How to Make a Flashlight Brighter? Change These Components

Last Updated on March, 2023

The primary function of a flashlight is to give you enough light when needed. When using a flashlight in an emergency, if you don’t receive adequate brightness, it gets you messed up right then.

You can experience a problem with the brightness of your flashlight even though you always carry a high-quality everyday carry flashlight. 

Here is what you need to know to make your flashlight brighter. Keep reading and make use of the strategies that will definitely come in handy.

Quick Summary

Flashlights are becoming more compact, lighter, and brighter due to advancements in LED technology and efficiency in the battery.

Flashlight Lumens are a unit used to measure a flashlight’s brightness output when it’s powered by new batteries and set to its highest level.

Factors that can cause a flashlight to have weak light include a low or worn-out battery, poor heat dissipation, or a defective LED or battery. Upgrading components such as the battery, LED, and wires can help improve a flashlight’s brightness.

Lumens and Flashlight’s Brightness 

a human holding a flashlight at night

Flashlights are now more compact, lighter, and brighter than they were even a few years ago because of advancements in LED technology and battery efficiency. 

Lumens are a unit used to describe how bright a flashlight is when it is powered by brand-new batteries and set to its highest brightness level.

The efficiency of light in various applications is influenced by the beam’s kind, distance, and intensity. The amount of light produced can vary from a modest 20 lumens (ideal for reading a book) to a scorching 3500 lumens for rough terrain.

How to Fix a Dim Flashlight? 

Most flashlights’ lamps gradually fade from bright to dim before dying out when batteries drain and emit less and less power. If all of the LEDs are dim, the battery may be low voltage or old and worn out. The batteries within the flashlight may have slowly discharged if it has been sitting unused for a while. 

Charge your flashlight for a considerable time, and test for brightness. If the LEDs are still dim, you better change the battery to a new rechargeable battery.

If this doesn’t help you, you will have to upgrade your flashlight. 

Related article: How to Fix a Flashlight?

What to Check Before Upgrading a Flashlight? 

flashlights on the table

You have the option to upgrade the LED or install a new one. When upgrading, make sure the flashlight can tolerate a higher current before upgrading it. It is essential to upgrade LED and the Driver before upgrading the power supply.

Without adequate heat conduction, they might generate enough heat to cause damage. When an LED becomes too hot, it loses brightness and disassembles.

It is necessary to improve heat dissipation first. Verify again that the LED board (MCPCB) and the shelf it rests on are connected well for improved heat dissipation. Sometimes, rather than resting on a shelf, the LED board is simply in contact with the flashlight’s walls. 

It’s not a good idea to make the brightness overly bright in a heated situation. The LED will probably become blue before permanently going out.

Upgrading a Flashlight

Upgrade the Battery

Switching to superior rechargeable batteries, such as Panasonic Eneloop will likely boost brightness if you are currently using Alkaline batteries.

If the flashlight is powered by a single AA battery, switching to 1.8V lithium batteries will enhance brightness the fastest. These lithium batteries are not rechargeable. Still, this method is not advisable because it can cause harm to your flashlight. 

If you are using 3AAA batteries, upgrading to a 18650 battery is the best, fastest, and safest course of action. A 18650 battery has 4.2V when ultimately charged and is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

If you currently have a 18650 battery in your flashlight and it doesn’t improve the brightness, you might have purchased a defective battery that can’t deliver enough power. Replace the battery in those circumstances for a simple upgrade. Try to buy a quality one next time.

Upgrade the LED Light and the Board

Simply replacing the LED in older LED flashlights is a simple method to boost their brightness. When replacing the LED board, purchase an LED chip with the appropriate voltage. Before buying a new LED, double-check the voltage of the existing one.

Upgrade the Wires

Ensure your driver and LED board are connected by copper, sufficiently thick wires first. The amount of current that can be carried to the LED will be less if your wires are too thin.

Spring replacement or enhancement is one of the additional methods to boost brightness. A spring bypass can be created by simply attaching a copper wire from the spring’s top to the board to which it is fastened. Doing this lowers resistance and the chance of a voltage drop while increasing the energy it can carry.

Why is the Light From My Flashlight Weak?

a flashlight on the stone

A flashlight’s failure to function correctly or at all might result from various factors. As we have seen in the previous parts, a dead battery can be one of the causes. But that cannot be the only cause.

Several metal contacts in flashlights form a circuit between the battery and the bulb. Even the most effective flashlight won’t function if the connections or the battery fail. 

Fortunately, most issues that lead to a flashlight malfunction are frequently straightforward to rectify without using any unique tool. Here are the typical problems that lead to a flashlight malfunctioning, along with the solutions listed for you.

Weaker or Dead Battery

The majority of the time, recognizing a dying battery is simple. The power released by batteries decreases with time, causing most flashlights’ illumination to dim gradually until turning out totally. 

The flashlight’s batteries may have slowly discharged if left alone for a considerable time. 

You can have a flashlight that employs controlled output, which enables the batteries to give a constant stream of light instead of illumination that gradually fades. The light won’t slowly disappear when these batteries eventually fail. Instead, the light stops altogether.

There is a Problem With the Flashlight’s Switch

There are two metal contact strips on a flashlight switch. When the switch is turned to the “on” position, the strips make contact with the lamp and the batteries, completing the circuit and turning on the light.

If the metal strips get corrupted, they will not allow the electrical current to travel through them to complete the circuit. These contacts might get bent or damaged, which would prohibit them from contacting the lamp or the battery spring. Often moisture exposure causes these contacts to corrode, preventing a clean connection between one or both of the contact strips.

If the contact strips under the switch are accessible, wipe them with a bit of vinegar and make sure they aren’t broken or distorted.

a human holding a flashlight

The Flashlight Has Cracked O-Rings

The rubber gaskets, known as O-rings, are designed to fit around the flashlight’s openings, including the bulb and battery compartment. When the compartments are closed, and the flashlight is in operation, these rubber rings prevent water and dirt from entering the flashlight. 

The O-rings must be fixed if you discover dirt or moisture inside your flashlight. These rubber O-rings will eventually deteriorate, dry out, and shatter, making them incapable of carrying out their functions.

Final Thoughts

It is common to have issues with the brightness of your flashlight after using it for a while. You don’t have to replace the entire flashlight in this case. A flashlight might not function properly for several reasons. It is a good idea to figure out what is causing the flashlight to operate poorly so it can be fixed.

Upgrading the battery, using a copper-boarded LED, additional thermal paste for optimal heat dissipation, wiring, and springs can all increase the flashlight’s brightness.

Some tasks we must complete on our own to avoid falling victim to fraud and spending money on replacements too frequently. 

FAQs

The common problems associated with an everyday carry flashlight are defected batteries and burnt-out bulbs.

The essential part of a flashlight is its circuit, which facilitates the flow of current from the power source to the light source.

A flashlight typically lasts around 50,000 hours of use.

Yes, a flashlight can be an effective self-defense tool. Tactical flashlights can be used to emit bright light to disorient an aggressor, or can be used as a blunt-force weapon. They are often carried as everyday items or attached to firearms.

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Author
Dillon Morrison
I have been involved in the flashlight community since 2007. My brother has a flashlight shop from where I have tested and reviewed more than 600+ different types of flashlights. You can find more about me here.

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