Cree emitter LED flash/video light for iPhone 3GS

Computers & Mobile Technology
Cree emitter LED flash/video light for iPhone 3GS

This quick and dirty improvised iPhone flash/video light from Andreas ØdegÃ¥rd consists of a 3V battery and a high intensity Cree emitter. Sure, it’s just an LED flashlight with a doc connector mount, but then again it was built in under 10 minutes with electrical tape, spare parts, and a hot glue gun. The result seems to knock the socks off your run-of-the-mill super bright LED mini-array.

A similar hack that pulls power from the iPhone dock connector can be found in the book iPhone Hacks.

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iPhone Hacks

10 thoughts on “Cree emitter LED flash/video light for iPhone 3GS

  1. J Q says:

    Seriously? As best understood, this is just a bright LED flashlight stuck onto an iPhone. The iPhone has nothing to do with the function of the LED, it doesn’t control it or power it or anything. So I can get into the Make blog just by taping random stuff to my iPhone? If I stick an IR thermometer onto my phone, will you make the headline “IR Thermometer for iPhone 3G!!!”? I like it.

    1. Adam Flaherty says:

      I did state what it was specifically in the post, so I’ll assume you require some clue. The Cree emitter puts out a lot more light than some of the other camera light/flash hacks I’ve seen for the iPhone. Yes, it could have drawn power or have been controlled by the phone, but that’s for another revision and really doesn’t matter.

      What matters is that the hack provides a rather useful function. It’s capable of lighting up an entire room and is attached to the body of the phone, so it follows along with the camera. I don’t know about you, but if you ever shoot hand-held video in a dark place without attaching the lighting to the camera it looks like you’re walking around with a flashlight since the two are out of sync.

      I thought this was a clever spontaneous hack that filled a need well. It interested me, so I thought I would share it. Unfortunately, I don’t think your IR thermometer idea would be of much interest to me unless you could provide some insight as to its function. Perhaps you could make a prototype that would interface with the phone through the dock connector. That would be cool and I would most certainly consider posting something about it.

      1. J Q says:

        Apologies. I had not intended for my remarks to disparage the project itself, my issue was only with the “for iPhone” portion of the headline. Since this is basically a video light, it would likely be of interest to anyone with a small video camera, not just iPhone users. But by including “for iPhone” in the title, a lot of people who might be interested in this may never find out about it.

        1. Adam Flaherty says:

          No worries. Those Cree emitters are pretty interesting and I can see more people using them in their projects. Since this project is specific to the iPhone 3GS it had a adequately descriptive headline. Thus folks looking for information revolving around ‘Cree emitters’, ‘LED flash/video lights’, or ‘iPhone 3GS’ will know this may be something they’d want to read. I really don’t see anything wrong with that.

          If I still used my old Nokia 6850 and didn’t really care about the iPhone, I still would probably be interested in checking it out because I might want to build something similar. Looking past the brands to the tech that makes them tick is a great source of inspiration.

    2. Andreas Ødegård says:

      If you want one that pulls power from the iPhone, I made that one here:
      While that one is small, cute and frankly rather useless, this one is big, ugly and very useful.

      Also a Cree emitter pulls WAY too much power to ever run properly off the iPhone output. I don’t know if it would even work, but considering these Cree emitters draw up to 1000mA, it would run your iPhone dry very fast and wouldn’t be useful anyways.

      For the record, this uses a Cree Q5 emitter – the strongest Cree emitter out there. I made a V2 yesterday from a spare Cree emitter which turned out to be a heck of a lot dimmer than the Q5, so I’m still waiting for parts to make a V3 that runs a Q5 off 1x AA.

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