AquaLight is a portable flashlight you may use around the house to gently light up an entire room. It may also be converted to plug in to a wall outlet, and thus be used as either a low-powered lamp or beautiful night-light. The best part is, it's so cheap and easy that anyone can build it, so build yours TODAY!!
Step 1: Parts and Tools
Cheap 3x AAA flashlight - $1 (Any dollar store should have one - it's preferable to have one with a tail, click switch rather than side, slide switch since the slide switches are usually mechanical in cheap ones and will be difficult to use.)
2' of Wire - Free (I used 22 guage)
High Powered LED - <$5 (This is an essential part of your AquaLight. Mine was from an $11 flashlight here of which I used the LED for this project and the flashlight case to house a high powered laser. I believe this might be just the LED inside, and higher powered ones may be found here, though some may require a circuit driver, so do your research.)
Water Bottle - <$1 (Brand is of course your choice.)
Alligator clip - <$1 (Optional - helps connect to negative case of flashlight.)
Tape - Free (I used clear tape so it's less visible. Or, you may use epoxy or SuperGlue for something more permanent. I do NOT recommend using hot glue since in my experiences, the LED's star heatsink may get hot enough to melt through the glue and detach from the bottle.)
Paper - Free (Used to keep 3x AAA holder in place.)
Soldering Iron w/ Solder
Step 2: Disassemble Flashlight
1) First take out the batteries and look down towards the tube towards the LEDs.
2) If there is a thin metal film around the perimeter, remove it using pliers.
3) With very cheap flashlights, chances are you have to push the LEDs out through the front (take a hammer and a long object and hit the LED assembly out through the front).
Each flashlight may be different, but in the end, it should look something like this:
Step 3: Solder the LED to Battery
Then take a thin piece of paper and keep it on the side of the battery holder as you push it back in to the battery compartment (refer to pictures 5 and 6 below). It should be a tight fit and keep the battery holder in place. Lastly, connect the alligator clip to the negative flashlight case and test that the LED works.
Step 4: Tape the LED and Turn It ON!
Then, POWER IT ON!!! Have fun with your AquaLight. Turn the lights out and gaze into it. I'm sure you'll find that the AquaLight mysteriously attracts your gaze.
Step 5: Customize It!
- Use thinner wire to make it less noticeable.
- Power it using any 3V-5V Wall Outlet Transformer for long time use, or for use as a night light.
- Use a LED powerful enough to suit your needs (perhaps less for a night light, more for a small decorative lamp, and somewhere in between for a flashlight).
- Install a small lens at the bottle cap so that most of the light gets focused rather than dispersed at the cap.
- Use different color LEDs (perhaps make a rainbow of bottle lights.)
- And of course, you may use a water bottle from a company you love :)
What makes the AquaLight such a fantastic project is that it is so simple and easy to build, yet the reward is so great. Make it with children to teach them a little about electronics. Make it a beginner's project where they can learn to solder.
Lastly, share your AquaLight with everyone by posting pictures in the comments. I'd be glad to see others take on this little project and express the AquaLight within them.