LED Technology Improvements

The advent of LED technology rang the death knell for the incandescent light bulb, more or less. The flashlight market was no exception, and almost all of the material offered in the trade now works with LEDS. Logical consequence: can be found in our closets and on the second hand market a wide range of lamps torches in good condition of operation, but have become obsolete because not enough power or enough enduring. Like others, I was nostalgic for those lamps which have accompanied all my night reading, hid under the covers. I therefore propose in this thread a series of hacks able to back these dinosaurs of another time, and why not give them new features among the current offer of the day…

LED Technology Improvements1


Hack 1-LED Conversion

It may sound trivial, but all start with the easiest: most incandescent bulbs find their equivalent in LED. For a few euros investment, it can easily convert any flashlight bulbs in LED lamp. On a flashlight type Maglite for example, the operation is easy, existing kits on the market for a few euros. For other most common lamps simply find a 3V LED or 4 .5V with a base type E10 (between 2.50 and 3.00 euros unity Conrad).

LED Technology Improvements1

The following photos show the conversion on a frontal old Petzl of 20 years, a Maglite Solitaire, a mini-Maglite, and a relic of the Bundeswehr.

Hack 2-Adapters for batteries

Some maniacs contrive to standardize their devices – including lamps – the most so that they use only one type of battery. This allows among others to facilitate the storage of batteries and the rotation of stocks. But our world being what it is, that is a big edge€ l chaotic and out of control, it is very likely that at some point or another one is faced with a device whose battery type is unavailable. Fortunately, for a small fee (a few euros) our Chinese friends offer off-the-shelf solutions, namely adapters.

LED Technology Improvements3

It thus becomes possible to feed such a large Maglite D5 with 6 AAA batteries! Obviously the performance of the lamp feel slightly, but mass gain is more than substantial and facilitates certain uses diverted from the object!

Hack 3-Ignitor of fire 1

The trick is widely known but worth mentioning: the weather, the reflector of a flashlight allows to initiate a fire by concentrating solar radiation. Practice to light a cigarette, but there must be of the Sun! I refer you to a video demo: make fire with a flashlight.

Hack 4 – Ignitor to fire 2

Any cell or battery (of mobile phone for example) in working condition is able to initiate a fire. Any reader of this forum interested a little in survival skills knows that a little straw of iron and a battery sufficient to this. The trick that follows does not iron straw, something we rarely got to the bottom of the Pocket, but a waste of everyday life: the gum in paper packaging aluminized! This insignificant item, popularized by Mc Gyver in the 1980s, is here: the aluminized part led current, while the paper part plays the role of fuel.

Light a fire with a battery and a gum wrapper, for prior tear or cut out roughly the packaging in the shape of Z, the Central Branch of the Z being narrower than the other 2 in order to play the role of filament in the primitive electric circuit that we assemble. If there is a pair of scissors, it can also be used to cut thin strips.

The aluminized side of the 2 ends of the packaging are brought into contact with the terminals of the battery, and normally the Central Branch ignites. You have your fire! It may be wise to this end to always have some gum on itself… Unfortunately I only have 2 hands, which made the shot and forced me to repeat the process several times to get a result about showable.

Hack 5-Fuel supply and sound-absorbing

To build on the momentum of the previous paragraph, it may be useful to have a supply of fuel to start a fire. One solution is to wrap a few lengths of tape around the batteries or the body of the lamp. The tape is an excellent fuel, cut into very thin strips that we then agglomerates in pelota. Note that this ball can ignite easily under the action of a firesteel, the bands are fairly thin.

Incidentally, this precaution plays a role of soundproofing, the shocks of the battery against the inside of the body of the lamp being amortized.

Hack 6-Coating antislip, shockproof and fuel

The metal body of a lamp can be difficult to grasp if it is wet (wet, clammy hand) or fat. Repeated on the lamp body shocks can also damage its components and cause little quiet noises. A solution to compensate for this, and which should appeal to fetishists attending this forum, is to cut a suit of rubber for the lamp in an old inner tube. The use of SOAP and a little water to facilitate the threading on the lamp. As a bonus there is a good supply of fuel for the case where.

