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So you got a flashlight with your last M12, M18, or v28 kit purchase, but you bought before they started shipping LED lights as standard. Then you (or someone else, *cough*Sean*cough*) drops it off the back of a truck and dinks out the little incandescent bulb. You could swap in another incandescent, but more and more often now we’re seeing in-place LED replacement parts like the one pictured above. It’s compatible with pretty much any of the existing Milwaukee incandescents, but we’ve even heard of people swapping it in for other similarly-shaped and -sized bulbs.

The performance benefit is pretty obvious: Not only do you get about three times as much runtime (the LED draws a lot less current), it’s MUCH less drop sensitive and will hold up for longer than you probably care to own it — 50,000+ hours.

That’s the good news, of course. Here’s the bad: Expect to pay $25 to $30 for it — about what you’d pay for a new light. That begs two questions: First, is the LED element really the biggest expense in a light? It wouldn’t surprise me if it was, but I definitely wonder. And second, if it’s not, why not offer these on the cheap? Seems like a good idea to me. Have any of you found cheaper replacement alternatives? I can’t imagine there aren’t some out there.

LED Upgrade 49-81-0090 [Milwaukee]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


15 Responses to Swap an LED Into Your Old System Flashlight

  1. Jerry says:

    Here’s a site that offers the 1 watt replacement (7 to 30 volts) for $11. You can also choose the lower volt (1 to 9 volts) for the same price. I didn’t look at shipping costs though. This does sound like a reasonable price for the technology. Maybe I’ll put one in my old De Walt light.

  2. Kevin says:

    Milwaukee’s flashlights are expensive and cheaply made, they need to drop the price or make it worth it to buy. Theres no reason their flashlights should cost almost as much as their drills.

  3. jason swan says:

    I stuck one in my hitachi 18v lion after I went through 4 candy bulbs in two days.

    Beautiful light, huge runtime. First Milwaukee led I got went wonky in a year though. Hoping the second one lasts longer.

  4. dazrin says:

    I upgraded my old (15 years?) 3D Maglite to LED a couple months ago with a terrastar replacement bulb and am very happy with it. It was cheap (cheaper then than now on Amazon) and provides WAY more light than the original.


  5. AJ says:

    I bought the M12 LED light. Expensive, $50 for the whole thing. Light is very bright and has lasted for about a year so far. Only complaint, the magnet is much too week. Light has taken several falls because of it. I don’t know how it passed the design stage.

    • Chuck Cage says:

      Though I like the MIlwaukee better overall (mainly due to the shape and durability), the magnet on DeWalt’s new-ish square 12v kicks some serious ass. It’ll stick to damn near anything. If you could put the magnet off the DeWalt on the Milwaukee, you’d have my personal winner.

  6. Monanoke says:

    Just gone done doing converting my makita worklight this weekend. http://budgetlightforum.com/node/8057
    It is just a P60 dropin from a surefire style light. Runtime is 9 hours!

  7. Robin says:

    While I appreciate the extended battery life using LEDs, I still prefer the incandescent bulbs. It’s probably my old eyeballs but I have trouble seeing things using LEDs.

  8. Cameron says:

    IIRC, I payed about $15 for a Maglite brand upgrade bulb. Works great. Nite Ize makes them, too for about $12. Definitely worth the investment.

  9. Bill from Maine says:

    I’m not sure of the voltage on your light – you’ll have to check it – but if either of these fit I highly recommend them. I have one in an old Maglite and it’s amazing what a difference it made.

    You can give up a bit of brightness and get longer battery life by looking for a 1W LED replacement: http://www.zbattery.com/Nite-Ize-1-Watt-LED-Upgrade-Kit-CD-cell

    (I’m not affiliated with Zbattery, just a long time satisfied customer)

  10. Driver says:

    I’m with Robin on this one – I don’t like the amount of light the LEDs throw. They are decent for finding things in the dark, but I don’t like working with them as the light source.

    Then again, maybe I should one that isn’t so cheap.

  11. Brandon says:

    Cameron – Did you use the Maglite bulb in the Milwaukee light? I have the V28 and would like to upgrade the bulb to LED but no way I am pay $30. Didn’t know if the Maglite versions would work.

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