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LED AA Maglites

This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Peter Freeman 8 years, 2 months ago.

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    Peter Freeman

    I first heard about the LED Maglites being on their way over a year ago, but they actually arrived in Australia in January (the AA size came after all the bigger ones, since Mag for a long time couldn’t keep up with USA demand).

    I’m talking here about genuine Maglites with 3W Luxeon LED’s, not the 3rd party conversions that have been around for 2-3 years. They were a waste of time and money because you sacrificed the one great advantage that Maglites have – a rotating focus adjustment. The great Maglite in that case became just another (though tougher and more reliable) Dick Smith area LED torch.

    I long planned to get an LED Maglite when they came, but in fact I haven’t since I’m finding the PT Apex and PT Surge combination does everything I need at present. However, I have looked at them, and they are super devices.

    Interestingly, unlike with the old incandescent models, Maglite now make a 2AA and a 3AA version. The 3AA’s a bit longer of course. They both use a regulated 3W Luxeon, so you’d expect them to differ only in battery duration. In that case, as a helmet-mounted or neck-hung emergency lamp, most cavers would choose the 2AA. However, according to the flashlight review site (a very authoritative source) the 3AA is actually considerably brighter. Depending on how you intend to use an LED Maglite, you should therefore consider getting the 3AA version.

    One strange and disappointing variation from the old incandescent AA models is that there is no longer a hole at the tail to attach a lanyard (neck/wrist strap, etc). Body colour options are also very limited.

    3AA RRP = $99, but Wilderness Shop has them so -10%.



    Like most people I have a couple of old 2AA Maglites positioned around the house, shed and car glovebox. I decided to retro fitted one with the TerraLUX MiniStar2 Extreme LED which pumps out 140 lumens of light. I must say its very bright and lasts 4X longer than the origional bulb. Whilst expensive at $38.00, its still cheaper than buying a new 3 watt LED torch.


    Peter Freeman

    I bought a 2AA LED Maglite earlier this year. About $99 RRP, but VSA 10% off at Wilderness Shop. It was really good.

    Then I used it in a very tight and fairly upside-down cave, and found on exit that the Maglite had disappeared! I’m not buying another one until I’ve carefully searched that cave!



    Peter Freeman

    Found it! Well, Chalky found it for me. It had landed at the bottom of the M197 pitch (Romanus Rift). After several months there it was in excellent condition, and Chalky immediately turned it on to find that the batteries were as good as new and the light as bright as ever.
    <img src=” title=”Smile” />


    Peter Freeman

    Another amazing hand-torch recovery story!

    When Chalky and I went downstream in Elk River a week or two ago I slipped my PrincetonTec Surge dive torch into my overalls pocket. On exit from the cave I realised that I no longer had it, and I had no idea where I’d lost it or put it.

    A week later, travelling through the cave with Jim, I kept my eyes skinned. No, it’s not at the Balcony (where I might have moved it from my pocket in order to put my harness back on). Not at the Uncle’s Aven base-camp either (where I might have left it on the clothes-changing ledge). Just going into the Upper Roof Sniff now – what’s that yellow gleam in there? Yes – it’s my torch, after eight days under half a metre of water! Grab it, flick the switch, and the usual blinding 7.5 watt beam shines out! Jeez, it’s a great torch.

    Perhaps I’ll find my missing krab at Drik Drik soon.


    Peter Freeman

    A few months after purchasing my 2AA LED Maglite the on-off switch functionality became unreliable – it didn’t cleanly switch on/off when rotating the head. Sometimes it required a slight tap. I took it back to the Wilderness Shop for warranty repair. A few weeks later it came back with a diagnosis "it was just the batteries" (!!). However, it did seem then to be OK.

    Now it’s dodgy again. It seems that Maglite’s high standards have slipped – or maybe you’re not supposed to drop them down pitches? Rather disappointing overall, anyway.

    I still use it – attached to my helmet with shock cord. It’s especially good for lighting up Suunto windows when surveying. I’m tolerating, and working around, the chronic switching problem.

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