Nite Ize AA MiniMag Lite upgrade LED

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Last seen: 1 month 1 day ago
Joined: 06/20/2011 - 23:50
Posts: 228
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Nite Ize AA MiniMag Lite upgrade LED

Is it just me?

Has anyone here had a Nite ize MiniMag Lite AA 1w up-grade (and OR tail switch), fail?

I've bought and given 6 or 7 of them as gifts over the last 2 years or so. They are starting to drop like flies.

The manufacturer claims something like 50,000 hours on the LED, that's over 5 years @ 24/7/365!

It's a little hard to prove such a long life when these up-grade LED's aren't getting 2 or 3 sets of batteries, before they go dead. Definitely not into the 2nd year for most of them.

My first one is still going strong, and I've replaced batteries a dozen times easily. It is in fact the reason I bought them as gifts.

They were given to my Mom, my wife's Mom, my Daughter and Daughter in-law, and my Son. There are even a couple of spares around the house.

I finally talked my Wife into carrying one in her purse this Spring. There was a power failure at her job, she was so proud to be the only person there with a flashlight, (no lights in the restrooms).

Hers isn't 6 months old, and it just wants to flash when you try to turn it on.

Could it be a fried circuit board? I'm just using Duracell alkalines, and I have tried fresh batteries.

Can anyone shed any... oh sorry. Does anyone have any ideas or thoughts they might share?


Match's picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 11/14/2010 - 11:57
Posts: 1488
Location: South Carolina, USA

My humble guess?  Alkaline leakage.  I've noticed this same problem on a couple of lights I've given away, most recently a romisen RC-G2 that my father had.  While I was up visiting he said he loved the light, but it quit working.  Funny thing was, there was no tell-tale signs of leakage until I tore the switch apart and saw the damage.  An easy enough fix. 

It seems this is only really a problem with lights (or other devices) that see very infrequent usage, hence the lights you've gifted to non-flashaholics. Because of this, I've been putting lithium primaries in gift lights even though I don't bother using them myself.

Last seen: 1 month 1 day ago
Joined: 06/20/2011 - 23:50
Posts: 228
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Hi Match,

Thanks for the reply. I've dis-assembled the light, (but not the switch), and I don't see anything strange. No corrosion or discoloration.

My wife's 2 AA MiniMag Lite and 1W upgrade is just about 4 months old. The light we gave her mom, (she's 83), sat unused for months and the batteries leaked. The threads at the tailcap corroded and we just decided to replace it.

I tried pulling the led/driver from her light and tried it in my OLD AA MiniMag Lite, and it didn't work much better. Sometimes the light will turn on, but it usually just gives a flash as if it has been turned too far.

Both lights are on.

Both lights are on.

I had to fiddle with it to come on and stay on for the picture.

Here is a picture of her led/driver in my MiniMag Lite host. Still not working well enough to call it OK.

swapped LEDs

I have a brand new, still in the package Nite Ize 1W upgrade, it doesn't work very well either.

You mentioned taking the switch apart. How do you do that without breaking it?

I may have to try one of your p60 pill mods, I'm just looking for a reliable light, that I can give and forget, (for the most part).

Thanks for your time.

Last seen: 1 year 9 hours ago
Joined: 06/21/2011 - 21:25
Posts: 196
Location: Australia

I brought some nite ize clickies and dropins for my mags a few years back , very dissapointed none lasted long , they were expensive at the time and not worth a pinch'a shit !

Last seen: 7 years 5 months ago
Joined: 08/28/2010 - 20:50
Posts: 115

I have the nite-ize 1w LED upgrade without the tail switch. I bought it back at the beginning of January and as of yet, haven't had any problems. Maybe, since mine has no tail switch upgrade, it's different? 

The nite-ize IMO is a nice upgrade from the incandescent bulb. It's significantly brighter, and more efficient. If you already owned the mag, the upgrade was only $10.

Last seen: 1 month 1 day ago
Joined: 06/20/2011 - 23:50
Posts: 228
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Yeah lfrit,

I too had good success with the Nite Ize 1W LED upgrade early on, but I think that I own 7 of them, going back about 3 - 4 years, both with and without the tail switch.

What I'm really suprised about is that I couldn't, and still can't, find anything negative in either Google or Yahoo. Nothing about failure, defective, broken, etc. All of the search results were sales related. I couldn't find ANY objective reviews that might have warned me of their relative short usable life.

That leaves me still looking, (I guess like many of us), for the perfect 2 AA EDC LED.

Keep looking Guys!


GraveTrain's picture
Last seen: 6 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/31/2011 - 15:36
Posts: 68
Location: NorCal

I was over at our local OSH and they had the Nite Ize LED upgrade for my vintage Maglite 3D. Luckily I pulled up this very thread from my phone and promptly put the package back and walked out empty handed

Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 06/03/2011 - 08:47
Posts: 1451
Location: London

FWIW the Terralux led upgrades for Stingers and Maglites are supposed to be far better quality and more robust than the Nite-Ize ones.   They are more expensive though.   I've not tried one but others here might have?  

BTW don't take the prices on Terralux's own site as accurate.  They are just MSRP's (Manufacturer's Recommended Selling Prices) and you can usually get them for quite a bit less.

Having said that its still usually cheaper to buy a new light, such as a Trustfire R5-A3, rather than upgrade a MiniMag AA light.   But an upgrade might be worthwhile if you are in someway emotionally attached to the old MiniMag.   I for example have one that was my departed father's so I like to keep it, although it remains an old 2*AA incan.

"You are making progress if each mistake you make is a new one."

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