1-watt LED conversion kit for Maglites?

Seen these sold for the 2-AA Maglite flashlights. Has anybody done it? I have at least 2 of these Maglites around and am interested in converting the one that’s in the truck all the time. The stock bulbs don’t last long, and neither do the batteries.

LEDs for Mag Lites
Works fine.

I haven’t used the Mag 2AA conversion
kit, but the housing of the standard Mag doesn’t have the built in heat sinking for the LED that the LED Mags have - if you stand a standard Mag and an LED Mag next to each other, you’ll notice that the head on the LED Mag is longer. All that means is that the LED will have more of a chance of over heating if the light is left on very long. Some LEDs will tend to dim a little as they over heat.

Also, if you’re keeping a 2AA LED flashlight in the car or truck, you’ll get better service from using lithium batteries than alkaline batteries because the lithium batteries are less effected by extreme heat and cold than the alkaline batteries - they’re less likely to go dead just from sitting in your vehicle. SAM’s Club is the cheapest store I’ve found for the AA lithium batteries.

For more info and reviews from people who have used the conversion kit, visit www.candlepowerforums.com

Rock River
I wouldn’t waste the money IMHO.

Go to your local Target Store and search for a a brand called Rock River. There are a ton of 3 watt flash lights for cheap. They also have a 3 watt small lantern for around $20 - they work great btw.

It’s time for new flashlights
1watt will still suck 2AA batteries down to nothing in a couple hours regardless if it’s xenon, halogen or LED.

If you really want more battery life with 1watt you need more batteries or bigger batteries.

If you want adequate light with the capacity of 2AA batteries look to lower output LEDs or spend the big bucks on AA Lithium disposals.

If you want 1watt AND smaller flashlight then look at the various tactical lights with two 3v lithium disposables, this can get pricey as most of them will still burn out in a few hours.

Best overall value for LONG battery life and adequate light output are the Princeton Tec Attitude or ImpactII. With Lithium disposables they’ll burn for days.


this is a good one
I’ve got this one in the car. Way bright and not big or heavy. Cheaper than the cr123 flashlights and with lithiums it doesn’t weigh more than 5oz.


type of led
Also remember that all LEDs are not created equal. Two good manufacturers are Nichia and Luxeon.

but watts are watts, if you try and get 1 watt out of two AA cells they won’t last long no matter what form the electricity is converted to. Whether it’s a motor driven toy, a heated element glowing red, or a high output 1watt Luxeon. .33 amp coming from two AA batteries won’t last very long before the voltage drops off and output goes down.

Thanks for the link
I know there are other lights that make the upgrade financially a little silly. I’m just trying to use existing equipment rather than throw it away.

You’re right about the lithium AA batts. Those are the only decent option for my Optio 43WR camera. It ate alkaline AA batts in the blink of an eye. The rechargeables last only a little longer per charge.

recycled Mag Lites
…A good idea, IMO. I haven’t tried the Mini-Mag LED conversions, but have no doubt that they work. I have a 2-"D"cell Mag with the 1w LED conversion. It works well and has a long burn time. Beats throwing away a good battery holder or just leaving it laying around.

Incandescent lights are all but obsolete for most uses any more. I have stopped using them in all but my tactical light - and that one only because the 5w LEDs are still pretty spendy.

If you have Maglites laying around, it just makes sense to convert them (rather than toss 'em). You can get longer battery life (with lower-power LEDs) and you will stop worrying about blown bulbs. The 5mm three-LED conversions don’t cost much and should have a very long service life. For the most reliable light with the most burn time, the biggest bang-for-buck can be had with those lights or conversions using three 5mm (5 millimeter, not 5 watt) LEDs. They throw enough light for most outdoor tasks and give long burn time with the smallest of batteries. And in the unlikely event that one LED fails - you still have two left.

I you have no Maglites and want to switch to LEDs - skip the Maglites. There are better designs out there. The Rock River brand at Target that was mentioned is a real good deal. I have tried their 2AAA 1w model and like it a lot (only $10!). But my current favorite is a regulated 1AAA model from Streamlight that sells for $20. A lot of light in a very small package - and replacement batteries take up very little room.

Did it, didn’t like the result. The
light isn’t as good and you can’t adjust it.

LED light…
…takes some getting used to. Cheaper LEDs tend to have a blue-ish tint and yes, when you convert a Maglite, you lose the spot-flood adjustment. But the LEDs throw an even light with no dark spots. You can’t get that from any incandescent Maglite. I find the LED light, even from a Maggie, to be superior for working in darkness (which I do almost daily…um…nightly).


– Last Updated: Feb-26-08 7:14 PM EST –

Nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries will give better runtimes than alkalines in most LED flashlights. Check the runtime graphs here -- Nimh gives an extra hour at full intensity.


If you use your flashlight frequently, go with a good high-capacity(2700mAh) Nimh battery. If it's used infrequently, use something like a Sanyo Eneloop that has a low self-discharge rate. I know lithiums run longer, but I'm trying to get away from disposables.

The real question is not how many watts, but how much light you're getting out. State-of-the-art LEDs(Crees, Rebels, etc.)are vastly more efficient than older models.

This site stopped updating last year, but still has a lot of good information.


If you want to visit the real flashlight enthusiasts, go here:


Those light nuts are…nuts
I’m not going to read every post in those forums, but so far it looks like I’d be better off buying a new light (probably the Arc AAA Premium) to keep in the truck, and switching all old Minimags to household emergency duty, where the short bulb and batt life is less important. They can act as backups for each other.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep a Photon II on my keychain simply because it is so tiny and light.

Both the 2AAA Rock River light from Target and the 1AAA Streamlight that I mentioned are .5w LEDs - not 1w. Sorry to be misleading!

BTW - I think the current crop of .5w LEDs are a real “sweet spot”.

That’s why my other LED lights
were designed to be LED lights. I do find good spot adjustment to be important.

I converted my mini mag to a
3 led light and I love it. The batteries last longer also, at least they seem to.

MagLite Is Kinda Obsolete, Except For…
Maglite is kinda obsolete except the 3 D Cell is is still pretty good for breaking heads. I keep one next to the bed in the van.

I have a 2AA Maglite with the LED head, and its not a favorite.

Dorcy makes a little 1AA Led that I like for less than $10. I have several.

My favorite is a little 2cr123 lithium Surefire that is rated as an optical weapon, but it eats batteries and they are about $10 a pair.

there’s a 3D cell Maglite
still good for whacking and the light will keep working!

Did it, liked it.
Got the conversion kit for my 2AA Mag on ebay for a song. I use it every day at work, no prob. Rechargeables now last for weeks instead of days.