Flashlight Reviews

TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme

provided for review by
TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme is a Cree XR-E LED based MiniMag AA bulb replacement. TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme is one of the brightest commercially available LED replacement available for MiniMag AA light in the market. Terralux TLE-5EX has considerably more light output as compared to original incandescent bulb. For the same type of batteries TLE-5EX will last much longer than the incandescent bulb. Since the LED replacement is solid state device, there is no filament to burn out or no glass to break. This makes your beloved MiniMag AA sturdier and last longer without worrying for replacement bulb. Another advantage of using solid state LED is that it offers pure white light as compared to yellow light incandescent bulb. Over the period of operation, the incandescent bulb will turn dark due to deposition of tungsten on inner walls of glass bulb in comparison the Cree XR-E led will remain in good condition for considerably long duration. The Cree XR-E LED operates at higher voltage than original incandescent bulb. For this purpose, Terralux has employed regulated step up electronic circuitry to drive the LED. TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme package includes custom reflector. The replacement of incandescent bulb is a simple two step process which involves replacing original reflector with custom reflector and replacing the incandescent bulb with LED replacement. TerraLUX TLE-5EX light module has gold plated contact pins for better connectivity.

Light Features:
  • Cree XR-E LED
  • Custom reflector
  • Regulated step up drive circuit
  • Single light output level
Light Operation & Output:
Light Operation: The light operation remains same as that of MiniMag 2 AA Light. Twist in clockwise direction to switch ON and focus. Twist counterclockwise to change focus or switch OFF.

The chart showing total output of TLE-5EX with various batteries.

TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme
Illumination Source Sanyo Eneloop AA Alkaline AA
810 880
55 65
Light Info:
General Info
    Light Model TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme
    Manufacturer TerraLUX
    Review Page & Image
 TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme
TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme
    Country  United States
    Review Date 2008-08-10
    Review Update 2008-08-10
Light Vitals
    Length 15 mm
    Width / Bezel Diameter 15 mm
    Width / Tube Diameter  mm
    Height (if applicable)  mm
    Weight (without battery) 0 gm
Light Source
    LED Format Power LED
    Number of LEDs 1
    LED Name Cree XR - E
    LED Power 3  Watts
Light Management
    Lens Material Acrilic
    Lens Coating (if any) None
    Lens Transperency (typical) 70
    Lumen Management Reflector
    Material Plastic
    Beam Type Variable Focus
Power Management
    Converter Type Step Up
    Properties Semi Regulated
    Features Simple
Batteries Supported, Output & Runtime
    Battery Size
    Nominal Voltage
    # Used
    Total Output
    Runtime to 75%
    Runtime to 50%
    Runtime to 25%
NiMH  Alk  
Switch Options
    Switch Type
    Switch Properties
Not Applicable
Not Applicable
Body Material Options
Not Applicable
Not Applicable
Not Applicable
Light Rating
60 60
    Build Quality
70 70
50 50
70 70
20 20
70 70
    Bang for buck
60 60
    Overall Rating
In-Depth Review & Pictures:
Packaging: TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme is packaged in simple PE packaging and comes with hard paper based literature and match box sized plastic box. The plastic box has black base and transparent top. Inside the plastic box, there is pink colored PE foam bed to protect the contents. Placed above the foam are reflector and the TLE-5EX LED replacement module. The LED over the module is protected from top with a small piece of bubble wrap.
TerraLUX TLE-5EX packaging
Here is a closeup picture of custom reflector and TLE-5EX.

Front view of custom reflector and TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme light module.
TerraLUX TLE-5EX and custom reflector

Size Comparison: Comparing size with standard AA battery, The diameter of TLE-5EX is about same as that of AA battery. The overall length of module including the pins is about 25 mm.
TerraLUX TLE-5EX size comparison with AA battery

Here is another size comparison of TerraLUX TLE-5EX size with incandescent 2AA MiniMag bulb. Notice the darkening incandescent bulb.
TerraLUX TLE-5EX size Comparison with incandescent 2AA Mini Mag Bulb

TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme: Here is a closeup picture of the module. As you can see the Cree XR-E LED is placed perfectly in center directly soldered over the PCB.
TerraLUX TLE-5EX closeup picture

Here is a 360 view composite image of TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme light module. All electronics is potted in epoxy and the only parts that are exposed are the LED and gold plated contact LED's. Due to potting, whole assembly looks very durable.
TerraLUX TLE-5EX 360 degree view

Installing TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme on MiniMag AA: On the back side of mini booklet instructions to install the LED module are printed.
TerraLUX TLE-5EX Instructions

So with the instructions as above, let's begin installing the TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme LED Replacement.
TerraLUX TLE-5EX Instructions

Open up the head and the bezel as shown below, replace the old reflector with the custom reflector from TerraLUX, reassemble bezel ring back.
TerraLUX TLE-5EX Instructions

Next step is to install the TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme Light Module. This is even simpler step. Just remove the old bi-pin incandescent bulb and replace it with the new LED replacement module.
TerraLUX TLE-5EX Instructions

TerraLUX TLE-5EX Instructions

TerraLUX TLE-5EX Instructions

If it does not light up, remove, rotate by 180 degree to reverse the direction of pins and re install. There, you see light. Caution: Do not look/stare at LED directly! It's extremely bright and may cause temporary or permanent eye damage.
TerraLUX TLE-5EX Instructions

Here is a picture of completed assembly.
TerraLUX TLE-5EX Instructions

Beam Shots:
The beam of TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme forms a donut hole at short distances, although it not visible to eye and can only captured through highly underexposed with the camera. The beam has sharp and well defined hotspot without any corona. The side spill is fairly bright but not as bright as other Cree LED basic counterparts. Most of the light is directed forward and converted in to tight hotspot. Overall, the beam quality is fair and very bright. The Beam Shots Matrix shows TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme installed on MiniMag 2AA flashlight with 2 x 2000 mAh Sanyo Eneloop NiMH Rechargeable batteries. All beam shots are taken at f/8 aperture with varying shutter speed.
TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme
(Spot Focus)

Equipment Used: Custom built Integrating Sphere with Gossen Mavolux 5032 Class B USB Light Meter as photometer. Mavolux 5032 B USB is high precision, high accuracy and high quality light meter with conformance to DIN 5032-7 and CIE 69 standards. Utmost care has taken to ensure that the light measurements are accurate. Click here to read more about Gossen Mavolux 5032 USB Light Meter.

NiMH AA: The runtime for TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme with 2 x 2000 mAh Sanyo NiMH AA battery is about 2 Hour and 32 Minutes till 50%. The Light begins with 80 Lumens out front for the first few Minutes. The light output then stabilizes and remains in between 60 to 50 Lumens.

Buy TerraLUX TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme LED Replacement at www.LED-Replacement.com
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