There are three things I really like about this thing, the altiods tin (who doesn't love those?), the LEDs, and that it's USB powered. At my work bench, I have always had a regular incandescent light bulb. Then one day the fixture decided it was done, and quickly died. I have been messing around with LEDs for a while and thought it would be cool to make a new light with them. As I was preparing to solder a bunch of LEDs to a perf board, I saw this super cheap portable light that I had broken some time ago. I decided to use that instead. At a cost of about $3-$5 a piece, these flashlights are ideal for many DIY projects.
Step 1: Supplies
What we need:
* cheap flashlight/spotlight (see picture)
* altoids tin (or other container)
* USB cable (broken ones work and are cheaper)
* high power resistor (I happened to have a 2 Ohm 7 watt one on hand)
Step 2: Break Stuff
Well, don't actually break it. We need the male USB connector from the cable, and the LED plate from the light.
To get the USB connector, just cut away the rubber covering and desolder the wires. To get the LED plate, take apart the flashlight, there should be some screws on the back, and desolder the connecting wires.
Step 3: Add New Connections
Add a new wire to the USB connector, I used a long two part wire (it has two wires inside, insulated from each other). Once soldered, heat shrink wrap the end to make it stronger and better looking. Electrical tape will work too.
Step 4: Wire the LEDs
There should be a small clearing on the LED plate, that is where I glued the resistor. Solder one side of the resistor too one connection on the LED plate. Plug in the USB cord and test which wire to attach to the resistor and which wire to the plate. Solder those wires in place. Plug the cord in again and make sure the light works before moving on to the next step.
Step 5: Case It
Put a strip of tape, like duct tape, on the lid of the altiods tin on the inside. This is to insulate the LED plate from the metal lid. Then simply hot glue the plate onto it. The cord fits nicely inside and I added a few heavy washers to weigh it down. That's it, now go light up the world (or a desk, that works too)