I stopped by Pep Boys the other day, to pick up some sandpaper. When I went to cash out, I saw these penlights. A quick inspection told me the head was probably about 12mm and that I might be able to mod it, so I brought one home.
Here's the mod:
The original "pill" consisted of a 5mm led, a plastic spacer and a little driver with just a resistor on it. The total stack up was 20mm. That's the stack height I will be going for.
I am replacing the reflector and plastic lens with a TIR optic from CNQG.
The new pill consists of a 1/4" copper pipe end cap, with a Nichia 219 on a 10mm star. I reused the driver, but it's just a contact board now. The resistor is removed. The driver is held on with AA. I also used a strip of .010" copper sheet to wrap the copper end cap, since the OD was only about 11mm and the head is 12mm ID. I soldered the copper wrap to the end cap, but I didn't have to. I could have just kept it as a simple wrap.
This was a very simple and fast mod. I did not fill the copper end cap with anything. I left it hollow. It's still 10 times the heat sink of the original and after all, it's a 2AAA light. It's not going to push high amps anyhow.
All I had to do was to remove the original guts, slip in the TIR optic, make the pill and slip it in and screw the head back on. I did remove the ano off the top edge of the body, so it made good ground with the outer edge of the contact board, but that took a few seconds.
A very simple mod and it works!
Here's some indoors beam shots. After all, it's a penlight. It's going to get used indoors a lot. let's see what it can do.
All shots are at ISO 200, Daylight WB, F:2.7 aperture and 1 Second shutter speed.
A closet with the normal closet ceiling light turned on.
Here's the closet with the greatlite turned on.
Here's a shot of the beam, on the ceiling of the closet.
This is the a dresser in the bedroom. No lights are turned on, just sunlight through the window.
This is with the greatlite turned on.
Living room, no lights on, just sunlight.
Living room with the great lite turned on.
Front door with no lights turned on.
Now with the greatlite turned on.
This little 2AAA light is really bright! I am using Alkalines. It will not be as bright with NiMHs. This is a great light to give as a gift, for a non-flashaholic. It takes Alkalines, it's on/off. It's not expensive and it's got a pocket clip.
Thanks for looking.