Instructables

Power a Flashlight With Fewer Batteries in an Emergency

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Picture of Power a Flashlight With Fewer Batteries in an Emergency

Don't let the zombie apocalypse or a power outage leave you in the dark. It's easier than you might think to keep your flashlight and other battery-operated devices running even without the proper number of batteries.

When you've finished with this instructable feel free to check out my website and YouTube channel for more how-to's, tutorials and life hacks.

My website: TheBestHobbiesBlog.com

My YouTube channel: youtube.com/TheBestHobbiesBlog

 
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Step 1: Watch this video!

It's only a minute long and you can watch me demonstrate every step!

Step 2: What you'll need

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This is a fairly simple instructional with minimal material requirements. After all it is for emergencies.

All you'll need is the device you'd like to power, at least one battery and some aluminum foil.

Step 3: Aluminum foil

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First you'll need to tear yourself a sheet of aluminum foil. For a flashlight that uses D batteries I got a piece about sixteen inches long.The amount of foil used doesn't have to be exact; just get as close as you can. This emergency technique will work with other battery sizes, but the amount of foil used may differ. Once you understand how it's done you'll be able to easily figure it out on your own.

Step 4: Folding the foil

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Fold your foil sheet in half the long way. Smooth it out and then fold it the long way a second time. Don't worry about super clean, smooth folds. A good-looking sheet of foil isn't necessary, and in an emergency it's unlikely you'll be taking your time.

Step 5: Size

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The beauty here is that nothing needs to be exact for this to work, just close. After the folding is complete you should have a long strip of foil that is slightly taller than the battery you are using.

Step 6: Roll a foil tube

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Now It's time to roll! Just pick an end and roll your foil strip into a tube. No need to have your tube be the exact girth of the battery, just make sure it's not too thick to fit into the flashlight and you should be good to go. You can see in the last picture that mine was a fair bit thiner and taller than the actual battery but it still worked perfectly.

daveand51 month ago
not wanting to sound negative but
if the foil contacts the case and + terminal, by by battery
if too thin, it can tilt or crush becoming unusable
my idea would be to place a smaller penlight led flashlight inside a larger flashlight capable of also holding a second set of batteries, match tube, etc (like a large 3 d cell flashlight)
just saying you never no what or how long the emergency will be, so be prepared like the boy scouts say.
TamS11 month ago

Bravo ! Another tip for my _"the big one" (earthquake. I'm on the West Coast)_ bug-out backpack. Good info, thanks ;-)

samalert1 month ago

I may have a aluminium foil but not battery intrigues me.

akreitlow1 month ago
Wouldn't the battery knock back and forth, slowly flattening the aluminum foil ? probably use something sturdy to reinforce the foil. Cardboard, small pipe.
ch51 month ago

To make it even more usefull, what I like doing is permanently downgrading the bulb on a big maglite to accomodate 1 less battery than what it took initially ( a 3-battery bulb in a 4-cell lamp for example), and then replacing the missing battery with a small container containing a basic survival kit topped with a strip of aluminium tape for conductivity and sides wrapped in duct tape.

That way you mostly loose battery lifetime, but not much brightness, and will never be caught unprepared :) .

randki241 month ago

good idea.

PhilsTj1 month ago
Good idea. One question though. Can I still use the tin foil to keep my cookies from sticking to the pan?
乌鸦drop1 month ago

so cool

cTsVette1 month ago

This probably won't work with LED flashlights as most of them require a certain amount of voltage to work, but for all the incandescent types it's a good trick to keep in mind.

MIK3 H1 month ago
Very good! Bravo bravo im going to try this out thanks! Pretty cool
The Best Hobbies Blog (author)  MIK3 H1 month ago

Great! Always helps to have done it before.

Carleyy1 month ago

Cool hack!

The Best Hobbies Blog (author)  Carleyy1 month ago

Thank you!

jon_chalk1 month ago

Very well documented. Good work. I clicked on "favorite" for this one.

Glad to hear it=]