Introduction: Hack a Mag-Lite Torch Into a Rechargeable Led Torch

About: An earth mother's child and cybernetic human being

Replace cells on a torch is such a boring thing to do for some of lazy guy like me...
(get new cells, opening torch, throw cells in special boxe...blah blah blah)

So let's hacking your old Mag-Lite torch into a cool longlasting rechargeable led torch!

It's cheap and ecological so it's cool!

Let's go!!!

I read some pertinent comments, after this convertion your torch will not be waterproof anymore.
Dont modified yours if it is an important thing for you.

A suitable cap must be add to restore the waterproof ability (perhaps an iphone cap).

Step 1: What You Need

• 3 cell Mag-Lite torch (from 2 to 5 cell, it's ok just check charger and led instructions)
• 3 ni-mh rechargeable cells (11000mAh suite well for me). Cost: 5 for 19€ on ebay
• 1 adaptive voltage ni-mh charger able to charge 3 cells (3x1,2V=3,6V dc). Cost: 9€ on ebay
• 1 Teralux 140 lumensled. Cost: 13€ on ebay
• 1 dc 3,5mm jack connector. Cost: 2 for 2,24€ on ebay
• 1 dc 3,5mm socket connector. Cost: 3 for 1,21€ on ebay
• 1 stick glue with his gun
• tools to cut plastic
• 1 drill to make a hole in the aluminium mag-lite body (JESUS! What a shame!!!)
• soldering tools
• 1 little hexa key
• some of self-control (not sold on ebay)

Step 2: Disassemble the Torch

Step 3: Hack the System

Try to understand my wiring diagrams

Replace the original bulb with the Terralux led

Change the Tamiya connector of the charger to the new dc 3,5mm jack connector

Step 4: Reassemble and Charge

My wiring avoid the use of the troch instead of charging (more safe for the charger)

The charger give from 100mA to 250mA

So for 11000mAh cells, 2 days of charge would be the minimum request i think.

Nb: This charger i bought adapts its charging voltage according to the number of cell it can detect!...same charger for different size of Mag-lite! YES YES YES!!!

Step 5: Runtime Test

-After the 1st charge (10hrs), it lights continuously 7hrs with a powerfull light! (my timing charge was wrong too short)

-After the 2nd charge (10hrs), it lights continuously 8hrs. After 10hrs, it still lights on, but much dimmer. (my timing charge was wrong too short)

-After the nearly 2 days charge (49hrs), it lights for sure 6hrs with a powerfull light. Unfortunately, after 13hrs the light has definitively dimmished. During night, it probably begun to dimmish after 9 or 10hrs rought job...

-So...After the 4 days and 18hrs charge, it lights for only 10hrs with a powerfull light. Then it dimmishes definitly...

10hrs would be the maximum runtime range of my 11000mah cells...

Terralux official data of 17hrs runtime so far...

Possible causes of my bad results:
-longer time of charging needed
-cells quality
-Terralux official data
-My knowlege laks...

Finaly 9 or 10hrs with full power light is still a  good fact for me

Step 6: Terralux 140Lumens Led Test

Sorry for the bad quality pictures, another scene would fit better for this test. (too cold to test it in forest)

I'm entirely satisfy with the power of the Terralux 140Lumens led.

Other led test can be found on the great site:

Step 7: Conclusion

This hack cost under 40€, it sounds good for me...better than a new rechargeable Mag-lite over  80€...pff

Next steps:
-hack of my 2 cell torch
-find a car 12V dc charger for my torch
-find a usb charger system
-add a cap to restore waterproof ability. Perhaps this one can suite (a 3,5mm jack cap for iphone):
had just order it!

Thank you for reading.

Advices and comments are wellcoming
Will apreciate pictures of some of your own convertion in comments


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