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For the past couple of years, I haven't had the best situations when it comes to electricity. Blackouts were a common issue that plagued my household. My family didn't own a generator, so the only probably solution was to just wait it out, or pass the time among ourselves. However, one particular problem hindered us... we had no light. So to bring light into our household, I took inspiration from simple designs, and made a flashlight from a water bottle. An easy to create, fun little side project. The Water Bottle Flashlight is a cheap and reliable source of light made out of some easily acquired materials at little to no costs.

Step 1: Materials/Tools

This flashlight consists of 3 main components: LED mini flashlights, Water Bottle Body, & Water Bottle Top

These are the materials you will need:

  • Water Bottle; I'm using the Smart-Water Bottle as it has a straight body closely resembling a cylinder.
  • Binder Clips; these binder clips are around 1.2 inches wide, however any size should work.
  • Popsicle Sticks; the length of the Popsicle sticks I'm using are 5.9 inches, however any size should work.
  • Foil Tape; conductive tape that can be acquired very cheaply, or for free if you have some lying about.
  • Copper Wire; it could be raw or insulated, it doesn't matter in the machine.
  • Aluminum Foil; this will be used to help reflect light towards the outside of the bottle.
  • Coin Cell 3V batteries; this will serve as the battery for the individual circuits.
  • LED lights; I'm using the standard 10mm LED's, however any size will work.
  • Regular Tape (Non-conductible)
  • Styrofoam
    • The number of COIN CELL BATTERIES, BINDER CLIPS, POPSICLE STICKS, and LED Lights will depend on the number of modules of the MINI FLASHLIGHTS you can fit inside the water bottle.
    • For this example, I will be making 4modules.

These are the tools you will need:

  • Scissors
  • Wire Stripper; (not needed if you are using un-insulated copper wire).
  • Hot Glue Gun w/ Glue Sticks

Step 2: Component 1: the Mini Flashlights (Step 1)

Just a forewarning, you will repeat these processes four times with the other needed materials.

For this component, you will be using 1 Popsicle Stick, 1 LED light, Foil Tape, Copper Wire, Coin Cell Battery, and 1 Binder Clip.

First: Take 1 Binder Clip and remove one leg. You can achieve this by raising the binder clip into the V-position, or the open position. From there, choose one leg of the clip, and pinch until the leg becomes loose and hinges off from the main body.

Second: Mark 1.5 inches down the Popsicle Stick and use a Hot Glue Gun to glue the flat side of the clip onto the Popsicle Stick.

Third: Strip the Copper Wire to about 4.5-5" and cut. Feed the copper wire through the two holes of the binder clip. Tie the Copper Wire at the back of the Popsicle Stick.

Fourth: Cut 2 4" strips of Foil Tape and place the tape to cover the tied Copper Wire all the way towards the end of the Popsicle Stick without overlapping towards the other side of the stick. Do the same with the second strip, this time on the front, but leave about .5" space between the tape and the Binder Clip.


Step 3: Component 1: the Mini Flashlights (Step 2)

First: Flip up tape in nearest to the binder clip, so that part of the sticky side of the Foil Tape is facing upwards.

Second: Place one of your Coin Cell Batteries onto the sticky side of the tape. Make sure that the smooth side of the battery is connected towards the sticky bit, and that the rough edge is facing upwards.

Third: This is the time to make sure that the battery is positioned correctly. You can make sure by flipping the leg of the Binder Clip downwards so that the metal bit hits the battery. If the metal doesn't hit the battery, adjust it.

Fourth: Roll a piece of Foil Tape so that it becomes double sided, and place it on top of the original Coin Cell Battery. Make sure that the new battery is the same position as the original with the smooth up against the original battery and the rough edge facing upwards.

Fifth: Adhere 1 LED Light towards the bottom of the Popsicle Stick, (opposite end of the Binder Clip), with the long end on the side with the Binder Clip, and the short end on the side with the tied Copper Wire, adhere with some non-conductive tape . Flip the leg of the Binder Clip, and the one module of the Mini Flashlight is completed. To make sure that the light remains on, adhere the batteries with the metal leg with non-conductive tape.

Sixth: Repeat Steps 1-2, for however many modules you can fit inside your water bottle.

Step 4: Component 2: Water Bottle Body (Step 1)

First: Use 1 Popsicle Stick and measure from the bottom of the water bottle to the end of the Popsicle Stick and make a mark.

Second: Use Scissors to cut as straight as a line as possible along your mark. You should now have 2 new parts: Water Bottle Body, and Water Bottle Top. We will continue to work on the Water Bottle Body, so you can put the Water Bottle Top away for now.

Third: Roll up some Aluminum Foil and use the top of the Water Bottle Body to mark out a circle from the sheet of foil. Cut it out.

Fourth: Tape the bottom of the Aluminum Foil circle, and place it to cover the bottom of the Water Bottle Body.


Step 5: Component 2: Water Bottle Body (Step 2)

First: Place the Water Bottle Body on its side and roll out another piece of Aluminum Foil

Second: Measure from the bottom of the Water Bottle Body all the way to the top of the Water Bottle Body. Proceed to cut around 10" of Aluminum Foil from the marking.

Third: Roll a cylinder from the cut piece of Aluminum Foil and place outside the Water Bottle Body so that it would surround the exterior walls.

Fourth: For now you can put the Water Bottle Body to the side. We'll come back to it later.

Step 6: Component 3: Water Bottle Top (Step 1)

First: Roll out some Aluminum Foil and cut out a circle about 1.5 times the size of the foil circle located at the bottom of the Water Bottle Body.

Second: Take some regular tape and tape the bottom of the foil circle, making sure to only tape the edges and not the center. Cut out a little circle in the center of the foil, the size depends on the opening of the Water Bottle.

Third: Line the foil circle around the interior of the Water Bottle Top and make sure that it covers all of the interior wall and that the opening to the Water Bottle Top is visible.

Step 7: Component 2: Water Bottle Body (Step 3)

We are back to the Water Bottle Body, as previously discussed.

First: Take your Styrofoam and cut out a square about 4x4". Make the Styrofoam thinner by cutting the width to about 5mm. This is will ensure that there will be enough space to pierce through.

Second: Take your Water Bottle Body and mark out a circle onto the Styrofoam and cut it out.

Third: Take 1 of your Mini Flashlights and take out the LED light. Mark out a plus sign signifying the center of the circle of Styrofoam. On 1 leg of the plus sign, pierce the LED light legs through it, keep in mind the orientation of the LED Light, having the long leg face outwards and the short leg facing towards the center of the circle.

Fourth: Reconnect your LED Light with your Mini Flashlight with some regular tape. Repeat this for the other Mini Flashlights.

Step 8: Final Few Steps

First: With your new Styrofoam Mini Flashlight Bundle, take it and place it within the Water Bottle Body.

Second: Cut out a little circle surrounding the LED Lights on top of the Styrofoam Circle. Take out any excess Styrofoam that remains.

Third: Take your Water Bottle Top, and orient it so that the top is facing downwards. Fit the opening onto the little circle surrounding. (Refer to pictures if this instructions seems a bit vague. I'm sorry)

Fourth: And now you have completed your Flashlight Made out of Mini Flashlights. Congratulations! If people are around you and they want to see, you can remove the Water Bottle Top and take out the mini flashlights and give it around to have some fun! Enjoy!

<p>That's a neat way to build one cheaply :)</p>

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