Easy LED Pocket Light




About: an earth human who likes geeky techy stuff

This tiny flashlight is super easy to make and only costs about $10 in parts!

Step 1: The Parts

First, you will need a project box big enough to hold all the components. You can purchase these at RadioShack; I purchased mine online. An altoids tin would also work. Whatever works for you aesthetically.

You will also need: two super bright 5mm leds (I'll be using 15,000 mcd white), 2 led mounts, 2 CR2016 batteries, a coin battery holder, and some wire.

Not pictured: You will need a switch to turn the light on and off. You can choose a toggle switch, slide switch, or a push button. Again, this is largely a question of aesthetics. You should consider though if a momentary switch or an off/on type would best suite your needs. I chose an oversized push button that does both.

Step 2: Assembly

Start by drilling two holes in the box for the led mounts and then attach them. A 5/16 drill bit should be the perfect size.
(Make sure you don't put the mounts too close together or you wont be able to screw on the nuts.)

After the led mounts are done, you can Insert the two leds.

Next, drill a hole for the switch and attach it.

Step 3: Soldering

Now you are ready to solder! The leds should both have a long wire (the cathode) and a short wire (the anode).  Solder one of the led's anode wire to the other led's cathode wire.

Next, solder one of the led's remaining wires to one side of your switch.

Then solder a small piece of wire to the other side of the switch.

Finally, solder that piece of wire to one of the tabs on the battery holder. Solder the other tab to the unused led wire. (Keep in mind that you have to have the battery holder wired for the correct polarity. It helps to test this before you solder, though if you mess up you can always just flip the batteries upside down.)

Step 4: Final Touches

Insert the batteries and test it out. If everything works then you're almost ready to close it up. Before you do though, it's a good idea to cover the solder joints and bare wires with liquid electrical tape to avoid shorts.

Now you have a very cool pocket light to show off to your friends!

A few final thoughts:

This design leaves a lot of room for modification. You could try different colour leds, more/less leds, you could add a potentiometer to make it a variable light, ect. You could also add another battery (the holder will fit multiple fairly well) to make the light noticeably brighter, but you would need to add a couple of resisters or your led life would probably be shortened. Have fun experimenting.

Step 5: Completed



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    13 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction


    Question: no need for resistors for the LEDs? Is forward voltage of button batteries low enuf to prevent burnout?

    1 reply

    The voltage is low enough that you shouldn't need resistors (I have made a few of these now for friends and family and no leds have burned out yet).

    If you want to make it brighter though, add a couple of resistors and an extra battery.

    Asadullah Mughal

    3 years ago

    Yeah long is anode and short is cathode


    3 years ago on Step 5

    Like it for the simplicity.

    BTW, usually Long is Anode and Short is Cathode!!!


    7 years ago on Step 5

    very simple steps, thank you. do you have a source for the LEDs?, also if I want to build multiple LEDs with rechargeable batteries as power suply, do I need a circuit board?

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    99.9% 0f my projects are sourced from reclaimed items...my bicycle system is total recycle-LEDs from batt powered lights,headlight and tail light housings are vintage tire generator housings converted to LED(using incandescent bulb bases so LED may be reinstalled in original socket) and LED driver is a cheapo multi-pattern flash tail light.Remove LEDs from circuit board,solder in wires to route to front,rear and SIDE (!) lights.Instead of 2AA/AAA batts,2 D-cells are contained in water bottle (found roadside),with momentary switch inserted thru bottle nipple. (Most persons do not realise the bootle is power supply !)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    No thanks for ten bucks, I can get a Nebo Redline Tactical Flashlight which has is rated at 260 lumens using a high powered K5 Luxeon LED solid state diode , with built in battery indicator and sos strobe capabilities


    7 years ago on Introduction

    It's a good idea doing your own torches, but I think that this pocket light is a bit expensive. For example, if you buy one in a shop, it will cost less.

    But, it is a good instructable.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    True, but most flashlights at that price are not worth owning. They will almost certainly break soon after purchasing them, or they will be too dim to be very useful. I collect flashlights, and I wouldn't carry anything that I would have to worry about failing on me when I needed it.

    A light like this though is bright enough to be useful and shouldn't fail on you. Plus, it's always nice to carry around something that you've made with your own hands.