Intro: Home-made Flashlight
I made this torch because I could not find anything decent and reliable enough in the shops. Unfortunately I don't have a step by step process for this project. The torch is powered from a 12v gel-seal battery with a 4 amp hour rating. These batteries are commonly used as backup power for electric gates, alarm systems etc.. The torch casing is made from MDF wood board but any other suitable material can be used. I used a 12v 50w halogen bulb which is extremely bright and perfectly suited for this application. It does get very hot after a short time and it's advisable to put a firewall between the battery and bulb. I made a charge cradle as well to facilitate ease of use.
Torch useful run-time is about 1 hour which is more than enough for home use (this drops the battery to about 9v), the battery should not be discharged below 7v, apparently it's not good for them. I also modified the charger by removing the LED's from the circuit board placing them in a separate box which indicates power, charging, and complete. These chargers vary greatly and I was lucky enough to find one with LED's.
The whole project was really fun and simple to make (basic understanding of circuits) and now I have something which is powerful and reliable plus the satisfaction of having made it myself.
Some materials used:
Banana clips, 2x male and female. 2 female for base of torch and 2 male for charge cradle. Just line them up properly so they fit nicely.
Rubber stoppers for charge cradle feet.
Aluminium (12mm x 3mm) for handle, Panel sealer strips and heat shrink for grip.
2.5 gauge automotive wiring.
One could substitute the halogen for a cluster LED bulb which would provide possibly 15 hours or more per charge.
With the addition of new photos, I've added a smaller flashlight which I just made. Uses a smaller gelseal battery and LED cluster bulb. The housing is an electronics enclosure which is perfect.