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#172957 - 12/30/07 06:15 PM Mini-Maglite LED Upgrade
KJay Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/07
Posts: 763
Loc: MA, USA
Anyone use one of those LED Upgrade kits for the little AA Mini-Maglite?
I’ve carried one of those AA Mini-Maglites in my tool pouch for years and have probably gone through dozens of those little bulbs and a butt load of batteries, so I bought a Nite-Ize 3-LED conversion at Target today.
It is bright as hell and supposedly has a 100,000-hour lamp life. They also claim that the batteries will last 4-times longer. If it lasts half as long as they claim, it will have been well worth the 9 bucks I spent.

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#172972 - 12/30/07 11:01 PM Re: Mini-Maglite LED Upgrade [Re: KJay]
noderaser Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 405
Loc: Portland, Oregon, United State...
I liked mine a lot, until I lost it... The only thing that isn't up to par is the little pushbutton switch that replaces the tailcap; after a while, they won't stick on and your light becomes a strobe/signaling light.

Now, I've got one of those Gerber Trio LED flashlights, and it seems to hold up pretty good. It's also got a lifetime warranty not to fail. My friend has the LX with the 3 watt LED, and it's a bright one. It takes 3 AA batteries, though--so catches on things when it's on your belt, which is why I opted for the trio which is the exact same size as a Mag.
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#172996 - 12/31/07 06:53 AM Re: Mini-Maglite LED Upgrade [Re: noderaser]
togol Offline
Member

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 426
Loc: NW In. USA
I bought a cheap LED kit from Wally World, and was unimpressed,

then I bought a high dollar Streamlight Luxeon Jr. was still unimpressed.. and I told them so

I then bought a Pelican, which got really bright after I dropped it, it still works though.

but I needed something for long distance like say about 40 or 50' so I still use my 4AA Pelican with a Xenon lamp
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#172999 - 12/31/07 07:37 AM Re: Mini-Maglite LED Upgrade [Re: noderaser]
KJay Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/07
Posts: 763
Loc: MA, USA
I was concerned about that little plastic switch too knowing that the light tends to get banged around pretty bad sometimes and also, if I stuck the end of the light in my mouth, as I sometimes do to hold it in position, I was worried my slobber would damage it.
I thought maybe they provided the switch assembly because it had some sort of voltage regulator in it and the LED wouldn’t work right without it, but when I put the original end cap back on the light still seems to work fine. I like it much better just using the regular twist cap on/off switch like before. There’s no more focus adjustment to fiddle with, just straight on and off. Sweet.

Also, my wife gave me a nice little Princeton Tec quad LED headlamp for Christmas too. Between the Mini-Mag and this, it looks like I shouldn’t need to drag a around a cordless flashlight with me nearly as often. ;\)

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#173000 - 12/31/07 07:56 AM Re: Mini-Maglite LED Upgrade [Re: KJay]
leland Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
I like the headlamp. Great for ceiling and even panel work. Hand held I'm still with the stock mini-

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#173006 - 12/31/07 08:40 AM Re: Mini-Maglite LED Upgrade [Re: leland]
sparkyinak Online   content
Member

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1286
Loc: Alaska
Being that it is LED's are still in the development stage, the price generally reflects the quality. With the big push behind LED's, there are hack companies out there undermining the industry for a quick buck. Watch what the big name manufacturers are doing. They stand to lose big is they release bad high profile technology. Chances are If you see new technology in Home Depot or the local hardware store and all the big names appear to standing back, there is likely a very good reason.

I am a firm believer in the knowledge is power. You wouldn't invest in the stockmarket blindly would you? If you sell someone a product and it does not measure up to the hype, it will haunt you even it is just a light via word of mouth. There are many free trade magazines out there, on the internet, email, and good ol' fashioned magazines.
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#173082 - 01/02/08 05:08 AM Re: Mini-Maglite LED Upgrade [Re: KJay]
SteveFehr Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1192
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
 Originally Posted By: KJay
It is bright as hell and supposedly has a 100,000-hour lamp life. They also claim that the batteries will last 4-times longer. If it lasts half as long as they claim, it will have been well worth the 9 bucks I spent.
These are both absolutely true statements, but also misleading. Yes, LEDs are far more efficient than incandescant bulbs and batteries will last longer for the same amount of light, but that's not the whole story.

As batteries drain in a conventional flashlight, voltage drops, wattage through the element drops, and the bulb intensity lessens exponentially as the tungsten filament cools. Since the conductivity of the filament is higher at low temperatures then when white-hot, electrical resistance drops, and more and more current is sucked out of the battery, leading to an exponential drop in light output and accelerated battery death. LEDs work differently, though- light (and power consumption) are a factor of voltage, and decrease linearly with the draining battery. As the voltage decreases, current decreases, too- so, as the battery dies, the light just slowly gets dimmer and dimmer, never really going out, but at some point gets to the point where you just replace the battery.

So, when you hear statements about LED lights going for hundreds of hours on a button cell without ever needing changing- take that with a grain of salt.


Edited by SteveFehr (01/02/08 05:12 AM)

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#173091 - 01/02/08 08:59 AM Re: Mini-Maglite LED Upgrade [Re: SteveFehr]
sparkyinak Online   content
Member

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1286
Loc: Alaska
My first headlamp I used had an ordinary flashlight bulb so when the battery were dying the light would drop off quickly. I was connecting the primaries for transformer one evening in the concrete vault off of a 480 volt distribution system. Although the distribution system was shut down for this, It was "interesting uncomfortable" to be in there when the batteries went dead. I gingerly had to climb out of there in total darkness.
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#173113 - 01/02/08 07:16 PM Re: Mini-Maglite LED Upgrade [Re: sparkyinak]
Mr. Ed Offline
Member

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 30
Loc: Silver Creek, NY USA
I bought a mini-mag 2 cell aa type (27.00 at HD). LED is a 3 watt and provides plenty of light. Actually more that the incandescent model. The batteries seem to not last as long and the LED module just quits when they get low. I found if you just shut the light off then back on, it will come back on again. If you dont change batteries the same cycle will occur. Was cussing it out till it dawned on me... change the batteries! Flashlight is still working like a charm, even after repeated hard hits from dropping it from my mouth. It has the same twist switch with a gasketed base. If it quits I will buy another.

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#173120 - 01/02/08 11:05 PM Re: Mini-Maglite LED Upgrade [Re: sparkyinak]
noderaser Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 405
Loc: Portland, Oregon, United State...
 Originally Posted By: sparkyinak
My first headlamp I used had an ordinary flashlight bulb so when the battery were dying the light would drop off quickly. I was connecting the primaries for transformer one evening in the concrete vault off of a 480 volt distribution system. Although the distribution system was shut down for this, It was "interesting uncomfortable" to be in there when the batteries went dead. I gingerly had to climb out of there in total darkness.


Lesson to carry a spare? \:D


Edited by noderaser (01/02/08 11:06 PM)
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