Make an LED Stylized Flashlight
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.”
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.
For each Bug Light:
1 3V coin cell battery , 20 mm diameter (CR2032)
2 LEDs, compatible with 3V battery, any color
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.