Author Topic: 2c maglite dropin led bulbs or build from scratch?  (Read 5060 times)

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Offline borealis

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2c maglite dropin led bulbs or build from scratch?
« on: September 06, 2007, 02:35:17 AM »
Hi.

I hope this fits under led mods. It should

I've yet to see a comparason of dropin led upgrade bulbs for 2c or even 2d maglites.

Most of the reviews change the batteries as  well.

#1: Original mag led bulb (2 cell) problems with heat and consumes more power than it should.

#2: Nite-ize. Very dimm to the point you'll need good night vision to use it.

#3: Lunaleds. Sounds good even uses cree or ssc. No reviews though.
     http://www.lunaleds.com/

#4: Tek-lite or terralux lpr2 and tlf-f1. No reviews or info either.

Any comments or sugestions?

Thanks.


« Last Edit: November 23, 2007, 03:11:37 PM by borealis »

Offline HarryN

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Re: 2c maglite dropin led bulbs ?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2007, 06:16:42 PM »
Hi, good questions.

It is useful to start with the batteries, for a good reason.  The consumer C and D alkaline cells on the market today were a big advancement in their time.  For today's flashlight power demands (regardless of what bulb technology), it really takes either Li enhanced technology (primary or R type) or NiMH / NiCd R type cells.

For safety reasons, Li enhanced technology has stopped at the AA and 123 size cell for "normal consumers".  It is unlikely that you will ever see a Li enhanced D cell Duracell - at least that is MHO.  There is a well respected R LiIon cell provider ( AW ) who has gone to a lot of bother to build up reasonably safe LiIon cells.  Nothing is perfect, but his cells seem to have as many protections as experienced people would expect.

If I had a 2 C mag light, and wanted to improve it for modest money, I would pick one of the following

Batteries
a) Load it with 2 C size protected AW LiIon R cells (voltage now approx 7-8 volts) or
b) 2 each high end NiMH cells - approx 3 volts

Bulbs
- If you use the LiIon cells, put in a bulb to match the voltage, such as a 6 D cell bulb
- If you use the NiMH, just stay where you are.

LED Options
- I would look carefully at the LED mods posted by Third Shift in this forum - These are very good
- My personal favorite is to use a single Lux V upgrade in that size reflector, but to each his own.

There is a lot of discussion about SS and Cree.  Nothing wrong with them, I just personally have more experience with the Lumileds products, and some of that knowledge was very expensive to learn.

Maybe to put it more bluntly, a flashlight with an LED needs a good thermal path from the LED to the flashlight walls (actually, your hand) to work reasonably well.  It just does not matter which drop in bulb option you pick, they just are not going to impress you.

Offline borealis

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Re: 2c maglite dropin led bulbs ?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2007, 07:13:00 PM »
Hello and thank you for the reply.

Yes i already mod other's c/d (2 cell) maglites . However it's an all out mod not just a dropin.

The problem that arises is cost.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 07:51:43 PM by borealis »

Offline HarryN

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Re: 2c maglite dropin led bulbs ?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2007, 01:46:51 AM »
Cost - yes.  That is why the 2 by high capacity NiMH cells are a good way to go.

Offline borealis

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Re: 2c maglite dropin led bulbs ?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2007, 03:30:46 PM »
Hi and thanks.

Yes i already use and recommend high cap nimhs 4500mah+ C  9000+ D. However they cost even more than the li-ions.  With a 20$ shipping fee , and the local energizer brand C cell being nothing more than a 2000mah AA rapped in a C cell casing.

For the cost, it's not worth making mods.

I ordered one of the the lunaled cree/ssc dropins as they are the only one (At the moment) that is using cree/ssc.

When it get's down to it . It costs over 200$ to buy a 2c maglite and mod it with 2 high cap nimhs.

No one around here has 200$ to spend on a modded mag-lite.


« Last Edit: September 07, 2007, 03:36:46 PM by borealis »

Offline HarryN

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Re: 2c maglite dropin led bulbs ?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2007, 04:52:20 PM »
Hi, I am not sure where you are located, but $ 200 for a mag mod ? - That is pretty sad.

If you have reasonable access to a pair of the AW R C size LiIOn cells, why not just use a single Lux V (say a WWOS or similar) in series with a 1 ohm resistor.  I use a similar concept in a custom light I made (R CR2 size, but similar electrical voltages, etc) and it is quite impressive.

With C size cells, it would run a long time.

