How To Make an iPhone Camera Flash

The iPhone was called the "phone of the century," and for good reason. But one thing this "phone of the century" lacks is a flash for its camera, so let's see how to build an iPhone camera flash for your iPhone. Of course, there are some solutions on the market for adding flash capabilities to your camera (an external flash fitted in a case, and even a project from Snapture Lab that integrates a xenon flash directly into the back panel of the iPhone, but that's just a prototype so far). But if you want to make it yourself, here's what you need to know:

Tools You Need

  • USB connector (from a broken accessory, like charger or car charger)
  • 4 white LEDs
  • Tact switch
  • Screwdriver

Step 1 - Preparing the Connector

From the accessory you chose, cut the socket from the end that goes into the phone. That will be the part you'll be using for building up your device and connecting it to the phone. Use the screwdriver to open it up, and you should see 2 wires, a + and a -, which you'll use to get power for your LEDs.

Step 2 - Connecting the LEDs Together

Take the four LEDs and connect them to each other. Each + pin of a led should be connected to the - pin of the next led. If you did everything right, you should end up with 4 leds connected. There should be a free + pin on one led at one end, and the opposite pin free at the led in the other end.

Step 3 - Putting the Whole Thing Together

Take the red wire in the socket and connect it to the + free pin of the led, then take the tact switch and connect it between the free - leg and the - wire of the socket. Make sure all the connections are fixed in place, put the cover back on the socket, and tighten it together with the little screws.

Step 4 - Operating the Device

Plug in the device, push the button, and watch the magic happen. If everything was done right, you should be holding in your hands the one key thing Apple forgot to put into their flawless product: a flash.

Although the whole system seems pretty simple and easy to make, please be careful with the connections, and make sure they're all connected to the proper place and not touching each other. Wrong connections can lead to a damaged flash, or even worse, a damaged iPhone. Other, more complex solutions are also available for bringing a flash ability to your iPhone, but most of them require highly tuned electronics skills and present a great risk level, as they involve operations directly on the circuit board of the iPhone. If you don't want to end up with a broken phone, remember to keep it simple.

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