Picture of LED flashlight with secret switch
With this project you are going to make a cheap DIY LED flashlight with no button on it. You will need a magnet to turn it on.

This project I did on a summer camp with a group of kids. (8 - 12 year olds) Everybody succeeded (some with some help from me) and we had loads of fun with it.
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Step 1: You will need (Parts)

Picture of You will need (Parts)
  • 1 PVC pipe (We use this in Europe to put electrical wiring in)
  • 2 caps that are used for chair-legs and fit the PVC pipe
  • 2 AA batteries
  • some plastic
  • foam-tape
  • 1 LED
  • 1 resistor
  • 1 reed-switch
  • 2 plan-board-magnets
  • a piece of wire

  • tape
  • scissors
  • pliers
  • drill (size of your LED: 5mm?)
  • needle
  • sand-paper

For decorating you can use whatever you like:
  • colored tape
  • stickers
  • markers

Step 2: Preperation

Picture of Preperation
If you are going to do this with kids, you will need to do some preparations:
  • Cut the PVC-pipe in the right length: just al little shorter than the two batteries and one of the magnets put end to end.
  • Sand off the edges of the pipe, so the end caps will go on easier.
  • Drill a (5mm?) hole in the middle of one of the end caps.
  • Cut a piece of 10 cm wire.

You will need to do this once for every child that is going to make a flashlight.

Step 3: Cut the plastic

Picture of Cut the plastic
Cutting het plastic sheet
The plastic will be a isolator between the anode of the LED and the battery. You can use any kind of plastic sheet you van find. I used a front-sheet that they use at Kinko's.
  • You cut a square that is slidily smaller than the inside of the tube.
  • Next you round it off so that it will fit inside the tube.
  • To finish it, you will need to pinch a hole in the middle with the needle.

nmvb3 years ago
kenyer (author)  nmvb3 years ago
Thanx, English is not my first language and my dyslexia is also not helpful, so if my computer thinks that it is a word....
What does bend mean?
zack247 kenyer3 years ago
bend and bent mean basically the same thing.

to "bend" is to be doing the bending, while "bent" is to have already done the bending.

eg: they bend the metal at 90 degrees (present tense)
or: they bent the metal at 90 degrees (past tense)

if your learning a new language it can be confusing sometimes.

i don't pay a lot of attention to my grammar. or punctuation :3
theexpert3 years ago
great instructable......beside me having bad experiences with hooking(why i learned to solder)i think that it is very creative and one of the few instructables i was able to follow without having to sit for a few minutes to realize what they meant and the pictures helped alot they are very good quality
kenyer (author)  theexpert3 years ago
Thank you. I would also always solder, but when you work with young kids or a big group or both, soldering is not always the best option. I didn't have enough soldering stations and enough leaders to go soldering with them. And in the end all the flashlights were working.