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Maglite LED vs. Incandescent Differences

Questions about how to fix or upgrade your Maglite flashlight

Maglite LED vs. Incandescent Differences

Postby allingeneral » Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:40 pm

Maglite flashlights have long been the standard by which other flashlights are compared. Maglite LED flashlights are no exception. There are differences between the Maglite LED and incandescent flashlight models and I am going to attempt to identify those differences here.

Maglite C and D Cell incandescent flashlights all come standard with a WhiteStar Krypton bulb and a spare bulb in the tailcap. You can upgrade your incandescent flashlight with a MagStar Xenon bulb for about 3 bucks, which increases the flashlight's output by about 50-80%. WhiteStar bulbs are identified by part number LWSAX01 where X = number of cells in your light (i.e. LWSA201 for a 2-cell, LWSA301 for a 3-cell, etc). Magstar bulbs are numbered similarly with LMSA201-LMSA601.

Maglite D Cell LED lights come with an LED pre-installed and a spare OEM Krypton bulb in the tailcap. The spare bulb will likely never need to be used due to a burn-out of the LED, but it does come in handy for times when you need more brightness from your Maglite flashlight.

- Bulb life - LED ***** - Incandescent **
One major downfall of the incandescent bulbs is that the filament is fragile, so if you drop your Maglite flashlight or bang it against something, the bulb will burn out due to the filament breaking. This is one area where LED lights "outshine" (so to speak) an incandescent bulb. LEDs are virtually indestructable, so with LED Maglites or if you use an LED upgrade, your light will likely never burn out due to mishandling of the flashlight.

- Brightness - LED ** - Incandescent *****
Incandescent bulbs provide much brighter light, greater ability to "throw" the light and are much better at focusing the light beam than are LEDs.

- Battery Life - LED ***** - Incandescent *
Since the current draw of LEDs is much less than the draw from an incandescent bulb, LED lights can run on a single set of batteries for much longer than their incandescent counterparts. LED lights can run for hundreds of hours on one set of batteries, whereas an incandescent light will start to fade after only a few hours of continuous use.

There are a couple of different options if you want to upgrade your Maglite to LED technology. Maglite builds their own LED Upgrade module for 2, 3 and 4 cell lights. Nite-ize, a third-party Maglite parts and accessories manufacturer also makesLED upgrade modules for AA and C & D cell flashlights. Here are some links to help you find the LED Upgrade module for your flashlight:

SH32DCW6 Maglite 2-Cell LED Upgrade Module
SH33DCW6 Maglite 3-Cell LED Upgrade Module
SH34DCW6 Maglite 4-Cell LED Upgrade Module

Nite-ize LRB-07 AA LED Upgrade Module
Nite-ize LUC-07 AA LED Combo Upgrade Kit (AA LED Module and Tail-cap Switch)
NIQ-07-1WC Nite-ize 1 Watt LED UPGRADE and IQ SWITCH for AA Mini Maglite
Nite-ize LRB-07-PR C & D Cell 1-Watt LED Upgrade Module (For 1-6 Cell Maglite Flashlights)

So, in summary, LED bulbs are more durable and consume less energy, resulting in longer battery life. Incandescent bulbs are brighter and easier to focus, but use more power and are more easily broken or burned out.

Follow the links below for a full listing of replacement bulbs and LED modules:

Maglite replacement Krypton and Xenon bulbs

Maglite LED Upgrade Modules

Please leave a post here if you have any questions or comments concerning replacement bulbs or LED upgrade options. We're here to help!
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Postby RACN35 » Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:59 am

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Re: Maglite LED vs. Incandescent Differences

Postby MARK II » Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:53 pm

Before I buy a 4-D cell LED replacement module, I need to know..........can I use RECHARGEABLE batteries with it? As many LED flashlights cannot use rechargeables (this is common knowledge to anyone that has studied different LED flashlights). YET, this information is nowhere to be found online regarding the Mag-Lite LED system. Why is this?
Can someone please tell me for sure if rechargeables can be used with the 4 c-d cell LED module?

Thanks very much.
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Re: Maglite LED vs. Incandescent Differences

Postby allingeneral » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:07 pm

I don;t see any reason why you can't use rechargeable batteries. They output the same power/voltage as an alkaline battery. However, Mag suggests using alkaline batteries.
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