Once or twice a year, my family and I go camping with some friends. Usually we show up at night and have to set up camp in the dark. This can get pretty frustrating using just regular flashlights and using car headlights is difficult to move around. So I came up with a way to make a HID flashlight that has become very useful for not only camping but is a great tool to keep in the car in case of emergencies (flat tires, etc).
Step 1: Materials
- Big flashlight that uses a 6V H3 Bulb
- 25 ft extension cord
- Cigarette lighter plug (comes with flashlight)
- H3 HID bulb
- HID Ballast
- 1 Large Zip Tie
- 1 Small Zip Tie
- Soldering iron
The flashlight that I used has an adjustable stand and a swivel handle which makes it very useful.
Step 2: Removing the Original Bulb
The first step is to open up the flash light, this is done by twisting off the black ring around the bulb/reflector. Once you have that open, you need to disconnect the current bulb by disconnecting one spade connector (White wire) and unscrewing the black wire.
You should wind up with this:
Step 3: Install the New Bulb
Remove the bulb by popping out the wire holder. Then take you new HID bulb and put in place and replace the wire holder bending it around the new bulb.
Step 4: Remove the Insides
The next step is to remove all the inside pieces from the flashlight.
Unscrew the switch, charging port, battery holder and remove all the pieces. Also remove the rubber cover for the charging power.
This step will leave you with some handy parts for other projects, namely the battery and charging port.
Step 5: Power Switch
Take the switch and cut one wire so you are left with this:
Step 6: Putting in the Power Cord
Cut one end of the power cord and strip back a few inches. There should be three wires inside, you only need two, I used white and black. Run this through the hole where the charging port was.
Step 7: Make the Connections
Put a zip tie on the power cord so it does not slip back out. Connect the spade connector from the harness connected to the HID bulb to the power switch and the other red wire to the white wire on the power cord. Cut the black connector from the HID bulb harness and connect it to the black wire on the power cord. Cover with electrical tape. (Make sure you are not cutting the wires connected to the bulb itself, just the ones on the other harness to plug into the ballast.)
As per a comment, it would be a good idea to put in a fuse for safety reasons. Get an inline fuse from an auto parts store and wire it in between the white wire and the switch in this step. (Where the white and red wire are connected in the picture.)
A fuse like one of the two pictures will work, around 10-15 amps.
Step 8: Putting the Body Back Together
Make all the connections from the bulb to the ballast. Place the ballast inside the flashlight where the battery was and brace on either side with some cardboard so it doesn't rattle around. Reinstall the switch where it was originally. Then you can carefully put all the wires into the body of the flashlight and put the cover back on.
Step 9: Powering the Flashlight
Take the cigarette plug that came with the flashlight and take it apart, removing the wiring and rubber piece at the base. (Remember where the wires were soldered to)
Cut off and strip the other end of power cord as shown. (The black wire shorter than the white)
Step 10: Cigarette Lighter Plug
Using a knife, run it around the opening at the base of the cigarette plug where the wires run in until it is just big enough for the power cord to fit in. Put a small zip tie on the cord so it does not slip back out. Solder the black wire to the center of the silver piece of the cigarette lighter and the white wire to the top of the cigarette wire, as the original wires were soldered.
Step 11: DONE!
Put the cigarette lighter plug back together and you're all done!
Test in your car or off a suitable 12V power source.