Introduction: Very Small USB Light

About: I am a college student in Electronics Engineering Technologies. I have been fascinated with LEDS for the past 15 years, and have been building electronics project since the age of 8. I am fluent in 3D printing…

Hello fellow makers!

Today, you will learn how to build a very small USB flashlight that can be used with USB power banks or plugged into a wall charger to create a small night light.

This is a very quick build, and only takes approximately 10 minutes.

Lets get started!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

For this project, you will need:

1 Circuit board that has connection contacts along the edge (See photo) you may also use an old computer PCI card or the such.

1 White LED (3V/20mA)

1 100Ω resistor


Soldering iron and solder

Wire cutters

A very solid box cutter (to cut the circuit board)

Metal ruler

Step 2: Cutting the Circuit Board to Shape

Align the ruler on the egde of the contact tabs, as shown in the first picture. Cut several cuts, being careful so the ruler remains in place. You will need to go over this cut 10 or 15 times to make a good score line.

Snap the circuit board along the score line.

Turn the circuit board 90° and align the ruler in a way so that there will be 4 contacts between the ruler and the edge of the board. Refer to the picture for a better understanding.

Cut again, and previously described, cut 10 or 15 times, and snap on the score line.

You will remain with a small rectangle of the circuit with 4 contacts, and shown in the 3rd picture.

Step 3: Preparing the Board

You will now add solder along the whole length of the 2 outer contacts. This will "bulk" up the board to make it a bit thicker. It will also assure a good contact once it's put in the USB charger.

The third picture is just to show which contacts will be positive (+) and negative (-).

Step 4: Soldering Components

Cut the leads short on the resistor, and tin both ends with solder.

Solder one end to the (+) of the USB as shown in the picture.

Cut the (+) lead of the LED short, and tin this lead with solder. See the second picture to know where to cut.

Solder the LED to the end of the resistor.

The last lead is bent into place, using your fingers or pliers. Optionally, add a small piece of shrink-tubing over this lead.

Once bent into shape, cut the lead to the correct length and solder to the (-) contact.

Congratulations, you are now done! :-D

Step 5: Enjoy Your Light!

In the first 2 pictures, it is plugged into a USB power bank

The rest of the pictures, it is plugged into a phone charger by my washing machine. You can see this produces a good amount of light to be used as a night light.

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you liked this project in the comments!

Cheers from Canada

Make it Glow Contest 2018

Participated in the
Make it Glow Contest 2018