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Old 01-19-2015, 07:02 PM   #1
rapidoxidationman OP
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Makita flashlight mod

I've got a Makita LXLM01 I just picked up from Home Depot. Knowing it was going to have a monster 18V 4AH battery locked onto it, I had HUGE expectations for an eye searing, night banishing, ridiculously bright and long burning light.

It was not to be - I was underwhelmed. The light dribbling forth from the 6 LED array on the face of this "light" is considerably less than the beam my TerraLux Lightstar 300 produces from only 2 AA batteries. I think my incandescent petzl headlamp from the early 90's puts out more light, and I'm pretty sure the free LED lights that Harbor Freight gives you with a purchase and a coupon will outdo this one.
. I can easily believe the advertised life of 50 hours on a charge.

I WANT MORE! There's a lot of battery on this light, and absolutely no need for a 50 hour life span. Burn me some lumens!

I can see where putting high output LED's on the board would make more heat, and it might even cook the lenses that are only plastic. Integrating a heat sink will be necessary - I'd like to see at least 1,000 lumens.

It has a single on/off switch for the battery, and only a pair of wires (+,-) to the PC board upon which are mounted the 6 led's and bit of electronics.

The simple fix would be to just nail one very high output LED to a heat sink with a resistor appropriate for an 18V supply, ignore the lens, and just have a broad beam floodlight with no spot. It'd be nice to keep it factory looking though..

Pics: The lamp itself:


and what's inside:


Looking for a source for an LED with driver that can accept an 18V Vin. I'll array 6 of them to fit the existing lens and see how quickly it'll melt down...

What say ye?
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rapidoxidationman screwed with this post 01-19-2015 at 07:16 PM
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:35 PM   #2
MotoChris521
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You could duct tape a couple of those HF freebies to it , umm , for free .

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Old 01-20-2015, 12:27 PM   #3
sanjoh
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http://www.ledsupply.com/

You going to spend more money than a properly engineered light would cost.

But who doesn't love a project
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Old 01-20-2015, 01:32 PM   #4
GreaseMonkey
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What are the dimensions of your light?

Here is a LED motorcycle headlight, 25 watt 10-30 volts and supposedly 900 lumens for $25:




75mm diameter, 48mm deep. Has both high and low beams.


http://www.eachbuyer.com/25w-white-c...m-p362897.html

I've ordered a bit of stuff from this company and am satisfied with them. Ususally takes 3-4 weeks to get the stuff though.
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:14 PM   #5
TeneRay
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Ebay is actually a decent source for LEDs and all LED related accessories.

Guarantee it's going to be Chinese stuff but the bright side is it's really cheap so if you burn stuff up, you're not out a whole lot.
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:29 PM   #6
trailer Rails
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Subscribed, I have one of those lights also, I hate it, would be nice to modify it to make it more useful.
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:49 PM   #7
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You'll want a constant current power supply like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/11-35V-DC-Co...item1e97033f77

DC in, DC out.

This might be more appropriate size but 30W. http://www.ebay.com/itm/30W-30-Watt-...item2ed2c22de9
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:04 PM   #8
rapidoxidationman OP
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The existing PC board with the 6LED array on it measures 2-3/8" x 1-1/2". I don't think GreaseMonkey's motorcycle light would fit, but I might explore that site and see if there's something more size appropriate.

I've also posed the questions at candlepowerforums.com, but haven't gotten much of a response yet. There's some threads there on a Ryobi 18V mod though...

Gonna have to try to remember my electronics from college. Things have really changed since then though - used to be to make a diode light up you'd stick a resistor in front of it, subtract .7V for the drop across the diode, and go from there. Now you need a driver, a passenger, a heat sink, and a fresh pair of tires just to make a light! Crazy...
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Old Today, 10:54 AM   #9
Drif10
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I'm liking where you're going with this.

More power...
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Old Today, 01:05 PM   #10
rapidoxidationman OP
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So the OEM array of LED's puts out, according to the owner's manual, .6 watts of light. Point six watts. On a 3 amp hour, 18 volt battery.

That just makes me sad. I'm guessing about 50, maybe 75 lumens. Put a focused reflector behind a bic lighter with the flame set on maximum and you'll likely outdo this light's output.

I have on order from dealextreme.com a 6 pack of led's that are rated at 320 lumens each and a pair of 3 mode regulated drivers that (I believe) are made to handle an input voltage between 5-18 V DC. I'm planning on setting up two arrays of 3 led's each, and at maximum output will be able to (briefly) achieve nearly 2000 lumens of retina burning output. Until the plastic case of the light melts down...

The two drivers have pushbutton controls that I should be able to integrate into the top of the light. That'll leave the OEM switch intact on the side as a master, then the two buttons on top that'll control each 3 led array.

If I measured properly, everything will fit inside the case. Gonna have to figure out how to dissipate all the heat generated though... or limit the light output to something less There's a bit of room left inside for a heat sink, but there may need to be some holes drilled in the case for convection to do it's thing. I'm going to really try to keep the light as water resistant as possible...
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Old Today, 02:23 PM   #11
568V8
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Mag

Get a MAG - Lite 3 xD cell for about $35. Mine is the best most intense light that I've ever had.
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Old Today, 02:40 PM   #12
rbrsddn
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Save your money, and get one of these lights http://www.malkoffdevices.com/about-malkoff-devices

I got the LEd drop-in for my 3 D Mag light, which turned it into a beacon. Liked it so much, I sprung for the Hound Dog XML. Something like 1100 lumens. Kind of pricey, but well made in USA.
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Old Today, 06:45 PM   #13
rapidoxidationman OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrsddn View Post
Save your money, and get one of these lights http://www.malkoffdevices.com/about-malkoff-devices

I got the LEd drop-in for my 3 D Mag light, which turned it into a beacon. Liked it so much, I sprung for the Hound Dog XML. Something like 1100 lumens. Kind of pricey, but well made in USA.
I'm thinking my mods to the Makita will end up being at least half the price of the (admittedly nice) Malkoff lights, including the host light pictured above. With about twice the output. And twice the battery life.
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Old Today, 07:12 PM   #14
rbrsddn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rapidoxidationman View Post
I'm thinking my mods to the Makita will end up being at least half the price of the (admittedly nice) Malkoff lights, including the host light pictured above. With about twice the output. And twice the battery life.
Can't argue with that! Just throwing out another option. Please report back with the final results.
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