Nite Ize LED Upgrade vs. Maglite & Streamlight

I received in the mail today a ridiculously large box, considering the size of the item it contained, which was a Nite Ize AA Mini Maglite 1 Watt LED Upgrade II from! There have been a few different models floating around, but this is the alpha male, so to speak. It’s got a Luxeon LED that puts out 55 lumens, lasts 15 hours, and throws a 50 meter beam. There was an older (now defunct) 1-watt model and a really old model with three generic LEDs (I broke a couple before giving up on them, but these Luxeons are where it’s at.) There’s also a lower-output model with longer battery life at 30 lumens and 25 hours—good for extending battery life, but an IQ Switch would also do the job.

Having weighed the earlier Nite Ize LED modules in the durability balance and found them wanting, I had heretofore purchased an official Mini Maglite LED AA, which also uses a Luxeon. But it flickers, and is longer than my regular Mini Mags, and generally sucks horribly. And flickers. Their LED module must be poorly wired or something. Maybe (hopefully) mine was just defective. One thing I do like about it—due to the longer reflector cone (I think), it is more focusable, as you’ll see in the picture below. This produces a more concentrated beam at greater distances.

But because that was such a fail, I picked up a Streamlight 3N. Pretty rugged piece of gear, it seemed. Used by firefighters and such. Molded polymer case, scratch-resistant lens, up to 30-lumen output, and it even has an “Intrinsic Safety for Hazardous Locations” rating. All this notwithstanding, the contact point on the bottom of the LED module is worthless. Although I’ve bolstered it with solder a few times, it always wears down, makes infrequent contact with the battery, and flickers. It gets worse in cold weather.

Enter the Nite Ize 1 Watt LED Upgrade II. It fit snugly into my old beater Mini Mag, already survived a shoulder-height fall onto tiles without even flickering, and summarily rocks. Here’s a picture I took with all three shining side-by-side at a dark wall. They all had fresh batteries.

Three L.E.D. beams side-by-side on a dark wall, labeled for comparison.

Why is the Streamlight so blue?

*Note the Maglite is more focused than the others, since it is actually capable of being focused. That’s why the beam is smaller.

Hope you liked it. If so, maybe share it, comment, or link. Many thanks.

Comments are disabled for this post