LED and other upgrades for Maglite torches.A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had spent a wad of cash upgrading my Maglite torches, and now that I have been using those upgraded torches for just over 3 months, I think that it is time for a review of the products that I bought.
First of all the 2 X AA Mini Maglites: I have bought products from both the Nite Ize and TerraLux ranges.
The Nite Ize IQ switch: http://www.niteize.com/collections/flashlights/products/iq-switch
The Nite Ize LED upgrade Combo 2 http://www.niteize.com/collection...ghts/products/led-upgrade-combo-2
The Nite Ize upgrade Combo 3 http://www.niteize.com/collection...s/products/led-combo-upgrade-kits
TerraLux switches http://www.terralux.com/
A) Standard 2 X AA Mini Maglite with Nite Ize Standard on/off switch
B) Standard 2 X AA Mini Maglite with TerraLux Switch (and Bicycle inner tube cover).
C) New version LED 2 X AA Mini Maglite (standard tail cap).
D) Standard 2 XAA Mini Maglite with Nite Ize IQ Switch.
F) Nite Ize on/off push button switch.
G) TerraLux waterproof on/of push button switch.
H) Standard Maglite tail cap.
I) Nite Ize IQ Multi function push button switch.
L) Standard (Incandescent) 2 X AA Mini Maglite and Nite Ize IQ switch.
M) New version LED 2 X AA Mini maglite with TerraLux Switch.
I bought the Nite Ize LED and switch Combo kits and have regretted it. The LED upgrades are fantastic, but the standard on/off switches are a huge disappointment. They rattle, and are easily switched on in either your pocket or the belt holster, and although I haven't tried it, I don't think that they are anywhere near waterproof.
The Single white LED can be focused from wide angle flood-beam to a very tight spotlight by rotating the Maglite head. The 3 white LEDs cannot be focused, but it does gives out a nice wide angle floodlit area that is easy to work in, and I have found this beam to be perfect at the 25% power mode for walking the dog through the woods on moonless cloudy nights.
The TerraLux switch is just a standard on/off switch, but is more user friendly than the Nite Ize switch in that it needs to be positively clicked to switch the torch both and on and off, and I do like the soft touch (Red) rubber cover. So far I have not accidentally switched this on in either my pocket, or belt holster. The TerraLux switch is also totally waterproof.
The Nite Ize IQ switch is a multi function push button switch and has a dim red LED built into it which flashes every 20 seconds or so allowing you to locate the torch in the event of a power failure, etc. The first click of the switch gives 100% power, the second click 50% power, the 3rd click 25% power, the 4th click 30 times per minute strobe, the 5th click gives a 90 time per minute strobe. The Torch can be switched off in any of the 5 modes by holding the switch down for about 1 second. Please note, that the IQ switch is not suitable for using with a new version LED Mini Maglite, and can only be used with the standard AA mini Maglite and additional LED Upgrades.
The New Version LED Mini Maglite is a really good tool, although why Maglite did not design and build in a push button tail cap switch and remained with the twist the head function to switch the torch on and off is beyond me. The body tube of the LED version is approximately 20mm or ¾” longer than the standard incandescent/krypton bulb model, the extra length is required to incorporate the electrickery required to run the LED efficiently.
This LED version has 4 modes that all have to be worked by twisting the head on and off: 1st twist 100% power, 2nd twist 25% power, 3rd twist 60 times per minute strobe, 4th twist SOS Strobe. Twisting the head is very inconvenient to do when cycling through the functions, so I replaced the standard tail cap with a standard TerraLux on/off switch, and all the lighting modes can be used with this switch.
The Nite Ize LED upgrades for the old incandescent/krypton bulb AA Maglites are good, but don't bother with the Nite Ize on/off switch; however, the Nite Ize IQ switch is an excellent product.
On average I use to run down and flattened a set of leading brand Alkaline AA batteries in a week or about 5-6 hours usage, but the energy consumption of the LED is considerably less: well over 40 hours from a set of Alkaline batteries. In this respect alone so far the savings in Battery replacement has recouped the cost of the upgrade kits, I also use to get through 2-3 krypton bulbs a year, but the operating life span of the LEDs is 10,000 hours plus so they've got a few more years of life left in them.
I have also upgraded my C & D Cell Maglites with LED replacement bulbs. These LED’s contain the required micro electrickery to run them in the bulb bodies and are direct replacement fit for the standard Krypton bulbs.
The 80 Lumens Nite Ize LED is only really worth buying if you only want a direct replacement for the Krypton bulb, as there is little or no improvement in brightness. There is however a considerable saving in replacement batteries and as this LED bulb only costs the same as two new Krypton bulbs it is a worthwhile and economic investment.
The 140 Lumens TerraLux LED ..... Wow! What an improvement; if my grandad had one of these during World War 2, Herman Goering would have lost the other half of the Luftwaffe over the English Channel's Coastline. OK, it’s almost £13.00 to buy, but by mid February I will have recovered this cost by not having to replace the batteries, and again it is a very worthwhile investment, and especially so if this LED lasts for the quoted 10,000 hours of operation.
Other Improvements that I have made to my C & D cell Maglites, are the addition of Safariland rubber grip covers. http://www.jsramsbottom.com/produ...eld---suits-mag-lite-torches.html and http://www.jsramsbottom.com/produ...eld---suits-mag-lite-torches.html
On my 2 X C cell, and 3 X D cell Maglites, these replaced some sections of Mountain Bicycle inner tube that I had previously fitted: the 6 X D Cell has already a Nite Ize grip ‘n’ clip fitted. the safariland grips are very comfortable in use, and the torches are warm to the grip due to the proper rubber insulation; something that is not so good when using only a section of bicycle inner tube, as the coldness of the aluminum torch body can still be felt pulling the body heat from your hand on a frosty night.
I am very happy with the upgrades that I have made to my collection of Maglites. Yes, there was an initial outlay, but in less than 4 months I have already recouped most of that cost with the savings in new batteries and replacement bulbs.