I may be way off here, but I did take the time to read some fairly detailed testing of the Cree vs Lumileds Lux III parts, and I have also done some of my own testing.  My tests were less sophisticated than what Newbie did on the CPF forum, but more or less give similar concepts:

1) The Cree parts are very competitive to the Lux III
2) The efficiency of one part over the other has a LOT to do with which Vf you end up with, more so than the brand.
3) The Cree parts (IMHO) are very good for general lighting, due to the nature of their dome / phos coat process. (more of a soft white light)
4) The Lumileds parts tend to have a "harsher" light - sort of like a clear light bulb
5) Neither the Cree parts nor the Lux III nor the K2 give off enough light to make me happy

So, I just use a Lux V in a premium bin, color I like, low Vf, like a WWOS from Photon Fanatic.  More light, more efficiency, good color, works VERY WELL with 2 R LiIon cells and 2 ohm resistor.

Load it up in as large of reflector as will fit (even the standard C size mag reflector) and you have a pretty good party.

Talk to 3rd shift - I bet he can make you one, or send you the parts for one for more like 1/2 the $200 you are talking about.  My guess is that he has already built something similar and even has a pic and beam shot.

Offline borealis

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Re: 2c maglite dropin led bulbs ?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2007, 07:08:33 PM »
Hi.

Personally i've never had much use for the focusing mechanism of the mag-lite except for very distant throw. Like a cat up a 50+ foot tree at midnight (don't ask). Other wise the wide beam of a mag-lite is afwull.

DX has a nice 4 C cell . Limited info on it though.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.6411

I bought a few of those 504c . Very good mod potential.


« Last Edit: November 23, 2007, 03:13:14 PM by borealis »

Offline borealis

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Re: 2c maglite dropin led bulbs ?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2007, 03:05:29 AM »
Hi.

Recently  milled one of my smartfire 504c down to a 2xC cell size.

Using 2x25500 (li-c Cell) DX 3.6vX2 =7.2vdc

Originally i swapped out the 504c Q2 with a Q5. Now changed the power board for a two stage CC circuit.

While the Q5 in an original 4xC 504c is bright. It was not being driven the way i wanted it.

I'm still debating over where to put the switch. Leave it where is (original 504c location) or put a tail clicky.

I could use both as the original switch could be used for modes just like a VB-16.

Don't know the run time yet.

Final lumens output is around 180+.

It's still a bit bulky for my taste. However 2C li-ions should have a  very long battery life especially on an LDO.

Power control can still be more efficient... Again one of the negative points about the Q5 and it's higher Vf  UGH! Can't use a SSC or Rebel with the current type of reflector, nor any reflector available that would fit.

If you do have any other design sugestions please feel free to voice them.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2007, 03:32:31 AM by borealis »

Offline Chronos

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Re: 2c maglite dropin led bulbs or build from scratch?
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2007, 05:42:49 PM »
Check out the LEDBeam (http://www.ledbeam.com/) I've had one now for somewhere near two years. It is our emergency light at our beach house in DE. Around US$22.

Lux III built upon a nice heatsink. Mag 2C compatible so you can use Mag windows, reflectors, etc. I've run my LEDBeam through many sets of C cells and never experienced a hiccup. I prefer it to the MagLEDs in performance.
A few favorites from milkyspit, McGizmo, Surefire, MR Bulk and others

Here at Flashlight-Forums we put the "FUN" in "DYSFUNCTIONAL."

Offline bill-tb

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Re: 2c maglite dropin led bulbs or build from scratch?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2008, 04:19:22 PM »
I am a long time Mag fanboy, ever since they came out. I have a cheap Mag solution, 2C with AA Eneloops in a sleeve and the Craftsman LED. Adequately bright, nice beam, and good for a daily driver. Use the C cells for max runtime, which with the LED is substantial. The large Mag reflector gives good throw.

The Craftsman LED is good to 4 cell 6V, so other more costly battery solutions that fit into the 2C Mag barrel would allow some variation -- The Craftsman LED gets brighter with increasing the voltage 37-50 Lumens. I just find the 2-AA Eneloops the best at the price.

Bulb is here http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_03493044000P?keyword=flashlight+bulbs available at KMart and Sears.

Not high end by any means, but it is versatile, rugged and high utility. You can get cheaper lights, but I prefer Mag quality, and the C size is just right for my hand or rear jean pocket.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2008, 04:24:26 PM by bill-tb »