Wow.. its been 2 years since I built my first RGB flashlight............

LED's (Light Emitting Diodes) Have recently become very powerful and relatively cheap... ($8 for a 3Watt LED)

I have always had an interest in lights... Maybe they just fascinate me.. I'm really not sure why, but for some reason I'm willing to spend hours and even days of my life building something that just basically creates some light... Its fun to me.. I did a terrible job of documenting my first flashlight, and no one else ever expressed interest in building one.. Not sure if that was because of the documentation issue or something else.. But I would like to make it as easy as possible for anyone else to duplicate my work. If there is some piece of information pertaining to this project that I have not made clear.. Just let me know and I'll do my best to correct it.



First of all, this is not your normal flashlight.. This is more of a crazy disco micro controller controlled thing that can emit any color of light... and is fun to play with...

The firmware was written with JAL which is all open source and free.


Why Sound?
Well it may seem strange to have a flashlight that sings.. But hey.. I could do it so why not. The beeping is also VERY handy for knowing which mode you are in when you only have one momentary switch as input. It beeps out the number of the current mode.. IE mode one = one beep, mode two = two beeps. It can also play simple tunes like the theme from mario or star wars..

Technical Details:

Lumiled's Luxeon Star 3 (3Watt LED's) -Total output 9W from 3 LED's

Micro controller:
Microchip PIC16F628 (18Pin 20MHZ)

Power Source:
7.4V 1400mah Lithium Ion Battery pack (from my digital camera that was stolen)

Anything you can dream up ;)
For the moment I have one momentary contact switch and one rotary encoder.

Currently there is a small speaker from a cell phone hooked to my board



These are the Luxeon 3 Star modules before modification and mounting.. They can only be run for short periods of time (a few seconds) without additional heat sinking..

To get all three of the LED's to fit inside my 1.5" diameter copper tube I had to cut one side of each with the band saw, and then sand it smooth. These were then mounted to a 1/4" thick circular copper plate that is soldered to the inside of my 1.5" diameter copper tube.
This whole assembly provides a sturdy case, and a nice heat sink. I made my clamp from a piece of blank 1/6" thick FR4 PCB material. There are four #4 size screws that hold the clamp down to the copper plate.

This circuit board is really just a test board... I had originally planned to put a DC-DC converter on the left side of it, but then found out that the chip I planned to use needed 8+ volts to work.

Soo in this project I sort of went backwards in product development.. starting with surface mount and then migrating to through hole for ease of assembly...

Heat sink mounted red green and blue luxeon star 3 LED's.. Some of the holes were already there..

Rear view showing the electronics and connected with some ribbon cable is the rotary encoder with integrated momentary push button switch and the 10k variable resistor for brightness.

Some of the parts on this first generation board are recycled.. Like the power resistors on the bottom section are all different sizes ;) surprisingly the red one has the same rating (1W) as the bottom one..


This board was made with the toner transfer method using my laser printer and some office max brand glossy color laserjet paper...