Instructables
Picture of The universal multicolour torch (flashlight)
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I like LEDs. And I like torches. I have always been looking for a torch that combines all LED colours that I want, including infrared and ultraviolet. As this combination is hard to come by, or extremely sumptuous, I chose to build one myself using a cheap torch bought on eBay and some inexpensive parts.

Do not underestimate the effort of desoldering and soldering, though. It took me about a day altogether to finish the project.
 
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Step 1: What you need

I tried to make the project as inexpensive as possible and so I came up with the following parts:
• 1 torch with 52 white LEDs, bought from eBay for 12 Euros, shipping included. I tried to get one with as much unused space inside as possible, and I was lucky. Maybe you can get a cheap one at your local electronics store and have it disassembled before buying.
• Given a 52 LED setting, I chose the following combination (all LEDs are of 5 mm diameter):
  - 10 white LEDs (already included)
  - 8 red LEDs
  - 8 green LEDs
  - 8 blue LEDs
  - 9 infrared LEDs
  - 9 ultraviolet LEDs
• With the chosen LEDs, I calculated the resistors needed (see next step) and bought:
  - 4 resistors 1 Ohm, 0.5 Watts
  - 1 resistor 12 Ohm, 0.5 Watts
  - 1 resistor 5.6 Ohm, 0.5 Watts
  - 9 resistors 27 Ohm, 0.5 Watts
• A rotary switch with 12 positions. You may get another one with less positions or use a totally different switch altogether.
• Isolated wire
• A small piece of circuit board for the 9 27 Ohm resistors

For tools I used:
• A 6.5 mm steel drill
• A dremel
• A soldering iron and some solder
• A glue gun

please note that your "ultraviolet" light is nothing else than what is commonly called black light. black light makes text surfer glow and most of the orange,white,and flashy yellow colors. and invisible ink markers.
cwest112 years ago
Why didnt you just use a multi lead/color led that has three colors in one ^^^^
Hmm... split them with me
arbita23 years ago
ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok
techno guy3 years ago
If you dont want those LEDs then can I have them?
legendx3 years ago
i just want to know what would happen if there was no resistor
duesentrieb (author)  legendx3 years ago
That would be easy, wouldn't it? That's why the makers of the original cheap torch did not care to use one.
In fact, two things would happen: Your batteries will drain much more quickly and the lifespan of the LEDs will be reduced drastically. So I would strongly recommend using the resistors.
so, its better
??
They stop the LEDs getting too much voltage through them, which would of course only over heat each one and break it.
o so that's why thanks dude
aboelyous4 years ago
wonderful and easy ..... thank you
daffster134 years ago
Thanks for the idea, my CAP cadets are going to love this.
Great idea! :) I wish I could find a pcb for that many LEDs.
gabe154 years ago
do you think its possible to make the center white a laser?
Depending on the output of the laser, you also have to consider temperature and heatsinking it since they might dissipate a lot of heat.
duesentrieb (author)  gabe154 years ago
I'm sure that there are laser diodes that are small enough to fit in the space of one or more LEDs. With the proper voltage, you could add a laser pointer if you want to.
Darkwizzard4 years ago
hey can some1 send me a link to download the PDF for this? i really want to show my friend at school and he doesn't have the internet.... (and Instructables is blocked at school). :D plz!
Just so you know for next time, the link is near the top of the instructable, just under the title, and another to the right, under the facebook and twitter links. It says "print pdf" but you can just save it to your hard drive instead and then show your friend. Here's the link copy/pasted though: http://www.instructables.com/id/The-universal-multicolour-torch-flashlight/?download=pdf Great instructable - I may try this, looks fun!
duesentrieb (author) 4 years ago
Sorry, I got the resistors for the blue and red LEDs wrong. Instead of 100 Ohm it should read 12 Ohm for the red LEDs and instead of 47 Ohm it should read 5.6 Ohm for the blue ones. I already uploaded the corrected circuit diagram.
Thav4 years ago
Since it's a large number of LEDs, you might be able to save some battery life by using a switching converter to limit the current instead of resistors. Buckpuck is an easy to use device that you can get at ledsupply or dealextreme (I think). I believe there are versions with multiple outputs so you can have different set points for each LED string. That would be a bulky and expensive option for what you're doing though, but if someone's going for a single color torch or using high output LEDs, that's what I would recommend (unless you're comfortable making switching regulators on your own).
XOIIO4 years ago
It's desoldering, not unsoldering.
bustedit XOIIO4 years ago
does it matter? or doth it matter, not?
SinAmos4 years ago
I appreciate this kind of project for motel photo shoots. haha. Nice work.
depotdevoid4 years ago
Nice, thanks for sharing!
TechDante4 years ago
very nice
texabyte4 years ago
I think RGB LEDs would work better for the colours :P
duesentrieb (author)  texabyte4 years ago
I was suggesting this in the last step of my instructable. I however had a couple of reasons not to use these: I already had most of the LEDs lying around already, the RGB connectors mostly don't fit to the holes in the circuit board and you have to add some additional circuitry to drive them.
SeamusDubh4 years ago
Grouping and going with a premade board do make of easier installation of the leds, but in my opinion evenly distributing them would look better.
I was thinking that, but honestly; it would make it a lot harder to wire it all up!
phephq4 years ago
For Infrared LEDs, id suggest going to the optoelectronics section of Vishay electronics. you can get free samples of 180mw IR leds - theyre fantastically bright. same thing with red leds, though their green and blue selection is limited, and UV is nonexistent.
miphz4 years ago
nice work mates,,,
bowmaster4 years ago
Cool instructable.
This is cool. Did you think about using rgb leds for the colors.