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February 21, 2012

Retrofitting Old Flashlights With LED's

Flashlight LED Conversion

Flashlight LED Conversion

I have a pair of 14.4 volt flashlights that were part of rechargeable toolsets that go with these NiCd battery packs. Each flashlight had a subminiature bayonet-base incandescent bulb, for which the filament had died after several years of use. When they were working, they were great for lighting for automotive and other repairs, since they could be aimed easily and sat solidly on top of the battery pack base. The obvious thing to do was to modernize them with LED’s, but I had no immediate source of replacement LED-based bulbs for that voltage and socket type. All I could quickly find were LED “bulbs” to fit the more common automotive 1156 socket size. However, I was able to get some unmounted, white, high-brightness 3.2-3.6V LED’s, so I decided to use those to retrofit into the bases of two old bulbs from my flashlights. Four of the LED’s in series per bulb brought me close to the nominal battery voltage.

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