3AA lantern modded to warm white (big pictures)

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Volk
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3AA lantern modded to warm white (big pictures)

I bought this 3W 3AA lantern a couple of months back just because it was cheap ($7) and that people over at CPF said it was quite nice. When it arrived I was surprised of how sturdy it felt, yet lightweight which would make it perfect for camping. Such a shame that the tint was the usual cool white with to much blue in it which makes it awful outside. Time to address that problem with an warm white T3 XM-L emitter.

The light itself next to an UltraFire 18650 and my XM-L modded Ring Cyba-Lite 300 lumen lantern which I will compare this 3AA lantern to.

 

First some beamshots to compare the lights. In this case I prefer to use automatic colour balance since the difference between cool and warm white is so big that it makes it hard to compare brightness. If you want to see the light with the colour balance set to daylight put the cursor on the image.

Both lights are hanging upside down outside of the picture since it makes for the best comparable beamshots.

Ring Cyba-Lite

 

Original 3AA lantern

 

And comparing both the lights, colour balance set to automatic

 

Time to gut the light

 

The original led, some cheap OEM stuff

 

Glad to get rid of that one. But this is a problem, a lot of air and not much aluminium. This might pose a problem since heatsinking might be an issue. So how do we solve this?

 

By not caring. To much work for me to make a plate to fit the hole, instead I just mounted the emitter with some Fujik and cross my fingers. I would have preferd to use an emitter on 16mm base since the hole is about 17mm but this emitter was just sitting in my drawer, unused since a previous attempt to modify a light that didn’t turn out so well.  If you look at the dome you can see some bruising from the solder iron.

And I know, the soldering sucks.

 

So, how does it look with its new emitter?

 

Much brighter! And if you do a mouse over you can see the WARM white tint.

Comparison between original and moded.

 

Cyba-Lite and moded 3AA

 

I’m really satisfied with the outcome. The lantern is much brighter now and the tint is a lovely warm white incandescent type which I really prefer in a lantern. From the beamshots it also looks brighter than the large Cyba-Lite lantern which is a surprise to me since that one also have been modded with an XM-L emitter. But current reading might explain why.

3AA 3W

Voltage under load: 3,43V

Current draw: 0,72A

 

Cyba-Lite

Voltage under load: 3,8V

Current draw: 0,46A

 

So if your thinking about buying a lantern I really can recommend this version. Small, lightweight, bright enough, good runtime and well built for the price makes this one a safe buy.

xed888
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where did you get the lantern pls?

mattthemuppet
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great mod, looks like a simple job! I’m coming round to the warmer LED tints, one day I’ll get round to replacing the cool white LEDs in my lanterns.

Boaz
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I thought that was a solid peice of aluminum ..i was really impressed ..I have a few elcheapo lanterns to mod over here for next summer ..I even have a AA battery/bathroom touch lamp to mod . 

 I was thinking 7 xml's    Silly

       καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

                            

       Dc-fix diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

Volk
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xed888
I bought it from Ebay, sadly though the seller doesn’t sell it anymore. The best price on Ebay at the moment looks to be around $10.

mattthemuppet
Yeah, it was easy when I accepted that it would look like crap.
Regarding your emitters, just change them. Preferably yeasterday. Wink The warm white tint makes all the difference when you’re outside, scares away the ghost that lingers around when you’re using cool white. (and by that I mean that cool white gives me an eerie feeling when I’m out in the woods Smile )

Boaz
Well, it was better then I first thought. When I started to pry away the emitter board I started to suspect that it was going to be empty and that the board was press fitted. Luckily there were some aluminium to attach the emitter to but I still would have preffered to use a 16mm board.
And when you do that 7 XM-L mod, promise me to document it, including all the melted plastic. Wink

jacktheclipper
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Cool

What I do

 

mattthemuppet
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Big Smile thanks Volk. Next time I order LEDs I’ll be getting them from Cutter (no more shonky junk from CNCQG or other Chinese sites) so I might as well get a bunch of whatever NW or WW LEDs are cheap (XP-G, XB-D etc). One of them I can’t change though, as the cover is glued on, but I can leave that as an emergency light instead Smile

gunner12
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If there is space, maybe you could remove the old LED from the MCPCB and place the XM-L on top of the now empty board for a better heatspreader, maybe even file away the traces for a lower thermal resistance.

Seems like a cool mod, um I mean warm mod.

Volk
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mattthemuppet
Considering the low current draw I probably also would have chosen an XP-G, XM-L is a bit of an overkill in this kind of light. But the tint is perfect, the warmer the better.

gunner12
I was considering that at one stage but… to much hassle. Smile
The led was free so when/if it turn angry blue I just swap it for a more suitable one. But thanks for the idea.

mattthemuppet
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I only used the LEDs I used in my lanterns because I had them laying around spare after upgrading other lights – I think the XM-L is actually better at providing a wider more diffused beam than the XP-G. This is a very compulsive hobby!

vēer
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Hey, great mod!
Might look into it myself one day.

I have that no name 3xAA lantern, its good, but the light is rather cold and could be bit brighter.