Introduction: Upgrade Your Flashlight to a LED Flashlight

Picture of Upgrade Your Flashlight to a LED Flashlight

It's time to breathe new life into aging incandescent flashlights. Installing LEDs can make your flashlight brighter and improve its battery life by a factor of up to 50 times.

The difficulty with transforming conventional flashlights is their voltage. Typically 3V does not provide enough voltage to power the bright white LEDs. That's why most commercial LED products use three 1.5V batteries. You can still get a useful and efficient flashlight by using amber-colored LEDs.

If you have a flashlight that puts out more than 3V, spring for the brighter white LEDs.

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Step 1: Getting Access to the Cathode and Anode Leads

Picture of Getting Access to the Cathode and Anode Leads

You could try removing the bulb and trying to solder some wires in place yourself, but the bulb's casing does it all for you in a very convenient way.

Don't hesitate to take a hammer to it since the bulb won't be useful to us anymore. Be sure to place the bulb inside a rag so that glass don't go flying.

Having access to the leads made it easy to solder an LED directly into place. Make sure that you don't solder with the wrong polarity. The positive terminal will always be adjacent to the notch in the bulb's casing.

Step 2: Simplicity Is Breathtaking

Picture of Simplicity Is Breathtaking

However it's not the best we can do. The flashlight may run for a millennium now but it isn't nearly as bright as the original bulb. And it isn't the ideal situation for LED health either - it would do much better with a current-limiting resistor.

Step 3: Upgrade Two to Five LED Bulbs

Picture of Upgrade Two to Five LED Bulbs

I connected five amber LEDs in parallel on a small piece of perfboard. I chose a resistor that would stabilize the current without drastically diminishing the brightness of the LEDs. 10 ohms did the trick.

They will be brighter if you overdrive them, but not much. They will also last much longer operating at their prescribed voltage and current. The five amber LEDs were about equivalent in brightness to the original bulb. The reflector housing was small to begin with, so the LEDs were really cramped.

Step 4: Getting Brighter

Picture of Getting Brighter

With a 6V flashlight was it possible to reap the benefits of super bright white LEDs. Rated at 4.5V, they could provide the necessary illumination to overshadow the original bulb's brightness. Because of the 1.5V difference some of the energy was wasted by the necessary current-limiting resistor. (If you own a 4.5V flashlight, these LEDs would be perfect.)

I went for a parallel array of 8 LEDs with a 50-ohm resistor in series. It definitely outperformed the original bulb in brightness.

Comments

deshun18 made it! (author)2016-03-23

this is our LED flashlight bulb

deshun18 made it! (author)2016-03-23

this is our LED flashlight bulb

deshun18 (author)2016-03-23

Hello ,

We provide a variety of LED flashlight bulb. You could get a satisified light output with our LED bulb. Just visit www.dosoe.net or contact me by deshun18@dosoe.net

Contact me right away if you read it!

deshun18 made it! (author)2015-01-22

sorry, there's a computer system problem caused so many times published.

deshun18 (author)2015-01-22

it's very fun. May be you could have our LED bulb directly replace the halogen lamp.

no matter1-3V,6-30V,1-9V, can be meet

www.dosoe.net

deshun18 (author)2015-01-22

it's very fun. May be you could have our LED bulb directly replace the halogen lamp.

no matter1-3V,6-30V,1-9V, can be meet

www.dosoe.net

deshun18 (author)2015-01-22

it's very fun. May be you could have our LED bulb directly replace the halogen lamp.

no matter1-3V,6-30V,1-9V, can be meet

www.dosoe.net

deshun18 (author)2015-01-22

it's very fun. May be you could have our LED bulb directly replace the halogen lamp.

no matter1-3V,6-30V,1-9V, can be meet

www.dosoe.net

deshun18 (author)2015-01-22

it's very fun. May be you could have our LED bulb directly replace the halogen lamp.

no matter1-3V,6-30V,1-9V, can be meet

www.dosoe.net

deshun18 (author)2015-01-22

it's very fun. May be you could have our LED bulb directly replace the halogen lamp.

no matter1-3V,6-30V,1-9V, can be meet

www.dosoe.net

deshun18 (author)2015-01-22

it's very fun. May be you could have our LED bulb directly replace the halogen lamp.

no matter1-3V,6-30V,1-9V, can be meet

www.dosoe.net

deshun18 (author)2015-01-22

it's very fun. May be you could have our LED bulb directly replace the halogen lamp.

no matter1-3V,6-30V,1-9V, can be meet

www.dosoe.net

deshun18 (author)2015-01-22

it's very fun. May be you could have our LED bulb directly replace the halogen lamp.

no matter1-3V,6-30V,1-9V, can be meet

www.dosoe.net

You213 (author)2013-07-07

nice idea

xman2 (author)2012-03-26

thank you

ariekaptein (author)2012-03-22

@ Soksume; If you want to be the english teacher, you better do it right; you should omit the "n" as well; >> a LED-Flashlight

Meadman83 (author)ariekaptein2012-03-24

That would work if you pronounce LED as if it were the word led (as in "I led my dog on its leash"). Most will say ell-eee-dee, as an acronym for Light Emitting Diode, so "an LED flashlight' is fine.

Meadman83 (author)2012-03-24

Thanks for a walk down memory lane, used to do this in high school electronics shop back in the mid 70's. Used to get our LEDs at Radio Shack, back when you could actually buy stuff to build stuff there.

Soksume (author)2012-01-13

you should take the "d" off the title to be "Upgrade Your Flashlight to an LED Flashlight"

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