You saw Batman Begins, you've now seen The Dark Knight, and now go on admit it, you want one of those mega spotlights with which Commissioner Gordon summons the help of the Caped Crusader. But you don't have a gigawatt three phase power supply, all you have is a measly little 5V USB... don't despair, that's plenty to work with, and if you follow this instructable you'll be casting the most wicked bat shaped shadows all over your bedroom, living room and office walls.

It's dead easy if you have even the most basic making skills and great to try if you've never done any electronics before. Plus there's a little bit of fun hacking apart a Series A USB plug and using the guts!

You'll need

  • A couple of old packaging bottle caps (shower bottle and single serving drinks bottle, or something similar)
  • Some thick tin foil (take out tray, or aluminum roofing / flashing tape) although thin foil will work
  • A cheap USB Laptop light (or the appropriate LED, wire, correct resistor and USB Plug
  • A small piece of clear plastic sheet (OHP sheet or bit of old packaging)
  • Some cardboard and or foamcore (not necessary but nice)
  • Some low value loose change
  • Soldering iron
  • Hot Melt Glue gun
  • Black and silver paint (spray or markers)
  • About 1.5 to 2 hours to spare doing this project

Step 1: Find a couple of suitable bottle caps

Actually you only really need one, for the spotlight itself, although the other cap is useful for the base, the base could easily be made out of cardboard. here you can see the top that I used for the main part and the bottle it came from.

Given the shampoo only cost about 50p for 750ml, it would be worth buying a bottle just to use the cap and then keeping the shampoo as hand wash or shampoo refill.

Note the fact that the cap is translucent, this is quite important, because in the real spotlight there is quite a bit of light leakage through the cooling vents at the side of the lamp, and the translucent cap lets us mimic this effect rather nicely.

The single serving drinks sports cap is nice because the push pull closure also rotates, which means that the finished spotlight will be able to rotate, although this is not really necessary, of course unlike the real one, your USB spotlight won't need a crane to turn it round.
Could this be possibly upscaled on a rotating fan keep the motor function of the fan and then remove the rest to replace it with a brighter light say inside a coffe can or the like?
It's amazing!!
Hi,<br>I would like to thank you deeply for this nice little project of yours, which was just what I was looking for, for my Batman-ized Scalextric slot car track. I made some tiny variations when I built mine: skipped the aluminum background of the lamp, because I did not want the blurry effect (more similar to the movie, I know) and used a pre-built base, which I got from a LED head-lamp that I bought for 3 euros. Incidentally, this base has a batt-ish shape and also gives me the chance to rotate the signal quite easily. Finally, I took the liberty to glue some black paper inside the cap and also made the bat covered with a piece of black darkening fabric. That's because I like the almost completely-black effect that you see when the signal is off.<br>Anyway, here's some pictures of the signal and track and thank you again for your creativity!<br>Luigi (Rome, Italy)
Thanks for your kind words, but I can't see your pictures, which after that great explanation I am very much looking forward to seeing.
Oops, sorry! Maybe they were too big. I just resized them and hopefully, here they are:
<p>no offense but your handle for the light is better than his wat did u use</p>
Oh, I forgot: I also replace the LED in your original project with a 4.8V mini-lamp. <br>Thanks again for your inspiration, you rock!<br>Luigi
<p>instead of using the USB light could you use a USB and a led and just solder the wires from the led to the USB?</p>
useful idea using your idea we can make logo projection.i am going to do that in my next instructable. thanks for the idea.
I'm planning on making this for my boyfriend this weekend so I'm thrilled to start the project! Thank you for sharing this!
My Make Batman For Led Please see my make - http://www.instructables.com/id/Batman-Projector/
Thanks for the detailed drawings/etc., very nice.
Very creative and professional.
It doesn't look to be completely in focus.<br>Iv been wanting to make a batman symbol Gobo for my schools lighting for fun for a while, hopefully ill find time soon
oh my god i like lamp its mini and very original....
I MADE ONE LIKE THIS BUT WITH SOME OTHER MATERIALS&nbsp;<br> <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/EASY-BATMAN-SPOTLIGHT/">http://www.instructables.com/id/EASY-BATMAN-SPOTLIGHT/</a>
<a href="http://www.facebook.com/#!/RadioShack">RadioShak !</a>
thank you!
black wire isnt ground, as usb doesnt have grounding. pin 4 is negative, and pin 1 is posotive
Ground is another interchangeably used term for the negative wire
Ur wrong, cuz there is ground and the power supply . check out http://www.instructables.com/image/FZN6CJYFMMD5IFI/USB-Preparation.jpg
oh ok.
you have to sell them, they are very good!!!<br>
Surely, correct me if I'm wrong, you could just have drilled a larger hole at the bottom of the cap and just threaded the light through and then filled the hole in with a putty of sorts instead of cutting it up?
you could but the metal tube from the book light is too strong and springy and the batman light won't stand up properly because it is so light.
now that...is cool
God, this is so awesome, I can't bear it
i can't find any bottles in my house with that transparent cap D:
I used a piece of polystyrene from an office dumpster. Found materials FTW!
I used one of those translucent film canisters. This is awesome
wow, that's pimp; too bad i used up the cheap usb cable i bought for the xbox controller to usb.<br><br>Respect
Do I really have to join to get the batman template, and mounting yoke????
Joining has no cost. You just need to have an email, and its very easy!
Sorry it used to be free about 2 years ago, now there is a &pound;10 joining charge and that lasts forever or a &pound;0.95 per project download cost.
imma use this one: http://www.photoshopstar.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/batman-logo.jpg
Good idea
Thing is, I spent about 3 years building up dadcando and designing things on their and the cost of running it was too much, so I decided to charge a small fee to join or 95p to download a single project. The revenue from this hasn't aded up to the cost of creating the site just yet, but the weekly money that comes in covers running the site and keeping it up there. ^_^ There's loads more on dadcando than just this template!
That is sssoooo awesome.
thank you, glad you like it<br>
Fantastic! This ible definitely deserves the number of comments it's getting.<br><br>However, doesn't Batman get pee'd off about being called round every time you turn your computer on?
yeah, but I always make him a cup of tea and that seems fine!
That is way too cute. I love it!
Actually it does.. I was going to register at that dadcando site thingy, to get the template. After the registration they asked for me to choose which payment method, similar to this sites' one. Now, I have to ask my sister to draw it.. Would be simplier to just print it for free..<br><br>
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any other alternative for cork, i used plactiscine
If any one <strong>can't</strong> find a LED notebook light, then you could make one like me. All you have to do is get the USB socket from for example a mouse, then cut it open and get two wires. Connect and solder them to the top iron peice and the bottom. Cut the two wires in the middle as they are data cables. Then take a <strong>LED</strong> bulb and a suitable resistor(ask your local dealer) . For me i got a special type of LED that does not need a resistor. So if you did get one, fix one end of the <strong>LED</strong> to one end of the resistor. Then plug the USB . Use the two wires and keep one one the free side of resistor and the other on the free side of<strong> LED</strong>. The bulb should light. If it doesn't try switching around the wires, cuz the + power and - power may have swithced. Once done , Just solder it up.

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Bio: Eldest of five, son of two doctors, 10 years in Graphic Design and marketing, then retrained as a Biomedical Materials Engineer, don't ask me ... More »
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