- Mag Instrument, Inc. 2001 South Hellman Avenue Ontario, CA 91761. Phone: (909) 947-1006 Fax: (909) 947-3116.
- LED Upgrades for all Maglite Flashlights - Everyone's got an old Maglite somewhere in their home or garage. While the technology isn't the most up-to-date in these once best-selling lights, they can still be a useful tool.
More than just an LED version of the incandescent C-cell, the Maglite ML100 general purpose flashlight is the latest addition to the Maglite product line. Many features of the ML100 are shared with the higher performance ML125 rechargeable model, such as a more compact design, improved optics, and a choice of four user-selectable function sets. After multiple delays due to an upgraded LED and a revised user interface, we have finally received production models of the ML100 for evaluation.
Also an incandescent flashlight will still work after an EMP attack and an LED will NOT. To make sure that yours is not a fake, unscrew the head off and look at the base of where the head end begins. There should be a serial number that begins with SL that is perpendicular to the vertical pointing of the flashlight.
- Output: 137 lumens high, 34 lumens low
- Runtime (2-cell): 13h high, 48h low
- Runtime (3-cell): 37h high, 78h low
- Battery: 2 x C-cell or 3 x C-cell
- Length (2-cell): 9.1″
- Length (3-cell): 11.1″
- Diameter: 1.98″ bezel, 1.20″ body
- Weight with Batteries (2-cell): 15.2 oz.
- Weight with Batteries (3-cell): 18.4 oz.
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime
- MSRP: $54.99-$58.99
- Actual Pricing: ~$45-$55
Pricing & Ordering
MSRP for the ML100 is $54.99 to $58.99, and the light is only available in black (contrary to the flyers we posted in 2011).
In The Box
Included in the blister packaging are: Maglite ML100 LED Flashlight, 2 x C-cell alkaline batteries (or 3 x C-cell for the 3-cell model), and user manual.
The ML100 operates on C-cell batteries, which makes the light less bulky and easier to grip than wider D-cell lights. However, the C-cell form factor is not very popular, so alternatives such as battery adapters for AA’s are available (which we used for our NiMH runtime test). Using these adapters not only creates commonality with AA batteries, but also further reduces weight.
The head features a plastic window and a shallow smooth reflector. Unlike previous models, focusing is continuous action, so the head cannot be removed.
Knurling along the flashlight body gives the ML100 better grip, and the light is type-II anodized aluminum inside and out.
The head mounted switch is an electronic switch similar to that of the XL-series lights.
A band of knurling is found on the tail cap, and that’s about it for the exterior.
Threads are anodized, allowing lock-out with a quarter turn of the tailcap.
Five modes, which are arranged into four function sets, are available for the user to choose from.
100% brightness at 137 lumens.
25% brightness at 34 lumens.
The 12Hz strobe feature is designed for disorienting or getting somebody’s attention.
SOS is the International Morse Code Distress Signal, which is three short flashes, three long flashes, and three short flashes.
If momentary is enabled, the switch must be pressed twice for Full Power. While this is not true momentary operation since Full Power cannot be activated from momentary, it’s a clever workaround of the electronic switch.
To change the function set, start with the tailcap slightly unscrewed so that the light does not turn on when the switch is pressed. Press and hold the switch while screwing on the tailcap, and once the tailcap is screwed on all the way, the light will start flashing. The number of flashes corresponds to a function set’s number, which are cycled. Releasing the switch selects the function set.
Function Set 1 (Default)
Full Power, Power Save, Strobe.
Function Set 2
Full Power, Power Save, SOS.
Function Set 3
Momentary, Full Power, Power Save.
Function Set 4
Momentary, Full Power, Strobe.
Car mechanic simulator 2014 free. Performance
One of the upgrades that the ML100 received during its redesign was the more efficient Cree XP-E LED, increasing light output to 137 lumens. Since the XP-E LED has a smaller chip size than the XP-G used in the ML125, the ML100 has a more intense beam that will travel a longer distance.
The redesigned focusing assembly of the ML-series allows fine-tuning of the ML100’s beam pattern, if desired. Lights are aligned at the factory and both of our ML100’s had well-focused beams, so we didn’t find this necessary. Although focusing is smoother, there are still some rings and holes when the ML100 is unfocused.
We measured standby power drain of 47.2 µA (or 0.0472 mA) on the 2-cell ML100, and 59.8 µA (or 0.0598 mA) on the 3-cell ML100. Since C-cell batteries have more capacity than the AAA’s used in the XL-series, this is less of a concern, but we would recommend locking out the tail cap if the light will not be used for an extended period of time.
If you haven’t read our article about runtime graphs and the ANSI FL1 Standard, please click here.
Power-save regulation is also used on the ML100, which reduces output to approximately 50% after 12 minutes of runtime.
If the ML100 is operated with a 90% duty cycle (13.5 minutes on, 1.5 minutes off), maximum output is maintained for a shorter amount of time and the runtime graph resembles that of a flashlight without an automatic energy-saving step down.
Maglite C-cell mounting brackets and belt rings are compatible with the ML100, but since many mid-sized rechargeable flashlights have similar body diameters, open-bottom holsters (such as the Pelican 7078 below) designed for those lights can also be used.
