FYI Beam Shot for the Maglite 4D with the new Bi-pin bulb versus an XM-L T6 1C

Since the subject of the maglite bi-pin bulbs has come up, I thought I would give you a very quick beam shot of it.

I have a 4D and found that it had the new bi-pin bulb in it. It is touted as having a Whopping 96 lumens! I wanted to show y'all what it looks like and I have to add that I turned the stock reflector into a MOP, due to the standard Maglite rings.

I am also using my 1D Maglite with an XM-L T6 1C pushing 2.8A on high. I don't know the amps on medium, but if I remember it was about 800ma.

Lastly, I thought I would answer the question of modding the bi-pin, by adding more than the standard 4 D cells. I have a shot with 5D cells. 6D cells blows the bulb, but 5D cells work. EDIT: Which means 5-C alkalines or 5-C nimhs will fit in the 4D, with the bi-pin bulb.

All shots are with my Canon P&S set on manual, ISO200, 1 second shutter, aperture?? I think I should have used .5 seconds shutter, but it is what it is. All shots are a little brighter than what I think I saw.


Here is the 4D Maglite with 4 cells. I adjusted it for the tightest spot. I left the adjustment the same in the shot with the 5D cells.


Here's the 1D XM-L T6 on high


Here's the 1D on medium


Here's the 4D with 5D cells. Notice the spot is larger and I did not adjust the Maglite's focus, nor did I move my position.

Here's a mouse over of the 4D and 5D cells. 4D first, 5D on mouseover.


I have not done any other beam shots with the camera, but I did walk out to look at the "across the pond" scene and while the XM-L is much brighter at 75 yards, the 4D with 5D cells in it, lights up the 75 yard range well enough to see what's out there clearly. I was surprised at how few lumens it really takes for my eyes to see "good enough". The added "firepower" from the XM-L actually hurts my night vision, so there's "wow factor" and then there's useable light.

We mostly go for the WOW factor, but I actually felt more comfortable using the 4D at a distance. Easier on my eyes... I guess I'm just an old school incan guy at heart.

Well, those are way better than the old incans, so its a step forward, tho different and more expensive. I guess there are still a lot of incan guys like you. ;)


Try switching to neutral or warm (4000K - 5000K) tinted XMLs. You may find the warmer tints less “harsh” on the eyes. Personally, I don’t mind sacrificing lumens for a more pleasing tint. The slight loss of output is more than compensated for by better color rendering, and hence, better night vision. I find the cooler (>6000K) tints wash out colors too much.

I like the 4500-5000K range in an XM-L, driven about 1.4a or so, with a floody reflector. It looks good to me. I really think that incan is way too yellow. It looks like about 2700K, which is what I found when I started looking at replacement T1-3/4 bi-pin bulbs. I’m not going to keep that 4D, it’s for modding this winter. I just wanted to show what it’s like. I am thinking about doing one hot wire this winter, with the Phillips 6V bi-pin and 6 Eneloops. A 1D incan with a deep reflector.


O-L, is the beam really as free from artifacts as it appears to be? That’s quite the difference!!

I think it's cause the filament is smaller and thus it can be focused more easily.

I’m betting it’s the bulb glass itself more than anything. The old incan bulbs are not the least bit consistent in thickness and shape and the goofy pointed tip added in really distorted the light as it passed through the glass. This was always why incan bulbs look so crappy to me. These new bi-pins must have smooth, round ends on them of consistent thickness and don’t distort the light emerging from the bulb.

After some looking it appears I’m correct in my assumption. Note the smooth, even bulb of a new bi-pin bulb in conversion adapter compared to the old style with the nipple tip and wavy glass:

Unless I'm mistaken isn't a bi-pin bulb this. Not this.

He said "conversion adapter" so maybe there are adapters bi-pin to "other".?

JM - In the original post I made note of a MOP reflector. The stock reflector had the normal, ever present, ugly maglite rings. I sprayed it with Krylon clear acrylic, to get rid of the rings. That’s why the beam looks so smooth.

Actually I think that must be it. I remember OL posted about adapters to convert pr base maglites into the newer bi-pin type ones.

Yes, Bi-pin bulbs are in the first picture you show. As I said they are not big at all, (not a G4 sized bulb), but small and shaped like the mini maglite bulbs. I am pretty sure they are some kind of T1-3/4 bulb. I really need to go measure the width between the pins to know for sure.


Also available as a direct bulb replacement like shown above here.

PS: I can't begin to tell you how much I hate the new "Simple" post editor.

You can change it back in settings.




I would have to go do some searching to see which size bulb is. Looks like it's wider than a T1-3/4. Not sure which one, looks to be 2.5mm or close enough.

EDIT: G 2.54 bi-pin bulb

Thanks OL, so far I haven't succeeded in finding any of them around me.

So I contacted Maglite. I asked them where in the heck was I supposed to find bulbs for this light? The first reply was, Are you positive of the serial number and are you positive of the type of bulb?

I knew right then, that this was a mistake and wasn't supposed to be on the shelves yet. So I sent them photos of the bulb, the socket and the serial#.

The response was, Uhhh we will have to get back with you in a few days. We have to check some things out.

I was in management for 26 years. What this translates into is "OH S**t". That light wasn't supposed to go out with a bi-pin bulb in it and the records show it went out with a regular bulb in it.

They are now wondering just how many of these are out in the market and weren't supposed to be out there. They will probably not give me any more answers until they find a way to send me some bulbs and say that the replacement bulb packaging was delayed, but it will soon be on the shelves.

So.. pre-release piracy-murder-killing leaks arent exclusively for software anymore..

Oh wow. Maybe I should go get a couple, a collectors item. :stuck_out_tongue: