Instructables
Picture of Make an Altoids Flashlight
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It seems as if making an Altoids flashlight is a right of passage for newbie electronics enthusiasts. It was the first project I ever did, and I continue to use it as a "my first soldering project" with the students in my middle school science classroom. It's a low cost, low risk project that helps teach the fundamentals of soldering and electronics.

In this guide, I'll show you the way I make the Altoids Flashlights that I sell on my website and Etsy. They only cost a few dollars to make, and can be made in under twenty minutes. When you're finished you'll have a very professional and stylish flashlight that is actually useful. Plus they make great "guy gifts" for guys of any age.

(Seriously, you can make ones as nice as the ones in my photos. If a bunch of 7th and 8th graders can do it, then you have no excuse!)

 
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Step 1: Parts

Overall this project requires some very common parts and equipment.

Parts:
2x Clear 5mm LEDs - Color of your choice. White is what you'll probably pick.
2x 5mm LED Holder - Chrome or plastic.
2x 100 Ohm resistors
1x 2 AA battery holder - You could go AAA is you want.
1x button or toggle switch
1x Altoids Tin - Flavor of your choice.

Tools:
Soldering Iron
Solder
Drill
Hot Glue Gun (Melt glue)
Wire Strippers
Electrical Tape
Extra Wire
Safety Goggles

Optional & Helpful:
Dremel
Helping Hand

Total Cost: Less than $5.

You can pick up these parts most anywhere. Radio Shack has them, but you'll pay a lot for them. You can always use sites like All Electronics or Electronics Goldmine for a wealth of parts. I also sell the parts for these as well as pre-made kits on my website Brown Dog Gadgets.

greg_0ry28 days ago

I am wondering what the forward voltage for the LED's is? There are some differences when you look for 5mm LED's in white.

oneofakind310 months ago

how bright is it? Very nice!

btm1 year ago
Why do you need the resistors?
When you power LED without resistor from direct 3V, they can "overheat" and stop working...
I have built a couple of these flashlights and they do pretty good. I just have one that has one light much dimmer then the other one (two lights on same flashlight). Is there a wire crossed? A weaker light? Please and thanks! :-)
Houghie721 year ago
How to make it solar?
Very nice. Great explanation! I am going to try this as soon as I get all the parts. Thanks for sharing this!!
Schmidty162 years ago
voted for
Schmidty162 years ago
sweet man i like it