Tuesday, May 08, 2018

New Bulbs And New Life For Old Tac Flashlights

I've got quite a few flashlights around with older incandescent bulbs. While they were bright at the time I bought them, they've been outshone by the LED flashlights that have come along since.

My Surefire G2, with all of 65 lumens was bought back when it used to be the most awesome of blinding lights that could fit in your pocket. Now I can get more light and longer battery life from a $2.50 flashlight that is smaller and more portable. What to do? Well, upgrade it.

The Flashlight Bulb LED CREE XM-L T6 Single Mode 1-Mode 1000 Lumen LED P60 is a drop-in replacement for the Surefire incandescent bulb P60 type. Whether it is truly 1000 lumens is kinda iffy, I'd say it appears less, but it is a solid ten times brighter than the original bulb and the battery life is not measured in minutes with a dimming bulb anymore. It's also cooler running than the Surefire original bulb, which is good after using it for a long duration.

Installation is as easy as removing the old bulb, removing the spring on the outside of the new bulb and then dropping it in. It sealed perfectly and works better than the original bulb and is brighter by far.

If you've got a C or D Cell Maglite, and who doesn't?, there's a way to get these enhanced for more usefulness.

Rather than the dim glow of the Maglite as compared to today's flashlights, There's an excellent LED replacement for the Maglite, For $15.99 the LITT LED bulb gives off more light at 350 lumens than the standard Maglite incandescent bulb, and it is far longer lasting as well.

If you have a Maglite, you can make it a lot more useful with one of these LED drop-in replacements. I've found it to be considerably brighter and whiter light quality, and the batteries last a lot longer, making it far more useful in case of power outages. Plus its still as impressively hefty and durable as it originally was, if not more so as the LED bulb is more durable than the incandescent it came with originally and is more drop resistant.

I've had both LED upgrades for almost a year now, and both have stood up to lots of use and abuse without fail and cast much needed light during camping and power outage occasions, of which we've had quite a few since I got them.

I'm rather pleased with these LED upgrades, if you've got some older tac flashlights around, you may want to look into upgrading them with drop-in LED bulb replacements.


doubletrouble said...

I did do the upgrades for my older lights, but I found a perfect EDC light about 4 years ago:
Not crazy bright, but used daily for many applications.
(No, I’m not a seller). :)

drjim said...

I upgraded all my Surefire G3 flashlights to LED heads. The batteries last MUCH longer, the light is a zillion times brighter, and they run cooler.

BUT...as much as I love my G3's, I bought some cheapies that use an 18650 battery like the big "vaping" devices use.

I've had the cheap ones 4 years or so, and they just keep working. No expensive "C123" batteries, no $20 halogen bulbs, just nice, bright, white light.

And I got the two flashlights for about $5, free shipping, and the batteries and chargers are "available everywhere" as seen on TV.

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Aaron;

Thanks for the info, I have a couple of Mag Lights that I bought when I was delivering pizza, the 4D cell flashlight was pretty bright for the time and the heft did well for any dogs that didn't like pizza delivery people and the occasional "grab and Run" teens that liked to target same pizza people.

Flugelman said...

Just got my upgrade today. Easy peasy assembly and much, much brighter. Thanks for the link.

Aaron said...

doubletrouble: Nice. I've got a few flashlights like that one as well. Can never have too many flashlights around, especially around my house where they have a tendency to wander off.

drjim: Yep, there's a lot of new stuff put there with better setups than the C123.

MrGarabaldi: Yep, my D cell Maglite was a companion prior to Shall issue when I had to drive to interesting neighborhoods sometimes. Better than nothing. It's still hanging in there after all these years and is the main basement flight in case of an outage. With the bulb upgrade its even better.

Flugelman: You're welcome glad I could share the info and make another current light more useful.