Hack 7-Diffuser for ambient light

Nothing like a soft light to brighten up a romantic evening under the dug! Except that this kind of accessory is often bulky and heavy. Never mind: a hack simple allows you to make a very cheap and efficient MUL in minutes light diffuser. For this, need you a ping-pong ball, a large flat head nail, pliers, and a source of heat (burner gas or candle, for example). Using the clamp maintained the nail head in the flame to heat it. After a few minutes of heating, applied nail against the ping-pong ball head, and you instantly get a beautiful circular hole.

A few additional applications suffice as appropriate to enlarge the hole, in order to adapt to the diameter of the lamp (better to first dismantle the torch head). Finally the ball can be mounted on the lamp, and it remains more to see the result!

Other somewhat opaque object to get the same result. The ping-pong ball to the advantage to be very light and offer other devious uses (subject in preparation).

Hack 8-Counterfeit detector

This is the crisis, and it is likely that scams to fake tickets will prosper. To distinguish the wheat from the chaff, nothing like what a small lamp UV able to detect the grossest counterfeits. This is made easy if you are the proud owner of a Maglite flashlight or equivalent, for example a mini MAG or a micro MAG 3V (2xAA or 2xAAA). In fact just to get a good voltage UV LED (1.90 euro FDPI 3V on the Bay LED 10), cut the clamps at the right length, to replace the original by the LED bulb, and voila!

The completed invoice appears clearly on the following photo: left the original LED, and where middle LED changed using the bulb of origin as a template.

It may be necessary to invert the polarity in case of not functioning. Caution: the LED is slightly bigger than the original bulb, which prevents the reassembly of the lamp head (unless you expand the diameter of the hole in the reflector).

This detector of fortune (no pun intended), we can easily recognize the notes 20 and 50 euros, that become orange stars once exposed to UV RAYS:

The interest of the Maglite is that the lamp has a storage compartment in the nerve for a spare bulb, which is strong about for UV LED.

The technique of UV is to be implemented in conjunction with others (infra-red for example) for a conclusive result, knowing however that UV tracers are less and less present in our paper money.
For more information, I invite to consult the following sites here and here.

And especially to recognize the tracers UV and IR of each ticket, see here !

Hack 9-Water Purifier UV

Hack 8 above to get a source of UV. Why not use it to purify water contaminated by bacteria, on the principle of the Katadyn Steripen? If it sounds like a great idea, it is in fact not technically possible at lower cost.

The Steripen emits UVC (short wave ultraviolet) to sterilize the germs. These UV – C are very energetic, the ideal wavelength to also be around 260nm for optimal germicidal action. Currently available low-cost UV LEDS emit UV – A between 320 and 400nm. If it is known that in theory, some germs can be sterilized with UV – A to 380nm, in practice the result is very random, long, and only has an effect restricted to certain germs. The LED emitting UV – C obviously exist, but their cost is prohibitive ($ 200 unit). In short, we need to wait a few years before you can perform this hack…

Hack 10-Capsule of survival / Reserve batteries

What to do with a definitely damn lamp? Cannibalize her, of course! The body of the lamp is including a component of choice, because usually made in aluminum alloy. To turn the thingy in capsule, to remove previously all the electrical guts that lines the inside of the lamp. In the case of a mini Maglite MAG this operation is very easy to achieve. The container can then be used as what. The perfectionists will seek to replace the glass by a piece of metal or plastic for extra strength. Some hardliners even acquire a cap aluminium, specially shot for the occasion, but this investment is it reasonable? For my part, the most simple and economic solution is to recover a Chair plastic leg Cap. For a mini MAG the required inside diameter is 18 mm. The nozzle is mounted in full force on the tube with o-ring. In order to ensure a proper seal, you can place a piece of inner tube to the bottom of the tip, or even stick the tip on the lamp body.

This type of capsule is able to accommodate small utensils of survival, or even just a set of batteries for another lamp. It can also serve as a basis for making a filter water to fortune.

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