Dorcy 4.5 – 6 volt LED bulb.
Jun 5, 2011
Review by Alan Lake
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Awesome battery life, easy to install, Cheap/inexpensive.
The Bottom Line: The perfect LED bulb to put in a maglite if battery life is your primary concern. But not good to see far away. Not for tactical uses.
I bought this bulb for my 3 D cell Maglite. I’ve been in the process of replacing most of my incandescent flashlights with LED bulbs. I’m done with my AA Maglites (I have a couple left but it doesn’t make economic sense to do those at this point) but I had 2 more 3 D cell Maglites I considered converting. So I ordered this bulb and the lower voltage (3volt) cousin from Dorcy.
Recommend this product?
This is a bulb that will work in a Maglite D cell flashlight or any other flashlight/lamp that uses these same bulbs (4.5-6 volts). It is LED and rated at 40 lumens. 40 Lumens is not very bright, in fact it down right sucks. About as bright as a incandescent AA Maglite. The package says it is a 10 year bulb with 100,000 hours of life and can handle voltages from 4.5 - 6. LED bulbs have a long life.
Compared to my Maglite brand 3 D cell LED flashlight and my Maglite brand 2 AA cell LED flashlight, this was a huge disappointment. But for 5 bucks, what would you expect.
Installation is simple. Just take off the whole cap. Unscrew the nut type screw holding in the installed bulb. Take out the bulb and put in this one. Screw back in the nut type screw to secure the new LED bulb, and screw back on the whole head. You do not need a new reflector, the original one is fine.
I shined it on my bushes in my back yard at 100 feel and I could barely see them. I can clearly see them with my AA 3-watt LED maglite. So this is not a conversion bulb if you need something very bright. This is a conversion if you want to spend less money on batteries. So this bulb is better for the environment which. And it’s only 5 bucks. As you will see from my trials, the battery life is really really good.
I also touched it to feel for heat and it very low. (Unlike the Terralux.) Very little battery power is wasted in terms of heat.
I first put it in my 2 D cell maglite with 2 rechargeable batteries (it would be around 2.5 volts) and it barely even turned on. It was less light then a solitaire. I immediately switched it into my 3 D cell with alkaline batteries and it worked perfectly. I then took out the alkaline batteries and replaced them with newly charged rechargeable batteries. The light looked exactly the same in terms of brightness and color. I was pleased. Whatever controller they have in the bulb works really well. I then began my battery life test.
Battery life is good of course. With such poor illumination, battery life better be awesome. I turned it on at 7:15 am and left it on until 3:15 (8hr) and it was still fine. I turned it on the next day at 9:15 and left it on until 1:15 (4hr). The next day I turned it on at 8:15 and left it on until 2:15 (6hr). Next day, 10:15 to 2:15 (4hr). Next day, 7:55 to 2:55 (7hr). 7:55 to 1:55 (6hr). 11:00 to 1:00(2hr). 7:15 to 1:15(6hr). 10:40 to 2:40(4hr). 8:20 to 2:20(6hr). 8:00 to 2:30(6hr). Now I saw it start to die. 3:15 to 9:38(6.5hr). The next day I started at 9:00 and ended at 11:00. Finally the batteries (for the most part) died. At the time I quit the tests it was about as bright as a solitaire. For fun I left it on and it lasted like this for about a dozen more hours. But it was so dim that you would be hard pressed to read by it (at least my eyes couldn't read by it).
It was around hour 35 that I could clearly see a diminished brightness. While it would still be fine for seeing close up, I would have recharged the batteries if I was home. If I was camping then I would have left them in.
By my calculations, the total time with my three 2500mAh batteries was 67 hours. I would never have left them on this long in real life but this shows how energy efficient this LED bulb is. I was really shocked.
I used 3 rechargeable batteries that are listed at around 2,500 mAh. Together these batteries have a voltage of about 3.75 volts. 3 alkaline D cells would be around 4.5 volts and rated at around 10,000 mAh. I’m not a battery expert but I am guessing that the alkaline batteries could take the battery life to 300 hours. Just a guess.
This is a bulb primarily for those that want a cheap LED bulb for their older Maglite D cell flashlights or compatible lanterns. It is a fairly dim light and is not intended to be a tactical flashlight. It is designed to prolong battery life. And it does this very well.
The light is mostly white with a slight blue hue. Not as good as other LED’s I own. Worse than the current Maglite LED's. But the blue is no where near the blue of older LED’s and the blue hue doesn’t bother me.
Who is this for?
If you are a green person then you want to buy this flashlight bulb. It will conserve energy. Or if you need to have a flashlight with a long life and you have a spare 3-4 D cell Maglite hanging around than this is the way to go.
This is not for someone that needs a bright light.
I still highly recommend getting either the 2AA LED maglite or a D cell LED Maglite. These are the best I have tested for the money. All of the others that would compete with (or exceed) the Maglite are much more expensive. Not worth the money unless you are in a security type job.
Lets just say that for battery life this thing is awesome. This is the perfect emergency LED light bulb. It literally lasts for days even with using low amp hour rechargeable batteries. But it will only be for tasks in close quarters. It cannot be used as a search and rescue light. Or even to see over any sort of distance.
I will probably just store this in my truck as a back up for camping or for prolonged outages. I just do not see myself using this much. But the price is right if you have an old flashlight you want to convert. It is also the same size so you can use it as a back up light bulb too.
© Alan Lake’s Kitchen
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