Well, The Instructables by Joshua Zimmerman, How to build a better Altoids Flashlight was AMAZING. The altoids smalls, the pushbutton, LED's, it was great. And then, the instructables by DanielX was great, Altoids smalls magnetic switch Flashlightis also AMAZING! But, they both had some flaws, and these flaws were over each-other. The one by Joshua was good, but the pushbutton could be pressed while in you're pocket. It did have 100 ohm resistors, so the life of the LED's would last longer. DanielX's flashlight was good, using a reed switch to turn it on and off (A reed switch would use a magnetic field to turn it on), so while it was in you're pocket, it wouldn't turn on. But it didn't have any resistors to keep it from dying out as fast. So, I decided to use both advantages, the reed switch and the resistors, to make the Magnetic Altoids LED Flashlight!
NOTE: I will be entering this into the Tech Contest by LittleBits, so PLEASE VOTE!
Step 1: Parts
These are the parts you will need
- Altoids Tin ((1x)I used an Altoids Arctic, but an altoids smalls would be easier).
-CR2025 Button Battery (1x)
-CR2025 Button Battery Holder (1x)
-Reed Switch (1x)
-100 ohm resistor (2x)
-LED ((2x) Any color you want, I chose an extremely bright white.)
You can easily get all of these part except for the Soldering Iron, Solder, Electrical tape and wire strippers, online at Tayda Electronics @
Step 2: How Does It Work?
Of course, you will need a power source. I will use a CR2025 button battery, which is 3v. Then, you need to solder its holder onto a separate perfboard(The perfboard is optional, you don't need to use one). Solder both wires to the next perfboard. The positive input of it will go to the reed switch. Solder it to one end. Next, solder both resistors to the other end of the reed switch. Solder these resistors to the positive leg of each LED. The LEDs get their own resistor. Then, solder the negative input to the negative inputs of the legs. They don't go to anything but the negative leg of the LEDs. Then, you will have nothing left to solder...
Step 3: Prep the Tin (For Altoids Arctic).
When you look at the tin, there is a side with a flap and a flat side. Flip it to where the flat side is facing upwards. Take a hammer and a nail and lightly tap it on each corner until it comes loose. You can push it out with your finger or with the nail. Then, put the flat side onto a small piece of scrap wood. Use the hammer and nail and hit the marked spots until the nail is fully into the wood. Depending on the size of your LED, you may need to make the holes a little bit bigger. Then insert your LEDs into the bezels you have for them(Bezels are optional, but they protect the LED). Put the Bezel into the hole(s) you made for them on the flat side. Solder your LEDs into the perf board and then push the flat end back up into the tin. You may need to hot glue it back on when you get it to the end.
Step 4: Solder!
After you prep the tin and get the LEDs into the holes, solder your parts. This is the best part of it all, and the steps for soldering are on step 2. Have fun and be careful not to burn yourself(It really sucks. A lot).
Step 5: Questions?