Picture of ChapStick LED Flashlight
This is an instructable on how to make a flashlight out of a ChapStick tube. After reading up on multiple LED instructables I thought it would be neat to make an original design that had not been done before. Since button cell batteries can be expensive, I went with an A23 (12V) battery that cost less than $2.00 for two.

Step 1: What you'll need:

Picture of What you'll need:
ChapStick Tube
Tactile Switch
A23 Battery (12V)
470-Ohm Resistor
10mm White LED (28,500mcd, 20mA, 3.5V)
Heat Shrink Tubing
"N" Battery Holder
J-B Weld
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KateM715 days ago

Hey, I was just wonder how to take the pieces of the ChapStick tube apart, if I could have some help that would be great.

BCat (author) made it! KateM72 days ago

It can be tricky for sure. I've seen 2 different styles; 1 style snaps out fairly easy (pictured) by inserting a knife and prying slightly, the other style is more difficult/stubborn but is removed in the same fashion. You just have to be careful about messing up the tail-cap. Good luck!

حمدىش4 days ago

gooooooooood ... thanks

DouglasS21 month ago

the chapstick pocket flashlight is kit so i can buy one

BCat (author)  DouglasS21 month ago

Sorry, I picked up my of my supplies at a local Radio Shack and they are now out of business.

obscura6 months ago
I made a sonic screwdriver using 2 Chapstick tubes and a dried out marker. I think when I remake it I'll make the bottom tube into a flashlight
Aelle-bea216 months ago

What should I replace Chapstick? We do not have Chapstick here.

nice project. I "invented" something similar in medical school in 1995. The equivalent of a doctor's pen light, used two chapstick tubes, small incandescent bulb and battery.
dikshas131 year ago

could we use other glues??

BCat (author)  dikshas131 year ago
Absolutely. I would think any epoxy-type glue would work.
shinybluestuds made it!1 year ago

Woohoo! Thank you for this instructable - this was a great intro to Soldering 101. I love my tiny flashlight.

zackboston1 year ago
Our Eek! Electronics Explorers Klub in Boston chose this as their intro to electronics project and all of them successfully completed their flashlight! Thanks so much from the Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn Program. . . http://www.flickr.com/photos/28629285@N02/sets/72157638758463055
jrivas5272 years ago
i can't find a 10 mm led light at radio shack. is it possible to use a 5mm led light with the 470 ohm resistor? can it take 12v?
BCat (author)  jrivas5272 years ago
This is a good instructable to help you with your question: http://www.instructables.com/id/Choosing-The-Resistor-To-Use-With-LEDs/
So, in step 5.... I didn't understand the instructions. Could you explain them a little better? I really want to build this.
BCat (author)  Adambowker983 years ago
What portion of the step are you needing further explanation on?
I don't understand what you are putting on the bottom and what you are doing.
BCat (author)  Adambowker983 years ago
I just put a little piece of plastic down, between the two terminals of the tactile switch and soldered a metal tab (on top of the plastic) to one of the terminal connections on the tactile switch. Be careful because the plastic piece can melt. (This is the portion that the negative side of the battery will rest on.) The other terminal of the tactile switch has a piece of wire soldered to it (which you should actually do first.)

Clear as mud?
But what good is the plastic between the two terminals?
BCat (author)  Adambowker983 years ago
It raises the metal tab up to make contact with the bottom of the battery and keeps it from making contact with the other terminal.
stormy03144 years ago
Could you use a voltage regulator instead of a resistor. I am just getting started in electronics and am not sure of all the substitutions.
Maybe, but I think the resistor would work better for this project anyways considering its size.
BasicCarl13 years ago
can u use LED christmas lights? (the small ones)
yes it worked for me
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Venemot4 years ago
Just letting you guys know a23 batteries have 8 1.5 volt button cells
kieperm4 years ago
This is a great project. I started to tear apart the 12v battery and putting only 3 cells together. This way I don't need a resistor and save some $$ on the battery. Now if I could find a tool the would cut the 5mm square hole for the switch I could make these a little faster for some friends and Family.
kieperm4 years ago
me and my daughter thought this would be a fer cool project to try out. I we are using the (http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3060978) as our switch and since it has 4 posts on it I am not 100% sure how to wire it up so it will work. Any help would be great thanks
I believe the posts opposite each other are connected. as long as you connect posts that aren't directly opposite, it should work. http://www.flickr.com/photos/59935244@N03/5475275601/ http://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Components/General/00097.jpg
This might have been said already (or something similar) but what if you picked up a cheap scanning radio from the dollar store and attach the volume wheel to the spinning end of the chaptick? then you have light brightness controll; perfect for looking during the night without waking up ur wife. (lulz i dont have wife though, me only 18)
arukaen6 years ago
Im new to the whole electronics hobby scene. Im trying todo this as my first project. So far I've failed horribly lol. I bought 2 LEDs one that I soldered and I think in my soldering screwed it up because it wont turn on when I connect it to my electronics lab kit. Then second one turned on but blew out. -_-
You need to use resistors to reduce the current flow.
Munchys5 years ago
Could i shrink heat shrink with a blow dryer?
taleya Munchys5 years ago
You can, but you need a fairly beefy one. I've done it - if you have a salon-style hairdryer you can do it, but a cheapie one won't generate the heat.
BCat (author)  Munchys5 years ago
I don't think a blow dryer gets hot enough. No access to a lighter or matches huh?
Munchys BCat5 years ago
I didnt know i could use a lighter
Robot Lover5 years ago
this is really cool. I was thing of this idea a few days ago, but the switch was a pot that makes the led dim. 5*
Osiris195 years ago
 Could you use a SPST switch instead so you don't have to hold it down?
BCat (author)  Osiris195 years ago
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