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Thread: What is maximum voltage or current I can use??

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    May 2021
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    Default What is maximum voltage or current I can use??

    I'm really new to the world of flashlights and their electrical components, characteristics, and requirements!!! So I jus recently obtained 2 Maglite XL-50's from their spectrum series.....A red and a blue LED flashlight. My question is to get the most lumens out of my red light, what is the maximum voltage I can use to power it?? It takes 3 AAA batteries in a battery holder. Could I use to 3.7 volt batteries and a dummy battery n use it without worry?? As I currently use 1- 3.7 volt and 2 dummy batteries which works pretty good jus the battery dies out fast!! I don't wanna try 2 of em n burn my light out cuz then I'll be screwed!!! Appreciate any and all help n answers thank u kindly!!!

  2. #2

    Default Re: What is maximum voltage or current I can use??

    welcome to the forum

    Use AAA batteries, that the manufacturer designed the light for,

    do not try to make the light brighter by using LiIon batteriesÖ

    if you want longer runtime, use Lower brightness

    IF the 3 batteries are in series then:
    AAA = 1.5v
    3xAAA = 4.5v

    10440 = 4.2v
    2x10440 = 8.4v (will probably kill your light)
    WTB - Novatac Pocket Clip

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* Lynx_Arc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Tulsa,OK
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    10,501

    Default Re: What is maximum voltage or current I can use??

    I agree with jon here, unless you truly know what electronics are in the light it is likely that when you start going beyond 5V input your chance of light death increases dramatically. A decent linear regulator may get you to 6V but it will be dumping a lot of power for the excess voltage over 2-3V for the red/white(blue also) LEDs and you won't get it any more brighter than the circuit allows. A buck circuit would possibly allow you to go to 9v but I very seriously doubt Mag would waste the extra money to put one in a light designed to use 3AAA alkaleaks most of these lights are either resistored or linear regulation. If you really want more output you are going to have to replace the electronics in the light and the LEDs also and these days wasting that much effort on a 3AAA platform isn't wise you are a lot better off to use the light as is and buy a better light for around $20-$30 that uses 18650s that is designed to put out 500-1000+ lumens and will give you runtimes at the same light output your 3AAA light about 3-5 times the runtime and the ability to put out 2-3 times or more the light.
    I've pretty much abandoned all my 3AAA flashlights as it is an inferior platform that underperforms and using a single cell for me is the most problem free you can get.
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  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Cleveland,Oh
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    Default Re: What is maximum voltage or current I can use??

    Some of the 3xAAA lights that use a carrier are able to run on an 18500 cell.
    If you like the light, use rechargeable nimh batteries.
    LEDs are dependent on current (amperage) for brightness. The voltage remains within a narrow specification and current is changed to get different levels of output. Without changing the electronics, you stick with what youíve got.
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
    -- Albert Einstein

  5. #5

    Default Re: What is maximum voltage or current I can use??

    Take a look at the battery carrier. If it has a single bump on the positive end, one 18500 or 18650 (depending on the size of the battery carrier) may work. If it has more than one bump (contact point) on the positive terminal, a lithium ion cell wonít work because there isnít a simple positive and negative terminal. Coast lights, for example, are like this. Know that even if it works, one lithium ion may make the light brighter and possibly produce too much heat for the light to handle for more than short durations (3aaa lights often depend on the resistance in the alkaline batteries to not overheat the light). Itís likely to void the warranty if lithium ion cells arenít advertised to work in the light.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What is maximum voltage or current I can use??

    Maglite set up the battery carrier and light where simply inserting an 18500 won't light it and an 18650 is too long.

    The light is built to run at about 3.6 volts. See, even though an alkaline battery says 1.5 volts, it actually has around 1.2 volts when under a load (as in something is drawing electricity from it).

    If you want more output from an XL50 the best thing is purchase one with a regular beam and a red filter.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 05-18-2021 at 11:21 PM.
    John 3:16

  7. #7

    Default Re: What is maximum voltage or current I can use??

    Stick with quality NiMH AAA's, such as Japanese eneloops or fujitsu brand, you will get longer run time and you won't ruin your light.

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