LED Booklight From a Maglite




Introduction: LED Booklight From a Maglite

About: Professional work in various electrical and mechanical fields, obscure sense of humour and typically willing to help... Currently under contract designing environmental monitoring equipment.

Running from 2 AAA batteries this Maglite conversion really shines!

Seriously this is a hacked together Maglite and BBQ lighter Frankenlight that takes less than 15 minutes to build!!!

Step 1:

You will need a AAA Maglite or similar and an old BBQ lighter with a flexible neck.

Also needed are 2 bright white LEDs and a resistor that will provide the brightness level I used a small value for max brightness.

I also used a 5/16 flat washer and a dowel from an Ikea bookcase that I forgot to install. ( it needs to fit the inside of the washer)

There is some wire needed, I used some old multi-strand wire from my scrap bin.

I also had on hand a clamp from a cheap LED hat light from the $1 store (yes it was $2, go figure).

The lighter is disassembled and the flexible neck and headpiece are kept.

Step 2: Prepare the LED

The LEDs are soldered in parallel and a resistor is soldered to the Anode (+) and the leads are trimmed short. Two wires are then soldered to the leads and the trimmed LED leads are soldered to the other end of the wires.

This is then tested for brightness and polarity by inserting the leads into the socket on the top of the Maglite.

All wires are then sealed against shorts with heat shrink tubing once you are satisfied with the results..

Step 3: Make the Neck

The BBQ lighter headpiece is cut with a Dremel or similar tool. This is to expose the side for lighting. If you are making a flexible neck flashlight then skip this step.

The inside of the headpiece is lined with aluminum tape for reflection then smoothed with a dowel, I use the Ikea dowel that I will need shortly. The end of the headpiece was blocked off with a piece of craft foam wedged into it to prevent light from going where I did not want it to.

The dowel is drilled out with a 3/16 inch bit.

The LED assembly is fed through the neck and the leads are fed into the dowel.

The leads are sticking out of the dowel by no more than 1/4 inch and a dab of hot glue holds them firm. Hot glue the dowel then the washer in place leaving the marked dowel free. As it happens, the 5/16 flat washer is the exact same size an the original glass lens from the Maglite.

A mark is placed on the dowel to represent the height of the original Maglite reflective cone.

The dowel is fed into the end of the flexible neck just enough to allow for the thickness of the washer and dowel to protrude.

The dowel is the hot glued into place and the washer is then seated and hot glued into place on the dowel.

Trim any excess glue with a hobby knife.

Step 4: Install Headpiece

The lighter headpiece is placed back onto the end of the flex neck, Note the LED positioning and remove the headpiece to adjust the LEDs so that they shine properly. Install the headpiece.

Reassemble the flashlight and make sure that the leads for the LEDs are in the proper placement than screw the end cap back into place.

You have now replaced the original bulb and lens assembly with LEDs and a flex neck. The flashlight should operate as the Maglite originally did.

The clamp can be used to hold the assembly to a book for convenient night time reading.

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