Posted by CANbike on Sat, 24 Jan 2015

Flashlight Modification: Remove Multi Modes

The following details a cheap simple way to alter multi-mode flashlights into either a single mode flashlight and/or simple flashlight without memory modes.

The Multi-Mode Problem

Multi-mode flashlights are becoming the norm, but they can be annoying. Cheap designs require constant cycling through the different modes even when turning the flashlight on/off. It’s even more annoying when there’s a strobe mode that has to be cycled through due to the memory function.

  • Off/On -> Low -> Off/On -> High -> Off/On -> Strobe

Moreover, when the flashlight has been turned off for some time and then later turned on, the user may not remember which mode will appear.

I like a simple on/off design. A single mode flashlight, or flashlight without memory is desired.

Pencil to Remove Flashlight Multi Modes

There’s a surprisingly simple way to reduce/remove the memory function with a pencil! By locating the capacitor it can be shorted by drawing over it with the carbon graphite of a pencil.

  • Here’s a $3 flashlight with 3 modes (Low/High/Strobe) to be modified
    Flashlight-Remove Multi Modes-01
  • The flashlight head has been removed to reveal the LED and pill
    Flashlight-Remove Multi Modes-02
  • Pill has been unscrewed from the flashlight body
    Flashlight-Remove Multi Modes-03
  • Using pliers, the LED star was lifted from the pill to reveal the driver
    Flashlight-Remove Multi Modes-04
  • The capacitor is the BROWN block with silver metal edges
    Flashlight-Remove Multi Modes-05
  • The Tool: A mechanical pencil with a carbon graphite lead refill
    Flashlight-Remove Multi Modes-06
  • Drawing with the pencil the top of the capacitor to short it
    Flashlight-Remove Multi Modes-07
  • The capacitor covered with carbon graphite
    Flashlight-Remove Multi Modes-08

Modification Results

With this alteration the flashlight memory was gone. Yay! Simple operation meant the flashlight would always start on the Low mode.

  • Off/On -> Low

Fortunately this light also has a half click to cycle through the modes with half presses.

  • Low -> half click -> High -> half click -> strobe


Thickness of lines and amount of pencil lead will effect the capacitor’s ability and reduce memory time by shorting it.

  • Thin lines will reduce the memory time
  • Thick lines and two much graphite may completely short the capacitor and make the flashlight single-mode only

Reset the Flashlight Multi Modes

  • Use an eraser to restore the flashlight modes and memory
    Flashlight-Remove Multi Modes-09

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