Picture of DIY HID Flashlight for your car/truck
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

Picture of 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.
-max-4 years ago
i hope you were VERY careful to not let that bulb touch your fingers or anything. some reason, this can shorten the bulbs life.
photemis (author)  -max-4 years ago
Yes, I did not touch the bulb. If you need to touch HID bulbs or accidentally touch them, its best to clean them off with a clean cloth afterwards, from what I understand, the oils from your finger can shorten the life of the bulbs causing them to fail early.
-max- photemis4 years ago
do you know why, my theory is that while the bulb is hot, and the dirt (oil, proteins, dead skin cells etc etc etc) will vaporize on the bulb and weaken the super fragile glass.

i have been told that grease from fingers increases the temperature inside the bulb because it blocks heat from transferring out of the bulb. Bulb filaments are very sensitive to excess heat and the more hotter inside, shorter the lifespan. The difference is small but it still counts. Also, wiping with cloth alone is not enough. Brake parts cleaner or very pure alcohol is best in cleaning the bulb if touched by accident. This knowledge is based on me working many years on car parts sales and mechanic.

Preowner -max-4 years ago
Both HID and Halogen bulbs are not infact traditional glass (it can't handle the high temperatures). The bulb is actually quartz. The reason touching the bulb with your skin will cause them to fail is because the oils will cause the heat to build up and fisures will form in the quartz allowing the gas inside to seep out and air to seep in.

Sort of like the way oil from leftover food melts through a styrofoam container when in the microwave. if the oil was not there the container would be perfectly safe.
-max- Preowner4 years ago
I know the bulb is quartz. So that's why the bulb goes bad when touched...
-max- -max-4 years ago
where did you get the flashlight from? is it one of those "dollar store" type of 6V lantern? what about the battery?
asrcav8r2 years ago
I did the same thing with an old 6V rechargable spot light (HID balast in place of the battery) next is a LiFePo4 internal shoe-horned in to the unit.
Interesting idea. We'll have to test this one out...
Munchys4 years ago
Why use a h3 bulb?
photemis (author)  Munchys4 years ago
It was a 6V H3 bulb that was in the flashlight, making it an easy swap with no need to modify the bulb housing.
ReCreate6 years ago
yes I've seen hid light kits somewhere for like 20 bucks
photemis (author) 6 years ago
Thanks for the comment, I had thought of it and completely forgot when I made this one. Its a simple addition and I've added it to the steps.
babloon6 years ago
Great Instructables and easy to follow. I would suggest just one addition for security. It is best to use a 12v plug that have a fuse build inside, so if there is any shortcut for any reason, the fuse will blowup instead of making the wire to heat up and risk to get in fire depending of the value of the car fuse. And even if the car fuse blowup, it's often easier to change the fuse in the 12v plug than the one in the car, who often , are in a non comfortable place. The difference in the price worth it for the security and comfort it provide. P.S. Sorry for my limited English. I speak french.