Easy Way to Make a Powerful Joule Thief




Introduction: Easy Way to Make a Powerful Joule Thief

About: I love DIY and electronics forever

Hey nice to see you again guys! Now I'm back with another instructable. I shall teach you how to make a diy joule thief. This is one of the easiest way to make a joule thief and the most powerful one. For those who don't know what a joule thief is, it's a small circuit that is capable of powering an LED from an old 1.5v cell.

So, let's begin!!!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

To make this project, you'll need:


Magnet wire

A toroid bead

Copper wire

2N3904 transistor or any equivalent one

1k ohm resistor

Wire strippers or scissors

Tape or soldering iron

And patience!

Step 2: The Basic Joule Thief

This is the circuit which i had built at first, using a toroid bead. Before starting i will inform you that, this is NOT A SUCCESSFUL circuit. You will find this circuit all over the internet.


Take two different colored wires and tie one end together as shown. Don't forget to remove some insulation!

Now wind the wire around the toroid as shown in 2nd image.

Step 3: First Assembly

Now connect all parts as shown in the diagram. Note that the transistor's flat side is facing front.

Now connect the cell and try it out. Most probably, the brightness of the led will be low or the led will not glow at all.

DON'T WORRY, now i shall explain you a simple modification.

Step 4: My Next Circuit

Here's what you should do if your circuit is not working [like mine ;) ].

Get an inductor(see first image if you don't know what it is), you can find one in a dead CFL bulb and some magnet wire.

Now, wind the magnet wire several times around the inductor. Connect one loose end of your winded wire with one wire from the inductor.

Step 5: Assembly and Testing

Replace the toroid in the previous circuit with the inductor. Refer the diagram for instructions in connections.

Now again connect the cell. Woah! The LED glows with full brightness.

Step 6: Organizing Everything

Solder or tape everything to a bread board or a cardboard[if you are out of cash :( ].

Test it once again and you have it. An easy way to save energy. Thank you for viewing my project. Please let me know if I've made any mistake while writing this instructable. Now its your turn to make a joule thief, GOOD LUCK!

Be the First to Share


    • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

      Game Design: Student Design Challenge
    • Big and Small Contest

      Big and Small Contest
    • For the Home Contest

      For the Home Contest



    4 years ago

    Really cool!
    I found a really cool design a while back...using stupid cheap parts and a really cool board...make your own soldered directly on a PCB (makes AWESOME "learn to solder" kits for kids and beginners)


    6 years ago

    or .... buy a solar light garden for less a dollar an you have a battery,a mini solar panel and a good joule thief