" dropin that I'm aware of. Please let us know how it does after install.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Fwiw you could go with rechargeable batteries either nimh or li-ion if you wanted. I'm assuming you have a 3D cell maglite since you ordered the 280 lumen version.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Quote Originally Posted by LED Monkey View Post
    Nice mjac! I think you're gonna like the upgrade you get for the money. That has the highest lumen rating I've seen for the "bulb style" dropin that I'm aware of. Please let us know how it does after install.
    Yeah ya right. Feeling good, LSU just put on a Virtuoso Performance on a National Stage. For $16 to get that level of an upgrade, though not nearly the level of the high end upgrades, I think is very cost effective unless you need higher output.The drop in is not only rated at 280 Lumens, it was tested at 276. Good place to start. Every Mag should at least have this done, everyone. That is how strongly I feel about it. I hope this guy sells a ton of them for putting out an honest product with no Marketing BS.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Quote Originally Posted by LED Monkey View Post
    Fwiw you could go with rechargeable batteries either nimh or li-ion if you wanted. I'm assuming you have a 3D cell maglite since you ordered the 280 lumen version.
    I always thought you lost voltage with Rechargeables. At least that is what I was told. Another advantage of the LED Bulb is that you will get vastly more run time anyway. This guy Matt at Adventure Sport Flashlights has a Dura Cell D Battery on his website called the DuraLock D. I could not find it. Do you know anything about it? I didn't order it from him because I thought the shipping would kill me.

    Yeah, it is an old 3D Maglite. That is why I did not go with the Malkoff. I am just trying to replace a5D that was took when someone tried to steal my truck. It turned out good though. With the upgrade I will have a better more powerful lite then the 5D in a 3D package.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    You should use whatever works best for you. Yes you will lose a small amount of voltage with nimh, alkaline batteries start off with a higher voltage at 1.5~1.6 when new but quickly drop in voltage and continue to drop until they're dead, nimh will start off at a slightly lower voltage about 1.4~1.5v when fully charged then quickly drops under 1.4v but then it will steady out for a longer time in it's mid range area in the 1.3s to 1.2s voltage giving a longer run time for many applications, combining that with the more efficient led you should get good run time. I have another old Maglite that has a factory led (non removable led) 2D cell that I'm using 6aa nimh batteries in 2 3Xaa to D cell parallel adapters and it works very well for that light. I just hated buying then throwing out those big D cell batteries. Or they sell D size nimh batteries but they're quite expensive, AA size batteries are very ubiquitous and cheap. The dropin you have can run up to 9v so you could go with li-ions running 2x 18650 or 2x 26650 with a spacer. 2x li-ion cell = 8.4v fully charged and that's what I'm using in my 3D ASF Maglight. And the higher voltage of the 2 li-ion batteries will lower the amp draw on your light.
    Last edited by LED Monkey; 01-14-2020 at 11:57 AM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Quote Originally Posted by LED Monkey View Post
    You should use whatever works best for you. Yes you will lose a small amount of voltage with nimh, alkaline batteries start off with a higher voltage at 1.5~1.6 when new but quickly drop in voltage and continue to drop until they're dead, nimh will start off at a slightly lower voltage about 1.4~1.5v when fully charged then quickly drops under 1.4v but then it will steady out for a longer time in it's mid range area in the 1.3s to 1.2s voltage giving a longer run time for many applications, combining that with the more efficient led you should get good run time. I have another old Maglite that has a factory led (non removable led) 2D cell that I'm using 6aa nimh batteries in 2 3Xaa to D cell parallel adapters and it works very well for that light. I just hated buying then throwing out those big D cell batteries. Or they sell D size nimh batteries but they're quite expensive, AA size batteries are very ubiquitous and cheap. The dropin you have can run up to 9v so you could go with li-ions running 2x 18650 or 2x 26650 with a spacer. 2x li-ion cell = 8.4v fully charged and that's what I'm using in my 3D ASF Maglight. And the higher voltage of the 2 li-ion batteries will lower the amp draw on your light.
    Well it is official, you know more about this then me, but I am quickly absorbing it. I can see the advantage of Rechargeables now. Alkaline Batteries start off with a slightly higher voltage but nothing stays static. That Voltage deteriorates the moment you turn the light on. With Rechargeables you can keep them topped off at or near 1.5 Volts. You prefer NiMH over NiCD? I don't quite understand. Why would yo go through the trouble and expense of installing 2 D cell parallel adapters in order to run 6aa NiMH Batteries? Six aa NiMH can't be that much less expensive then 2 D cell NiMH. The li-ons sound intriguing. Does the light run significantly brighter and longer with the Li-ones? How much do they cost?

