Spider Fire flashlight upgrade

fire

[PodeCoet] sent in this mod he did to a Spider Fire flashlight. These things are unbelievably bright, they use Cree LEDs that are so intense, they can ignite paper. [PodeCoet] notes that they run on fairly expensive batteries. Instead of buying some rechargeable ones, he decided to customize and hack his torch. He added a custom charging circuit and a Lilon battery as well as a boost-converter circuit and a status LED.  We like the idea of having a rechargeable lamp, but he has lost his water proofing. If anything, you should go there to see his nicely done smd charger pcb as well as the pictures of his test run, burning some paper.

As some people have pointed out in the comments, this flashlight could not have started that fire. This one could though.

Comments

  1. satiagraha says:

    Very nice hack. I love the project. Beautifully executed! Really makes me want to go build a rechargeable system for some of my tools…

  2. Tom says:

    I wonder if you can really light paper with that LED flashlight from the shown distance.

    Is that lamp equipped with a Cree MC-E? Then I highly doubt that. IMHO you can’t focus the light from these LEDs sufficiently with such a small parabolic reflector.

  3. Sam says:

    I call bs on the paper ignition. I have 20W leds and as bright as they are (if you hold your hand in front of them you can feel the heat from the light absorption alone), you cannot get them to burn anything so long as they are unfocused. The lens required for focusing at the distance shown in the photo there would require more money than what’s already been spent on the rest of the project. And white paper is much harder to ignite by visible or IR light than paper stained a dark color.

  4. Sam says:

    “I wonder if you can really light paper with that LED flashlight from the shown distance.”

    Nope. The original site was clearly a joke.

    White paper is pretty reflective. Even if the LED was capable of igniting anything at all then that, specifically, would be an unlikely target.

  5. kazam says:

    A wireless charger would be so much better. No drilling, no lost watertightness. Perhaps a base unit “borrowed” from electric toothbrush? Add a matching coil, diode and a cap inside the torch and there you go – wireless power transfer. Provided the case is not ferrous, but it looks more like aluminum.

  6. colin says:

    WTF this is a flash light not a torch stupid!

  7. ultatryon says:

    …. “Flashlights” are called “Torches” in other countries.. pretty much everywhere that speaks english, except for the United States.

    (Hurray, typical American thinking of they are stupid for saying it wrong!)

    DISCLAIMER: Yes, I am an American, but its irks me when my fellow countryman make themselves look like an ass in regards to multiculturalism.

  8. Harvie says:

    lol. the ignition of paper is obviously faked. who needs flashlight which burns everything you point it at? to fry your ass when camping in plastic tent? or to see someones face in the dark (barbecued)? there are lot of homemade burning lasers (from blue-ray burners, etc…) and none of them can ignite WHITE paper from such distance even with correct focus. ;o)

  9. @kazam: Nice idea. The OralB vaitalities would possibly work and are only around $20usd

    I was wondering if you could put the plug on the bottom and so you would unscrew the bottom like changing the batteries but have the LED and plug there. Then it is watertight but still works well.

  10. andar_b says:

    @Colin

    Actually, the term ‘flash light’ refers to the early days of battery lanterns when the light would flash to conserve battery power (old school PWM?) Torch is even more archaic though. Why not call them glowrods¿ I should call mine light stick.

  11. USA says:

    @ultatryon

    Lots of dumb people in this world. Its ignorant for people outside of the USA to associate the stupid loud minority as representative of the rest of the citizens of the USA. Its also ignorant to expect American citizens to know the intricacies of all other cultures in the world… but yet not know all the different details of the USA. The old constantly used meme “Not everyone lives is USA asshole” is usually properly directed… but there are lots of dumb people in this world.

  12. PodeCoet says:

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the feedback! The burning paper was faked (meant to be a joke that obviously backfired), I thought the last picture of the burning house would’ve put it into perspective ;p

  13. caleb kraft says:

    The term torch and lamp are still used commonly for flashlights.

    The burning paper was suspect. Quick searches for other examples were quite difficult since the word “fire” is in the title of many of their products. There is actually a flashlight that can set fires. After looking at all the comments, I found it on the web and it looks like it uses halogen bulbs.

  14. Robin Chan says:

    He edited it with this:

    “Edit: YES the fire images are faked! The light generates nearly zero heat “

  15. Tim says:

    Did anyone notice his boost converter is like 120% efficient? whats up with that. Are we tapping zero-point perpetual motion?

  16. Greg says:

    why at hackaday fubbed this one???

  17. Greg says:

    who at hackaday fubbed this one???

  18. Caleb Kraft says:

    It has now been edited to clear up any confusion, with a link to a flashlight that does start fires.

  19. jproach says:

    Nice hack.

    For the efficiency measurements, check if your multimeter is marked “true RMS”. If not its likely just reading some form of average. and due to high currents, the shunt resistance of the DMM can have an effect. Use the highest current range if possible.

    btw, for best efficiency, tear apart that cree module and replace it all with a single boost/sepic LED driver. First google result was LM3410 which looks cool.

  20. emilio says:

    very nice build, especially the charger & driver boards!

    it’s a great exercise, but i question the need. a couple rechargeable CR123’s and a charger is less than US$20/AU$30 from dealextreme. i’ve been running one of these 1000mAh CR123’s in a 120 lumen light for several weeks of casual use and am very satisfied with the runtime; they’re cheap enough that i can have some charging and some in use.

    and, regarding the rabble: do you guys ever realize that you’re lowering yourself when you froth at the mouth to one stupid person, american or not? do you realize how… stupid that makes you look? it’s like getting a troll response without actually trolling.

  21. fartface says:

    MEH,

    you can buy 5W LED flashlights for 1/10th the price of that thing on ebay from china sellers already. I got one that is bright enough to make you temporary blind in bright sunlight.

  22. flashaholic says:

    @andar_b
    You’re right, the “flashlight” and “torch” terms are no longer applicable and terribly outdated.

    Your suggestions of “glowrod” and “lightstick” are quite appropiate. I myself prefer “photon cannon” ;)

    BTW, the people over at CandlePower Forums has been doing amazing (and beautiful) flashlight hacks for a long time now.

  23. colin says:

    yea I looked it up and brits do call them torches – but to say that your torch will no longer be water proof? – really a big stick that has fire on the top isnt water proof, I didnt know? – thats why it makes no sence to call it a torch

    I know the brits sorta invented English as a language, but like all inventions someone has improved upon it so we dont have to say (al-lu-mini-um) for Aluminum (a-luma-num) even thats the way it is spelled

    just messing around I love brits – my other side of the family lives there

  24. DaveMc says:

    Uuuhh the IUPAC has officially standardised the spelling of the chemical element ‘Al’ to be ‘Aluminium’… Ha! so there you Americans!

  25. Jac says:

    Heh someone actually turned a lightsaber into a flashlight.

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