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Home > Reviews > Hardware > ChapStick Diffuser
ChapStick® Flashlight Diffuser
2/28/2010

ChapStick on the left and Maratac AAA polished stainless steel on the right.
ChapStick on the left and Maratac AAA polished stainless steel on the right (reviews will be available after further testing).
There are times when the power goes out in your home or you're outdoors at night and you need to do some reading. A lantern is a must have but, if a lantern is not available, a flashlight is the next best thing. The flashlight I have is a 3 mode LED which has medium>low>high output by repeatedly twisting the head. A flashlight of this type is designed more for finding your way in the dark than it is for reading because the beam is so focused and narrow.

I've tried using the cap of the of a ChapStick but the light was still intense.

BTW, the cap will fit tightly on a Fenix E01 without any modification.

What you need...
  A used ChapStick, needle nose pliers (or something to remove the base of the ChapStick), razor blade and a dremel tool with a router bit.

Step 1
 
Remove the cap. Then remove the base using pliers. In my first attempt, I used a screwdriver and impaled myself in the finger (you'll see a band-aid on my finger in one of the following photos). Discard the base and guts.

Clean the cap and tube.

Time: Less than a minute... it took me 10 minutes because I had to search for a band aid.

Step 2
 
Using a razor blade, cut the plastic sleeve and remove.

Time: Less than a minute.

Step 3
Now we'll have to enlarge the opening of the bottom of the ChapStick tube. Here I'm using a dremel tool with a 1/4" V-groove router bit. Of course you can use a file or sandpaper but I don't have that kind of patience.

What I had to do was increase the inside diameter of the bottom of the tube, about 1/4" (6mm) from the end, making sure that it will fit tight on the head of the flashlight and not just slip on.

Time: Should only take about 5 minutes but it took me an hour because I was overly cautious (power tools and I don't get along... it also appears that I don't get along with hand tools either).

Final
The Chapstick is a snug fit and, when mounted on the flashlight, will not fall off from excessive shaking or waving, Here is what the ChapStick looks like on my flashlight.

Geez, I know what your thinking... it looks like a ChapStick on a flashlight.

Preliminary Testing
Medium - 18 lumens Low - 1.5 lumens High - 80 lumens
I took these photos at dusk with the sunlight still entering the room.
It appears that at medium and high, the light with the ChapStick diffuser will be usable however, at low... we'll see.

Results
Medium Medium
Low High
The ChapStick diffuser (hmmm... ChapStick wand?) does work. There is more surface to distribute the light so the light is not so glaring. Using a diffuser on a flashlight reduces the intensity of the light making it easier to read, even on low (although, for some reason, the photo shows otherwise).

Pretty cool, huh?

:-)

Gary Kawamura

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