How to Make a LED Flashlight to Draw or Write With

Two Methods:Make Your LightDraw Your Picture

It's easy to make a small, LED (light emitting diode) flashlight that can be used to create cool photography or video effects, such as writing or drawing a picture with light. It's like an LED crayon!

Method 1
Make Your Light

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    Gather your materials. These are listed in the "Things You'll Need" section below.
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    Connect the LED light with the battery. The longer end of the LED light is the positive (anode) end. This must touch the positive (+) end of the lithium 3v battery. The shorter end is the negative (cathode) end. This must touch the negative (-) end of the battery. Connecting these pieces should cause the LED to light up.
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    Cut a piece of tape about 5–6 centimeters (2.0–2.4 in) long, then cut it in half lengthwise.
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    Wrap the piece of tape around the battery to cover and secure the leads of the LED. Make sure the LED is still on.
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    Cut the other half of that piece of tape down to about 2 centimeters (0.8 in) in length. Wrap it around the bottom of the LED, being careful that the leads don't touch their opposite battery sides. (The negative lead should not touch the positive side and vice versa.)
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    Your finished product should look something like this.

Method 2
Draw Your Picture

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    To draw with your LED flashlight, set up your camera in a dark room and have your light on hand.
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    If your camera has a flash setting, make sure it is turned off.
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    Set your camera to record video or take a slow shutter image. You can use an auto-timer to get in position.
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    When the camera indicates that the picture has started, move your light around to create shapes, draw pictures or write words.

Tips

  • Attach a magnet on the positive side of the battery to make it a throwie.
  • Try taping two different colour LEDs "crayons".
  • Use multiple colors of LEDs for different picture effects.
  • Experiment with the slow shutter speed on your digital camera. A slower shutter means more intricate and detailed drawings.

Warnings

  • This project uses many small materials that could be swallowed by children or animals. Supervision is recommended.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors (an x-acto knife or razor blade works too, but should be used with care)
  • Duct tape or electrical tape
  • A 5mm LED light of any color (a two-pack costs about $2 at Radio Shack)
    • Note: You can buy LEDs online for a very cheap price (about $2.99 for 10), but it will cost additional for shipping.
  • A 3-volt CR 2032 lithium battery (bought from Radio Shack, $10 for 3)
    • 3V Lithium CR 2032 batteries may be replaced for two AA batteries. For it to work, you must connect the LED anode lead to the positive(+) side of the battery, and the LED cathode to the negative(-) side of the OTHER battery, then use electrical tape to connect them together. This may require soldering.
  • A digital camera with an adjustable shutter speed.

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