5mm LED flashlights & hosts

and if you have a pushable led(ebay high cri or a nichia gs you can eliminate the resistor.
neg lead is pressed against the tube offering a bit of heatsinking.


This looks like a funny host:


photon Freedoms x 2 with Yuji 5mm 5600 and 3200 modded.

several photons/fauxtons here with ebay high cri and lir2032.

Has anyone managed to take a Nitecore Thumb apart?

The mod I had in mind had nothing to do with high-CRI, but with a 5mm UV-led.
My original goal was to put it in a Sofirn C01 host, but that is becomimg a matter of much patience.
As for the competition: a lot of lights in the OP are about to be (or already) discontinued.
And the remaining stock is facing rising shipping fees. Anyway, to where I’m standing: in NL

After a bit of *oogling I found one or the last remaining Sunwayman R01A
At Flashaholics.co.uk in the good old UK. Important: reasonable price, reasonable shipping fee.
(Sellers in Germany and France were more expensive plus and wanted €20 for shipping!!)
Minor issue, though not for me: only remaining color available is “tan”.


Edit: arrived in less than a week. In perfect order. Even the box. And it has a Nichia led.
Tan color ain’t half bad. Free battery added. These guys are definitely on my short-list now.

I guess I’ve fallen off the wagon. Again. Hard. This time it is just tiny lights.
But even so: I had to raise my (virtual) limit by a dozen (pieces).

Next victim was the Nicron N1, named a few posts before this one.
The old (Polish AE) link doesn’t work anymore. HERE is a new link.
I used a credit card. A bit of a gamble. With PP at least you know who is robbing you.

FYI. BLF-member ReManG wrote a nice THREAD about modding a Manker Boney.
I confess I didn’t get by past the sanding of the head of the led itself and sanding the “reflector” in the bezel. Years ago I bought a couple. The pill has to be pushed out by pressing the led (gently) in.
That went fine with the black copies. The grey one did not budge a bit, not even by force.
But when the pill is out, you have to dissect that for further access. That was a bridge too far for me.

The Fenix flashlight shop has tan and grey-olive. I got a black one from ebay some month ago, too.

I guess you already modded Nitecore tubes? With rngwn’s new 32K-C-EX LEDs those are nice hosts not requiring the resistor mod.

Found: Мини-обзор наключного фонаря Nitecore THUMB

i remember when these were the 1aaa to mod.
dorcy 1aaa

“Life Gear” brand glow stick/flashlight combo. I got these in an 8-pack at Costco for cheap, but I’ve seen them listed on Amazon and elsewhere.

One end is a single color 5mm LED that shines into the diffuser. The other end is cool white 5mm LED.

I immediately started replacing these with rngwn’s high CRI LED’s, as shown in the photo. Heating the solder at both legs at the same time made it easy to pull the LED out, which requires a twisting motion due to the way the legs having been bent past 90 degrees for install. Then a little flux and solder wick allowed me to clear the through holes.

I put a couple more details and a disassembly photo in another thread.

Modes are flashlight only, flashlight + blinking color, flashlight + steady color, blinking color only, or steady color only.

Aside from replacement batteries being overpriced, these are good for small kids. Access to the LR44’s is protected by a small screw. With a low power, warm white LED swap, it matters very little that children tend to shine lights in the eyes of others.

Oh man, I was really into these back in the day and I still have a lot of them. The smallest is a Photon-like squeeze light but using 2x CR1220 cells and I think a 3mm led, so it’s about half the size of a traditional Photon. Have lots of Arc, Peak, CMG, several Dorcy, etc., plus lots of Photon-style lights of various brands. I was just checking into the 5mm high cri led thread with the idea of modding some of these. Anyway I think there is not really a shortage of them, but if you’re looking for something specific and I have it, I’m probably open to persuasion.

thats beautiful! thanks for sharing a photo

Gratefully received my order from rngwn and much like others started raiding my old stashes of button cell lights from years past and feverishly modding. It raised a question though…

I’ve been combing data sheets and extensively reading threads but maybe my brain is just uncooperative at present - anyone have any notion on what kind of current I’m dumping into a 5mm LED direct driven from x4 LR41 in series?

It’s down to the resistance of the LR41 but those little keychain lights do get pretty bright, maybe 50+ mA. You could always check with a meter. (Added: The current will drop very quickly once the batteries aren’t new, so don’t worry about overdriving the leds for long periods. The batteries just don’t have that in them.)

I have a nice little 1x LR44 light with an actual boost converter inside and I love it, but that format never became popular. If you want a very bright keychain light not much bigger, try the Lumintop EDC Pimi. I’m down on Lumintop in general for various reasons, but that particular light has attractions that are not matched by anything else afaik.

You can add to the list Astrolux TB-01 “Bullet”.
Got a few of them. Easy to mod, widely available and comes in a few colors.

Of original list I would say Peak Led is likely quite hard to mod because of epoxy potting. Arc AAA may be easier but I don’t think I’d want to mod any of mine, out of tradition or something. Princeton Tec Aurora headlamp should probably get a resistor change. Actually maybe a lot of these lights should get that, due to newer leds having lower Vf(?). The Aurora runs pretty hot as it is, as does the 4aaa original Attitude. The Attitude is likely a good mod candidate though.

If my math is right, the Nichia GS led used in the later Arc AAA, Fenix E01 etc. was close to 100 lumens/watt, not that far off modern leds, though its tint was awful. But that means the earlier leds were a lot worse. It might be worth going back and modding some of the old Tek-tite lights that were pretty bulletproof and therefore still of some interest.

Lights such as Dorcy were moddable but maybe not worth the hassle in this day and age.

I got some good leds from MtnDave and will try modding a few coin cell ights first and going from there. I didn’t get any of rngwn’s this time around. They looked great, but shipping costs from AU would have swamped the cost of a small order.

I have not yet opened up my Photon Freedom and would be interested to hear how to get it open. More ambitiously than changing the led, I wonder what it would take to reflash or change out the microprocessor in it.

Sofirn C01 at least in some versions has a nice high CRI led in warm white already, so why mod? They are just $4 each and are very nice.

Pak-lite, similar to Arc: it’s cool because it’s ready made, but if you want to substitute the leds you might as well make your own version of the light. Two leds in series with a resistor, plus a battery clip that you can scrounge from a spent 9v battery.

Thanks, numbers like that and higher gave me pause but the voltage drop does bring some comfort. My meter seems to struggle to take accurate readings under 500ma or so, I was watching +/- 300ma fluctuation across the 4 cells in series with wide eyes.

The Pimi is a looker for sure, I finally found a home for an e21a I had kicking around - olight i1r2 - so I’m presently set for my micro EDC needs… for now…

I see the zeroair.org review of the LR44 version of that Streamlight says initial brightness around 15 lumens, i.e. probably 30-40 ma, not too bad. I wouldn’t worry. People have been using 2x2016 coin cell lights for years. The ones with crappy LED’s burn out now and then, but the ones with good LED’s (LRI Photon lights with Nichias) seem to never have trouble.