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Can you give me ideas for making battery powered, momentary switch - cigarette lighter for a quadriplegic? Answered

I'm a metal worker, and a wood worker, but an electronics nab. I have spent about $200 and a lot of time over the past few months trying to come up with a way to make a cigarette lighter that my quadriplegic brother can use. (Please save your nonsmoking stuff, we know the facts, he is a 32 year old adult who is capable of making his own decisions). With all the research and money I have spent trying to come up with a solution, I have nothing to show for it. 

I have been able to make a one time use lighter, using 2 or 4 AA batteries hooked up to a momentary switch with Nichrome wire as the heating element. The problem is the Nichrome is oxidized after 1 or 2 lights.

I have racked my brain trying to come up with a semi-permanent solution, and I am at whits end. I can't find any information on this subject, I was thinking of using a car cigarette lighter somehow, but I have no idea how it would be powered.

I'm open for ideas, AC power is even fine as long as it's safe. It just would need to be flameless, and have the momentary switch as the only activator. ( He can move his arms, but can't move his fingers, and he can only lift about 2 ounces). Once I get the electronics figured out, I can build a metal holder for it with no problems.

Any ideas, knowledge or help is greatly appreciated.



Best Answer 6 years ago

I am wrecking my brain to come up with the word for this thing, i have seen (and own) electrically triggered lighters with this thing in it... you may be able to buy either an electric lighter and repurpose it for easy clicking (they are quite hard due safetyconcerns i suppose) its basically a coil of sorts that when applied a voltage it gets glowing hot (not unlike old lightbulbs)

see this video of a cheap chinese electronic lighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0NveJo5KXg for an example

you may be able to find the "fire" part seperately - but as i said i have no clue what to call the part

I hope at least it helps you on the way

I have heard of these lighters, I just bought a few so i can take them apart and figure out how they work. Thank you very much!

Not sure if this helps or not, but my kerosene shop heater has an igniter that glows hot enough to ignite the heater's wick, and is powered by two D batteries that last for a long time. I'm not sure exactly what this part is called, but in the past I have seen replacement igniters for these heaters on the internet. Do a search for kerosene heater parts. Again, never tried lighting anything else with one, but I'm guessing it would glow hot enough to light a cigarette.


6 years ago

The whole smoking no smoking issue aside, the idea of an unassisted quadriplegic having a lit cigarette gives me visions of disaster awaiting.

The lighter will actually be mounted to the top his desk, with a 2 foot metal gooseneck to get to the heating element. As I said I do metalwork and carpentry for a living, and the solution stop the house from burning down is already planned. I supervise him 24/7 all day from the other room. I just hate cigarettes, and hate having to stop what i'm doing to light a cigarette.

Since his accident, I have been focused on inventing different things to make him close to independent, and doing as much as I can to make his life as easy and normal as possible. I do not agree with or condone the smoking; he thought long and hard about quitting after the accident, but ultimately decided that it is one of the few 'pleasures' he has left, and takes his risks.

Who am I or anyone else to argue with that?

I somewhat agree, but I also believe it is not really for us to decide. esp. since we do not know if he is really unassisted/unsupervised nor how bad his handicap is

If we always avoided solving problems in certain ways due to what _might_ happen or what a _few_ people could end up causing with it... well, we would get nowhere ;-)


6 years ago

Rereading your post gave me another idea with regards to a car-lighter - you can get "converters" that plug into mains and will accept a car-lighter, that might also be a way to do it (and avoiding any actual building)