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Old 04-04-2012, 13:56   #1
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Location: Tampa Bay area, USA
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LED Flashlight Bulb Substitutes

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 (an affiliate of MagLite) and are available in various sizes to fit the various MagLite flashlights.

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 yesterday AM 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 (or where).

"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 04-04-2012, 14:11   #2
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Re: LED Flashlight Bulb Substitutes

I'm a big fan of LED efficiencies, lumens of light output vs energy consumed. I have a custom built LED flashlight the uses (3) Cree XML emitters that has the same lumens output at 3000 as a 450 watt incandescent lamp. It does somewhat fit in my pocket and if my hands ever get cold, 3 minutes of on time well warm them quite nicely.

Notice the heat sinking, turned fins?

My old popular 6 volt beam type flashlight with a 20 watt halogen.

Same camera exposure with the LED flashlight.
USCG Unlimited Tonnage Open Ocean (CMA)
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Old 04-04-2012, 22:29   #3
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Re: LED Flashlight Bulb Substitutes

If you have a permant mounting at the helm you may have to stick with a Maglight and the LED conversion will make it better, but generally you are much better getting a whole new flashlight. There are a lot of models that are better constructed than the Maglight, thicker aluminium, better switches, double 0 ring seals etc.
LEDs put out a lot of heat a flashlight that has been built for this can be much brighter and more reliable.
Finally the modern LED flashlights have multiple brightness levels. This is very useful on a boat, some can be dimmed so low that will go continuously for a week on one set of batteries.
Most of the modern good quantity flashlight are quite waterproof. It is not recommended, but people use them snorkelling. Even scuba diving they survive OK, but at deeper depths the pressure pushes the rubber of the buttons in
Something like the Fenix Tk50 if want 2D
$85 on amazon
There are also some reviews on you tube which demonstrate the light.
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