Light recipegreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread
Take 1 mini Maglite AAA. remove bulb and holder. Remove bulb. Take 1 white led. Shorten the leads so the LED is the same length as original bulb. Make sure polarity is correct, it won't work the wrong way in, LED fits into slot fine. Take a 5mm or close drill bit and enlarge the hole in the reflector. Works fine, enough light to read or walk by. Not sure how long batt. will last. Help me Odd One.
-- && (&&@&&.&), December 20, 1999
I just happened to wander by... ;-)
The way you describe it, you should be able to get about a week of continuous-nighttime use from the battery. Used intermittently like a flashlight normally is, check the battery once a month to make sure it hasn't ruptured and toss it if it starts to swell.
I'd not use a single 'AAA' (or 'AA' or "c" or, well, you get the idea) battery as it's only 1.5 volts or so at most and a white LED loves 3.4-3.8 volts. So, better off to convert a two-'AA' mini MagLite, which is done as you mentioned.
Of course, if you use the two-'AA' mini MagLite, you can replace the batteries with higher-voltage ones and run multiple LEDs. (Mine uses four A544 6-volt camera batteries and has siz LEDs in series to accept the 24 volts from the batteries. VERY bright and easy to read by.)
If you MUST use a single-battery flashlight to build a LED light from, I'd strongly recommend using a flashlight that takes a 'AA' battery as the A544 batteries I mentioned are almost the same diameter and exactly half the length as a 'AA' and put out 6 volts. So, you can use two of them in series to make 12 volts and wire up three white LEDs in series to connect to them. Or two paralleled sets of three in series each.
I still maintain that three LEDs is a minimum for moving around, six for reading or close-up work, and 18 or more for anything requiring details or dispersed area light applications. :-)
O d d O n e
-- OddOne (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 20, 1999.