Introduction: Harbor Freight Led Flashlight-----of DEATH!!

Picture of Harbor Freight Led Flashlight-----of DEATH!!

Danger Will Robinson, This is a UV mod for my beloved harbor freight flashlight So here comes the disclaimers. UV is dangerous, it'll give you cancer, cataracts, and steal your check book, if you build this, You Will Die!! Although probably your death will not be related to this instructable. But seriously DO NOT shine this into anyone's eyes.

Step 1: Disassemble the Flashlight

Picture of Disassemble the Flashlight

take out the "circuit board"

Step 2: Unsolder

Picture of Unsolder

the existing leds, save them as supposedly they're 10,000 mcd's.

Step 3: Buy Some Uv Leds

I got mine from Alan Parekh in canada, $.35 each, not bad.

Alan is also an instructables user

Step 4: Solder

Picture of Solder

The Uv Leds into the circuit board

Step 5: Reassemble the Flashlight

Picture of Reassemble the Flashlight

and enjoy the pointlessness of a toy that causes cancer.

PS don't take this to a hotel, it'll spoil your nights sleep ;-)


Halt! I am Reptar (author)2013-08-19

I actually found this tutorial trying to figure out how to get the circuit board out. I don't want to break anything that I don't have to. Does it come out the front or back? Any tips for getting it out without breaking anything?

the newer ones you got to tap the assembly outwards from the rear.

Gonzalo Ruiz (author)2010-07-15

That leds are too much expensive. In Led Shoppe ( you get 100pcs for 8$. And... WITH FREE SHIPPING!

airborne82 (author)Gonzalo Ruiz2011-05-14

Awesome website. I just ordered 200 LEDs for $13.00. 15000mcd. Thanks for the tip

Zaphod Beeblebrox (author)2010-02-06

added to my "ill make this one day" list

Agreed and.... PINK FLOYD FTW!!!!!

j574sbi (author)2009-07-18

and vampires. UV mounted flashlights were used in Blade 2 :p

static (author)2009-05-04

I bought one of those light fro HF when they where dirt cheap, now I can buy them, with batteries at the local hardware store for the same price as HF when yo factor in P/H and batteries. I like the but I drop the HF model, and the spring that holds the battery carrier sprung, so now you have to give it a whack to get it working.

vlxwgn (author)2007-04-12

if you did a IR torch light would it be enough light to light a room for a digital picture of say a room? it would make an awesome night vision system :)

static (author)vlxwgn2009-05-04

You reminded me of a project I wanted to try, a IR light to see what my digital camera will see. No I have to add UV for the heck of it.

MrMike (author)2007-03-21

Just got a couple of these from HF...Aluminum bodies..the "hex" has been replaced by "pins". Fine tips work well to remove the assy. On to the solder station...

Dantm (author)MrMike2009-05-02

Could you elaborate on this a a little more? I just got this and can't figure out how to get the circuit board out.

Dantm (author)Dantm2009-05-03

Never mind, I got it. Just took a lot of force.

Noodle god (author)2009-03-12

Does the Harbor Freight 9-LED flashlight board where the leds where soldered to have any polarity or can you just solder it how-ever you want.

ferny_dx (author)Noodle god2009-03-28

yes there is a polarity, the center is positive and all the outer part is negative

frollard (author)2009-03-13

Get a canon.

biochemtronics (author)2008-07-07

These LEDs are NOT dangerous. They will NOT blind you. They will NOT give you cancer. They will NOT kill bacteria either. They do NOT give off the same light the dentist uses either. They are actually "near ultraviolet". In fact, they give off nothing more than narrow band black light much like the fluorescent bulbs you can buy. If you were to stand naked under 10,000 of them for a month or more they might drop your vitamin D level a bit but they are not going to do anything else to you. Don't believe me - go look it up. 400nm is harmless. However, they are pretty cool and are a lot of fun so build away and don't worry about these things harming you or anyone else.

Kyle_S (author)biochemtronics2008-12-30

Not that I didn't believe you, but I did just that: poked around on the net trying to find out which wavelengths can kill bacteria.

