36 LED dropin for 2-6 cell Mags

This one is discussed at great length at the Other Place here. Looked interesting for $23 from eBay. It came in less than a week by tracked airmail - obviously they don't use the slow but very cheap HK Post Bulk mail service. I usually expect 2-3 weeks to here from HK.

Anyway, some pictures.

In a Mag I happened to have lying around - it's a 3D with 3 8000mAh LSD Ds in it. The front is quite neat looking.

Sitting on the desk. This one shows the bond wires quite clearly.

Side view - it still appears pretty well put together.

It has 36 Nichia GS LEDs in it and has the typical colour of those - a purplish hotspot surrounded by a sunny yellow spill with a rather green corona. Here it is about a foot from the ceiling. Obviously the hotspot is grossly overexposed.

Looks dark enough for beamshots but there are nesting seagulls on my roof and one of their chicks has made it to ground level (doesn't have flight feathers yet so I'm hoping the neighbourhood cats see it off soon) and they are very aggressively defending it - there is seagull crap everywhere. To add to the fun, they are a protected species here so I can't do anything about the rats with wings. Don't fancy getting the camera crapped on so outdoors beamshots will have to wait.

Current draw with 3 Ds is 1125mA, with 4 it is 1055mA and with 2 it is around 1100mA. These figures will be subject to revision once I've charged up the cells and done the meter stuff etc. This is with cells that have been running it for at least 4 hours now.

Throw: 2620 lux at one metre - this is a flood light, not a thrower

Lightbox: 1392 lux which puts it over 300 lumens. These figures were with three NiMH D cells so current delivery is not a problem here. This configuration should be good for 7 hours with the 8000mAh cells in it.

Dug out some 3AA-D adaptors and tried it in a 2D with 6 eneloops totalling 8.3V behind it. This gives a current draw of 875mA and 2030 lux on the lightbox. This configuration ought to be good for two or so hours and is roughly 400-450 lumens.

With a 6D war club it'd give about 9hrs of a lot of light.

Hey Don,

Thanks for posting about this.

I’ve been toying with the idea buying a big Maglite to mod for a while but have been waiting to find them on sale and just noticed 7dayshop.co.uk are selling them.

Seem to be cheaper than other places but I’m not sure of the going rate, do the prices look any good to you?



It is often worth looking around in electrical stores and B&Q who are often clearing out Mags. I got a pair of 2Ds for £7 each from the Currys across the road from where I work. The 7dayshop website is down just now so I can't check their prices but they are usually OK.

I got two 6Ds (These are way too big to be useful) from B&Q for less than 25 quid for the pair of them when they were clearing out Maglites. Actually the new LED ones with the Rebel LED are pretty decent though way overpriced here and not very practical for modding.

Now that the 7dayshop website is back, the prices look tolerable, but it is probably worth looking round your local High Street shops. Lots of places have a few Maglites knocking around - mostly at crazy prices but sometimes quite cheap.

7dayshop is probably as good a price as you will get unless you can find them on offer somewhere


Switch-on 1399 lux / 311 lumens

30 seconds 1382 lux / 307 lumens

2 minutes 1348 lux / 300 lumens

3 hours 1127 lux / 250 lumens

80% after three hours. Can't be bad.

these are well worth a try to upgrade your mag

i have bought 8 in total 5 will be given to my nephews at xmas to up grade the mags i gave them last year

1 i killed with 12.20v and the other 2 are gatting used on walking our dogs at night

its got to be a mags best frend

4 hours

1123 lux / 250 lumens The same as an hour ago.

80% after 4 hours is pretty good - especially when it is over 200 lumens.

Cheers for this Don.

200 lumens after 4 hours is impressive stuff! these showerhead dropins are the badgers nadgers, i have one in a 6D mag beside the bed for those woken at 3am by an elbow in the ribs "i heard a noise downstairs/out front/in the garden" moments and another will replace the ROP low in my 2C mag when it blows, unbeatable bang for the buck.

Now down to 1112 lux / 247 lumens Down to 79%.

Unless it drops like a stone soon I think it might do over 7 hours.

Once I've let the cells recover and charged them, I'll try it in a 6D with 6 NiCd(5,000mAh) and 6 NiMH (8,000mAh) cells

1084 lux / 240 lumens.

Still doing remarkably well.

994 lux / 221 lumens


Output dropping fast now.

761 lux / 169 lumens

7 hours 23 minutes to 50%. Stopping the run at 7:30 just to be kinder to the cells. At 7:29 output stopped. Dropin warm but not hot.

Then time for beamshots with 6 NiCd D cells I happen to have freshly charged.


Switch-on 1937 lux / 430 lumens

30 seconds 1868 lux / 415 lumens

2 minutes 1790 lux / 398 lumens

The usual tree - shorter exposure than usual - just realised when I looked at the EXIF data.

Control shot

Pointed at the base of the tree

Pointed at the top of the tree

Just for comparison

Trustfire Z1 high

Trustfire Z1 high pointed at treetop

Romisen RC-C6 High wide angle

Romisen RC-C6 High zoomed

3D NiMH (8,000mAh)

Around 311 lumens at switch-on

6D NiCd (5,000mAh)

Around 400 lumens at switch-on. I'd expect 8hr 30min with the 8,000mAh NiMH Ds.

I have one of those cheap 1 or 2 million candle power floodlights but it is bulky and I don’t like the captive battery setup so with one of these dropins running on 6 NIMHs the Maglite is now, for me, a far more compact and useable flooder.

I’m a bit late with this but I have to say a big thank you to Don for selling me a brand new 2D Maglite at the sale price he bought it for.

It was sent extremely quickly (despite the rain) and was very well packaged.

Thanks again Don, very happy with it and the adapters.

I bought 2 of the dropins from the ebay seller so was sent a free 2xAAA penlight which was nice but I must say I’d be very disappointed if I had paid the $6.50 he’s asking for them on their own.



These are available for reservation in warmer tint now.

Got mine.

Can you do a little review or a "first impressions" with some beamshot photos with a well known light next to it? I wanna know how a nichia warm looks like. Thanks in advance.

No problem, but it might take a while to arrive (it's a reservation so I don't know when they'll ship it).