Introduction: Beer Can Flashlight (torch)
After using the circuity from a solar garden lamp to increase the volts for a mini-generator and to modify a head-torch I wondered if a beer can could be used as a reflector to create a low power flashlight..
A low power flashlight could be useful while camping and you don't want to disturb others by shining a powerful light beam. Another use is having it on a bedside table to be used if you have to get up during the night and don't want to lose your night vision. It can also be a useful backup if the power goes off.
The lamp only cost $2 from a hardware store and the flashlight was straight forward to make. It can easily be recharged by turning it upside down and placing it on a window still for a day.
As well as enabling you to see around camp or in your home at night, the flashlight can be used to practice hand-shadows in the evening or to practice Morse code during the day.
Solar garden lamp
Drill (or hammer and nail)
Step 1: Disassemble a Solar Garden Light
Dissembling a garden light is straight forward and the different component come apart by hand. The flashlight will only use the light part of the solar garden lamp. This has a led light on the bottom and a small solar panel on the top. Both will be useful.
Step 2: Cut the Bottom Off 2 Beer Cans
Cut the bottoms off 2 beer cans using a knife and for the last part scissors.
Trim until you have a concave reflector.
Its is recommended to wear eye protection when cutting the can, tin snips may be useful when cutting the thicker metal.
Step 3: Make a Hole
Make a hole in the middle of one of the bottoms. This will need to fit snugly over the collar surrounding the LED. I used a hammer and nail, then filed to make the required sized hole but if you have a drill this could be used.
Drill a small hole to fit over the slider switch.
When the reflector (bottom of the can) is rotated slightly, the slider switch will be moved - turning the flashlight off or on.
Step 4: Make Another Hole
Make a larger hole in the 2nd beer can bottom. I used a nail and hammer, followed by some filing to make this hole bigger but a drill could also be used.
Having a top hole, focuses the light and makes a brighter narrower beam. It also makes the flashlight look a little like HAL from the film 'Space Odyssey'.
Step 5: Does Polishing Help?
I thought polishing the reflector might make it shine brighter. While it did polish up well I couldn't see any difference in light output, so this step can be skipped.
Step 6: Assembly
Stick the reflector - with the 2 holes, to the base of the lamp use sticky tape. When the reflector is rotated slightly the switch needs to slide - turning the light off or on. I found putting a twist in the tape when attaching the reflector to the base helped to achieve this.
The top, with the larger hole is then glued on top.
I indicated on the top which way the lamp should be turned to make it go on using a marker pen.
Step 7: Shine On
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