Introduction: Cheapy Lighter Laser Burner

Picture of Cheapy Lighter Laser Burner
Here is the world's first BIC style laser lighter! Butane is outdated. Time to use blue burning lasers!
Watch the video and then build your own!

WARNING: This kind of laser can cause permanent damage to eyesight in less than a second. NEVER look into the beam or reflection of ANY laser including this one

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

1. BIC lighter. (The non-electronic, standard version) You may want to get two in case you crack the first one.
2. Blue Laser diode and mini-housing
3. Mini-driver circuit
4. (2) 1.5V button cell batteries
5. Mini Momentary switch
6. (1) 4 to 4.3 ohm resistor
7. (2) small magnets
8. Assorted wire

Step 2: Tools and Other Required Items.

Picture of Tools and Other Required Items.

1.Dremel cutoff wheel and small Grinding Stone or a similar tool.
2. Needle nose pliers, small screwdrivers, snips, X-acto knife.
3. A small pin or paper clip
4. Soldering iron and solder
5. Heatshrink tubing
6. Small drill bits
7. Multi-meter

Step 3: Prepare the Lighter

Picture of Prepare the Lighter

Disclaimer for those that don't know lighters are 'dangerous': Lighters contain butane, a flammable liquid that can catch fire, explode, burn you or your cat. And, lasers are also dangerous. Don't ever point any laser at yourself or any living thing.

1. Remove the flint wheel by prying it out at the edges. DO NOT BREAK THE BRACKETS. Once you release it a spring and flint (and other small stuff) will pop out and fly across the room. Go get them. Keep the flint wheel.
2. Remove the shiny shield by prying it out at the edges. DO NOT BREAK THE BRACKETS. Keep it.
3. Flip the lighter over and take it to a safe place. Putting on safety glasses never hurts. Stick a small pin or paper clip in the hole and it should contact the metal valve in the base of the lighter. Gently tap it with something to release the butane. You may need to tip it over to make sure all the butane is gone. You should hear something small rattling inside. That's the valve.
4. Remove the red button that releases the butane. Keep it.

Step 4: Gut the Lighter

Picture of Gut the Lighter

The entire inside of the lighter needs to be gutted out. There are probably many ways this could be done but I found the best is as follows:
1. Using a Dremel cutting wheel, make two small slits in the white cover on the bottom of the lighter. Careful not to nick up or cut the housing or it will look crappy.
2. Use snips, pliers, X-Acto or whatever you need to remove most of the plastic on the white cover. (The cover is sonically welded to the housing so it cannot just be pulled out.)
3. Use a sanding tool or dremel attachment to completely remove all of the white base from the housing. This is time consuming if you want to do it right.
4. Remove all of the inside of the housing as far into the lighter as you can to make room for the mini-diode housing. This is a painstaking process and you may have to resort to burning the plastic away with your soldering iron. Don't inhale the smoke or get it in our eyes. Burning plastic is no fun.

Step 5: Final Lighter Prep

Picture of Final Lighter Prep

There are two main holes at the top of the lighter.

One is the where the red button you removed earlier makes contact with a valve to release the butane and on the other side where the flame exits.

Both of these holes need to be drilled out to accommodate the switch and the mini-diode housing. Use drill bits and CAREFULLY drill the holes out. (A small bit will be needed to drill out the little valve.) Don't worry about the center area where there is another hole. Stay away from the brackets in the middle because you will need those to reattach the red button later.

Step 6: Building the Circuit

Picture of Building the Circuit

NOTE: This requires an experienced solderer and a real good soldering iron with small tip

Wire the driver according to the following picture. The second picture is the flip side of the driver.
Be sure to add the resistor and the switch as show in the the final wiring pic.

Using a multimeter set to check milliamps, put the leads between the end of the resistor and the diode. Power it with no more than 3 volts and adjust the pot on the driver to no more than 170 mA. I used 2 button cells, taped together on the sides, harvested from an Energizer 12V 123 battery I also used two small magnets to attach the (+) positive and (-) negative leads from driver.

Step 7: Install the Laser Circuit

Picture of Install the Laser Circuit

After confirming that everything is wired correctly, it's time to put everything inside the lighter housing. The diode goes on the former flame side and the switch is pushed in to the side where the red button switch was (See the next step for details). I used hot glue to secure the switch and diode after lining up the diode so the beam cleared all areas of the housing.

Step 8: Final Assembly

Picture of Final Assembly

Cut the original red button in half leaving just the two small tabs that are secured in the housing holes.
You will have to play around with the exact height of the switch in relation to to the red button. Re attach the flame shield. After I shot the video I found a small rubber stopper and cut it in half, then pushed it inside the base of the lighter to make sure the driver and batteries stayed put. .

