Make an LED Stylized FlashlightC:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_05_12\051215 Bfly 2.jpgC:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_04_11\ldybg LED.jpg

Created for the Coronado Girl Scout Service Unit Encampment in the mountains of San Diego in April 2015, this device can be a map light or a quick illuminator inside a backpack or purse – or something else.  The “bug” adaptation fit the outing’s “Adventure” theme, while honoring the United Nations General Assembly naming 2015 the “International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies.”             C:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_04_11\0415 Encmpt LED Bug Lt.jpg

                    C:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_04_11\bug lightjpg.jpgC:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_05_12\E & A bug light_6975.jpg

Participants, aged 5 years old to adult, have since made these pocket LED flashlights at events sponsored by the Girl Scouts San Diego Council.  Adapt this for the season or for your event.                                  

C:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_05_12\051215 Bfly 1.jpgC:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_05_12\051215 bug light 2.jpgC:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_05_12\051215 smiley bug lightpg.jpgC:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_05_12\051215 bug light 1.jpg



For each Bug Light:

1         3V coin cell battery , 20 mm diameter (CR2032)

2         LEDs, compatible with 3V battery, any color C:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_08_20\IMG_7216.JPG

Assorted adhesive foam stickers


Hole Punch, various sizes

Bling:  adhesive rhinestones, other                                   


LED “Bug” Light  Instructions


Step 1                Take one 3V coin cell battery and two LEDs.  Confirm both LEDs light.

C:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_08_20\3V & LEDs.jpg

Step 2        Orient the positive leads of the LEDs (longer legs) so that they contact the ‘+ ‘ side of the battery and the negative leads (shorter legs) contact the ‘ – ‘ side.  

LEDs differ from standard light emitters (bulbs) in their directional flow of current from a power source.  The LED leads, or legs, align their polarity with the battery.

C:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_08_20\Bug 1 side.jpgC:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_08_20\2 LEDs lit.jpg


      Step 3        

      Secure LED legs to battery on either

      side with an adhesive foam  sticker.    


Step 4        Turn bug light over.  Lift LED legs on opposite side so they no longer contact battery.  

C:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_08_20\Bug 2nd side.jpg

Step 5        Place adhesive foam sticker, with a “hole” in the center,  underneath the raised LED legs and onto the battery.   The “hole” can be a gap or space, big or small, where the LED leads contact the battery.

C:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_08_20\side 2 big hole.jpg                 C:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_08_20\Iside 2 small hole.jpg

Step 6        Cover tops of the ends of the LED leads with another foam sticker (may help to form a ‘V’ with LED legs), to use as a button.  Embellish with more decorative stickers.  Turn over and decorate back, if desired.  

Test             Ensure button works as on/off switch (press/release).                                                                           C:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_08_20\back side.jpg

      C:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_08_20\finished button.jpg


                              back side

About the Process

Originally, it was desired to adapt a cricket clicker, currently found only with plastic edging throughout – not great for conductivity.   Also,  the clicker function was lost with manipulation to place a battery.   A blingy butterfly hair clip was found to look pretty cool, but was not a sturdy enough design to hold up to adventure.  C:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_05_12\051215 Olivia bug light_1.jpg


Near the end of prototyping, seeking a way to make the LED light assembly attachable, a binder clip bling wearable using similar items was seen in Make: Magazine (online).  However, turning the LED off involves disassembly, and the design adds an insulator to separate clip and battery.                            


C:\Users\Denise Santoro\Pictures\2015_04_11\brownies bug light_6853.jpg

                                                                                         Girl Scouts San Diego Troop 1

This stylized LED flashlight project, and the process that informed and tweaked its design, are dedicated to maker enthusiast and instructor,  James Newton  and maker mentor extraordinaire, Dan Hendricks of Open Source Maker Labs.  With boundless passion and enthusiasm, their selfless support of makers - new and experienced - radiates throughout San Diego County.  Their quests to engage the community in the realms of digital design, inudustrial arts, and the joys of making lead to lifelong inspiration across generations.

DAS 2015