Snakelight LED Upgrade

A couple of weeks ago some bad storms blew through and my power was off for two nights. I had rechargeable batteries charged up, so I had two mini Maglites in candle mode (where you screw the lens part off) and also my Versapak Snakelight. The Snakelight is nice and bright (essentially it’s just a regular flashlight) but I thought it would be nice if they made a Snakelight with LED bulbs. Of course it would be nice if it was Versapak too, but they’re not making Versapak stuff anymore (not really true; I saw a Versapak screwdriver and batteries, including gold ones at Walmart later on). I looked and found nothing.

Tonight I was at Fry’s and saw some LED flashlights and I wondered if there would be a way to hack a Snakelight by taking a LED bulb and fitting it in to where the regular bulb goes. As I kept looking I found there were kits where you could upgrade a Maglite to LED. And then I found a generic LED upgrade that is just a bulb in the conventional flashlight bulb shape, but LED. It didn’t occur to me that it would be that simple (plus I’ve seen some Maglites with 3 LED’s which means the whole head is different). While the Maglite upgrades claimed to be brighter (and one added a strobe function), the generic upgrade only offered 5 times the battery life. Plus I don’t think LED’s ever burn out though I’ve had the Snakelight for 10 years and it hasn’t burned out yet. It was $8.99 but I wanted to try it anyway. A similar product is at Amazon for more money in a package that claims the light is brighter (it is a different bulb and really is brighter; see comment below). They also have the Maglite and other upgrades.

I brought it home, popped it in and turned on the switch. It is a much whiter (kind of blue) light, but I don’t think it is any brighter. I can’t say how much longer it stays bright on a charge, but if the old bulb would burn for two hours, this should burn for 10 which is pretty close to all night.

One thought on “Snakelight LED Upgrade

  1. I decided to get a brighter LED upgrade bulb. Nite-ize makes a 1 watt bulb that is brighter (this is what I linked to at Amazon actually; it clearly says 1 watt on the package) than the one I have, but I wound up getting a Terralux TLE-1F 1 watt bulb on eBay. This should last longer on a charge (compared to the original bulb) and also gives off more light (whiter light) than the original bulb or the upgrade from Fry’s. It is nowhere near as bright as my mini Maglite upgrade though. Later on I found a thread with a bunch of runtimes charts and I read that the Nite-Ize 1W bulb is brighter than the TLE-1F, so I probably should have gotten that. It’s just a lot of information to try to sort through and process. It still seems like there is a good niche for a really bright PR bulb replacement. There are a number of good replacements for C and D battery Maglites but the bulb in those isn’t quite the same as the standard PR bulb.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *