Flashlight Battery Hack! How To Power A Flashlight With One Battery

Jul 17, 2017

Flashlight Battery Hack! How To Power A Flashlight With One Battery

A flashlight is an essential piece of survival gear

You should have one in your bug out bag, the emergency kit in your vehicle, your go bag, and they’re great to have as part of your everyday carry.

You really can’t have enough of them lying around.

However, there is a downside to flashlights that annoys us all…

Dead batteries.

Even if you have a top-of-the-line rechargeable flashlight that’s efficient with energy, you’re going to find yourself periodically replacing or recharging the batteries.

That’s generally not too bad, but what about during an emergency?

In a survival situation, you likely won’t have everything you need…

And you won’t be able to just go to the store and buy more…

Well, the simple solution is to have backup batteries.  But what if they’re not available?

That’s where this post comes in.

In this post, I’m going to show you a simple survival hack to make your flashlight work with just a single battery.

All you need is a piece of aluminum foil.

Here’s how to do it.

Step #1: Aluminum Foil + A Working Battery

There is one little trick about battery operated flashlights I absolutely love…

In a pinch, you can keep them running even without the proper number of batteries.

Since it’s usually just a single battery that is your point of failure, you will be able to use the battery that still has some juice to produce a beam from your flashlight.

The beam won’t be quite as bright as using two batteries, but you will be able to generate usable light.

All you need is one working battery and aluminum foil.

Step #2: Tear Off A Sheet Of Aluminum Foil

The aluminum foil is going to serve as our “second battery” in the flashlight when we’re done.

In reality, the current from your working battery will pass through the aluminum foil allowing the single battery to power the entire flashlight... pretty cool, right?

Start by tearing off a piece of aluminum foil.  12-18 inches long should work and if you end up with too much, it’s easy to shape it to the proper size at the end.

Step #3: Fold Aluminum Foil To The Width Of Your Battery

Once you have your aluminum foil sheet, fold it several times until it is in a long strip approximately the length of your battery, but not shorter.

Use your working battery to measure the width of the aluminum foil so you can easily reference the width to fold it to.

Step #4: Roll Foil Into Shape Of A Battery

Once you have your foil folded into a long strip the width of your battery, roll it up until it resembles the size and shape of your working battery.

The size doesn’t have to be perfect, so if your “foil battery” ends up being slightly longer and fatter than the actual batteries that power your flashlight, it will work just fine so long as it fits into the battery chamber.

Step #5: Let There Be Light!

After you have rolled your piece of foil into the shape of a battery, you’re ready to power up your flashlight.

You want to insert your batteries so the functioning battery is making contact with the positive end (generally right by the bulb), and the foil battery making contact with the negative end.

If you replace the batteries by removing the bulb head, first insert the foil into the chamber followed by the battery. 

If you replace the batteries in your flashlight by removing the opposite end or a side panel, you still want to orient the batteries using the same method and direction.

Once your batteries are in place, screw your flashlight back together, hit the power button, and you’ve got light!

The aluminum foil serving as your second battery allows the current from your working battery to flow through the flashlight and generate the power it needs illuminate the light.

Keep in mind, the power won’t last as long or be as powerful as using two batteries…

But in a tough situation, this technique can get the job done.


Without power, most of your electronics are completely worthless…

But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

If the device is battery operated, in many cases you can find a way to power the device even if you only have a single battery and some aluminum foil.

That’s the case with most survival flashlights...

And that’s I’ve just shown you how to power your flashlight with a single battery and a piece of aluminum foil.

We talk about it all the time: the ability to use your mind and be resourceful in an emergency combined with the right gear is the ingredient to maximizing your chances of survival.

This survival hack is another to catalog in your knowledgebase in case you need it.

Take a few minutes and give this technique to power your flashlight a try, I’d love to hear how it works for you.

If you have any questions about the technique above or know of some other electronic devices that would work using this technique, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.


About the Author

Kevin is the co-founder of Go Time Gear.

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