the FlashFlood

by Mr_MegaTronic May 23, 2015
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Looks like this will power nicely with a surplus Nokia 3.7v 350ma wall wart left over from an old cell phone. One bit of warning, these Harbor Freight and similar Chinese LED flashlights run those 9 LED's on 4.5 volts via a single 7-10 ohm 1/8 watt ballast resistor. In the flashlight that resistor is pressing against the metal body of the flashlight heat sinking it. However operated in the open it will probably fail in short order. I'm replacing it with a 10 ohm 1W (Rat Shack) resistor, probably mounted in-line with the power cord.

I finally put mine together, thinking I'd be clever and repurpose a failed cheapo Lightning cable for an iDevice (the lightning connectors break off easily, leaving bare wire at one end and a USB A connector at the other). Once plugged in to a standard 500mA USB port, the LED began to flicker, so I knew they were about to die. This thing definitely needs a resistor added! Thanks for your suggestion.

I appreciate this thing - going to make one or two for the home real soon!

I was wondering however if you had the instructions on how you extracted the leds and circuit board from the flashlights and where I might solder the power leads to it? I am comfortable doing anything in the shop and have almost any tool at my dispose so just a hint or two would help.

Plan on taking this idea and using a version of it to light my DIY printing cabinet too! Good on you for an awesome way to re-purpose these little flashlights into something better!

this is very well made.i love the idea

Awesome! Finally a use for those damn things since I have upgraded all my flashlights to Cree 200+ lumen lights... doesn't require any special order materials either. This is totally worthy of being featured! Great job.

Unfortunately I won't be making one until I have a house (I'm in college) but when I do I'll be sure to post it! Maybe I'll make my parents one in the meantime... you deserve some Makes.

Grats on being featured. Wondering why there aren't more makes? Looks like one part needs to be rotated and 2 others will need supports which is not in the instructions.

I can correct the origin position, however none of the parts require support to be printable on a machine that can tolerate 5mm bridges. I will upload new files with the correct print orientation.

OK, thank you. Odd they don't contact you before featuring your design with little tips like that. Like make sure the rotations are correct, that there are instructions, perhaps a pre-plated STL, and maybe even a single make even if it is your own. I am kind of setup for drag and drop (download and save) printing so I get a little peeved (not on you) when I have to go plate and rotate things. Tell me beforehand it needs 100% fill, .1 slice, supports, a brim, a raft and I will add it to the right print queue.

I am guilty of not always rotating things before posting simply because it is easier for me to do it in Makerware than NX. Also sometimes there are a few ways it could be printed depending on use or how much support material you want to clean off. You have a point though about ease of use.... I almost want to go back and fix them all. I do post instructions/print_specs that work for me though.

You may want to consider adding a motion sensor to your light, especially the one going down to the basement. Even if the sensor failed and it stayed on all night, it would not use much power.

That would be cool, even with the little power this would consume I'd feel better if it were off the 95% of the time when it is not needed.. I've briefly looked into this in the past and couldn't find much that was cheap, I really wouldn't want to throw on an expensive home security motion detector onto my 3D printed lamp design lol.

Very cool, I might stick some aluminum tape to the inside of the dome to help with reflection, and possibly remix another joint so it can be aimed side to side some. I was thinking about doing something like this for those cheap solar path lights.
Nice job.

What plastic did you print this with? I'd think PLA wouldn't fare too well outdoors.

I live in Michigan and I left a PLA part near the window of my dorm room (inside climate controlled, but exposed to sun)... it badly warped in a few days. I'd say ABS but feel free to experiment. Just my $0.02.

PLA is one of the most UV resistant plastics. It should work wonderfully outdoors.

Depends where you live. Here in Vegas that's a horrible idea. The PLA would turn to goop in one day.

I've had a PLA address plate on my mailbox for 2+ years and a couple of nasty winters, that shows no signs of decay/pitting at all yet.


Great to see you posting again!

I love the design and I will certainly make this.

As for the impetus; for ultimate stair safety, I suggest you work on a design that will limit your intake of alcohol. lol!

Having just done a full on face plant coming out of my garage last night and tripping over the cooler I foolishly left in front of the door, a perfect obstacle in the pitch black, I was thinking about installing a light to prevent that in the future. And here it is! Awesome -- thank you.


This should totally get featured!!!