I have many used batteries around. Remote controls, cameras, many electronic gadgets all use batteries, mostly AA size. I always felt guilty for throwing away the used batteries. I know there are rechargeable batteries, but many electronics don't work well with rechargeables.
I also know that those "used" or "spent" batteries usually have some juice left in them. So to come up with a good use of used batteries, I've created a LED night light.
I like having a little night light on when I sleep. LEDs are perfect for this purpose, because they are energy efficient, and good at providing low intensity illumination.
This LED night light operates with just one battery. It utilizes a little circuit called Joule Thief to boost voltage out of an AA battery. I also added a light sensor to turn it on automatically when the surrounding is dark.
The circuit is energy efficient, and requires very low voltage to work. So it effectively sucks every bit of energy out of batteries. This type of circuit is often called "Joule Thief", because it works as though stealing every bit of energy (Joule is a unit for energy) out of battery.
I'm calling this project Night Joule Thief.
*The kit purchasing info can be found here: http://www.theledart.com/blog/night-joule-thief
Step 1: Features
- Compact & streamlined design
- Uses only one AA battery (or any 1.5V battery you can hook up to)
- Easily adaptable to different size batteries - hook up holes to attach home made clips
- Two white LEDs
- Automatic turn on via a light sensor (adjustable sensitivity level)
- Energy efficient - works even with a run-down battery, down to 0.6V
- Choice of through-hole only components or SMD - mix & match on the same PCB