How to Make an LED Torch

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How to Make an LED Torch
Flashlights using LEDs (flashlight image by CraterValley Photo from Fotolia.com)

Flashlights using incandescent bulbs go through their batteries quickly, unlike those that use LEDs as the light source. You can make an LED Torch (or "flashlight") that will be able to stay lit for long periods of time before the battery needs to be changed. Some experience in using a soldering iron is required along with a few parts from an electrical supply shop. Your LED torch will provide a consistent and bright light that will illuminate your way for a long time before the battery runs out.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • Matchbox
  • White LED
  • Cellophane tape
  • White glue
  • 3 volt button battery
  • Utility knife
  • Electric wires
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Ruler
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Microswitch

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Put newspaper down on a table. Empty out the matches from the matchbox. Put the matches away or dispose of them properly. Put the matchbox down on the newspaper. Remove the cardboard tray from inside of the matchbox cover. Put the cardboard tray down on the newspaper.

  2. 2

    Make a small hole in one side of the cardboard tray using the utility knife. Insert the white LED into the hole from the inside of the cardboard tray so that the LED peeks out from the hole. Apply white glue around the white LED from inside of the cardboard tray. Let the white glue dry for 20 minutes.

  3. 3

    Cut three 6-inch pieces of electric wire using the wire cutters. Strip off 1/2 inch of insulation from each end of both wires using the ruler and the wire strippers.

  4. 4

    Solder the end of one wire to one of the two conductive pins of the white LED. Solder the end of the other wire to the other conductive pin of the white LED. Let the solder cool for a minute or two.

  5. 5

    Solder the free end of one of the two wires onto the negative contact side of the 3 volt button battery. Let the solder cool for a minute or two.

  6. 6

    Solder the free end of the other wire to one of the two contacts on the microswitch. Let the solder cool for a minute or two.

  7. 7

    Solder one of the two ends of the third wire to the other contact on the microswitch. Let the solder cool for a minute or two.

  8. 8

    Solder the other end of the third wire to the positive contact side of the 3 volt battery. Let the solder cool for a minute or two.

  9. 9

    Apply white glue to the negative side of the 3 volt button battery. Put the negative side of the 3 volt button battery into the cardboard tray. Push down on the negative side of the 3 volt button battery so that it adheres to the bottom of the cardboard tray. Let the white glue dry for 20 minutes.

  10. 10

    Cut a hole in the centre of the top of the matchbox cover using the utility knife. Put the cardboard tray back into the matchbox cover.

  11. 11

    Pull the microswitch up from inside of the cardboard tray and into the hole in the centre of the matchbox cover.

  12. 12

    Secure the microswitch to the hole with white glue. Let the white glue dry for 20 minutes.

  13. 13

    Aim the LED of your homemade LED torch at a wall. Press the microswitch to project a beam of light at the wall.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear work gloves to protect your hands when making the LED torch.
  • Adult supervision is necessary if a minor is making the LED torch.

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