Luxeon Star + DC-DC Converter
"The Ill Pill"

User Modification: Ill Pill 2-AA flashlight mod (Luxeon + DC-DC)
$TBA, see below for availability & additional info.
Manufactured by Kevin Fritz ("Lambda" on CPF)
Last updated 03-30-03

Hello boys & girls. It's Infomercial Time again!!
Stoooop! mangling hot bread with an inferior knife!
Stoooop! kicking toilets off the wall the old fashioned way!
Stoooooop! wasting all those batteries in your Mini-Mag!

This bright and creative kit from a bright and creative Candlepower Forums member has everyone abuzz - or maybe alight. The "Ill Pill" as it's being called, is a simple, drop-in module that fits in your 2-AA Mini-Mag, Brinkmann, or other 2-AA metal flashlight with only minimal modification of the flashlight itself needed.

The Ill Pill features a super bright Luxeon Star LED and a DC-DC inverter; and is designed to replace the original lamp & socket assembly in your Mini-Mag or other similar, metal bodied flashlight. When used in a Mini-Mag, the basic operation of the light remains the same. Twist on, twist off.


The Ill Pill comes in three basic forms: a completed kit with Mini-Mag, a completed module without flashlight, and a bag full of parts. Which one of these you choose will determine how you use it.

The module-only kit is easy enough for even a beginner to do, with the only tool needed being a rat-tailed file or an exacto knife. The bag-O-parts will require substantial mechanical skills however, so is for intermediate to advanced hobbyists. The model I'm evaluating came already assembled, complete with a black Mini-Mag - so I didn't have to go out and buy a rat-tailed file & flashlight.

Assembly instructions can be found at

Once you've completed whichever kit you've chosen, it should work just like the original Mini-Mag; twist the head counterclockwise to turn on, twist clockwise (screw it in) to turn it off.

IMPORTANT! When you turn the light on, turn the head at least 1/8th of a turn past the point where you first see light to ensure a good thermal contact between the Ill Pill and the top lip of the flashlight body. Do not use it in "candle mode" (with the head completely removed) for the first 30 minutes of a fresh set of batteries.
Also, when turning it off, don't turn it any more than is necessary to be sure it will stay off; the lens of the Luxeon presses against the Pill to disengage it from the battery tube and thus turn it off; tightening it too much could possibly damage part of the unit.
Finally, this unit must only be used in a METAL flashlight. Installing it in anything other than a METAL flashlight will let out all the magic smoke and it will then only serve as food for the hungry, hungry garbage can.

Changing the batteries in this mod is only *slightly* different than changing them in a regular Mini-Mag. The only difference is that if you tip the batteries out of the tube, the Pill itself might also come out. So be careful here or else the next thing you might end up doing could be spreading newspapers out all over the floor, pulling out your cuttin' horse, and slashing open the vaccuum cleaner bag, like this:

Yeah, slash that stupid vacume bag open!!!!
"Awww man, where did it go?!?"

Of course, you could just get a fan-last vacuum like the Bagless Stick Shark, which won't chew up the Pill if it gets sucked up. :p
Once you have the tailpiece almost all the way off, hold the light horizontally and *gently* tip out the batteries. The Pill should stay in place if you do it this way. Now you can shove two new AA cells into the tube, button (+) end first, and screw the tailcap back on.

A closeup of the "pill" itself.

This is yet another example of Kevin's professional work. The emitter is centered properly, and the whole "sandwich" is sealed in epoxy for additional strength and durability. The beam is well-centered, and free from any nasties like shadows or irregular hot spots.

Beaming its photonic goodness on the test target.
Measures 183,000mcd after a short burn-in period. This can vary depending on how far you unscrew the head at turn-on due to minute changes in the positioning of the Luxeon's collimator.

scope trace
Here you can see the output of the DC-DC inverter.

Unit was built and provided by Lambda (Kevin Fritz) of Candlepower Forums. The original flashlight was a Mini-Mag Lite. Neither Kevin nor myself have any affiliation with Mag Instruments. Unit was received approximately 06-13-02.

The Ill Pill assembly is currently in BETA testing, and is not yet available to the general public.

UPDATE: 03-30-03
A series of run-time plots is available here.

Do you manufacture or sell an LED flashlight, task light, utility light, or module of some kind? Want to see it tested by a real person, under real working conditions? Do you then want to see how your light did? If you have a sample available for this type of real-world, real-time testing, please contact me at

Please visit this web page for contact information.

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