Mini Maglite 3W LED Flashlight, retail $26.95 ()
Manufactured by Mag Instruments (
Last updated 03-16-07

Mag Instruments has always been known for making decent quality adjustable-beam incandescent flashlights; they have gotten into the LED racket as of late with a selection of products - this is just one of them.

It looks like a Mini Mag.
It smells like a Mini Mag.
But it produces this brilliant bluish-white light, instead of that sickly yellow glow we've all come to know & love {cough, sputter, sound of a wall-mounted porcelain urinator flushing} from Mini Mags.

This flashlight features a Luxeon III LED at the bottom of a mirror-smooth reflector, has an adjustable beam width, and comes in an aluminum body with a pair of AA cells in the barrel to feed the LED with.


Mag Lites are sometimes sold with batteries.
This sample came with the batteries, so all I had to do was install them.

Once you install batteries, the light itself is easy to use. Just turn the bezel (head) counterclockwise to turn it on, and turn it clockwise to turn it off.

The beam can be adjusted from a tight spot to a wide flood by turning the head one way or the other.

To change the used AA cells, unscrew the tailcap until it comes off. Tip out the old cells (if any), and then slip in two new AA cells, positive (+) end first. Don't hold the light vertically and drop them in because that can damage the switch. Rather, hold the light horizontally and slide them in. This way, they won't smack into the switch contact with any real force.

With both of the cells in place, screw the tailcap on. The spring will have substantial tension on it, so don't be afraid to push on the end while turning until you catch the threads. Then tighten it until it stops.

Measures 217.7mA on my DMM's 4A scale.

Photograph of the front end, showing the LED & reflector.

For years, Mag Lites have been known to be among the most durable of all commonly available flashlights. They're made of aluminum, and are sealed with O-rings throughout. You can use them as a hammer in an emergency. Then again, a good number of flashlights now being produced can be used as flashlights cum hammers.

I smacked this flashlight against the concrete floor of a patio ten times (five against the side of the bezel, and five on the side of the tailcap) and was not able to damage the flashlight in any manner, other than causing some rather minor gouging to the bare Metalwargreymon er the bare Metalpaildramon um that's not it either...the bare a sec here...THE BARE METAL (guess I've been watching too much Digimon again! now I'm just making {vulgar term for feces} up!!!) on the sides of the tailcap and bezel where it was struck. No optical, mechanical, or electrical malfunctions were detected.

It appears to have a Type II anodizing on all of its exterior surfaces. I tried to cut through the finish with the blade of a Gerber folding knife, and with some difficulty, I was successful.
Would I really cut up a brand spanken new flashlight?
You bet your sweet patootie (sugar-coated toilet muscle) I would, if it's in the name of science.

Though Mag Lites aren't rated as being submersible, they are water resistant and should survive accidental falls into shallow water just fine if you pick them out of the water right away. This unit passed "The Suction Test" I performed on it, so it should indeed be water-resistant; possibly even submersible to shallow depths too.

Here's proof that I *REALLY* did "The Toilet Test" on it.

The bezel (head) can be removed completely and the flashlight stood on its tailcap for use as an electronic "candle". Please note that the unit will no longer be waterproof or even water-resistant when used in this fashion, so please do not place it directly under the drip in a leaky tent if you decide to use it this way.

Beam photograph (narrow) on the test target at 12".
Measures 820,000mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.

Beam photograph (wide) on the test target at 12".
Measures 18,044mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.

Note the central "hole" characteristic of a small light source in a smooth reflector.
This is perfectly normal, and is nothing whatsoever to be concerned about.

Beam photograph on a wall at ~10'.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrometer plot of the LED in this flashlight.
Ocean Optics USB2000 Spectrometer on loan from TWO-CUBED.

ProMetric analysis
Beam cross-sectional analysis.
Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.

Test unit was furnished by a website fan, and was received on the afternoon of 12-11-06.

UPDATE: 01-07-07
I used the Mini Mag 3W LED flashlight a short time ago today to adjust the thermostat (it has an LCD but it is not backlighted), and I must say it performed that task quite admirably. I haven't used it all that much - primarily because I have so many flashlights at my disposal - but the Mini Mag LED was the first thing I reached for.

UPDATE: 02-06-07
I examined the tailcap for the presence of a spare incandescent light bulb, and there isn't one. No big surprise there.



    MANUFACTURER: Mag Instruments
    PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: White Luxeon III LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Adjustable from spot to flood
    SWITCH TYPE: Twist bezel on/off
    CASE MATERIAL: Aluminum
    BEZEL: Aluminum; LED & reflector protected by plastic window
    BATTERY: 2xAA cells
    SUBMERSIBLE: Unknown; possibly to shallow depths
    ACCESSORIES: 2xAA cells, belt holster
    WARRANTY: Lifetime


    Star Rating

Mini Maglite 3W LED Flashlight *

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