  22. #22
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    Broke Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    The AA adapters were pretty inexpensive, I bought them on Amazon along with a couple other items so free shipping, I think they came to about a $1.25 each and the aa nimh batteries can be used in many different electronic devices so I bought a bunch of those since they were cheaper that way and even 2 quality D size nimh were more money then 6 quality aa size nimh batteries and the D batteries really had no other use that I could think of. There is nothing wrong with the D size nimh, just sayin. Some flashlights (leds or bulbs) will run brighter when running toward the higher end of their working voltage range so I just went with li-ions with the 800 lumen ASF and that is a 3 D Maglite which would have been 3 adapters and 9 aa batteries so I just went with 2 li-ions. For your particular upgrade more voltage may not change the brightness at all and if you don't mind buying replacement d batteries you could just stay with alkaline batteries but one thing I hated was alkaline batteries can leak, no good
    Last edited by LED Monkey; 01-14-2020 at 05:00 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Quote Originally Posted by LED Monkey View Post
    The AA adapters were pretty inexpensive, I bought them on Amazon along with a couple other items so free shipping, I think they came to about a $1.25 each and the aa nimh batteries can be used in many different electronic devices so I bought a bunch of those since they were cheaper that way and even 2 quality D size nimh were more money then 6 quality aa size nimh batteries and the D batteries really had no other use that I could think of. There is nothing wrong with the D size nimh, just sayin. Some flashlights (leds or bulbs) will run brighter when running toward the higher end of their working voltage range so I just went with li-ions with the 800 lumen ASF and that is a 3 D Maglite which would have been 3 adapters and 9 aa batteries so I just went with 2 li-ions. For your particular upgrade more voltage may not change the brightness at all and if you don't mind buying replacement d batteries you could just stay with alkaline batteries but one thing I hated was alkaline batteries can leak, no good
    Well,the disadvantages of alkaline batteries is that they are at peak voltage only at the very beginning before use and it is downhill after that, they have to be constantly replaced at a cost and they can leak. So I have to change my thinking. I thought keeping fresh Alkalines in was the way to go. They are not efficient and they can be more costly in the long run. The way to go seems to go with two li-ions because you will not have to buy another battery again offsetting the cost, like you said, the higher voltage will decrease the amperage draw giving you more run time, you can keep them at peak voltage and they don't leak. Am I close?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    I hate to muddy the waters even just a little lol, but yes you can keep them at peak voltage but it's not the best thing for li-ion batteries to be stored for extended times like weeks or months at full soc (state of charge) the cell can degrade by doing so but some people do that anyway. I myself charge the two 26650 for the maglite up to 4.0~4.1v then not worry about it any more and I get great run time out of that light. Your upgrade with only 280ln should be just sipping those batteries pretty slowly I would think, and you will not have to think about leakage too. You could make a sleeve from some pvc and I made a dummy battery spacer out of a small pvc but end connector, a screw and piece of braided mesh wire or something. And yes the higher voltage will decrease the amp draw. I generally don't use alkalines any more.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Quote Originally Posted by LED Monkey View Post
    I hate to muddy the waters even just a little lol, but yes you can keep them at peak voltage but it's not the best thing for li-ion batteries to be stored for extended times like weeks or months at full soc (state of charge) the cell can degrade by doing so but some people do that anyway. I myself charge the two 26650 for the maglite up to 4.0~4.1v then not worry about it any more and I get great run time out of that light. Your upgrade with only 280ln should be just sipping those batteries pretty slowly I would think, and you will not have to think about leakage too. You could make a sleeve from some pvc and I made a dummy battery spacer out of a small pvc but end connector, a screw and piece of braided mesh wire or something. And yes the higher voltage will decrease the amp draw. I generally don't use alkalines any more.
    Yeah that seems to be the way to go. Your flashlight will be performing at peak performance over much more run time on top of all the other advantages we talked about and the li-ion batteries will pay for themselves in the time it would take to run through 5 sets of alkalines. After that you are saving money. Adventure Sport Flahlights has everything you would need. I trust he would have solid products proven over time. The 26650 Li-Ions are $13.99 each. The spacers are only $2.65. The charger is $23.75. Then you are good to go with no more battery headaches.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    For what it's worth i got a couple 26650 Vapcell INR 5500mah 20A cont. discharge for $9 bucks a piece @ illumn and they have a bunch of chargers there too at reasonable prices. There are a number of trusted vendors people buy from here on CPF. And a lot more people with knowledge way above my pay grade lol, you can ask and most times you'll get some help.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Maglite Inexpensive Drop Ins

    Quote Originally Posted by LED Monkey View Post
    For what it's worth i got a couple 26650 Vapcell INR 5500mah 20A cont. discharge for $9 bucks a piece @ illumn and they have a bunch of chargers there too at reasonable prices. There are a number of trusted vendors people buy from here on CPF. And a lot more people with knowledge way above my pay grade lol, you can ask and most times you'll get some help.
    There are a lot of options. Let me get the LED Bulb in and see how it works out with some DuraCells and then decide if to invest more money into the light or even a self contained lithium light.

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