Maglite Pro 2D LED Flashlight Review

2DPro_01As we have already seen with the Mini Maglite Pro and Pro+, classic simplicity and modern power define the Maglite Pro series. In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the full-sized member of this family, the single-output Maglite Pro 2D LED. Using two D-cell alkaline batteries, which is the only battery configuration offered, the Pro 2D LED has a maximum output of 274 lumens and intensity of over 33,000 candela.

Key Specifications

  • Output: 274 lumens
  • Intensity: 33,560 candela
  • Runtime: 12h 45min
  • Battery: 2 x D-cell
  • Length: 10.0″
  • Diameter: 2.25″ bezel, 1.6″ body
  • Weight with Batteries: 23.0 oz.
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime with $12 Handling Fee
  • MSRP: $39.99

Pricing & Contents

MSRP for the Maglite Pro 2D LED is $39.99, and the light is only available in black.

2DPro_02

Included in the blister packaging are: Maglite Pro 2D LED Flashlight and user manual.

Batteries

The Maglite Pro LED is only offered with a single battery configuration, which is the compact 2D-cell version. With electronic circuitry and LEDs making large D-cell lights obsolete, this product line simplification doesn’t really surprise us (the only difference between the Maglite LED 2D-cell and 3D-cell lights is runtime).

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The Light

The Pro 2D is a variant of the D-cell Maglite, and standard D-cell Maglite accessories such as traffic wands and mounting brackets will work with the Pro 2D. As with most Maglites, the aluminum body is type-II anodized.

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Head
The head features a plastic window and a smooth reflector. Optimal focus can be achieved by twisting the head.

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Body
Knurling on a section of the body provides grip for the light.

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Tail Cap
The flat tail cap allows the Pro 2D to tail stand.

2DPro_09 2DPro_10

Performance

Using a Cree XP-G LED, the Maglite Pro 2D LED is rated for 274 lumens. The Pro 2D has a larger hotspot than the standard D-cell lights, which makes the increased output of the Pro 2D less obvious. Beam pattern of the Pro 2D is artifact-free at optimal focus, but holes and rings quickly appear if the light is defocused.

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When activating the Pro 2D, the light does not turn on immediately and has a quick, but noticeable, “fade-in” effect like the XL100.

Runtime

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

Pro_2D_Runtime

Maglite uses step-down regulation, which reduces the Pro 2D’s output to 60% during the first 12 minutes of continuous operation. When used with two NiMH AA batteries (in D-cell adapters), runtime is reduced but performance is roughly the same for the first 2h 30min.

Conclusion

While the Maglite Pro 2D LED combines modern performance with the classic D-cell flashlight, this might actually be a drawback – we can’t think of any other modern device that uses D-cell batteries. The availability of rechargeable NiMH and energy-dense lithium-ion batteries, combined with the obsolescence of other D-cell electronics (such as large radios and cassette players), has largely decreased D-cell usage. Even obtaining alkaline D-cells for use in our runtime test, given our budget (or rather the lack thereof), proved to be challenging since the packaging doesn’t include batteries.

2DPro_14 2DPro_13

Of course, using D-cells isn’t specifically a problem with the Maglite Pro 2D, but it is definitely a factor to consider. There are many advantages of a larger-sized light, such as being easier to grip, but large lights don’t necessarily have to be heavy. For most of our testing with the Pro 2D, we used Sanyo Eneloop AA’s in plastic battery adapters, and when used with adapters that take two AA’s in parallel, battery weight is halved and runtime is still more than sufficient. If you are considering a full-sized flashlight, we would definitely recommend purchasing a couple adapters to have the option of using AA’s.


Pros Cons
  • Maximum output of 274 lumens
  • Smooth beam pattern in spot mode
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Big and heavy
  • “Fade-in” activation
  • Plastic switch tower (poor thermal path)

Related Links

Maglite Pro 2D LED Product Page

12 Responses to “Maglite Pro 2D LED Flashlight Review”

  1. Studd says:

    How long does the soft start take to reach full output? Personally I’d think this would be a good feature so you don’t blind yourself upon turning it on :P

  2. Robin Wang says:

    Studd,

    It’s only a split second, but enough to be noticeable.

    Robin

  3. Joe says:

    Where did you get those 2AA to D adapters?

    Thank you.

  4. Robin Wang says:

    Joe,

    I bought them from an international seller on eBay for about $1/ea.

    Robin

  5. frank says:

    10,000Ma Rechargeable NiMH “D” Batteries are available on line.
    and thy last a lot longer then “D” alkaline

  6. Rgris says:

    I had two led mag-lites, the 3 D-cell and the 2 D-cell, both quit with only a few hours use. They went very dim. They are garbage, what a waste of money.

  7. Darth Vader says:

    I question just how “regulated” Maglites are. I just bought a Maglite Pro 2D, and I’ve done some current testing. With full voltage (anything 3 volts or over), the light runs at about 1-1.05 amps. but once the voltage of each battery dips to 1.4 volts or lower (anything below 2.8 volts total), the light becomes noticeably dimmer after a few seconds, and current drops to anywhere between 0.5 to 0.7 amps. Now it does stay regulated at certain intervals, but…my point is that I want full brightness every time I turn it on. With batteries running at 1.3 or 1.4 volts each, I should be getting full brightness with a “regulated” light. Most places online insist that this light should be giving off 274 lumens for at least a few minutes once it’s turned on. I don’t mind that it drops to 40% – 50% after continuous use, as long as it gets back to 100% once I power cycle it. But the current readings I got from it seem to say otherwise. Why the heck is this? Honestly this is going back to Walmart if this happens with some fresh batteries (gonna buy some more soon).

