Picture of Night Pen
night pen.jpg
When I was a soldier I would write letters after the sun went down. The problem with that was other soldiers would be bothered by the light pollution from my flashlight. This pen focuses light right onto your page. No more angry soldiers. I left the cap clear for use as a safety light. It also works much better then holding a flashlight under your chin. The idea is that the pen body works like a fiber optic. The top is illuminated and transmits the light down to the writing tip.  

Step 1: Trim the pen down

To keep the pen the same length I cut it down to accommodate the mini flashlight. I used a razor blade to clean up the cut.    
buck22172 months ago

Great idea, would be nice to have one next to the bed for those "middle of the night" ideas (mind you I would probably use it to draw on my wife!!)

WayfinderAli9 months ago

This is an awesome project. I wish I had a lathe so I could make one. I might try making one using just an LED and a simple switch inside of a RSPP pen instead of making a mini-flashlight fit.

You could convert this to an even cooler pen by upgrading the cartridge to a Fisher pressurized ink refill which allows you to write upside down and in water. They make one that you can trim from the non-writing end to fit a variety of pen lengths. Here is a link:


pwnag32 years ago
I'd like to hear the barfight story :D
Advar pwnag31 year ago
Me too.
Advar1 year ago
Really good idea, very bright ;) But don't you need to cut the refills too?
cflores241 year ago
does it work with any other pen?
Mrballeng (author)  cflores241 year ago
No, it's machined specifically for this this one.
sport8882 years ago
I like dis I idea it is very inventive LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
shazni2 years ago
Thanks for the idea...i like it :-)
kidharris2 years ago
Nice solution.

It reminds me of an old news story long ago when the US and Soviet Union, now called Russia, were putting people into earth orbit. They needed some way for the astronauts to be able to write their reports (this was before the PC and laptops). The US spent $250,000 (that was a lot of money back then) developing a fountain pen that would write in zero gravity. The Soviets just used a mechanical pencil.

I would have just used a $1 led head lamp (miners light), and would be able to use it for a lot more than writing. This idea would probably sell though if it was cheap enough.
and when the graphite bit broke it got into one cosmonaut's eye...it was not so cheap restoring his vision..
ArticAkita2 years ago
I usually had bad experiences with cutting the inktube and huge mess to clean up afterwards! its a very clever idea though! might have to try it someday :P you did a very good job & very clear on the instructions you used
This I like. Lots. Thanks for sharing it, I'm off to make about 10 of these.
Baldilocks2 years ago
As 'Kidharris' says, there are simple ways to do the same thing. Simple and easy is also boring. Nothing will beat the fun of making and using something unique and individual. That's why 'Istructibles' is so good.
neonix2 years ago
Love this. Awesome job!
IamWe2 years ago
Mrballeng, you are a endless source of creativity. Great idea, well done.
Mrballeng (author)  IamWe2 years ago
Thank you.
jubal192 years ago
Great instructable, as always.
Your 'ibles always make me want to go buy a metal lathe. You do excellent work.
Do you (or anyone) have any tips on how to keep Plasti-Dip usable longer once you open it. I never have enough jobs for it when I open it and a month later, it is too thick to use.
Mrballeng (author)  jubal192 years ago
Tupperware maybe?
Looks like a really nicely finished project, and I'm sure your comrades appreciate your efforts.

Do you not find that plugging the nib into the ink tube causes air bubbles?
Mrballeng (author)  Dream Dragon2 years ago
No, it seems to work like normal.
mikeasaurus2 years ago
PlastiDip is great stuff. I like this project.
Erfunden2 years ago
That was beautifully done! Very cleanly made.
I love this! I am now inspired to make something as cool as this (which might be impossible considering how awesome this is). Thank you!
ladybgood2 years ago
I got a pen like this about 10 years ago. They're fun! well done 'bile on how to make your own.
PitStoP2 years ago
Nice pen...
<3 Plastidip, its the best. Great work, and thanks for the share.