Home Depot - Defiant 3C "Super Thrower" to "Super Flood" Lens Mod

The Home Depot Defiant 3C is amazingly bright, a super thrower, and a really good deal for a bit over $20.

I saw someone mention in the main thread that it would be even better if it had a glass lens.
I live near a fantastic shop that has tons of optics, known as “Surplus Shed”.

I decided to drop by and pick up some lenses to tinker with.

Plenty of pictures coming…

Stock plastic lens:

Stock plastic lens:

L7390: all three lenses work pretty much the same (as expected), they focus to a point a few inches in front
of the lens, and the beam pattern has a “black hole” in the middle of it.

L7390: well that’s kind of ugly, isn’t it…

…let’s experiment. I like floody lights too, so I sprayed the 7390 with a thin coat of Krylon Matte Varnish.
Let’s see what it does:

Wow! Hands down one of the best flood patterns of any flashlight I own/modded.

7390 next to plastic lens. You can tighten down the Crown completely as the edge is thinner than that of the plastic lens.
The Photon Rex is keeping the plastic lens from falling over (for the pictures).

10987: This too you can tighten down all the way (or so close it doesn’t matter).

8005: This one… you can tighten the crown about 3/4, maybe a full turn as the lens is thicker.
It’s tight enough that it shouldn’t go anywhere.

I sprayed the bottom of a 7390 (reflector side), and left the top/outside alone. You can’t scratch off the coating if it’s inside the head/reflector,
although Krylon is pretty tough stuff.

10987 (unsprayed): You can see the head screws down nicely (well… sort of, the LED/flash glare isn’t helping).

8005: Doesn’t screw down quite as far, and this is the lens they had (by far) the most of.


Comparison between sprayed/unsprayed 7390 (I bought 2 of each lens as I grabbed two lights).

As soon as I tried the flood mod, I was wowed by how well it worked. It’s a bit upsetting that the overall brightness/smoothness of the flood
pattern puts some much more expensive lights I own to shame. All I did was add a $4 lens and maybe ten cents of Krylon spray.
Well… BLF is all about turning lead into gold, looks like this experiment was a better success than I expected.

Nice mod Strick9. It sounds like you have just made a custom light to suit your needs. well done.

Thanks for sharing! Oh, and let us know if you win those Girl Scout Cookies!


Hi Strick, very nice mod you came up with. Now we have even more options for this great light :wink:

Great work! Thank you for documenting it and sharing with us. You are one of those rare people that can actually “think outside the box”.

After this thread gets read, I predict a run on the market!!

Is there any chance you’ve considered repeating the experiment with the other lenses??

They seem to have different curves, which I would assume would make some difference in the beam. You’re the only one who can test that. Here’s hoping you do! I’m subscribing just in case!

This could serve Very Well to solve a lot of other, similar problems as well…




It must be great being within driving distance of Surplus Shed.

I like to check their “New this week page” when I remember.

While I was there, I tried a lens that was 64.5 mm (or maybe it was 65 mm) in diameter, and it kind of wedged inside the crown without dropping in flat, so I mentally wrote off anything bigger than 64mm in diameter.

Oh yeah, I took the flashlight along with me. The Surplus Shed people are the nicest folks in town, and don’t mind if you bring your toys while you’re shopping for something to Lego onto your mad-scientist experiments. :slight_smile:

Ideally, I was looking for an aspheric (which was also suggested by the owner); but they don’t have any aspheric lenses in a 63-64 mm diameter. :frowning:

The lenses I picked up focus to a point a few inches in front of the light… focusing that point on my hand became uncomfortably warm in a few seconds. I never thought I’d be doing the “kid with a magnifying glass on a sunny day, cooking ants on an ant hill” thing with a $20 flashlight running on alkaline batteries. Flashlights have really come a long way!

I tried flipping the lenses backwards (convex side towards the reflector), just to see what they looked like. One of them gave a magnified image of the emitter; not useful in any way, but interesting to play with.

I remember not that long ago, they were selling (if I remember right) Perkin Elmer Spectrometers, which were originally something like $250,000; and they were asking a few thousand dollars for them. A bargain (I guess), if you have the space (the case they came in was huge!) and could use an instrument like that.

I asked if they actually sold any of them, and an employee told me they were a surprise hit with NASCAR teams, who were buying them to analyze their engine oil to see what was breaking down, and showing up in the oil (metal particles and such) after a race. I thought that was pretty cool!

Nice mod, like the flood.

That's funny. Our company just invested in a Perkin Elmer Spectrometer a couple years ago for our water testing lab. I think we bought a used one and I think it was in the $50,000 price range.