Introduction: Makita Flashlight LED Upgrade

Picture of Makita Flashlight LED Upgrade

I have a Makita BML185 Flashlight that I have had for years. I haven't used it often because I have newer brighter LED flashlights.

So I thought I'd upgraded to an aftermarket LED bulb, but the price of butbs range from $19-$30 the Cheapest I found was on for $18.95. A little more searching and I came across a KAWELL® 18W 4" CREE DC 9-32V Off Road LED Spot-Work Light for $20.99. A little Research I found that the LEDs we're close to the same size the opening of my flashlight so I ordered one.

Step 1: Tools Needed

A Soldering Iron and solder

A Screwdriver with 3 mm and 4 mm hexagon bits

Phillips screwdriver

Diagonal wire cutter

Utility knife

Step 2: Remove Lens

Picture of Remove Lens

Unscrew the lens holder and remove the reflector, bulb and spare lightbulb, set aside.

Step 3: Remove LEDs

Picture of Remove LEDs

I disassembled the spotlight I bought and remove the LEDs, reflector and the rubber protective coating off the wires. I trimmed and shaped the edges of one side of the LED plate to fit inside the flashlight housing. I reassembled the reflector to the LED plate and placed it inside the flashlight housing. Then I trimmed the edges of the reflector so that it would sit above the opening but I could still get the Lens cap back on. I test fitted the lens cap and lens but found the lens was loose.

I will solve that problem in the next step.

Step 4: Soldering the Wires

Picture of Soldering the Wires

I soldered the wires, (black to negative and red to positive) to the terminals of the bulb holder of the flashlight.

I attached the battery to my flashlight and tested it to see that it worked.

I took a rubber O ring (the one I had was too large so I cut it down to fit and super glued the ends together) to fit inside the lens cap to keep the lens from rattling

I assembled the LEDs, the lens, O ring and lens cap.

Now I have one of the brightest handheld work light you can imagine. A lot brighter than just having a single replacement LED upgrade Bulb.


zillaphreak made it! (author)2017-10-21

The LED panel gets very hot, so I suggest that you craft some small metal/aluminum plates to attach to the back to help dissipate heat. The light is so much brighter but broadcasts in a larger area. I had trouble with the the connectors touching the pin that allows rotation for the head. So solve this I took a flat head screwdriver and had to pry the lip of the head by the pin on the outside of the flashlight to allow the long piece of metal to slide in between the plastic and pin. I also had to trim into the LED board, but there was no connectivity issues when I did.

seamster (author)2017-01-06

Nice upgrade! I have the same flashlight, and have just never been impressed with the output. Good instructable, thanks for sharing the details :)

About This Instructable




More by cbdave:Makita Flashlight LED UpgradeCorner rounding jig for a disk sanderSpray tip cleaner
Add instructable to: