Introduction: LED Concert Lighter
In my first instructable ever I will show you how I took a common Bic Lighter and turned it into a bright LED flashlight. I figure this is a clever idea for you concert goers, and anybody else who wants to put an LED into everything.
Step 1: Materials
First you need to gather some materials, you will need:
Needle Nose Pliers
A Bic Lighter
2 AAA Batteries
1 LED (3V)
Soldering Iron and Solder (not pictured)
Hack Saw (not pictured)
and some wire, any small gauge wire will do, I used some stuff I had laying around that was from an old phone line.
If you can strip an old phone line you will have plenty of wire, if you need to get some elsewhere you shouldn't need more then 2 feet total (I'm factoring in people making mistakes and needing to trim wires) try to get 2 1' sections of wire with different colour insulation to make things easier
Step 2: Disassembly
After you have all your materials together you will want to start taking apart your lighter but before you do make sure all the fluid is drained from the lighter. Its best to use a dead one but if you don't have one you can use a rubber band to depress the fuel lever, make sure to do this in a well ventilated area as a buildup of flammable gasses could cause problems.
First remove the metal Shield gently with your pliers (you need this piece intact later so don't force it off).
Then take out your striker wheel by gently prying the tabs holding it in place (also don't break the tabs they are important), when you get the wheel loose watch your eyes as the flint and tension spring will have a tendency to fly out.
Once the striker is out you can (gently) remove the fuel lever, there is a spring under this piece as well and you need that spring so be very careful.
And lastly while removing the fuel lever the fuel valve should also come out.
Step 3: Open'er Up
I forgot to take a picture but after your lighter is disassembled and the fuel is drained use a hack saw to cut the bottom off of the lighter, you only need to cut about 1/4" up from the bottom, this is to remove the bottom cap that is glued in.
Once the bottom is removed you will see there is a divider on the inside that has to go, this will take some fighting to get it all out, the most important part is to remove the the spot where the spring for the flint goes, by removing this you will have a nice neat hole to feed your wires though later.
Step 4: Create a Contact Point for Our Switch
Alright this next part took me a while to figure out because I wanted to make it all self contained so I came up with this.
Take the metal shield and put a small bend in the bottom of it like shown in the picture, this bend will create our contact point for our switch later
You may want to use 2 pairs of pliers for this to make it easier but I was able to get the job done with one.
Step 5: Install Our LED
Next we want to install our LED after doing this I found that using something to glue the LED into place would have made this a whole lot easier as I suck at soldering but if you don't have crazy glue or something similar you can do it without.
You want to solder one of the leads on the LED to the metal shield, it doesn't have to be where I did it, but I found that it made it easier for when I wanted to connect the wire to the other lead (you will see later why)
I would also suggest you attach the shorter lead to the shield so you don't have to do any trimming later to get the shield to fit back on.
And lastly make sure that your bead of solder doesn't protrude from the bottom because this too will inhibit the shield from fitting back properly
In this step (not pictured sorry) you can also solder a piece of wire to the other lead. In both this step and the next step use about 6" of wire or more so you have plenty to work with later
Step 6: Connect Wire to Fuel Lever
Next we want to connect the other end of our switch.
I found that the metal here doesn't like solder very much, now this could have been my own ineptitude because as I mentioned before soldering isn't my forte, (But that is!.....ahem...sorry...bad joke). I found that stripping the wire up about one inch and wrapping the wire repeatedly and soldering did the trick.
You want to make sure that from your solder joint back there isn't much bare wire so we don't run into any shorting problems later on (again you will see later why)
Step 7: Insert Fuel Lever
In this step we want to put the fuel lever back in.
Make sure you put the return spring in too but don't put the fuel valve back in, by not having the fuel valve in the spring pushes the lever up more so it give us the space we need for our switch to work properly.
When we do this we also want to feed our wire down through the hole that our flint used to be in.
Step 8: Attach Metal Shield With LED
Now we want to put our Metal shield back in it was at this point that I soldered the wire to the other LED lead, which I later realized made it more difficult, that's why I told you to do it earlier.
Your switch should now make contact with the bent piece of the shield and you should have wires sticking out of the bottom of your cut off lighter body
Step 9: Make Your Battery Pack
I'm now going to use some AA batteries for illustrative purposes because the last bit of the assembly was alot of trial and error but you should still be using AAA batteries.
First you want to tape your batteries together side by side with opposite polarities next to each other, don't worry about the taping job being good this is just to hold things in place for now.
Next pick an end and solder a bared piece of wire across the batteries like shown, DO NOT use excessive heat make your solders quick, I'm no scientist but I do know that prolonged heat is not good for batteries.
Step 10: Inserting Battery Pack
Your project should look something like this now, you should have your wires from your led sticking out from the bottom and your battery pack taped and soldered at one end.
Now you want to take your battery pack and insert it with the already soldered end in first so that your un-soldered end is sticking out from the bottom.
Only put the battery pack in up to where you taped it as the tape will make the batteries too big to put in so we want to remove it.
Now that our battery pack is partially inserted we want to cut the tape off.
Step 11: Finalizing Battery Pack
Now that our Battery pack is partially inserted and the tape is removed we want to solder our wires from our LED to the battery.
It is important that the wire coming from the long lead of the LED goes to the Negative terminal on the battery because if you get the switched around the LED will not light.
Once you have the wires soldered to the Battery you can push the batteries all the way into the lighter taking care so that you push them in evenly now that they aren't taped together so we don't break the solder joint at the other end of the pack.
Depending on how much of the Divider you were able to remove earlier will denote how far in you can push the batteries.
NOTE: Once those batteries are in there you cant get them out without damaging them so make sure your light works before you push the batteries all the way in.
Step 12: And You're Done
And that is all there is to it!
At this point you could glue the bottom of the lighter back on, I didn't as I didn't think ahead and I tossed the bottom piece out after I cut it off.
SOME SIDE NOTES:
After doing this I figured there were a few small things you could do to round out the look.
First you could colour the LED or get a yellow/orange LED to begin with so it has the Lighter look to it but I wanted it more as a flashlight.
Second if you feel like it you could use a small piece of shrink tubing on the wire that is soldered to the Long LED lead at the solder joint so that it insulates and you can put the striker wheel back in and not worry about shorting anything by accident.
Please leave comments and suggestions as this was my first instructable and I hope it will not be my last.