Scratch-built Smart Flashlight


This flashlight has a face; one of the many tricks which [Hobbyman] included during the development process. The smart flashlight build turned out to be a great way to practice so many different aspects of product development.

It was envisioned as a light for use when walking or biking that could do more than just light your way or flash on and off. Of course we know it’s really just a reason to spend way too much time in his lair. He started with the electronics, driven by a PIC 16F88. The 5×5 LED matrix gives him just enough to work with for patterns and rudimentary text. The prototype is wrapped up into a pretty tight package which leaves enough room in the 3D printed case for 4 AAA batteries. As the project progressed more and more features were added in. The most current offering includes a temperature sensor as well as the ability to react to ambient sound. See for yourself after the break.

[Thanks Zibri]


  1. Veyo Exxon says:

    Thank you for including a commercial music track in the video, making it unavailable in certain countries like Germany.

    • You didn’t miss that much. All 5 minutes only showed a the 5×5 pixel animations – nothing else. I want my 30 seconds of “fast-jumping” the video back of my life :-)

    • Laszlo says:

      I was toying with the idea lately, am I allowed to publish a tinkering video, where the background noise comes from a (neighbours’) radio?
      Crazy world we are living in…

      • Jeff says:

        Background music is never illustrative. If the point of a video is to demonstrate something, good old-fashioned TALKING works very, very well!

        I would prefer to hear your not-ready-for-radio, umm-ing and uh-ing voiceover than some song that you like that I probably don’t (and that will prevent it from being embedded and/or viewed in other regions).

        No need to write a script, an outline should suffice: if you made the thing, you’re an expert on the thing, please just tell us about it?

      • Sven says:

        No, several people have had their videos limited, ad-ridden or removed because you could hear a commercial music track in the background.

    • Whatnot says:

      It’s the theme from the movie “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

      And frankly, I don’t think GEMA would care if it’s copyright or not, they’ll probably copyright silence at this point.
      You should just use one of those sites that bypass the system. Google it.

  2. ERROR_user_unknown says:

    For those unable to access the vid:

  3. zibri says:

    You’re welcome, Mike. I loved his prototyping skills.

  4. Sven says:

    I have actually been toying with making something like this, but i wanted mine to spell out text while maintaining the same average light level, and i’m not smart enough to make a display driver that could handle that.

  5. Hirudinea says:

    Six words, “Shut up and take my money!”

  6. vonskippy says:

    Not exactly useful if you actually need, you know, a flashlight.

  7. I’ve been waiting for over 8 months now for an Orp which does pretty much the same thing this guy’s hack does but without the audio.
    Seems to me like the idea is popular if not useful.

  8. Insider says:

    The big question is: does it also work as a flashlight?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,345 other followers