Not only is the ML100 an improved LED flashlight, but also a major step in the right direction for Maglite. Previous generations of Maglite’s MAG-LED technology, including the original LED drop-in replacements and even the current LED D-cell lights, had problems with heat dissipation and irregular beam patterns because they were originally designed for incandescent bulbs. However, neither is a concern anymore with the new ML-series, and the Maglite ML100 offers a lot of features and performance for the $50 price point.
Related LinksOn to Part 2, for those wondering: How old is my C cell Maglite?
The D Cell Quick Dating Guide can be found here.
The Mini Maglite Quick Dating Guide can be found here.
C cells are far less popular than D cells. Even now, aside from 5C and 6C lights, there isn't much collector interest in them. A lot of it is likely due to lesser variety vs. the D cells. This guide pieces together the little information I have on them. My contact information is on the right if anyone needs assistance too. Parts are sometimes switched making the lights difficult to identify.
Below is a checklist of which features are found on which age range lights. Below this checklist I'll go into detail and provide pictures of the features in each age range.
1981 was the first year of manufacture for C cell Maglites. The early production was already hammered out on the D cells so there are less early differences on the C cells. I did a post on early C cell history here. Only a handful of the very lowest serials are stamped 'Paten Pending'opposite the serial. These early 1981 C cells are extremely rare.
TM is stamped after the Maglite logo as the trademark was claimed but not registered.
Paten Pending Stamped Barrel
Only serials 1 - ~3,000 of each model are stamped 'Paten Pending' as production started in early 1981 and the patent was approved by August. They are so rare I only have one example. A 5C Vari-Beam.
1982 - 1986
In August of 1981 the Maglite Patent was approved. Going forward all C cells were stamped 'Patented Made in U.S.A.' opposite the serial number.
TM is stamped after the Maglite logo. The trademark was registered at this point but the bezel wasn't updated until later 1987.
Patented Made in U.S.A. Stamped Barrel
Barrels are now stamped 'Patented Made in U.S.A.' as the patent for the light was approved early into production.
1987 - 1989
An R with a circle replaced the TM after the Maglite logo.
The Maglite trademark was registered in 1981 but it wasn't until 1987 that Maglite decided to update the bezel and step up enforcement of their trademarks due to competition from other manufacturers.
1990 marked a minor change. The bezel is laser etched instead of stamped. Also, 7Cs are discontinued.
Laser Etched Bezel
In order to save on production costs bezels are now laser etched. 1987 - 1989 stamped bezel (left) vs. 1990 -1991 laser etched bezel (right).
1992 - 1995
In 1992 the panther logo is added to the bezel.
Panther Logo Added
The panther logo is added to the bezel. The trademark of the panther logo wasn't approved until late 1995 so 1992 - 1995 models have a TM after the logo.
1996 - 2002
R Panther Bezel
The trademark of the panther logo was registered in late 1995 so starting in 1996 the TM was replaced by an R with a circle after the panther logo.
2003 - 2009
In 2003 the C cell lights were modernized into the model that's currently available today. I've detailed these differences here. These lights are typically referred to as New C Cells, Panther C Cells, or Letter Serial C Cells. 5Cs and 6Cs are discontinued shortly after the changeover.
Letter Added to Serial
C was placed at the beginning of serial to designate the cell size and to avoid confusion when ordering parts. 2003+ Letter Serial (top) vs. a 1981 -2002 Non-Letter Serial (bottom).
Patented in U.S.A. Stamped Barrel
In Late 2003 the barrel stamping was changed. Some early 2003 lights are Letter Serials and are stamped 'Patented Made in the U.S.A.' but are few and far between.
After 23 years of being 'Made in the U.S.A.' Maglite could no longer source enough parts made in America to meet the California definition. As such the barrels are stamped 'Patented in U.S.A.' instead of 'Patented Made in U.S.A.' as shown below. Please find more info in the following article: http://maglite.com/maglab/made-in-california-but-not-the-usa
The O-ring was moved from being placed in the head to on the barrel. Shown below is a 2003+ light on the left and a pre-2003 light on the right.
Barrel Wall Thickness Increased
The wall thickness was increased slightly and as such the inside diameter is a little less.
R Panther Bezel
The trademark of the panther logo was registered so this carries over from the prior year.
The retaining ring on the switch is replaced by a retaining clip. Examples of each are shown below with the retaining ring on the right and the retaining clip on the right.
2010 - 2017
The 'Patented in U.S.A.' stamping is abandoned all together. Lights now carry no stamping opposite the serial. All other features of the 2003 to 2009 lights remain.
Maglite Flashlights Phone Number
Maglite Model By Serial Number2018 - 2020
The bezel logo is updated to look more like Maglites LED offerings. The remaining C Cell incandescent product line, 2C, 3C and 4C is discontinued in early 2020 after a 39 year run.
The Maglite logo on the bezel is updated to conform with Maglite's new lights. The text is now wider to make the branding easier to identify and the dash has been dropped between Mag and Lite. All other features of the 2010-2017 lights remain. All of the 2018+ lights I've seen are now bi-pin bulbs where as 2017 and earlier lights were a mix of bi-pins and PR base.