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I like flashlights, OK? Some — hi honey! — might even say I have a bit of OCD regarding flashlights. Whatever. In any case, my flashlight fascination probably started when I realized you could use them to read under the covers after your parents declared lights out. Later on, I remember upgrading my clunky D-cell flashlights with that marvel of technology, the krypton bulb.

The latest Mini Mag-lite® AA-cell flashlights come with an LED bulb (the MAG-LED™ Technology, to be specific). If you have an older model Mini Mag-lite® and want to upgrade it, the Nite Ize® upgrade kit is a good option. For around $16, you get a 1-Watt LED bulb and an end-cap “IQ Switch®” that provides three power levels (100, 50, and 25 percent), two emergency strobe levels (fast and slow), plus an integral “find-in-the-dark” small LED that flashes every few seconds.

Flashlights: can you ever have enough? Bonus question: is being obsessive about changing all the batteries in your flashlights a flashlight feeding frenzy fetish?

Nite Ize [Manufacturer’s Site]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Mag-Lite [Manufacturer’s Site]


18 Responses to Nite Ize L.E.D. Upgrade and IQ Switch Combo

  1. Greg A. says:

    I had one of these on my first mag lite, defeinly made it a much more useful light, and that is saying tons, but I lost some bits because I constantly take mine apart and put it back together, any way I’m much happier with my LED mini mag now, it’s powerful and you can focus the beam. Allthough I do miss the switch.

    p.s. sometimes the switch would turn on while I was working when I didn’t want it too, not too bad though.

  2. Dan says:

    Ok – this post is going to look like spam or something, but I am a legit daily reader who has commented before.

    This light takes one AA battery and blows the doors off of this $16 mod on top of the cost of a MiniMag:


    It is $11.30 which includes shipping. It is easily twice as bright as the Nite Ize, smaller and has a durable HAIII coating. I have one for myself and have bought another 8 of them for people as gifts over the last year. Each person says it is the best light they have ever owned.

  3. Alex says:

    There are an awful lot of lights available for less than $20 that make a better MagLite replacement than an upgrade like this. The Inova X1 is one good choice, though you don’t get levels of dimming.

    I think a better plan than to regularly change batteries in flashlights (assuming these are there for an emergency and don’t get regular use) is something powered by a 123A lithium battery- put a battery in once, shove it in a bag, drawer, or glove compartment, and it’ll be there to provide light when you need it 5 years from now.

  4. Randy says:

    Might as well feed this addiction and post something about checking out the Candlepower forums.


  5. Stan says:

    Maglite made it’s name in a flashlight that would actually turn on when you pressed the button. Had a powerful light and could focus. I grew up with the old (N)EverReady flashlights that you had to constantly smack to keep it lit. However with the advent of the Blue/White L.E.D. times are a changein. I agree with Dan and Alex, I can buy a new flashlight that is smaller and brighter than the mini-Mags, uses button cells that can be had for $.05 ea off of Amazon.

    I do have a 2 D cell LED Mag that I think is outstanding.

  6. The LED Museum was a great site, but unfortunately he stopped testing flashlights in ’08. Although I do see that he does still update some of the flashlights now and again.


  7. dbishopp says:

    I have one of these and was so disappointed when the bulb doesn’t fit right. The bulb is too big and has actually bent up the plastic, not even sure if the o-ring is engaged. I found the light bright but diffuse and unable to be focused.

  8. Javier A. says:

    Nite Ize upgrade is good, but I prefer TerraLux MiniStar2® Extreme TLE-5EX .


  9. Jerry says:

    Okay – someone will have to say it. HF has a 2 pack of LED mini lights complete with batteries. They recently had them for $2.99 for the pair! That’s a buck fifty each. I bought a bunch and have been using them in the RV on the boat and at home. One suffered the fate of falling off a 2 story roof and landed on concrete. Shock! It still worked. Not as fancy as some mentioned here but for the price, it really don’t matter if it gets lost, or “borrowed.”

  10. toby says:

    I love my Leatherman led light! When we had the big ice storm here in central Mass it was my only light source for 6 days! Expensive but worth it (mine was a gift, though)

  11. Ted says:

    I’ve used this kit, fit is so/so, flashlight works OK but bulb assembly and new reflector is “thicker” and doesn’t let you screw the head on very far so if you try to unscrew the head to focus the beam (usually takes a full turn or so to get a thin pencil) you screw it past the o-ring engagement point and the head just spins itself off and falls on the floor — pretty much makes it un-focusable. Light is brighter than the standard Maglight bulb and the batteries last much longer as well. Just as an FYI, LED bulbs have a “polarity” if you install this guy in the reverse orientation the LED doesn’t light up and the aluminum ring at its base gets hot enough to scorch your fingerprints off while you’re trying to figure out why your newfangled widget isn’t working…

  12. CityCarpenter says:

    I bought just the “IQ Switch” from H/F for around six dollars last year and installed it on my LED Mini Mag. I like the well timed steady red blink from the tailcap switch. Comes in handy while in the tent at night.

  13. WDK says:

    I have many flashlights. (I have the 2 throgh 6 D maglites as well as various others.)I have this upgrade as well as a terralux upgrade kit. The terralux kit is 140 lumens (I think). It is on par with a surefire, if not a little brighter. For the money it is the best LED upgrade. The tailcap switch is not. The NiteIze tail cap switch is much better, and it blinks.

    Just an opinion though.

  14. Brice says:

    I like the Nite-ize bulb and IQ switch but it ultimately doesn’t work as a real work flashlight for me. The new bulb will put up with being dropped off a ladder, but the IQ switch fails on about the fourth drop. Neither the bulb nor the switch will put up with extended run time. 20 minutes and the the whole flashlight is smoking hot, and my smoking I mean solder joints melting. I went with the Coleman Extreme 3 AAA flashlight. No level settings, but bulletproof and brighter than the Nite-Ize bulb.

  15. Tetsubo says:

    I’ve got five or six converted Mag-lite flashlights in my apartment. From the AA models to the 6 D cell model. All but one use the Nite-ize conversion kits. I’ve also given a few converted flashlights as gifts. I love these things.

    I also have a flashlight problem…

  16. David Bryan says:

    I’ve bought a couple of these, and the switches both failed within days. The leds eventually start failing, too. They’re just not put together very well.

  17. fritz gorbach says:

    1. Led doesnt focus like orig mag lite
    2.no you cant have too many
    3.maybe it’s me, but I seem to break a mini mag a month where they used to last forever. I only keep getting em cause depot gives me a new one every time
    4.I travel for work on extended trips every spring and fall. before i go, all flashlights – home and work, smoke detectors, and meters get new batteries before each trip
    5.I dont know about the full size mag lites cause i haven’t had one in a while (i’ve become quite infatuated with the stanley tripod lites) but id like the dash mounted, clip on, rechargeable like the cops have

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