Your Cheapy Laser Lighter Burner is complete!

Use responsibly! Lasers of all types should never be pointed at your self or any living thing. This kind of laser can cause permanent damage to eyesight in less than a second. NEVER look into the beam or reflection of ANY laser including this one.

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable!


jdanderson1 (author)2017-02-06

Can you update this Instructable the Links are no longer Valid

WayneM85 (author)2016-08-07

I have been wanting a soldering tool like this:)

Subal Suchdev (author)2016-03-13

Is it necessary to use the magnets or we can think of something else

ArmandoB9 (author)2016-01-20

where do I get the circuit in step 6? Please I need for a school project.

blakeghx (author)2015-10-08

What are the specs of the laser diode (mW, nM, dimensions, etc)? Cool project!

MichaelM138 (author)2015-08-21

I think the new site is

However it would be nice here if the specs on the laser diode were given so you could find one similar.

Litavecz (author)2015-07-07

Beware. There are people claiming to be scammed into buying products from this DIY site and never receiving their orders.

caden202 (author)2015-04-11

do u have any to sell that are already made

golddigger1559 (author)caden2022015-05-07

i wish to know this as well

A.C.E. (author)golddigger15592015-06-07

Just make one! It's a fun project! But if you do want to buy one, Kipkay is just a man, not a marketplace.. There aren't any lasers fitted into a lighter, but there are burning lasers out there you can buy. The lighter case is the DIY guy/girl's badge of honor. Also, you'll find that many of the powerful lasers are way more expensive than what you would pay to make this one, unfortunately. That's why I chose to make my own. Once I get tired of this little dvd burner drive diode (you can get a red diode for this same project from a dvd burner in case you didn't know) I'll go to amazon and get a 2 watt blue laser diode for $40. sells a laser with the exact same diode in it for $300, so I'll get all the same fun but will be spending a fraction of the money

WilliamP1 (author)2015-03-07

The domain is for sale :(

Chikpeas Brother (author)2013-06-27

Will the laser from and old scanner work? I'm not sure how powerful they are.

If it has a casing then it should tell you the wattage.

iFirefly (author)2013-10-08


Nicely done, and you have a wonderful radio voice and presentation. This is pretty cool, but I need one that is just a little hotter and only needs to work at less than an inch distance; I'd like to heat up an area about of 1/4" in diameter quickly to 225-300 degrees (F). What modifications to these components would I need to do in order to use this in 10-second or less sessions, infrequently? I would not mind having to use longer batteries, as a longer time between changes - or recharging - would be preferred. Thanks!

iFirefly (author)iFirefly2013-10-08

Shoot, I forgot to ask about wavelength. Would any other type of laser produce heat out of the visible spectrum - like Infra-Red or Ultraviolet? I have a huge electromatic spectrum chart but I can't figure out how to convert it into temperatures other than Kelvin, which is OK for lightbulbs, but not for effective heat output.

Thanks again!

madson812 (author)iFirefly2015-03-03

There are wavelengths outside of the visible spectrum that make heat (radiation is a great example of this) and yes, infra-red would work. It is actually the hottest type of light there is. The red lasers actually burn a bit more. But then, I'm not really a reliable source. you should try finding another source for information.

nsaul (author)2013-06-17

everyone, buy everything in the video on amazon, its about $35. the names are different though, but here is a list:
-Momentary N.O. Classic Small Push Button Switch Red
-4.3 Ohm 1/2W Flameproof Resistor 10 Pcs.
-650nm 5mw laser module 8X13mm
-1W 445nm blue laser diode driver / 405nm laser driver
-Neodymium Magnets 1/2 x 1/8 inch Disc N48
-JT&T Products (120F) - 12 AWG Black Primary Wire, 12 Ft. Cut

this is all the stuff I am getting for it and (without tax) its about $35 fir everything, if any of the stuff us wrong, please let me know. The wire I wasn't sure about, it just said 'assorted wire'.

mx28 (author)nsaul2014-12-10

also I can't seem to find a diode less than $40

mx28 (author)nsaul2014-12-07

can you help me find the driver and module you used on Amazon? I've looked and can't seem to find small enough ones to fit in the bic.

nsaul (author)nsaul2013-06-17

Also, look around amazon for better prices. you could get all this cheaper than I did.

murphypop (author)nsaul2013-11-20

Have you tried it with your materials? Other comments have suggested that the 5mW lasers aren't strong enough, and there's a significant difference in power output between 5mW and the suggested 150mW.

