Electric matchstick

Here is a cool little toy, an LED matchstick. We don’t really know what purpose it serves, but [dhananjaygadre] did a pretty good job of reproducing the effect. The light is controlled by a microprocessor to emulate the flickering of a flame. It holds a charge for a short while, staying lit for an amount of time comparable to a match. To turn it on, you even “strike” it on a match box filled with magnets.


  1. techyguru says:

    Looks perfect for a play or musical in a theater that does not allow open flame. Perhaps a high school or middle school.

    The flicker is great but I might use a orange led.

  2. epicelite says:


  3. BigD145 says:

    Perfect for that tense moment in a horror flick when all you have is a single match in a dark room.

  4. yup says:

    this dude sounds exactly like 90% of my college professors.

  5. Graham says:

    next step is to put a jack in the matchbox, and replace one wall with a solar panel, that will charge the cap when it is just sitting around

  6. weeee says:

    Hey, an LED coooool!!!! SO GFOOD!?!

  7. jamesharr says:

    Perfect for most performing theatres- open flames on stage are never a good plan, and something like this would be a great substitute.

  8. Emma says:

    this is so deliciously pointless, i love it!

  9. dan says:

    it’d be good for lighting an electric cigarette…

  10. mikeyberman says:

    add the ability to blow it out, and it’s perfect :)

  11. bob dods says:


  12. nick says:

    It would be awesome if it could be inductively powered by swiping it by the box full of magnets. I doubt that would be able to provide enough power with just one swipe though.

  13. Winphreak says:

    I had a great laugh at that. Though I was thinking more for an electric cigar or possibly pipe.

  14. Marco says:


    I remember an electronics kit that did this with a photo transistor in a black box. Blowing would temporarily close an attached shutter over the box’ pinhole thereby removing the incident light of the LED. Use that as a signal input to the CPU and there’s your blow out match.

  15. El Nochero says:

    It is cool. However, methinks he hath to much time on his hands.

  16. speps says:

    add a mic and you can blow it off

  17. fartface says:

    cool for theatre.

    useless for anything else.

    the “simulation” is not close to a real match. less flickering towards off and more random. I already see the pattern. it needs the same algo that you use for a racer game or tunnel game.

    random +1 and -1 to wiggle between two extremes and then have a button to que it to slowly die out.

  18. The Steven says:

    you could use it to light theose fake cigarettes

  19. bub says:

    amazing…that someone took the time to make something so useless.

  20. Mark says:

    At least he has good taste in batteries. Those things are awesome.

    Perfect for stage performances. Add a big black switch to ‘blow it out’ and you’re there.

  21. Old Number 7 says:

    No instructions on how to make it? wiring diagrams? microprocessor programming code?

    Has this become show-and-tell-a-day?

  22. poylmath says:

    having been a stage tech for a lot of high school plays i think this is pretty cool. especially when the lead actress is just to sorry to light a match, then when she finally does, she catches her $400 costume on fire. It could be used in fake candles too. Maybe sell the candles and match as a set. the match could use a magnetic tip to “light” the candle.

    a circuit diagram would be nice though.

  23. @Old Number 7

    amen to that. seriously HAD where is the link. Do you want one of us to go and make this. Seriously we want links! (even if it is to instructables)

  24. Bob says:

    what a waste of time

  25. Jay says:

    In India, every year on Ganesh Chaturthi, people setup temporary structures with temporary idols. The entire setup stays up for 15-20 days after which the idols are immersed in water. These diases aren’t fire-proof. So, they don’t decorate the dias with lamps. They use electric lights instead. The problem is that some of the prayers require the priest lighting a lamp. There are LED lamps available that from a distance look like a regular oil lamp. I guess this is a good LED matchstick for the LED lamp :)

  26. Hirudinea says:

    This is just the thing I need to light my electric stove!

  27. midiwall says:

    Replace the LED with a blue laser diode and create an electric match that really does light something on fire.

  28. if you don't like it don't read it says:

    When even the blogger says “file this under totally useless” you know the post has no value. Why the hell is this on Hackaday?

  29. Wwhat says:

    Hear hear on the ‘is this show-and-tell-aday’ remark.
    The same thing is actually happening on instructables.com too though, people describing what they have rather than how to do/make it :[

  30. Anarchistsend says:

    Well, to be fair, this is good for theatre, and I’m a theatre tech. student, so I like it. That being said, not entirely the single most useful thing I’ve ever tried to make, but it’s an interesting prop.

    C’mon guys, step up the awesome! Or get a new gadget to come out so people can have something to hack. Either way.

  31. snorkle256 says:

    I agree that this needs a mic that you blow into to turn it out. It also needs a gryometer to sense when you shake it out though the mic could do that as well. The gryometer would also determine its position so if you tip it upside down it would get brighter just like you would do with a real match.

  32. therian says:

    at least he dint use a camera :)

  33. jcgv says:

    Seems like some people can’t enjoy the fine art of a flickering led. Not everything has to be about solving the world energy crisis and other important stuff.

    If you’re feeling down, just make a blinking led. The answer to everything isn’t 42, it’s a blinking led

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