Wikipedia wins again, stating that 254nm is usually used, not just because it's the sweet-spot for germicide (see chart in second link), but because it's what a mercury vapor lamp produces.

This page has some information about the exposure time to kill bacteria, as well as a wavelength chart: now we know anything between 220-315 nm should work..

they can blind you they are bright as hell and most of the light cant be seen by your eyes but they probaly arent powerull enough to cause cancer

Mark Rehorst (author)2008-11-06

The wavelength of LED dental curing lights is 460-470 nm, longer wavelength than these LEDs. Light cured dental composites contain a chemical called camphor quinone that acts as an initiator for a free-radical chain reaction that polymerizes the composite resin. Dental curing lights are normally equipped with a shield that is intended to protect the operator's eyes from the blue light. It necessary because there are chemicals in the retina of the eye can also form free radicals that will cause destructive chemical reactions within your eyes. These LEDs are low powered, but I would not recommend staring directly into them.

dustinbikes (author)2008-10-06

i just made my own from my beloved harbor freight light great instructable and supa easy

Cyrus (author)2006-12-22

I was wondering if protine stains actually show up under uv light without that spray that you see them using on crime documentaries. The spray may just cause them to show up more vibrantly or something. Anyone know?

stone3408 (author)Cyrus2006-12-22

I'm a crime scene tech. Protein stains will flouresce at approximately 460nm with a yellow viewing filter the best. This led will run between 390nm and 400nm. With this wavelength is best to use a orange filter for viewing(try some cheap "bule blocker" sunglasses. Depending on the volume of the stain you may not need the filter. Have fun collecting the umm...test samples.

Real Duh moment, I realised I had a yellow sky filter in my junk box, like two minutes ago, here's the diff it makes. First pic is without, second with. It's a K2 yellow filter.

what's the filter,does it involve with a camera?

Thanks for the blue blocker tip, i'd been looking for an orange filter, but hadn't found anything adequate yet. Messing around shows that slimey rotten fruit fluoresce strongly.

mark101 (author)2007-03-12

I just saw this LED faucet LED faucet
and thought of using UV LEDs in one (where you can't see the UV) to make a water sterilizer?
Tool Using Animal says he has no knowledge of how good they are at killing bacteria etc. But I think this would be good thing to invent.
You'ld have to slow down flow of the water to match the ability of the UV LEDs to clean the water/kill stuff passing through it.

deth2all (author)mark1012008-03-16

i have a uv sterilizer for my reef tank, and even though it said on the box, NEVER look at the bulb when its on, it only made me wanna see it more, and my conclusion is that the spectrum is different as with the naked eye the uv steralizer gave out MINIMAL light which appeared a pale blue.

mark101 (author)deth2all2008-03-17

You would have to ask an expert, but I just read regular glass is a poor conductor of UV light. In EPROM erasers, they use a special crystal enclosure that passes the wavelength more easily. The sun puts it out, you don't look at the sun directly do you? and when in the sun our eyes let in a smaller amount of light, that can't be compared to indoor light. Like don't smoke, makes you want to rebel and smoke, really don't look at the UV light.

John Culbertson (author)mark1012007-04-20

They use UV light in the goggle cabinets in science classes to kill the bacteria. If you were using this to clean water, which sounds pretty cool, you might want to use an assembly like a still (not sure if that is how you spell it) that has coils of glass tubing. Good luck

mark101 (author)John Culbertson2007-04-21

They have built water filter/ cleaners with coils yes, to give more exposure to the light. I disassembled one. The problem with a coil is that over time particles will accumulate. This is what I found in the disposed of water cleaner I disassembled.. In it they used a flouresent tube with no inner white phosphorus coating to light up, it was a straight plasma UV arc. I like the idea of LEDs because they are far more relyable, low power and robust. The only person to sponser and buy this would be something like WHO. That would want a good method to clean biologically bad water supply.

