This Maglite Modification transforms the Maglite from a 19 lumen to a 900-1000 lumen monster! Many flashlight DIY'ers familiar with CPF (Candle Power Forums) may have already seen modifications similar to this, but most of the modifications on there use all web based parts, as this one uses "less" online ordering, and more localized hardware store items.

This project will run you at about $50 not including batteries. There are other cheaper DIY alternatives and production flashlights that may give you the better deal (dollars to lumens), but if you love flashlights and DIY, then this project is right for you.

This modification can be done by a "beginner" with limited flashlight knowledge, soldering skills and a basic idea on how to utilize limited resources.

Other Helpful Links (how I learned to build this): 
Candle Power Forums 
Budget Light Forums 

Step 1: Parts & Tools

Materials needed are as follows: 
- Maglite 2D (local hardware store)
-3/4 inch diameter pvc coupling (local hardware store) 
-3/4"x1/2" Reducer Coupling Copper (local hardware store)
-Aspherical Lens 
-LED-Cree XM-L (Bin T6 or U2- I used U2) 
-LED Driver 
-Heat Sink
-Arctic Silver Thermal Adhesive or similar item 
-Wire Stranded 22 AWG 
-O ring 50mm 
-small spring (salvage off of old/cheap flashlights)
-insulation foam (2"x2") 
-18650 Batteries - Panasonic or any reputable brand will work. Do not purchase ultrafire 18650 batteries despite their price. There are too many fakes out there and the quality of them is terrible. You can also avoid purchasing the Recharagable CR123A's shown in the pictures. [10/12/2013 UPDATE]  
-Thick Small Diameter Rubber band 
-heat-shrink tubing 

-Hot Glue Gun 
-Soldering Iron
-Wire Cutter & Stripper 
-Alligator Clips 
-Electrical Tape 
-Torex T-8 screwdriver 
-Pipe Cutter 1/8"-1-1/8" 
-2x Small Staples 
-Masking Tape
-Rubbing Alcohol 

You Might Need: 
-Replacement Switch
-Steel Punch 
-Digital Caliper 

Make sure you check all parts before and during assembly to make sure everything works. 