  8. Matt says:

    Thanks for your review. Maybe I expect too much, but the brightness line in your plot for Duracell batteries looks none-too-flat for a flashlight that’s supposed to “regulate” it’s power. Also, Darth Vader’s comments concern me. Can you confirm them? Can you show “initial” brightness levels (first 12 minutes) after 1, 2, 3 hours of use, etc?

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought one big disadvantage of rechargeable batteries is that they lose their charge over just a few months (when not being used). In contrast, I know non-rechargeable batteries can hold their charge for several years. I’m looking for a new emergency flashlight for my car which, knock-wood, will never be used. But if I should need it, I want it to turn on. And I don’t want a new recharge task that I have to perform every few months to ensure that that does indeed happen. This is why I was looking at flashlights that use non-rechargeable batteries.

    Furthermore, D-Cell batteries, being larger than, say, AA batteries, contain far more chemical energy. They can drive bigger loads than a AA, or the same smaller load for a longer time. Comparing the product data sheets of a Duracell D to a Duracell AA ( http://ww2.duracell.com/en-US/Global-Technical-Content-Library/Product-Data-Sheets.jspx?icn=Prim/PrimNav/Product-Data-Sheets&cc=Primary ), you can expect that a D Cell will last 5 times longer than a AA for the same load. (Compare the 250 milli-watt constant-power performance plots.) Furthermore, D-Cells only cost about 3 times as much money, so they are actually more cost-effective than their AA counter-parts. For these reasons, I was considering a flashlight using old-fogey D-Cell batteries, but sporting new-fangled LEDs and electronics.

    So anyway, I’m skeptical that your dismissal of devices that run on non-rechargeable D-Cell batteries is either completely fair or warranted.

    Given my needs, can you suggest a better flashlight for me? (I’m trying to keep it under 50-ish dollars.) Thanks!

    Matt

  9. Robin Wang says:

    Matt,

    Regulation does not necessarily mean constant output. It just means that the output is controlled, which in this case is step-down. I don’t have any more D-cells to conduct additional testing, but we’ve done similar tests with the XL200 and ML100. As long as the battery can sustain the load, cycling the light at 15 minute intervals will reset the step-down regulation.

    Newer rechargeable batteries are low self-discharge, and for example, the Sanyo Eneloop LSD NiMH can retain 75-85% charge after three years. If you kept the light in your car and didn’t use it, I would recommend charging it every year.

    One of the biggest problems of alkaline batteries is leakage. This risk means you should not depend on them working after being stored (especially in a car, where the temperature could vary from very cold to very hot), and in most cases of leakage, the batteries will get stuck.

    Comparing the 250mW charts is not representative of the load presented by a high-output flashlight. For the Pro 2D, you can expect about 3W of power (it’s a very rough estimate, but sufficient to illustrate the point), which means that each battery needs to deliver 1.5W. Take a look and see if they have charts for 1.5W constant power or 1.5A constant current. Alkaline batteries perform poorly with high current/power draw, so you may not even be able to find a chart for the AA.

    I was actually comparing alkaline D-cells to rechargeable AA, which further skews the comparison. Even though alkaline D-cells have a “longer” runtime, voltage is poorly maintained at high discharge rates, which adversely affects regulation and results in reduced output. NiMH batteries perform much better than alkaline at high currents, so alkaline batteries are best for low current applications (such as a clock or TV remote).

    For comparison, here’s the datasheet for the Sanyo Eneloop AA (HR-3UTGA) LSD NiMH:

    http://us.sanyo.com/dynamic/product/Downloads/HR-3UTGA-2010-35936786.pdf

    If you want a dependable emergency solution, my recommendation would be to choose a light that can take lithium primary batteries (like the Energizer Ultimate Lithium). You could get a Mini Maglite Pro/Pro+, or use AA adapters in the Pro 2D. Lithium batteries are leak-free, perform well at temperature extremes, and perform much better than alkalines.

    Hope this helps clarify.

    Robin

  10. James Brown says:

    I have an old Maglite 3d cell light that about three years ago I put a led bulb in. Don’t remember the lumens, but only change batteries every 18mo or so, it last longer than the chart above. Any info on this bulb was sold by Mag Light, don’t know if you can still buy them as I haven’t needed another.

  11. Darth Vader says:

    Robin, the thing is the light, running on 2 alkaline D cells that measured about 1.4 volts each, totaling 2.8 volts, would noticeably dim only a few seconds after turning the light on. For me, I don’t see that as being regulated at all. I understand step down regulation. Either the 2D PRO is not regulated, or it steps down within 5 seconds if the battery voltage is at 1.4 volts. If this is their idea of regulation, then I would simply never buy a Maglite. I just want a light that maintains constant brightness as long as the battery voltage isn’t too low. Step down regulation isn’t a big deal, but like I said, even this 2D PRO was “stepping down” after only a few seconds. That’s pretty lame if you ask me.

  12. Robin Wang says:

    Based on our tests, the programmed step-down is to 75% after 3 minutes and stabilizes after 5 minutes.

    Keep in mind that voltage is not a good indicator of capacity for alkaline batteries. If the light is dimming after a couple seconds, you might want to try another set of batteries.

    Robin

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