BonoGlasses (author)mark1012007-06-27

kool name mark kool name

burningtheornag (author)mark1012007-05-31

This principal, UV light for sterilization purposes, is being used for large scale water purification already. The municipal waste water treatment plant (sewerage processing plant) in York, Pennsylvania uses a system based on this principal. They have 12ft UV tube lights (look like long purple florescent lights) running parallel to the direction of water flow, spaced 4 inches apart, in a grid. It takes an obscene amount of energy (but they also use a system that produces methane from solid waste matter (feces) to power generators) but it doesn't use any chlorine or other nasty chemicals to produce water that has a lower bacteria content than the water coming from the drinking water processing plant.

mark101 (author)burningtheornag2007-06-01

I read/saw on TV they had to improve on just clorine because micro-organisims were getting through into the regular drinkable water supply and people were getting sick and dying from crypto-sporidium. Lawsuits made them go to UV cleaning.

_soapy_ (author)mark1012007-06-22

That's because they don't monitor the dosage properly (realtime), and trim it back as far as possible to reduce costs. They a little bit of mankier than normal water comes down the pipe, and bingo, there's not enough chlorine to kill everything before it has all reacted. Don't worry, once they realise the size of the power bills, they will start reducing the UV levels in exactly the same way!

they use UV everywhere where i work there is a water system that mark101 mentioned that uses coils around florescent(sp?) bulbs to kill bacteria and reduce the TOC. The system is a DI water system called gemini, made by a company called aries. Check it ou,t its kinda cool, all DI water systems use UV somewhere to keep bacteria from growing. does anyone know if they use ozone in public water systems?

schimmi (author)2008-02-23

or you could use a regular blue one, they're mostly in the uv range

GorillazMiko (author)2008-01-30

Awesome Instructable!

"All in all it's just another UV Harbor Freight LED Flashlight spot on the wall!"

I will try that.

Wow, look at the quality of that soldering!


+1 rating.
(added to favorites)

Unsafe At Any Speed (author)2008-01-30

I'm not some kind of "UV Expert", but I think the UV you are worried about is called Short wave UV. A UV LED gives out violet and long wave UV light., which is the safe kind given out by a BLack-Light. The short wave UV comes from special lamps such as a Germicidal Lamp or the type found in EPROM eraser and can cause eye damage. There was a question earlier about where these UV LEDs can be found, my answer is check eBay. I have bought hundreds of LEDs of all types from eBay including the UV types. You can get some unbelievable deals from eBay on LEDs.

wingartist (author)2008-01-29

Cool! This should be helpful in the desert to spotting those pesky scorpions.

charlieg90 (author)2007-08-12

Kickass, there's a harbor freight store in a run down mall right next to my school! They have all kinds of cool things there, i guess i'll have to make a trip. :)

DIY Dave (author)2007-08-10

Where can you buy UV LEDs at?

step 3

DIY Dave (author)2007-07-21

Why are you making it into a UV flashlight?

because I've always wanted one.

girrrrrrr2 (author)2007-07-21

... no one move i cant find my checkbook... do i one a check book???... i cant see my list of what i own!!!... help!!!

Tool Using Animal (author)2007-07-15

Hi Danny, great last name ;-) harbor freight is a retailer of low cost tools, both online and B&M; they sell the flashlight.

reeding (author)2007-06-29

i found a site online that sells some cool stuff t also sells these uv conversion lights

erckgillis (author)2006-12-31

I found cheap source for UV LEDs. Buy discounted multiLED "Teeth Whiteners" at discount stores mine had 7 LED's and was $6.99 marked down... taken apart these are cheap local sourced.

Mods for Mag-Lights and any 2 or 3 cell flashlight are on my instructables page to see use of IR, UV or any voltage on RED LEDS!

Also cheap ready made UVA/UVB are available online for those solder challanged noobs...$5-9US.

See UV Lights

mytoontown (author)erckgillis2007-06-25

Hi i am trying to find out more info on building a uvb light to treat psoriosis. you can buy them but are crazy expensive. sounds like some of these led bulbs might work , any help would be appreciated. thanks

About This Instructable




Bio: Working my dream job in the Telecom industry, so chances are, i'll never have time to respond to comments or messages, nothing personal.
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