Review: TerraLUX Ministar30M LED Upgrade for Maglite Flashlights

Review: TerraLUX Ministar30M LED Upgrade for Maglite Flashlights

There are not that many options for upgrading a Maglite. Mag Instrument sells a 3 Watt LED upgrade for the lights, which is available for the 2, 3, or 4 cell Maglite. It allows for beam focusing still, and is a decent upgrade to the standard incandescent bulb. The Maglite is even offered with this LED bulb already equipped. There are, however, some much better options!

Colorado-based TerraLUX, Inc. offers a few options for upgrading the Maglites. Having just purchased a 6 cell Maglite, the largest they offer, I wanted to upgrade the light to something equally as obnoxious! Available for the 6 cell Maglite are two options: the MiniStar5 or the MiniStar30M. The MiniStar5 (link) is a 3 Watt LED upgrade which retains the focus ability, and provides 140 lumens of light output. The MiniStar30M (link) is a set of 3 LEDs with a total power consumption of 12 Watts, providing over 500 lumens of light output! Of course, my choice was easy 🙂

I decided to pick up a brand new 6 cell Maglite, a case of Duracell Procell batteries, and the TerraLUX MiniStar30M upgrade. I purchased all of the items from zbattery.com and they came within a few days. I was very happy with my purchase and it was time to go to work. I believe the TerraLUX MiniStar30M upgrade was around $75, and the Maglite was around $25.

As you can see in these first pictures, I compared the 6 cell Maglite to my 3 cell Maglite and it is substantially bigger and heavier when loaded.

6D Maglite6D Maglite6 cell and 3 cell Maglite comparison6 cell and 3 cell Maglite comparisonDuracell Procell D Battery

Next up, I wanted to get some baseline comparisons between the 3 cell Maglite, which probably had fairly dead batteries to begin with, but that’s beside the point. Below, from left to right, is 3 Cell Maglite Spot, 3 Cell Maglite Flood, 6 cell Maglite Spot, and 6 Cell Maglite Flood.

3 cell Maglite Spot Test3 cell Maglite Flood Test6 cell Maglite Spot Test6 cell Maglite Flood Test

On to the install… For the most part, the instructions (link) are very simple to follow but I have provided some good reference pictures for anyone who might be having trouble with this upgrade. Included in the MiniStar30M package is the LED assembly, an o-ring, and a new plastic lens.

TerraLUX MiniStar30MTerraLUX MiniStar30M Kit

First, you need to remove the lens holder from the Maglite. Next remove the reflector and set it aside as you will not be needing it. With the reflector out, now twist the adjustment head counterclockwise until it is removed. With this off, you can more easily access the bulb as well. Remove the bulb and its retaining ring and set aside.

6D Maglite TerraLUX MiniStar30M Install6D Maglite TerraLUX MiniStar30M Install6D Maglite TerraLUX MiniStar30M Install6D Maglite TerraLUX MiniStar30M Install6D Maglite TerraLUX MiniStar30M Install6D Maglite TerraLUX MiniStar30M Install6D Maglite TerraLUX MiniStar30M Install

With the bulb and retaining ring removed, you can replace the adjustment head, and turn it clockwise until it stops. Next add the MiniStar30M LED by screwing it into the Maglite until it is snug. The instructions recommend that you do not overtighten this, and I agree that is probably wise! As instructed by the directions, I turned the Maglite head counterclockwise until it rested against the MiniStar30M. I then replaced the Maglite lens with the one that came with the kit, and added the extra o-ring on the inner side of the lens. NOTE: I had not done this at first and the lens was not snug. It moved around, and I didn’t like this, so I chose to add the o-ring. YMMV. Anyways, I then completed the upgrade by replacing the lens retaining ring onto the Maglite. Now to test it out!

6D Maglite TerraLUX MiniStar30M Install6D Maglite TerraLUX MiniStar30M Install6D Maglite TerraLUX MiniStar30M Install6D Maglite TerraLUX MiniStar30M Install6D Maglite TerraLUX MiniStar30M Install6D Maglite TerraLUX MiniStar30M Install6D Maglite TerraLUX MiniStar30M Install

As you can see below, the upgrade is very much worth it. I haven’t even had a chance to test over some long distances, so I may add an update in the near future after I get to try it outside more. Although, you cannot adjust the focus of the light now, I believe the flood pattern coupled with the extra light output is more than adequate.

6D Maglite MiniStar30M Test6D Maglite MiniStar30M Test6D Maglite MiniStar30M Test

Overall, I think the upgrade is well worth the $75 price tag, and is a great flashlight for just slightly over $100. With an output of over 500 Lumens and a claimed 0.19 lux at 100 yards, this is a very capable flashlight. With decent High Intensity Discharge (HID) flashlights starting around $300, and producing around 1400 lumens of light output, the TerraLUX MiniStar30M upgrade for a 6 cell maglite is a great and economical way to have a rockin’ flashlight. It is definitely a welcomed addition to my growing collection of Maglites (Red 6-cell w/ MiniStar30M, Red 3-cell Standard, Blue 3-cell Standard, Black 3-cell LED Not Shown)

Maglite Trio

About The Author

Mike
Mike is an active member and entrepreneur in the firearms and motorsports industries, current President & CEO of Allstar Tactical, adjunct professor at Monroe Community College, as well as contributor to other blogs and publications. When not active in his various entrepreneurial ventures, Mike is involved in several hobbies including, electronic music, radio controlled vehicles, riding motorcycles, watches, fitness, family and causing his wife grief.

8 Comments

  • Robert on June 21, 2008

    Hi, that looked cool, does it get hot ?
    check my mod, http://www.gavle.to/~mod-a-flashlight/page6.html

    maglite’s are great for modding.

  • Fred on July 8, 2009

    Thanks for your leg work.

    I was planning to upgrade my Maglites.

    How does the Mnistar 5 light (lumens)compare with the Maglite 3 watt LED upgrade.

    Great to hear that there is an upgrade for the 6 Cell maglite since Mag doesn’t supply one.

    Thanks again,

    Fred

    • mikecentola on July 8, 2009

      I think it’s much brighter. The other night I had the flashlight out in pitch black in my neighborhood and it was lighting up houses about 400yrds away. The only issue is that it is costly compared to the other upgrades.

  • BryanDavis on December 3, 2009

    I bought the same kit and tried to install it in my 20 year old Maglite 6D. The switch canister (bulb holder?) is too low for the new TLE-300M to reach the threads. Would you happen to know if this means my Mag is the wrong series or something?

    I took the switch assembly out of a 2D LED Mag and tried it–it I leave it really high in the barrel, it almost works. But it doesn’t line up with the switch hole then…frustrating.

    Any advice?

    Thanks–Bryan

  • Todd on January 23, 2010

    I’ve seen reference to the Mag’s saying that many accessories won’t work with them if they’re more than 7 years old. Generally it seems that if your serial number starts with D, the new stuff is compatible.

  • howard on September 24, 2012

    When you can get a small light 1000 lumens cree T6 torch with charger on amazon uk for one third the cost of upgrading the maglite, why would you bother, unless you like walking around with a cosh or like the bulk of the maglite for leaving on a hedge bank illuminating your quarry while you get it comfortably in your sights?

  • researching maglite on September 17, 2013

    Lovely review – thank you so much for all of the information – can’t wait to try this out.

  • Emily Taylor on July 26, 2015

    I love my maglite so much <3 the terraluc upgrades for so cheap made me love it even more. I still use my 2d 10 years later. Just ordered a 6d now.

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