How to clean up an LED Maglite beam?

I’m going to be modifiying a 3D maglite for vehicle duty, but the ugly beam of a maglite always annoys me. Other than adding a film to the lens, is there anything I can do to smooth it out a bit?

  • Drop-in OP reflector for D-cell mags?
  • Good aspherical lens?
  • Totally different light of good quality and takes 3 D cells?
  • TIR optic?
  • Suggestions?

what are your thoughts on 4D?

TerraLUX Lights and LED Upgrades

Don’t want to go that big (or that expensive)

Sputter the reflector

Etch the bulb with Armour-Etch

EDIT : are we talking about incan ?

I don't like the beam of an LED mag . Too throwy and dim spill . I have one that I took the reflector out of and I prefer the floody beam profile .

Nothing wrong with any of the LED Mag beams IMO. Tight spot and due to SMO reflector a shape transition to spill beam.

The spot is fine, but the flood is pretty uneven.

Not to mention the black hole.

It’s not really a flood. It’s a focus. You can optimise the focus for different distances. Something you can’t do on most lights. Just don’t try and defeat physics and expect something it’s not designed for. If you want a big even flood then a Led Lenser will be better.

Talking about LED mag. (updated thread title)

It will also get a new warmer LED, a 2amp L>M>H>S driver, and will be run on 3S3P Lithium AA primaries.

I decent aspheric with diffusion film or etched inside would preserve flood to throw capability somewhat. Hard to beat a reflector for a tight spot and smooth spill but a TIR will produce a very nice beam. The ledil rocket triple or quad optic fits mag heads but requires either very accurate drilling of screw holes in a spacer or use of the optic to center the LEDs while adhesive cures. Some fastech reflectors match the mtg up to a mag well if you want a single led large spot. Sputtering is a cheap but non reversible option and doesn’t give any increase over stock. Buying a completely different light is always an option but would just present another range of mod choices(“What?” He asks,” buy a light and not consider modding it?“). Good luck with your choice. Have you perused the modding links thread for possibilities?

I liked the idea of a Mag because it is durable but still pretty slim for a D-cell light. However, I hadn’t worked on a maglite before and it looked like it was going to be a royal pain to do just a ”simple” emitter/driver swap. So I kinda gave up on the mag and bought a Defiant “Unbreakable”. It isn’t as slim or as nice looking, but it’s built like a tank and has a ‘normal’ reflector and pill that is easy to work with.

If you sputter the reflector the beam cleans up well.

I use TIR Optics from DX in 50mm range too. These give you almost all flood but a nice crisp and even wall of light.


I agree, there are easier hosts to work with but in spite of that I don’t think there are any that have been more worked over.

The Defiant is very throwy though, and I’d like it to be more floody. Anywhere I can find a 60mm TIR or OP reflector? Or DCfix alternative?

In the past, we used to use clear coat on the reflectors to make them OP. Krylon was the most popular brand. Other options are diffuser material like DC fix can work. What if you scuff the surface of the LED with fine sand paper? (haven’t tried it myself but no reason it wouldn’t work)

Hmm I have some clear paint… but I’m the type that worries a lot about screwing up the only reflector I have. :Sp

Not sure what emitter you have in your Mag. If it is small one like a Rebel emitter version, a bigger emitter like an xml may help smooth out the beam. I should say I have no experience doing this with Maglites, but have seen it happen in numerous other reflector-based lights.

In that circumstance I would try the clear coat technique out on a less unique reflector. Remember, your not trying for a complete coating but a sparce fog from further away than you would normally hold the can. You would need to go back a ways to search for good technique descriptions but I’m sure they’re out there. Maybe try different spray distances on blank cardboard first.

This is more for a 2D but I’m sure you could do something with the drop-in that Dale used with an MTG 2. I plan on making a bunch for friends at work. Later in the thread Dale posts a link to the drop-in.

OL recommended me this reflector to use with XHP70. Texas Lumens has made aluminum heat sinks in the past for mags, might be amenable to do so again. If not then you could try the P7 Flat Top Heatsink from the other place.

I only ask that you post what you do with lots of pics and keep us updated with what you do.

Thanks for all the suggestions, but I probably won’t be doing any of that anytime soon. I can’t justify a fancy heatsink and reflector when it would be limited to 2.3amps and permanently banished to my car.

I didn’t realize mags were so… “non-standard” inside. I’ll stick with the defiant for now, and give the clear spray paint a shot…

(Unless anyone has some surplus DC Fix I could buy?)