Light ’em Up

Building a Flashlight

Our first assignment for Fabrication with Ben Light was to build a flashlight.

I wanted to create an object that was simply designed and didn’t look like a traditional handheld flash light. I thought a rectangular shape would be interesting. I especially liked the idea of the object’s silhouette not giving anything away about it’s function.


I knew I’d be using an LED for the source, so I wanted to use a prism to distribute the otherwise singular, bright point. While sketching I thought that fitting the prism flush into a wooden block would create an interesting juxtaposition in material and texture.

The Build

I used card stock to build the enclosure, and lined it with aluminum foil in order to maximize the luminosity of the source light. While I was fitting the circuit in the LED kept lighting up because there were exposed leads on the switch that, when they came in contact with the aluminum foil, went off. I fixed the issue with some extra gaff tape. I added a small piece of card stock in the middle of the enclosure to fit the LED in, so it maintained directionality.

To wrap it up, I hot glued the enclosure together and affixed the button the same way, in an inconspicuous spot to maintain the clean silhouette.

The prism didn’t work as well as I had hoped as a diffusor, but it worked well enough.