Convert Your Old Maglites to Work with LED Bulbs

I have written before about how I love flashlights.  They fascinate me.  As a result, we have more than we really need.  Everytime a new one comes out, I have to have it.  Because of this, we have several older Maglites.  Now these were good flashlights in their day.  However, with the advent of LED bulbs and the smaller flashlights that are now available most of us have stuck our Maglites in the corner.

The larger Maglites had one advantage over the smaller flashlights they made a decent club.  Back in the day when I was in law enforcement, we liked them for this purpose.  The disadvantage of the Maglites over the new LED lights is that they are not as bright.

The other day I ran across Led Conversion kits for the Maglites. They are made by TerraLux and are available for the Mini Mag and the full size Maglite.  They increase the brightness of the light to 140 Lumens.  This is a great improvement over the old halogen bulbs. The kits are easy to use, and require no tools.

LED conversion bulbs

I converted two of mine, a Mini Mag and a full size one and was pleased with the result.  While they are still not up to the standards of some of the newer flashlights, they are still pretty good.  It seems like almost every Saturday when I go garage sale shopping I see Maglites for sale cheap, a dollar or less. Add a LED conversion kit for under $20 and you have a decent flashlight for a reasonable price.

New Maglites are available with LED bulbs, watch Costco and you can sometimes find them quite inexpensively, sometimes cheaper than doing the conversions.

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3 thoughts on “Convert Your Old Maglites to Work with LED Bulbs”

  1. I converted a 2x D cell Maglite using a cheap $4 LED bulb from Wal Mart. It is not as bright as other LED lights, but I have seen a HUGE improvement on battery life. A set of D cells usually lasted 3 days at most but after conversion it usually lasts 7 days (average usage is 5 hrs per shift per day). I did look up the kits online first but was put off by the price. Most kits cost more than a new LED Maglite.

  2. I have been using TerraLux LED conversions on Mini-Maglites ever since they were first introduced, which is about ten years now. I found them much more rugged under rough handling, such as dropping on concrete or down a stairwell, than the incandescent bulb which comes with the AA and AAA MagLites. I converted all of my small Maglites to LED heads long ago. I routinely stash these lights in kits because I have them available, they are of convenient size, are bright enough for general utility use, use common batteries and their gasketed metal case is watertight. I tie a 6 ft. loop of paracord to the keyking as an over the shoulder lanyard so that the light is securely tethered, but can still be extended at arm’s length, without risk of loss if dropped. An elastic NiteEyes headband provides hands-free illumination. I wrap 3 ft. of duct tape around the body to have it available for expedient repairs, and to have a larger diameter surface to hold onto.

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