Picture of Cheap homemade LED torch (full build)
A cheap source of LEDs
A full torch / flashlight

Step 1: LEDs

Picture of LEDs
I found a pack of six gas-lighters with built-in LED lights for a pound.

Dismantling these was fairly easy, as shown in the pictures, it's not too dissimilar to 'breaking'

If you've got LEDs already, skip this.
beehard444 years ago
p.s. 4th step, 1st pic, you said "irrelavent" it's supposed to be "irrelevant"
Dont take this as an insult (as some do), take it as a correction
lemonie (author)  beehard444 years ago
You missed these spelling errors: finaly, plasic, aroung, tewak and pictues.

whoops, i'm still acclimatizing to my new keyboard. Thanks though
lemonie (author)  beehard444 years ago

Well it may be over 3 years since I did this, but thanks.
I'll go correct that.

xerxesx206 years ago
I like this, Good work! It seems really do-able in an hour or less -- once you get home from Poundland or Poundstretcher and their aisles of cheap stuff that is just waiting to be bought and butchered for some better and ultimately higher calling. Which brand fibreglass resin was it? It's very smooth and clean looking, looks easy to work too. I usually use David's Isopon P38 for most things, having a resin one could pour would be a lot easier though!
lemonie (author)  xerxesx206 years ago
I got the resin from a cheap auto shop in Glossop... no particular reason, I just was in Glossop. (brand forget I) L
Ah, righty right.

Thanks for getting back to me.

Whaddya reckon to this...

Read the comment I left on it, following on from another historic post (seems to be a hobby of mine!) the comment is about halfway down when looking at it in allsteps mode.


lemonie (author)  xerxesx206 years ago
I don't think the FB' would be interested, power company maybe. I did notice that someone hard used one of KipKay's images for a (yawn) tap-the-phone-line-for power-post recently, so thanks for inadvertently making me aware of the source for that.

Where was the post? In the forums here? Always only too glad to help -- whether I meant to or not! lol
Doubtless you've read the 'ible, but my comment is only minutes old.
dg336 years ago
hint, buy some wands (like from cinema) or maybe from a one pound store there a great sorce of led's about 20 for £2 and brighter than the 15000MCD leds i bought online AMAZING!!!!!!
warpspawn7 years ago
great idea! but a small question why destroy the lighter? just undo the screw on the bottom push the button in and the whole light assembly drops out and you can still use the lighter after. i've been playing with these lighter LED's for a while and have even installed one in the front of my desktop pc replacing the hard drive LED it lights up the whole room. I did try one on the dog's collar, But he kept on chasing the light and running into things. keep up the good work
Hehe, nice I read this & burst out laughing.
trigger-don6 years ago
good idea u take the gas out first ennit..
Kelani8 years ago
6 for a pound?! Nice! I've been paying 99 cents each for these in the US! :( Damn that pesky capitalism. If left continually operating, how long would you expect a single LED to run off the three button cells?
lemonie (author)  Kelani8 years ago
I've got no idea how long this would run, but based upon other similar devices which have been left on accidently - not very long (maybe a day?) L
Zujus8 years ago
Good flashlight! P.S. These lighters are just wonderful source of Super bright leds. I use them to!! ;)
andy8 years ago
Cool re-use of tech, likening the whole resin look, shame about the duct tape really. Just a few suggestions;

- For a better aesthetic you could run the wire under the resin (make it shorter so you don’t have to wrap it too), possibly to a metal o ring, with a metal cap slipping inside said o ring and the resin case making the battery contact. This would make it a lot more, polished so to speak, completed to a higher level of precision, in my opinion (rather than the gaffer tape and wire).

-Use a number of switches for differing levels of brightness, this will allow for variable light levels at the push of a button.

- Use some current limiting resistors, prevent the diodes cooking.

Hope this is of use,
lemonie (author)  andy8 years ago
Updated, and more polished looking (last step) L
andy lemonie8 years ago
oo, cool, now that looks better, no doubt it will last longer too, well done! Andy
lemonie (author)  andy8 years ago
The diodes run from ~4.5 V as the original lighters, and they're nice and bright. It would be a sod if they failed, but I'm hopeful that they won't for a while... The aesthetics are poor, but as a previous comment, this is because I couldn't finish nicely due to rain. Hope to update.
I live in the states, is a pound about the same as a dollar, if so did you get them at the equivalent of a dollar store (pound store)? I could really use the butane and the pezo's
lemonie (author)  TheCheese99218 years ago
It would be equivalent fo a dollar-store. (at today's rates a pound is ~2 dollars, which is a relatively strong pound)
dchall8 lemonie8 years ago
Or you could go to Radio Shack and buy their entire inventory of RTU LEDs for a dollar or two. I like this one. At first I glossed over the resin on the paper tube, but that's pretty cool. If you rolled up soda straw spacers inside the paper with the batteries, you could run the wire inside with the batteries and keep the outside pristine. I was trying to come up with a PVC fitting you could use as the mold and then glue the bulb assembly directly onto 1/2-inch PVC pipe. I guess it would have to be the sleeve to join two pieces of pipe. I think the resin you used is polyester boat resin. Is it mostly resin with a few drops of catalyst or is it more like a 50/50 mix of resin and hardener? Polyester boat resin uses only a few drops of catalyst. Epoxy uses a 50/50 mix or slightly different. As long as you're rolling up paper and coating it with resin, you could use fiberglass with a second coat of resin and really have a sturdy flashlight.
lemonie (author)  dchall88 years ago
It stinks of styrene, so I'm thinking it's mostly styrene, maybe with some DVB, who knows...? The hardener is dibenzoylperoxide, so it's largely a radical polymerisation of styrene, and yes it is cheap resin. L
jolshefsky8 years ago
An alternative to the wire along the outside of the tube would be to wrap in a layer of aluminum foil and use that as a conductor, connecting a wire to the top and bottom. Well, or maybe just fold it into the inside on the bottom and the clip will make electrical contact to the foil and to the battery.
lemonie (author)  jolshefsky8 years ago
I did think about this, and only being held on with tape I can still do it. However, it was raining a lot last weekend, so couldn't use the resin without poisoning the atmosphere. I'm much inclined to do this at a later date. L
Now THAT is an LED Flashlight! Awesome work, L! -Muffin
One slight improvement? Arrange the LEDs so it makes a smiley face! I love friendly flashlights ;)
lemonie (author)  T3h_Muffinator8 years ago
Yes I found that I had a 'dud' amongst the six. I couldn't see why this failed, but encased in resin, there's nowt I can do about it now.... L