New Costco TechLites! $19.95 (3xAAA)

Went to my bi-monthly Costco run and noticed that my local store had NEW TechLites available! I noticed a couple of weeks ago that they were out of the older “200 Lumen” ones and now just this week there are these “250 lumen XP-G R4 LED” ones. Like the flashaholic that I am I bought two packs of them (3 in each), one to give away and the other to mod and tinker with. They came out to 19.69 each. Now for those on the CONUS this will most likely be a few bucks cheaper, but since I live in Hawaii it will probably be more expensive. I’ve attached some photos in case you are interested.

These seem to be quite similar to the older style ones. Some observations:

- Smooth reflector

- Takes 3AAA in a carrier

- Slightly mushy tailcap

- Comes with Duracell alkies

- Decent annodization (I’d call it HAII)

  • Low-High-Strobe (no memory)

A beautiful sight

Price at $19.69, note that for CONUS peeps this will probably be a little less!

but alas still no Cost HP550 at my store yet :frowning:

i have so many 3AAA lights that i am fond of that format now, they are great when fresh, but after the batteries die its such a hassle $$$

but nevertheless they make good gifts for the average joe

I really dislike the 3AAA format, which is why i’m currently trying to mod one of them to an 18650, haha.

But yes, for Joe Homeowner this is a solid deal.

If I had a lathe I’d try to cut an extender ring for the older 200lmn ones I have, and then fit a 18650 sleeve.

including the near exact photo of the display I took with my cell. So this was kinda wierd-funny. :smiley:

Anyway, yeah the ol’ 200-lumen TechLites which I really like are being discontinued. Out with the old in with the gnu.

I like these lites. Fun to modify, make great gifts, and best of all they work pretty dang better than a lot of other $6 type stuff on here that gets touted as the shizz but ain’t IMO.

These are one heckuva deal. And I like deals. Especially when they’ll prolly soon enough knock off $5 for $14.69/pak. Hence ya prolly know what I’ll end up doing. :open_mouth:

Amen to that I’m a huge sucker for deals.

Walked through Lowes too, which is right next to Costco where I live, and was about two seconds from buying two 2D maglites but was too hungry to think it out. It seems the more I think, the more I buy.

what kind of mods are you guys doing to these lights?

seems 18650 will fit with a tail switch mod… and swapping parts from other lights.

with mine, I’ve gotten as far as replacing the switch to forward clicky and got rid of the modes… and the crenelations filed off.
possibly a pcb change (3mode, h-m-l) and an emitter swap later on.

I’ve walked past these lights the last couple of times I’ve been at Costco. I would have bought by now except for my dislike of the strobe function. How can strobe mode be disabled? (I’d give up the medium mode too if necessary).

I’ll probably buy anyway when/if they put these on sale.

got it yesterday too .. along with enelop batteries.. not a bad light, it look like something that you can play around and mod it

got it yesterday too .. along with enelop batteries.. not a bad light, it look like something that you can play around and mod it

Still the same price, but I went ahead and bit anyway. One click for half-brightness, 2nd click for full, 3rd click for a very annoying strobe. A 2 second press will switch it off without having to cycle through all the modes. The half-bright mode compares to my other lights that are supposed to be 100 lumens.

The driver/switch housing and board unscrews from the tail cap. Here’s a picture of the board, micro-switch in the center.

I see no markings on the IC at all. I’m still interested in trying to disable the strobe, hopefully keeping the full and half settings. Any thoughts?

If you want to use 3xaaa light with li-ion batteries,
instead of modding the light, you can use 18500 batteries.
18650 charger can charge them with a spacer.
They are exactly fit the same housing, and voltage is OK.
Because it has less internal resistance, the output in lumens may increase, depending on the driver.

Where can you get good 18500 batteries?

With these lights on sale, 3 for $15 at Costco, I’m surprised that they aren’t getting more attention here.

If we show kumabear enough interest in 18500s, he may get some quality ones. Keeppower (sanyo) 1500mah protected ones.

Parasitic voltage due to the monitoring of the micro-switch by the mcu?

Yes, there is some. I have a meter that can go down to micro-amps. I measure 8.5 micro-amps (.0085 ma). I gather that because of “burden voltage” issues introduced by the meter, this isn’t going to be a terribly accurate measurement. But close enough to tell me the drain is trivial. Still, don’t put the light away in a drawer with batteries installed and expect it still to work 5 years down the road.

Now I’m more curious than even to know what type of microcontroller chip was used. It would be fun to try to re-program. However I’m such a newbie at mcu programming that tackling an unmarked chip is way past my current skill level.

I created simple spacers and use RCR123 instead. I get bit more output, not sure about runtime. Anyway wasted on AAAs.

Will these provide the same brightness on NIMH?

Doesn’t look like they have been stocked in UK depots as yet, shame.
wouldn’t mind another set the updated models would make cheap gifts with safe batteries for non techie types

Had a set of the 200 lumen models decent build,gifted away christmas just gone.

Bort - yes in fact they were slightly brighter (just) with longer runtime, sorry, cant recall how much longer from memory but they were worth throwing rechargeables into the flashlight

Hello, Lowes is selling a single pack copy of the Techlites, branded as Utilitech for approx $9. It has an XP-G on 20mm star/20mm circuit board, smooth reflector, direct-driven, single mode and runs on 3xAAA. The switch is a simple reverse clickie and the pill assembly screws directly into the battery tube and appears to be a solid pill with heat sinking paste applied to the underside of the star. The light is completely open for disassembly. According to the package, it produces 200 lumens. Compared to my UF XR-E R2 drop-in rated at 250 Lm, this light is brighter on alkalines (0.6A). When I put in Tenergy Premiums, I see around 1.4A draw but the real shocker is that with a Li-ion, ie. Trustfire 18500 or Sanyo UR18650FM, I see current draw from 2.2A up to 2.9A! I don’t want to fry the emitter so I think NiMH is sufficient. This light is my thrower until I buy a FT Convoy C8 SMO but the Utilitech is a pleasant platform for possible modifications, including a new driver, aluminum reflector with glass lens.

I was at Costco today. They have an asterisk (stock not to be renewed) on the 250 lumen techlites. The price is about $15 for three, down from the $20 list price.
Here’s the kicker.
Right next to the Costco lights is the same light in a 3-pack, but branded DURACELL. Same specs and identical light, but someone emblazoned Duracell on the head and the package. $20 for 3.
Did I mention that they are right next to one another?