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#252275 - 10/26/12 05:04 AM Re: Question for the flashlight pros [Re: Phaedrus]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 849
Loc: Southern California
The generic "flashlight bulb" uses a PR4 mount. You can get drop in LED replacements at Home Depot or Frys Electronics.

I replaced the incandescent bulbs in our collection of old household 2D and 2AA lights with Dorcy 41-1643 (~1/2 watt, $7) LED bulbs, and dropped a 1 watt Nite Ize ($16)in my 2D maglite. Output was about 25-50 lumens and battery life was extended to 18 - 40 hours. Excellent around the house emergency and utility lights.

If you want more output, Terralux makes a couple that will also fit in the standard PR4 bulb mount. IMHO, they're too powerfull (140 lumens vs 30-50) for household lights. For reference, a 2AA minmag incandescent has about a 14 lumen output with fresh batteries.

The only thing to be aware of is the emitter in the LED bulb is not quite in the same place as the filament in the incandescent bulb and will change the focus of the light. Ours all went from spot to flood, and I couldn't get the maglite as tightly focused as before.
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane

#252279 - 10/26/12 08:46 AM Re: Question for the flashlight pros [Re: Phaedrus]
Phaedrus Online   content

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Great Plains
Thanks, Mark! So long as the emitter isn't super expensive it doesn't matter if the throw is altered. I'm such an LED junkie that the light is dead to me as it now stands. And LED will make it better!
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

#252286 - 10/26/12 03:19 PM Re: Question for the flashlight pros [Re: Mark_R]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4776
Yep, The 3 watt LEDs are great for 3+ D cell Maglites with a job, but for general use a 1 Watt emitter is more than enough considering the larger reflector of D cell lights. My 2-D Mag with the 1 Watt emitter focuses just fine. The 3-D with the 3 Watt emitter has a beam just as focused but with the head completely tightened. It may have been possible to focus the beam a bit more, but not much.

All I'd seen until reading this thread were the TerraLux emitters which are not cheap. These other LED emitters make it cost effective to upgrade other lights. Thanks.

#252288 - 10/26/12 05:52 PM Re: Question for the flashlight pros [Re: chaosmagnet]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
There are commonly available drop-in LED upgrades for Maglite and Surefire P60-type lights

As Chaosmagnet notes, there are a number of LED drop in upgrades for common bulb types, like those used in a number of Maglites.

After many years of having various lights with fixed or proprietary bulb solutions that I realized simply became outmoded, I've made a concerted move to the P60 type lights. While the P60 format isn't quite a standard, there is a high degree of interchangeability and a fair number of vendors.

You can get lights that use the P60 format in AA configurations (although slightly awkward), 123A configurations and 18650 (rechargeable) configurations.

In addition, the P60 lamp assemblies can be had in a wide range of voltage options. You do need to pay attention because you aren't going to drive an P60 that wants 8v with a 2xAA configuration and you can blow a low voltage lamp that is intended for 2xAA with 2x123A.

My preference at this point is to get lamps that can handle both 18650 and 2x123A configurations. I primarily use them with 18650s, but have the ability to use primary lithium cells if needed.

FWIW, I really like the Solarforce L2P with the "forward" clicky tailcap, paired with an XPG P60 lamp assembly with the orange-peel reflector. It is an incredible value:



The XPG is a middle of the road LED right now. It's pretty bright, but has good runtime. the XML LEDs are brighter, but tend towards flood and shorter runtimes.

The lights from Solarforce are solid. The lamp assemblies are "OK".

Higher quality units are available by Nailbender on Candle Power Forums (CPF), or Malkoff or Torchlabs (the latter being available on overready.com).

I'd buy an XPG from Solarforce, but high end bulbs I'd probably go to Nailbender. I have one of the Torchlabs 3xXPG lamps and it is quite the lamp. Very bright, all flood, and very reliable.


Good luck,


#252290 - 10/26/12 05:56 PM Re: Question for the flashlight pros [Re: Russ]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1990
Loc: Colorado
I have found that my big 'ol 3 and 4 D cell Maglights from years ago work well with the replacement LED modules. With a good module (not the cheapies you find in hardware stores) they are about as bright as my current 1xAA LED lights (when I run those 1xAA's on LiIon or NiMH). The Maglites are a lot bigger and less convenient obviously. But with 3 or 4 D cells in them, they have a long runtime. Good for backup lights around the house in emergencies. I would recommend re-purposing these old Maglites with low output LEDs rather then the newest brightest ones. Use the old Maglites for low output, super long runtime emergency use, not for eye-blinding brightness. Get a newer, handier flashlight for that.

But since you are talking about a 2xCR123 light, you can probably buy a whole new light for the same cost as a replacement module for the old one, provided you can even find a suitable replacement module in the first place. I would suggest just buying a new light, and giving your old one to a friend/family member. About the same cost to you in the end, but you would end up with two people having lights, not just one.

#252295 - 10/26/12 08:56 PM Re: Question for the flashlight pros [Re: Phaedrus]
LesSnyder Online   content

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1503
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
note on the SolarForce modules...you will probably need to discard the external spring for retro fit to a 6P or G2... I kept looking for a string... "please remove the string to make the bulb well fit to your flashlight" typo on spring to string

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