Maglite XL200 LED Flashlight Review

First previewed at SHOT Show 2011, the Maglite XL200 is the latest member of Maglite’s tactical-sized XL Series of flashlights. The XL200 operates on three common AAA batteries for 172 lumens of maximum output, rivaling rechargeable and lithium CR123 powered flashlights, and has a new user interface that combines the XL50’s ease-of-use with the features of the XL100. Read on for our exclusive first look at the Maglite XL200 LED Flashlight!

Key Specifications

  • Output: 172 to 1 lumen
  • Runtime: 2h 30min to 218h
  • Battery: 3 x AAA
  • Length: 4.8″
  • Diameter: 1″
  • Weight with Batteries: 3.68 oz.
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime
  • MSRP: $59.99
  • Actual Pricing: ~$40

Pricing & Ordering

MSRP for the XL200 will be about $59.99, and the light will be available in several colors, including black, grey, blue, and red. The XL200 is targeted for the sporting goods market, so unlike the XL50 and XL100, you won’t be able to find it at your local Target or Home Depot.

In The Box

We got our XL200 in the optional presentation box, but standard packaging for the XL200 is a blister pack similar to the XL50.

Included in both packaging are: Maglite XL200 LED Flashlight and 3 x AAA Duracell alkaline batteries.

Batteries

The XL200 uses the same sturdy battery carrier found in the XL100, and is powered by three AAA batteries. The rated specifications are for alkaline batteries, but NiMH rechargeable and lithium primaries may also be used.

The light is inoperable if the battery carrier is inserted backwards, so there is no danger of “inserting the batteries backwards.”

The Light

Head
The head features a plastic window and a deep smooth reflector. The beam can be unfocused with a quarter turn of the head, or the head can be removed for a completely flood beam.

A glass window may be installed using Mag Instrument part #108-617, the same as the 2AA, but removing the process to remove the reflector (pushing it left and right while applying pressure on the window) has the potential to damage the reflector during removal, so if one wishes to change the window, proceed with caution! Spare parts are not currently available for purchase.

Body
The entire light is type-II anodized aluminum inside and out. The anodizing prevents corrosion, and also electrically insulates the light.

The body is identical to the XL100’s, including the knurling, which is not aggressive enough to prevent the light from rolling.

Tail Cap
On the tail cap is an electronic switch covered with grey rubber with markings for each mode. Like the XL100, the tail cap contains an accelerometer for adjustable brightness and strobe.

Modes

Unlike the XL100, the accelerometer isn’t used for mode selection. Instead, a click sequence like the XL50 is used.

1 Click: Normal
With the light turned off, press and hold the switch. Rotating the light left and right will adjust the brightness. Once the desired brightness is achieved, releasing the switch will set the brightness. The light will remember the setting after switching off, and the memory function is non-volatile (which means the setting won’t be lost when the batteries are removed). The stored brightness setting applies to all modes.

2 Clicks: Strobe
The strobe feature is designed for disorienting or getting somebody’s attention. To adjust the strobe speed, hold the button on the second click and rotate the light left or right. The strobe speed can go as low as a slow flash of about once every two seconds. Click the button to disengage.

3 Clicks: Nite Lite
This is one of the most interesting modes of this light. When the light is set down, it will dim to a faint glow until the light is moved. Unlike the XL100, Nite Lite mode returns to the stored brightness level unless it is below ~50%, in which case it will return to 50%.

4 Clicks: Signal
Since the XL200 uses an electronic switch, there is no momentary on. Instead, twisting the light to the left or right will turn it on. Rotate the light back to the original position to turn off. Click the button again to turn the light off.

5 Clicks: SOS
SOS is the International Morse Code Distress Signal, which is three short flashes, three long flashes, and three short flashes. Press the button again to disengage.

Lockout
To disable the light, point the light upwards, press the switch, point the light downwards, and release. The light will not turn on if the switch is pressed. To unlock the light, repeat the procedure. This feature is handy for packing the light and eliminates the need for crude lockout features such as unscrewing tail caps or removing batteries.

Performance

The XL200 is the brightest Maglite flashlight so far, with a stunning 172 lumens of output, and is also the first Maglite to feature the Cree XP-G LED. Compared to the XL50, the XL200’s beam pattern is very clean and has more side spill that illuminates a wide area.

Runtime

If you haven’t read our article about runtime graphs and the ANSI FL1 Standard, please click here.

Interesting to note is that after 12 minutes of runtime, the XL200 reduces output to 50%. This allows better battery life and more consistent output (albeit, at 50%).

If the XL200 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.

Accessories

No original accessories are available for this light at the time. Some accessories are compatible with the XL200, such as the OEM Maglite 2AA anti-roll ring, and Ripoffs’ BL-150 and CO-150 belt holsters.

