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Thread: What Is A Maglite Bulb's Voltage Rating?

  1. #1

    Default What Is A Maglite Bulb's Voltage Rating?

    I mean, is a 3-cell Mag bulb (either krypton or xenon) rated for 3.6V (i.e. 3X1.2V, which is normal for other bulbs) or something else? The reason I am asking is because the instructions for the Mag light says that you should use alkalines rather than NiMh cells which leads me to believe that the 3-cell bulb could be rated at 4.5V (3X1.5V). This could also explain why it is relatively easy to over-drive Mag bulbs (for eg. using a 3-cell bulb in a 4-cell light). Anyone knows the answer?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: What Is A Maglite Bulb's Voltage Rating?

    The bulbs are rated according to he total voltage of the number of alkaline cells in the given light:

    2 cell = 3 volts, 3 cell = 4.5 volts, 4 cell = 6 volts etc


    Ofcourse lower voltage won't harm the bulb, it just won't burn as bright.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* cratz2's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Is A Maglite Bulb's Voltage Rating?

    All the Mag and pretty much all of the PR base bulbs I've ever seen are rated as some multiple of 1.2V... not sure why, but that's been my experience. Usually the Mag brand bulbs just say the number of cells they are for. I've always thought that maybe with alkaline cells, the voltage drops pretty quickly under actual load or something to that effect, thus the 1.2 multiple rating system.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* NikolaTesla's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Is A Maglite Bulb's Voltage Rating?

    Indeed at 1.2 volts per cell. 1.5 volt cells are only 1.5 volts when new.
    NikolaTesla
    A Xenon Arc is the Spark that Rules the Dark.
    My_Lights

  5. #5
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: What Is A Maglite Bulb's Voltage Rating?

    My mistake. As you can see I am "Unenlightened".

    Maybe with time I will be enlightened.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What Is A Maglite Bulb's Voltage Rating?

    Quote Originally Posted by cratz2
    All the Mag and pretty much all of the PR base bulbs I've ever seen are rated as some multiple of 1.2V... not sure why, but that's been my experience. Usually the Mag brand bulbs just say the number of cells they are for. I've always thought that maybe with alkaline cells, the voltage drops pretty quickly under actual load or something to that effect, thus the 1.2 multiple rating system.
    I agree. That has always been my experience with other bulbs too but Mag is the only brand I know that specifies the use of alkalines and warns against the use of NiMh which leads me to wonder if their bulbs are rated at a multiple of 1.5V instead of the usual 1.2V. Using NiMh cells on bulbs that are rated at a multiple of 1.5V would certainly result in a dim light - something that Mag wouldn't want.

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