Cool, Efficient, Mag-lite

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Introduction: Cool, Efficient, Mag-lite

Replace the bulb in a 2xAA mag-lite with a bright white led. A cool burning led will give you longer battery life and won't burn your face off.

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Step 1: Collect the Parts

You'll need a 3.2 volt LED -- I think most bright white LEDs qualify. A ruler or caliper. An old, beat-up mag-lite, the kind that takes 2 AA batteries. Some wire cutters. A low speed or variable speed drill and 1/4" bit (not pictured). A small vice or pair of adjustable, locking (vice-grip style) pliers will come in handy (not pictured).

Step 2: Disassemble the Head of the Flashlight

My old mag-lite was already missing the bulb. Unscrew the front part of the head to gain access to the parabolic mirror.

Step 3: Drill Out the Hole in the Plastic Mirror

Place the plastic mirror carefully in a vice, hold it with a pair of slip-joint or vice-grip pliers... or if you have the hands of an oil-rig worker, with your fingers. Slowly drill out the center hole of the mirror with a 1/4" drill bit. This will allow the mirror to fit over the LED.

Step 4: Trim the LED Leads

Trim the LED leads to 1cm, .4 inches, or 3/8". You could probably go a little shorter to put the LED closer to the focus of the mirror, but this spreads out the beam the way I wanted it.

Step 5: Discard Mag-lite Bulb and Install LED

Wiggle the LED around until you can insert the leads into the two small holes that used to hold the mag-lite bulb leads. The LED should light up if the batteries are installed. If not, flip the LED around. Remember, this model of mag-lite is turned on by unscrewing the head of the flashlight.

Step 6: Screw the Head Back on the Flashlight

All done!

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    74 Discussions

    0
    botronics
    botronics

    7 years ago on Step 5

    The only rechargeable 1.5 batteries are the rechargeable alkaline type. Nicad and NiMH are 1.2 volts (1.37v hot off the charger) and never 1.5 volts. If you have a rechargeable Nicad or NiMH marked "1.5v" show me a photo. I don't like the rechargeable alkaline because they leak.

    0
    COMMODORE64
    COMMODORE64

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 5

    that comment was retarded made at 4 years ago and we all knows im wrong about rechargable 1.5vs

    come on shut your yap and move on!

    0
    botronics
    botronics

    13 years ago on Step 5

    No current limiting resistor? How long has it been burning? Does it work with rechargables?

    0
    COMMODORE64
    COMMODORE64

    Reply 12 years ago on Step 5

    It says 2AA battery equal as 3V, and this LED is 3.2V, so nothing is bad. And yes, rechargable works too, because they works as 1.5V each.

    0
    PerfectPantaloons
    PerfectPantaloons

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    every AA battery i have ever used was 1.5 V...

    0
    JamesRPatrick
    JamesRPatrick

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    Rechargeable batteries are only generally 1.2V unless they say otherwise.

    0
    PerfectPantaloons
    PerfectPantaloons

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    i don't know i'm looking at my collection of batteries... (and i have a TON of AA's) and they all say that they are 1.5.... including the rechargeable ones.... what brand are you talking about???

    0
    ttaylor10
    ttaylor10

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 5

    All my rechargable AA's say 1.2 V
    Just my 2 cents.. Where did you get rechargables that are 1.5?

    0
    JamesRPatrick
    JamesRPatrick

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    Rayovac, Radioshack, Sanyo, and a couple more generic Chinese brands that I have. If yours are newer and 1.5V, that's great, more compatability. But as of a few years ago when I bought my last ones, the standard seems to be 1.2V for rechargeable AA's.

    0
    PerfectPantaloons
    PerfectPantaloons

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    hmmm well then this is all news to me... this will be very helpful to me and my projects.... Thanks for the info 

    0
    COMMODORE64
    COMMODORE64

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry, You are right. Thanks for the correction.

    0
    severepb
    severepb

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    actually, 2 AA batteries brand new are about 1.6 to 1.7 v.

    0
    Prometheus
    Prometheus

    13 years ago on Step 6

    light output might actually be greater than the maglite bulb, depends on the led's mcd. If you find a "superbrite: white, the LED will make a laughingstock of the old bulb. Alternative to drilling out the focus (reflector), you can find the same ratings for ini's and sub-mini's that will fit without any modification except to the LED lead length. You will know a superbrite if it's hard to tolerate it shining directly into your eye, and perhaps leaves a bit of retinal burn.

    0
    phenoptix
    phenoptix

    Reply 13 years ago on Step 6

    That's not the best way to test LEDs!!

    0
    Pwag
    Pwag

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    These guys are right, use someone else's eyes.

    0
    phenoptix
    phenoptix

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    6 years for a reply to that comment Pwag! But it was worth it!!!

    0
    Pwag
    Pwag

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Ha! The internet is full of surprises some times!

    0
    Eirinn
    Eirinn

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Pointing superbrite LEDs at your eyes can cause retina damage it's a very bad way to do it :)

    0
    Guardians38
    Guardians38

    10 years ago on Introduction

    I have GOT to make this... im going to buy a flash light just for this =)