Introduction: LED Conversion: Peli Versabrite II

In this howto the DoomMeister will show you how to swap the incadesent bulb in your Peli Versabrite II (flashlight) for an ultra bright LED.

Best known for their waterproof equipment cases Pelican also manufacture some very fine torches (flashlights). The only concern I have had with this particular model is the length of time that the (expensive) bulb modules last. In order to rectify this I have chosen to replace the incandescent bulb with an LED (rated 30000mcd).

Step 1: Some Weak Lemon Drink

For this modification you will need

Some sharp knives, (I used a scalpel and a Stanley knife)
A junior hacksaw
Some epoxy resin (clear is best)
Some pliers
A drill (perhaps)
An LED of your choice (5mm), I choose part no 55-2484 from Rapid Electronics

A quick note on the LED, I have chosen not use a current limiting resistor however one would fit in the housing if required.

Step 2: Make the First Incision

After removing the spring the first step is to remove the reflector dish. In order to this you will need to remove the existing epoxy seal (brow/grey area), this is best done with the point of a sharp blade.

Step 3: Remove the Bulb

Once the reflector is removed you can remove the bulb, If you have the patience then work away at the epoxy bonding the bulb into the housing until you have freed the bulb. Now remove the positive terminal from the housing.

If you do not have the patience then cover bulb with a cloth and SMASH it with a pair of pliers, now use a drill with a 6mm bit drill out the rest of the bulb. You should be left with a housing clean of the old bulb and any epoxy, check your LED for fit at this point. If the hole needs enlarging do this with a drill or Dremel and stone point.

Step 4: Glue Glue and More Glue

Now mix your two part epoxy, this will be used for securing the LED in the housing and reattaching the reflector. Fill the housing with epoxy and insert the LED leads first into the housing. Try to not get any on the LED face. At this point you can re-attach the reflector disc.

Step 5: Form Is Nothing Other Than Emptiness

Whilst the glue is still wet form the leads of the LED as shown in the photograph. The Cathode (sort leg) (negative lead) should be formed through the slot and around the side of the housing. The Anode (long leg) should project out of the centre of the housing. Form this around the positive terminal and insert the positive terminal back into the housing. Now make sure the the LED is properly centred before the glue sets.

Step 6: Finish

After the glue has set scrape the leads of the LED with the edge of your sharp knife to ensure good electrical contact. Now reassemble the negative spring contact.

You should now have a functioning LED bulb module for your Versabrite torch

Step 7: After Photos

As per request, here are some photos of the beam. I don't have a working bulb module to provide before shots however. Note the inner bright zone where the LED is focused and the outer zone at approximately 4 times the diameter due to the reflector.

For a bit of unscientific reference I have included a scaled shot, the surface was approximately 15mm from the front of the bezel and maybe 25mm from the nose of the LED. I have no way of measuring the apparent brightness.

Comments

author
dchall8 (author)2008-08-25

Do you have before and after pictures of the beam? I suspect that the shorty reflector will spread the LED beam more than it did the incan bulb beam. Why did you select that LED? Was it for beam spread, power, output, or what? I think I would use silicone, too. I don't understand why you used epoxy, but it really doesn't matter as long as silicone would work.

author
doommeister (author)dchall82008-08-31

After pictures added

author
doommeister (author)dchall82008-08-26

I will take an after picture of the beam, however the bulb module used was already burnt out. I have another one that somewhere that may work I will see if I can dig it out. As for LED selection, I was not to rigorous in my selection criteria, I selected it on power, price and also the fact that it worked nicely with the 3v available. As described below I had epoxy close to hand (i.e no silicone), and did not consider that it would be any more work to replace the LED with a new one if needed than the original bulb. I'm sure silicone would work, however you would have to be much more careful not to move the LED off centre when forming the legs of the LED.

author
Waterhouse (author)2008-08-25

Nice. But why epoxy? Wouldn't silicone sealer work just as well and be easier to clean up?

author
doommeister (author)Waterhouse2008-08-25

I did consider silicon, there were two reasons for choosing epoxy. Firstly that epoxy sets hard and I considered that this was a benefit. Secondly that I had the epoxy close to hard. Also you can't glue a mini to your ceiling using silicon.

author
Spokehedz (author)doommeister2008-08-25

Silicone. Not Silicon.

Silicon == Computer chips

Silicone == Sealant as well as fake breasts.

author
doommeister (author)Spokehedz2008-08-26

Everything in my comment is correct. I mearly emphesised my reason for choosing epoxy. Let me now do the same for why i didn't choose silicon. The adhesive properties of silicon are only reached at temperatures higher than the melting point of the LED and housing. In its naturally occurring as silica (or silica dioxides) the abrasive properties would also scratch the LED. On the plus side when used hot the silicon can be made crystal clear much more so than the epoxy. Finally you cannot glue a mini to the ceiling with sand.

author
Spokehedz (author)doommeister2008-08-26

Silicon is not an adhesive, sealant, or any other type of gasket making material. It is an element, which is used extensively in computers for it's semi-conductor properties. Silicone on the other hand can be an adhesive, sealant, and a gasket making material. It can be clear to opaque, and it can withstand a wide variety of temperatures as well as chemicals. Your wording is wrong. Silicon is the incorrect word for what you were referring to--which is Silicone.

author
doommeister (author)Spokehedz2008-08-27

As it seems important to you, I accede your point. I am indeed aware that silicon is not adhesive or sealant. I'm sure it's just an artefact of an over zealous spell checker. Or my dyslexic mouse hand.

However as it's seems subtlety and humor (a rather unsubtle clue to which was contained in the last line of my previous comment) are wasted here can I further regale you with the fact that what we know as "Silicone" are in fact not true Silicones as such a chemical bond (a double bonded S = O group, analogous to a ketone group C = O)is not found, but rather Polysiloxane (single covalently bonded S-O groups) compounds.

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