Custom LED Flashlights


This is an oldie. Like grade school old. (The light on the left will be covered in its own post here.)

So some of you may be wondering why my email is called "theledman". It's because somewhere between the 5th and 6th grade, I became fascinated with LED's. I think it was because my dad bought me a box of 20 assorted LED's from Radio Shack and let me play around with them. Since then, I've been the nerd/dork that has religiously "followed" the progression of LED tech...from the 5mm T1 3/4's, brighter Luxeons, and more efficient Cree X-series, to today's cheap, Chinese made, multi-die chips. It's pretty cool to see how brightness, overall life, and price points have improved so much over time.


Anyway, back then (~1999), the AA Maglite was the king of pocket flashlights. You'd see them on construction workers everywhere and my dorky self really wanted a cool nylon holster to carry a flashlight around...but I didn't like how it was so dim and didn't last very long. Anyway, I luckily guessed that LED's would be the future of lighting and decided to make my own flashlight. 

Around 2001, I bought a 4x AAA battery holder, 5mm LED Mounts, and these LED's and designed my own pocket flashlight. Though this light didn't have as much throw as the Maglite, it had decent spill and did a better job at being a headlamp than a spotlight. Even then, it still worked pretty well for a light without any collimators/reflectors.


My second light was an attempt to make a more pocketable light. Using a PVC pipe, some end caps, a push button, and 3 LED's with holders, I made a 3xAAA light that could fit in a Maglite holster. Once I filled the head portion of the light with hot glue, the light was moderately water resistant as well. 







My last flashlight, which was constructed around 10th grade, was a modification of an existing light with a clip and a swivel head built in. It was around then that I really wanted a 3D printer to be able to design my own light chassis...but affordable machines like the MakerBot didn't yet exist so modifying a pre-existing chassis was the next best thing.




And there you have it! If you have any questions on how to make these lights, shoot me an email at info@ericdavidchang.com.

3 comments:

  1. I like above all flashlight. Thanks for introduce me nice flash light.

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  2. These are all cool cheap LED flashlights! I love the PVC pipe one, that is cooler than most flashlights I'd find at the store! Thanks for this post, cheers!

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