I like Mini Maglites a lot. I own several. I keep one in each vehicle, one in my tool box, one in my range bag, and one in my bedside table. They’re great little flashlights but far from perfect. There are several features of the Mini Maglite that have become outdated. For one the xenon bulbs are bright but they do burn out, the battery life is not the greatest, and I don’t really care for the twist to turn on feature.
While in Home Depot the other day I was looking at the newer L.E.D. Mini Maglites and was thinking about buying a few to replace the older ones I have accumulated. $25.98 for the newer flashlight seemed a bit high of a price to replace working flashlights. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. However, right next to the display of Mini Maglites was a product by Night Ize Innovation to upgrade the old Mini Maglite to L.E.D. and add an on/off switch to replace the end cap. For the price of $4.97, I thought I’d give it a try.
Upon opening the package I found very cryptic instructions and very few replacement parts. The swap was quick and easy. The old end cap unscrewed and the new switch screwed on in its place. The new bulb has two wire leads that had to be carefully inserted into the two holes for the bulb. There is a positive and negative lead and they must be in the correct holes. There’s a 50/50 chance you’ll get it right the first time. If the bulb lights up you have the leads in the correct holes. If not, just rotate the bulb 180 degrees and re-insert the leads.
The Nite Ize upgrade does appear to truly be an upgrade. The flashlight does seem brighter and they claim battery life will be increased to 25 hours with the L.E.D. bulb up from the 8 hours with the xenon bulb. It may be a persona preference but I do find the end cap switch to be much easier to work than twisting the head of the light to turn it on or off. You can still focus the light beam by rotating the head; that feature has not been lost.
Overall, I’m very satisfied with the upgrade. I see no downside to it. For approximately $5.00 I was able to get a flashlight has longer battery life, has a more ergonomic on/off switch and still fits in my handy flashlight holster.