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Friday, August 8, 2014

Body-heat powered flashlight

We had featured in our previous blog about a water-powered invention that can generate electricity. Now, we will tackle another record-breaking and world-changing invention - a flashlight than can be powered solely by body’s heat. Imagine that it will produce light by just holding it. No batteries. Not solar-powered. It’s such an incredible invention!

The inventor of this amazing flashlight is a Filipino-Canadian 15-year old student, Ann Makosinsk. Her project was inspired by a friend from Mindanao whose family could not afford to pay for electricity. Without light at night, her friend could not study properly. She failed an entire school year because she could not read her lessons.

After a few prototypes, she unveiled her “hollow flashlight,” so named because it has a hollow aluminum tube at its core that cools the sides of the peltier tiles attached to the flashlight’s cylinder. The other side is warmed by heat from a hand gripping the flashlight. 

Ann Makosinsk holding her invention, the "Hollow Flashlight" 
Ann spent several months designing the flashlight and figuring out its voltage conversion. Much has been written online about powering a flashlight with peltier tiles, but those devices used heat from candles and blow torches. Ann’s patent-pending prototype relies on hand warmth only and required that she make her own transformer, among other difference-making factors. She said that her invention needs at least 3 to 5 degrees Celsius temperature difference to work. She added that the flashlight is ideal for cold temperature because the larger the temperature differential, the greater the light produced. 

Though her invention is not yet ready for commercialization and need to be improved, it was good enough for her to win the 2013 Google Science Fair in the 15-16 years old category beating out thousands of other students from over 120 countries and earned praises by many. Her story has been shared several times in social media and has caught the interest of several people, including American TV host Jimmy Fallon.

Makosinski says her flashlight can produce up to 5-foot “candles of brightness”—below the commercial standard—but she says she is working to make the light brighter. It produced roughly 24 lumens compared to dozens or even hundreds of lumens of light produced by commercial flashlights. She says several companies have voiced interest in her flashlight. But she is adamant that until her flashlight achieves higher brightness at a lower cost, she will not agree to produce it for the public.

Driven by a very noble objective, she said, “I want to make sure my flashlight is available to those who really need it.”



  1. It is really interesting post. I never read such kind of post. It impressed me. Thanks for sharing…

  2. Amazing invention of flash light! A flash is very helpfull in during load-shedding and a modern flash light is more helpfull. This site is very up to date. Lot of thing am learn here...........
    There is also a helpfull site

  3. We have so many Filipino innovators out there, waiting to be recognized. The problem is the government does not have the initiative to do so.