How to Disassemble LED Flashlights

By Marshal M. Rosenthal

An LED flashlight is different because it uses an LED and not an incandescent bulb to supply the light. Electronic circuits inside the LED flashlight help regulate the power to the LED so that the current does not cause an overload. Disassembling an LED flashlight so that the parts can be used in something like a science project requires the use of a soldering iron to separate the LED from the circuitry. It should only be done by someone with a steady hand who feels comfortable using a soldering iron.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Soldering iron
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Tweezers

Step 1

Put the newspaper down on a work surface. Remove the battery compartment cap from the LED flashlight. Remove the batteries from the battery compartment and put them and the battery compartment cap aside.

Step 2

Hold the back end of the LED flashlight with one hand. Grab the front end of the LED flashlight with the needle-nose pliers. Twist the needle-nose pliers until there is a crack in the seam between the front and back parts of the LED flashlight. Put the needle-nose pliers down. Grab the front end of the LED flashlight with the free hand and twist the front until it separates from the back.

Step 3

Put the back half of the LED flashlight down on the newspaper. Unscrew the reflector from the front half of the LED flashlight. Remove the reflector and put it down on the newspaper. Remove the reflector ring surrounding the LED bulb with the tweezers and put it down on the newspaper.

Step 4

Pull the LED assembly carefully from out of the front half of the LED flashlight. Put the LED assembly down on the newspaper.

Step 5

Heat up the soldering iron. Apply the tip of the soldering iron to one of the two contacts at the bottom of the LED bulb. Remove the soldering iron as soon as the solder on the contact starts to bubble. Apply the tip of the soldering iron to the other contact of the LED bulb and remove it when the solder starts to bubble.

Step 6

Hold down the LED assembly with one hand while gripping the sides of the LED bulb with the tweezers. Pull the LED bulb from off the LED assembly using the tweezers. Put the LED bulb down on the newspaper.

Step 7

Apply the tip of the soldering iron to one of the contacts of the resistor and remove it when the solder starts to bubble. Repeat this on the other contact of the resistor. Use the tweezers to pull the resistor off the LED assembly. Put the resistor down on the newspaper. Unplug the soldering iron.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use as fine a tip on the soldering iron as possible.
  • Getting solder on other parts of a circuit board can cause it to short out and no longer function.