How to Make a Light Painting Device Out of Used CR2 Battery


This tipster shows how a used CR2 battery from an LC-A Instant Back+ or Diana Instant Back+, can be turned into a lightpainting device. All you need is an empty CR2 battery, a LED, a film container and some sticky tape.

So you have a LC-A Instant Back+ or Diana Instant Back+ or probably a flash or an other photographic device that is using CR2 batteries ?

used CR2 battery from Instant Back+

There comes a point when the Instant Back+ is no longer working because the batteries are flat.
Don’t dispose the flat batteries! You can still use them for your lomographic pleasure!

What you need:

  1. CR2 battery – used one from your Instant Back+ or fresh ones (buying a fresh battery only for this is not really reasonable a cheap 3V button cell would do)
  2. LED – you can use any led that works with a voltage close to 3V (standard led)
  3. film container – you need a white diffused one, the black one is optional you can also use two white ones
What tools do you need?*
  1. sticky tape – or gaffa or maybe a glue gun
  2. scissors
  3. a tiny slot screwdriver – not really essential scissors would do !
Steps A to F

What to do?
Attach the LED to the battery and fix it with sticky tape as shown in step’s A to F. Connect the long leg with the positive (+) end of the battery (if you can’t find a longer leg simply try out which way the LED should be connected).

Steps G to J

What next?
Make a little hole in the cap of the diffused (white) film container (I used the tiny slot screwdriver for this ) G&H. Put the cap on the LED and then back on the film container, It should now look like “I”.
Now put the black film container over the battery and fix it with sticky tape.

finished product

The LED should now glow for something between a few hours up to a few days depending on the led and the residual charge of the battery.

Try to use the light for lightpainting and some long-exposure fun!

written by angelhaken on 2012-02-20 #gear #tutorials #light #tipster #recycle #led #lightpainting #polaroid-back #diana-f #instant-back #lc-a #battery #quickie-tipster #handicraft #cr2 #film-container #battery-empty


  1. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    Great Tipster! Fantastic Manual.....

  2. mensa
    mensa ·

    Really useful! thanks! :)

  3. angelhaken
    angelhaken ·

    @eyecon @mensa I'm glad that you liked it :)

  4. zatto
    zatto ·


  5. kylewis
    kylewis ·

    Excellent recycling idea!

  6. bass_clarinet_2000
    bass_clarinet_2000 ·

    Awesome idea since those batteries aren't cheap.

  7. icomewhenieatcaponata
    icomewhenieatcaponata ·

    nice idea

  8. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    At least you are getting your money's worth out of those batteries :D

  9. carsten-schmitt
    carsten-schmitt ·

    Well illustrated manual!

  10. angelhaken
    angelhaken ·

    @zatto @kylewis @icomewhenieatcaponata @carsten-schmitt
    thx :)
    @bass_clarinet_2000 @neanderthalis
    that was the idea behind :), CR2 batteries are pretty expensive and I like the idea of using every last bit of energy that i bought :P

  11. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Fantastic tipster. I will definitely try this. Thank you for sharing :)

  12. angelhaken
    angelhaken ·

    @mafiosa share some pictures :) !

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