Altoids Small Glovebox Flashlight




I wanted to build a Flashlight that was cheap, easy to find and would fit nicely in my glove box.

I found this little Altoids small can at Walmart, and thought hey that would work nicely! I checked out with it and ate all the mints by the next day, I really love mints.

This is my first instructable.


Step 1: Things You'll Need!

We are going to need some tools for this project!

1. Soldering Iron(Plug this in to get warmed up)

2. Wire Strippers

3. USB Power Bank

4. Drill Bits

5. Light Emitting Diodes(LED's)

6. Hot Glue Gun

Step 2: Stripping the Wires

I picked this particular wire because I liked the thickness and strength of it. I managed to strip the positive and negative ends of the wires, and to cut off the unnecessary data ones.

Step 3: Mark the Hole for Diode(s)

For this step I scanned my LED's and taped the copy of it on the Altoids tin.

Step 4: Drilling the Hole

I then set up my drill with a bit a fraction of an inch bigger that what I needed. I drilled a hole just big enough for the LED's to fit in but not slide out to easy. After getting the hole the desired diameter I bent the sharp edges inwards where the emitting diodes will sit. I had to hammer the sharp edges down on the inside to get the LED's to stick out just like I wanted them to.

Step 5: Drilling the Hole for the USB

For this step I got a bit just as thick as the cable and drilled just underneath the tin lid when its closed. The best part of this is the dust collects mostly inside the tin.

Step 6: Fetching and Soldering

I wiggled the USB into the Altoids tin and made sure it would reach the LED's. From their I soldered the negative and positive leads to the lights and tested to see if I did this correctly with the power shot.

Step 7: Seal & Glue It All.

I got out my hot glue gun and made sure everything was securely held down with glue. I did this by gluing the bare leads were I soldered and the holes of the LED's/ USB cable.

Step 8: Place in Glove Compartment

Turn on your power bank and search for those long lost pennies lurking beneath your seats, or maybe take it with you when your camping.

With this particular setup it was quite bright, I could stand seven feet from a wall and still get a bright enough light to see in the night.



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    6 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    off the cuff calculations say, a 22ohm 1/4 watt current limiting resistor would do well to keep from over driving the leds.

    If used with a three position switch, it would allow normal, 'safe, low power' use on a nirmal basis, and when needed a quick flip to position three could bypass the resistor for 'full power mode'


    4 years ago

    Oh I just realized how the USB works. It's like juice box for phones. Charges on the go.


    4 years ago

    It's not completely portable still. But good idea still


    4 years ago

    The instructions were not clear. If you need a USB port what's the point. Check out my battery powered light.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    step 8... it is a light that works with the power bank. Some of the powerbank makers think it is such a good idea, some of them come with a flashlight plugin head, or built in led.

    Many new cars, and radios are coming with usb ports for mp3 playback. As such, this could be plugged in for mood lighting, usb extention cable for camping/reading light, and still used with the powerbank for portability.

    If you just want an altoids flashlight, yours, and many other projects, will do well. However, if you already have a powerbank, $2 at the dollar store will get you the light and tin for this project. :-)