Conclusion

We’re glad to see Maglite becoming competitive with higher performance flashlights, and if the shorter runtime of the XL200 is a concern, the brightness setting can be lowered across all modes. The XL200 runs on common batteries, as expected with a Maglite flashlight, that are inexpensive and can be found anywhere. Leading the Maglite product line both in terms of function and performance, the XL200 is a great multi-purpose performance flashlight.


Pros Cons
  • Up to 172 lumens from 3 AAA batteries
  • Adjustable brightness with memory
  • Adjustable strobe with memory
  • Unique “Nite Lite” mode
  • Smooth beam pattern
  • Lockout to prevent accidental activation
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Non-replaceable plastic window
  • Small standby current draw

Related Links

Maglite XL200 Product Page

16 Responses

  1. Joel Garner says:

    Looks like an interesting light – glad to see Maglite is giving us more modern options.

    Thanks for the review! God bless.

  2. Jeff Campbell says:

    Thanks for the review. Mine arrived today and I’m very impressed.

  3. Eric says:

    is the light submersible in water… i kow they say the xl 100 is watger proof.. but is the xl 200 or the xl 50? great review!

  4. Robin Wang says:

    Eric,

    Actually, both lights are only rated as water-resistant.

    Dropping the light in a puddle of water should be fine, but I definately would not recommend submerging it in water. The O-rings are not designed to provide that much water-ingress protection.

    Hope this helps.

    Robin

  5. Eric says:

    very much so… thank you robin! may have saved me a flashlight! haha

  6. Studd says:

    Wow! That’s some good regulation on rechargables and lithiums. The new runtime info is much appreciated; thanks Robin.

  7. Brett says:

    Your flashlight breakdown and runtime plots are unique features that not only have increased my understanding of LED based lights but have provided a unique perspective for someone looking to utilize a light for cycling as well as everyday use. Please keep up the great work!

  8. Olaf says:

    A question I have from this and the other reviews is: the decrease in light after some minutes is a sort of protection for the LED? there is no good heat dissipation, maybe it is needed to prolong LED life, more than save batteries.
    I would also expect a temperature safe check. Have you tried using the light underwater (a very good coolant!) and check if the decrease still happens after the same amount of time?

    Thanks

  9. Robin Wang says:

    Olaf,

    It’s timed to step-down at exactly 12 minutes every time, so it’s not related to thermal constraints. Heat dissipation seems to be fine, as the entire light gets warm.

    Hope this helps!

    Robin

  10. John says:

    How long will the batteries last in strobe mode? Does the strobe function consume more or less power than the high or low mode? Also, I would like to use the flashlight on my bike, so how can I keep the beam strong after the 12 minute period? I am assuming that the vibration from riding would be more than sufficient to keep the beam from turning off?

    Thanks again for your help.

  11. Robin Wang says:

    John,

    I don’t have any data for the strobe mode, but I will check with them about it. I have just tested it briefly, and it does reduce to 50% brightness after 12 minutes, so I would expect it to last about twice the regular runtime.

    Vibration shouldn’t make a difference, strobe frequency is only adjusted when the switch is held after the light turns on.

    Hope this helps,

    Robin

  12. George says:

    Hi Robin, I got this XL200 and found the battery life is short. I only use the light for short periods (1-2 mins) occasionally (almost once per week). However, the batteries (new) have been totally consumed after around 2-3 months. May I know if the batteries should be taken out after used? Cheers!

    George

  13. Robin Wang says:

    George,

    There is some standby current, but it will take a long time for that to drain the batteries. If you’re using the light regularly, this shouldn’t be an issue.

    If you use the light often, I would recommend getting some rechargeable batteries. You’ll need to get a charger with independent channels though, since the light uses an odd number of batteries.

    Robin

  14. ken says:

    I was wondering about durability i work in automotive and seem to drop my flashlight daily i like maglite for my home lighs but am not sure about work just dont want it to break in a week

  15. Robin Wang says:

    Ken,

    I wouldn’t recommend the XL-series for work because of the battery type and fancy electronics inside the tailcap.

    For automotive, I would recommend a rechargeable light such as the MagCharger LED or Streamlight Stinger LED series.

    Robin

  16. Jim Madden says:

    Bought a XL 200 … Use it inspecting crawl spaces and it worked fine .
    It went out so I replaced the batteries and nothing…
    Cannot find the correct bulb locally and don’t know how to change it if I did actually find one.
    So, I will return it to mag lite after I call them about it.
    Very nice light and I am glad that I bought it…. I go through flashlight pretty quickly and have a Mag light rechargeable
    But I really like the smaller high tech LED XL 200.

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