Arr0gantExp3rt7 (author)2014-01-13

What's the difference from this and me doing the pot mod and putting it in the lighter??

mx28 (author)Arr0gantExp3rt72014-12-07

pot mod?

fcese (author)2013-07-05


JeanTheDuke (author)2013-02-21

this is hard

qlocs (author)2013-01-28

It's funny that the comment about never pointing the laser at someone's face was followed by the beam lighting the cigarette inches away from the smoker's eye. Even the scatter from such a laser can give you "artifacts", little annoying marks on your retina that you will see till you die. Remember the old joke: "Don't look into laser with remaining eye!"

camping crazy (author)2012-12-01

I love this! I've watched everyone of your videos on you tube and just found out you had an instructables account.

kurlie (author)2012-09-17

also the wiring diagram is a little unclear. How is the switch attached to the rest of the circut?

kurlie (author)2012-09-17

Can someone please post a reliable seller for the laser diode needed for this tutorial? Thanks

colehard (author)2011-08-17

will a Mini Blue Laser 405nm 5mw 8x13mm work

mvtrumpetgeek13 (author)colehard2012-08-11

no, its gotta be like 150 mW or higher... it doesnt have to be blue either. the wavelength is the color and the mW number is the power. so the higher that is the more power you will have. i made the mistake of buying the 5mW one before i researched it more.

apalma1 (author)2012-06-17

some people said to use a diode from a old dvd burner laser diode ,but right now i only have CD Reader laser and would like to ask will it work?

dczupik (author)apalma12012-07-24

nope, wont work. its not the right type

maxpower49 (author)2012-06-20

I have a question hopefully someone will be able to answer, I bought a board that didn't have an on board switch so my question is where is the best place to install a switch, should I put it on the positive or negative on the battery side or should I install it after the driver board inline with the diode on the postive or negative side. Thanks in advance....

epskoh (author)2012-06-18

How much would it cost to make one of these?

sparkyuiop (author)2011-05-02

Did you focus the diode? Is that a blu-ray laser diode? Where did you get the driver from? What was the total cost?

curious youth (author)sparkyuiop2012-03-03

watch that.

james1214 (author)2012-02-08

My 2 cents, for what its worth.

Regarding the parts, I believe Kip was giving ideas where you could procure the parts, if the vendor has changed what they have in stock, it isn't necessarily the responsibility of the author to check up on that. It is your job, as a consumer, to make sure you do business with a reputable company, do some research and be smart. If a company (which other commenters have made abundantly clear) has a reputation for not fulfilling orders.... don't buy from them, they won't be in business much longer if that's how they do things.

Also, I believe "cheapy" was a reference to the lighter being used, not the project as a whole.

All in all, a neat project and a great video.

Greasetattoo (author)2012-02-07

Is this a scam?
Kinda like the mountain dew that glows?


solomonhorses (author)2012-01-30

Instructables community Be Warned! I ordered the parts for this laser kit from and it was a total scam. I never recieved the goods, I attempted to contact them, and they do not even have a listed phone number for the company, and the credit card company didn't even know how to contact the merchant. I have contacted the BBB, and hopefully not too many more people will be suckered into this classic internet scam. good instructable, though.

dangerD (author)2012-01-29

Is there a cheaper diode and driver that i could buy?

astchur (author)2011-10-12

I bought the laser driver in the link provided but its different than the one shown in the pic. Any one have any idea how to hook it up with the new one?

ski539 (author)astchur2012-01-20

this is a little late. but im having the same problem. i just ordered my parts and they appear to have changed slightly and im not exactly sure how to wire the new on... the diagrams weren't to clear to begin with. has anyone figured it out? any help would be appreciated! itd be a shame to have ordered these parts and not use them.

lizardosanwen (author)2011-10-18

how can I make this driver circuit

oldmanbeefjerky (author)2011-05-04

what the hell, the laser and housing alone costs more than $40!

in what universe is that cheap?

mondeluz (author)oldmanbeefjerky2011-10-05

it is cheap in universe where i live called europe

oldmanbeefjerky (author)mondeluz2011-10-05

i agree, but only because you are European. to me, everything in Europe is super expensive!

mondeluz (author)oldmanbeefjerky2011-10-09

got that right and might i say that it sucks

yorniloc (author)oldmanbeefjerky2011-05-10

Actually that is rather cheap. You also seem to be rather cheap

oldmanbeefjerky (author)yorniloc2011-05-11

seriously i do not understand how that is cheap.

About This Instructable




Bio: Tinkerer, hackster and prankster. Hit me up on Facebook: Thanks for checking out my Instructables!
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