<p>Great instructable! Does anybody know how one would switch &quot;modes&quot; (low, medium, high) with this LED driver?</p>
<p>To switch modes, depress the switch and release - this particular light I built has a reverse clicky switch so I could switch modes with the light already on (light press on the switch without turning it on.) </p><p>With a forward clicky switch, I would have to switch modes when the light is off (light click on the switch without turning it to constant on by fully activating the switch). </p><p>This particular LED Driver switches modes based on a timer inside, so when it detects a switch cycle (on/off), it is programmed to go into the next mode. </p>
Can it change modes with the factory switch?
Jeffmazter406,<br><br>So, I got the Driver and XM-L LED, but I seem to be having a problem. I can't switch out of Low Mode! Every time I wore my LED up, it remains on low mode and blinks every 5 seconds or so. I believe that this low-power-blinking is supposed to be for when the driver overheats, but obviously that can't be happening! Any idea how to fix this? Thanks.
<p>Sorry you are having these troubles - I've had faulty drivers in the past before...but before we do that, lets troubleshoot each thing and see if we can determine what is at fault. Oftentimes, the drivers are programmed to flash when the battery is low. The Lithium batteries you are using (18650 or (R)CR123A) should be at 4.20V charged. Depending on how it is programmed, anything below 3.60 volts may cause it to start flashing. </p><p>1) Battery - What batteries are you using and are they charged? Verify with a multi-meter. </p><p>2) Measure the current the driver is putting through the emitter - use this tutorial: <a href="http://www.lygte-info.dk/info/Measurement%20UK.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.lygte-info.dk/info/Measurement%20UK.htm...</a></p><p>3) Check all your solder joints...you could have a cold joint somewhere and that's what's making your driver act up. </p><p>4) Maybe it is the driver this is faulty...sometimes that happens - email the manufacturer - they may reply, they may not. </p><p>Feel free to add a few images of your progress to this comment thread - I'd like to see your project. </p><p>Best of luck. </p>
<p>jeffmazter,</p><p>Thanks for responding! </p><p>1) I'm actually using three different batteries wired in series to power the driver- one 3.75 V 32650 Lithium Ion battery; one 1.5 V D Cell Alkaline Battery; and one 3 V Lithium watch battery. (Long story short- I meant to order two 32650 batteries but only ordered one, so the Alkaline battery and Watch battery are providing the needed voltage boost until the new 32650 arrives.)</p><p>When I tested the battery pack with a multimeter, it read around 8.25 Volts. I believe that should be enough for the driver, as on the website it says it accepts from 5.5 - 15 Volts. </p><p>2) Thanks for that helpful link! I actually tested the current that the Driver was outputting to the LED, and it looks to be around 0.2 Amps, which seems like it would correspond to the Low-Power mode. </p><p>3) I tested all of the electrical connections with the resistance setting on my multimeter, and everything seems to check out</p><p>4) I emailed kaidomain... hopefully they'll get back to me!</p><p>Here is a link to a video I took of the blinking pattern: https://streamable.com/aaqr</p><p>Here's a few images of my project- I'm building a Bike Light out of parts for Mag-Lite flashlights, and right now I'm just trying to make sure that all of the LED parts work before permanently installing everything. The pictures are of my battery pack made from the barrel of an old maglite, and a multimeter measure of the batteries voltage.</p><p>Thanks again! :D</p><p>MU5ICI4N</p>
Got it working- it was just my batteries that were the problem! Thanks again!
<p>Hey MU5ICI4N, I am glad that you got your light to work. Great job! </p>
<p>OK, Thanks! I'm thinking of using your mod for a high-powered bike light I'm building :)</p>
<p>Great mod. Thanks for sharing.<br>Here is another easy one to do.</p><p>https://youtu.be/OdtQtdQcvTM</p>
Nice conversion. I have two Maglite flashlite that I would like to convert. (1-2d cells &amp; 1-6d cells). I guess the hard part is to get the Li-Ion batteries. Very nice project. Congratulations.
An allen wrench fits into the switch assembly to remove the set screw that holds it in the tube. I want to say it's 5/32 or 3/32.
I believe that works with the older &quot;generation&quot; of maglites that were produced before date X (I can't remember when). I remember reading on CPF or some other website that maglite changed to using Torx T-8's instead which proved to be true in my case because it was a torx screw when I finally pulled it out.
Well, you learn something new every day! I wonder why Maglite would change something that has worked so well for so long.
Yeah, I've wondered the same thing too.
The driver comes with the output wires already connected, but where do you solder the input wires?
That's a good question. I actually had the same question when I was looking at other posts about similar projects. The input wires are soldered on the opposite side of the input wires. The positive goes on the silver circle tab, and the negative goes on the side of the driver.(you can see it on the driver) I have included a couple picture is this comment. If you don't understand it, I have a video of the soldering process I can post on YouTube.
I FINALLY resumed this project today. Your photos were very helpful. Thanks!
how much run time do you get using the cr123a batteries?
As of right now, I have not tested the run time, but based off of previous experiences, I'd say 2 Hours on high should not be a problem. If you want to go for a longer run time, buy some Panasonic 18650 batteries, as they have significantly more mAh than what the CR123a's have. More mAh means longer run time. But remember, running high power lights for extended periods of time will make the flashlight heat up some so be careful. The most I have run it for is 30 minutes on high without any noticeable dimming. <br> <br>*a member of CandlePowerForums, Jayrob, estimates that these can run 4 hours on high using 32650 batteries, which I believe is very possible.*
If someone wanted a cheaper alternative, you could buy a led bulb for your maglite. You won't get 900 lumen, but they're still pretty bright. <br> <br>http://www.amazon.com/TerraLUX-TLE-6EXB-MiniStar5-Conversion-MagLites/dp/B001I9TI4Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1347938841&amp;sr=8-2&amp;keywords=led+maglite+bulb
Yup, you're exactly right! But then again there are so many other alternatives out there, not just Maglite. I was looking into Solarforce flashlights the other day- for $30 you can get an 800 lumen flashlight- and it's not the &quot;China&quot; lumens(as found on some cheap flashlights). It's actually supposed to be around the 800 lumens that it claims to be- and it's so much smaller than a Maglite too.
Hi, Nice instructable you have made. The flashlight sure looks pretty bright and I may have to make one myself from some of the stuff that I have laying around. <br>I have one question though; at the end of step five you referenced a 3/8&quot; drill bit whereas the picture seems to indicate a 3/16 or such drill bit, what is the size of the bit in question? 3/8&quot; seems to big for the size copper fitting and the measurements given. <br>Thanks for the instructable and keep up the good work. <br>Dan
Dan, Thanks for catching that mistake! I meant 1/8&quot; Drill Bit. I have since changed it on the instructable too. <br>Jeffrey

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