Handheld LED Flashlight Bulb Conversions - SailNet Community

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Old 04-03-2012
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Handheld LED Flashlight Bulb Conversions

As an off-shoot to the thread "Handheld LED flashlight for coming into those dark, moonless anchorages", I recently found some LED Light-bulb conversions for MagLite flashlights that others might be interested in. The LED replacement "bulbs" are made by TerraLUX and are available in various sizes to fit the various MagLites.

Aboard our boat we have MagLites sized for two D-Cell batteries in mounts at the helm, at the companionway and in each compartment so that no matter where one is aboard, one can always reach-out and grab a light if/when necessary. As a matter of routine we put fresh batteries in each of these at the start of each sailing season and then, during the season, as necessary. (We use a little red "tail light tape" to cover the lenses to ensure that night vision is less effected although that can easily be stripped off if necessary.) I did our annual battery replacements earlier today and, on two of the units, replaced the incandescent bulbs with TerraLUX's TLE-6EXB 140 lumen LED's. The difference in brightness between the LED and incandescent bulbs is quite remarkable and TerraLUX guarantees 17 hours of "run-time" on a typical set of batteries. (I will shortly be replacing the rest of the incandescent bulbs.)

While some might not care for MagLites aboard ship, I have found them to be very robust. Ours are fitted with flotation collars cobbled up from beer bottle cozies and lanyards attached with wraps of Rescue Tape, both fitted to each light after I accidentally dropped one over the side some years ago. Interestingly, the diver that does our bottom cleaning found the lost light several months later and, after a good cleaning to remove muck, some barnacles etc. and some new batteries, the AWOL light worked perfectly, evidently none the worse for wear.

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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Old 04-03-2012
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Re: Handheld LED Flashlight Bulb Conversions

I did one of those conversions to a 3C maglite. Tons of output, but a less focused beam. My strategy for flashlights is to buy a bunch of those cheapie Home-Depot-checkout-counter $6 LED flashlites. They work great, and if you drop them overboard, they cost diddly.
Bashing about on Lake Ontario and Beyond
"Ariel" '79 Endeavour 32
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Old 04-03-2012
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Re: Handheld LED Flashlight Bulb Conversions

In my opinion, there are just too many LED lights out there to mess with converting maglites. LED lights are inexpensive and you can find some that are really robust at a very good price. You will get much better light out of one that is designed for LED than if you use a replacement bulb. You can also find LED lights with much higher output.

On my boat, I have headlamps with both white and red LEDs, small flashlights in both red and white LED, and an LED spotlight.
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Old 04-03-2012
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Re: Handheld LED Flashlight Bulb Conversions

MagLite sell some LED units, and there are complete and professional "drop in" LED conversions for many of the older lights. LED and reflector, one assembly, not just a bulb. The results can be very good.
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