piezoelectric lighter

How to Make a Microphone Out of a Lighter (DIY Project)

In the world of DIY audio projects, creating a microphone out of unconventional materials can be both fun and educational. One such project that has garnered attention is the creation of a microphone from a common household item: a lighter. In this blog post, we'll delve into the steps involved in crafting your own microphone using a lighter, exploring the science behind it and the potential applications of such a device.


Understanding the Science:

At the heart of this DIY project lies the piezoelectric effect. Piezoelectric materials generate an electrical charge in response to mechanical stress, such as pressure or vibration. Many lighters contain a piezoelectric element, typically used to produce the spark that ignites the flame. By repurposing this element, we can harness its ability to convert mechanical energy into electrical signals, essentially turning it into a rudimentary microphone.


Materials Needed:

1. An used and empty Lighter (one with a piezoelectric ignition)

2. Electric wire

3. Soldering iron and solder

4. TS connector - jack (optional, for connecting to recording devices)

5. Insulating material (e.g., electrical tape)


Step-by-Step Guide:

1. Disassemble the Lighter: Carefully take apart the lighter, being mindful of any small components that may be inside. Locate the piezoelectric element, which is typically a small cylindrical device.


2. Prepare the Wiring: Cut two pieces of wire, each a few inches long. Strip the insulation from both ends of each wire to expose the metal conductors.


3. Connect the Wires: Solder one wire to each terminal of the piezoelectric element. Ensure a secure connection, as any loose joints may affect the microphone's performance.


4. Insulate the Connections: Once the wires are soldered, use electrical tape to cover the connections and prevent short circuits.


5. Test the Microphone: With the wiring in place, you can now test the microphone. Tap or apply pressure to the piezoelectric element, and listen for the resulting sound through headphones or a recording device.


6. Connect to Recording Devices: If desired, you can solder an audio jack to the wires, allowing you to connect the microphone directly to recording equipment.


7. Enhance Frequency Response and Amplify the Signal: To further improve the performance of your DIY lighter microphone, consider mounting the piezoelectric element onto a piece of cardboard or another lightweight, rigid material. This helps to enhance the microphone’s frequency response by providing a stable surface for capturing vibrations more effectively.

Additionally, since the signal output from the piezoelectric element may be relatively weak, especially for capturing softer sounds, you can use an amplifier to boost the signal strength. This can be achieved by connecting the microphone output to the input of an audio amplifier circuit or using a dedicated microphone preamplifier.

By mounting the piezoelectric element onto a rigid surface and amplifying the signal, you can achieve better overall performance and sensitivity from your DIY lighter microphone, making it more versatile for various recording applications.

Remember: Experimentation is key to discovering the full potential of your homemade microphone setup. Adjustments to materials, mounting techniques, and signal processing can all contribute to optimizing performance based on your specific recording needs.

Applications and Considerations:

While a microphone made from a lighter may not rival professional-grade equipment in terms of fidelity and frequency response, it can still serve a variety of purposes. It's ideal for capturing sounds in unconventional environments or as a low-cost option for DIY audio enthusiasts. Experiment with different materials and configurations to optimize the microphone for your specific needs.



Creating a microphone out of a lighter is a fascinating DIY project that demonstrates the principles of piezoelectricity and the ingenuity of repurposing everyday objects. Whether you're a hobbyist looking for a new challenge or an audio enthusiast seeking unconventional recording techniques, this project offers a unique opportunity to explore the intersection of science and creativity.

Give it a try, and see what unique sounds you can capture with your homemade lighter microphone!

Have fun and enjoy the process of experimenting!

by O.


Disclaimer: Exercise caution when working with electronic components and soldering equipment. Always follow safety guidelines and consult relevant resources or professionals if unsure. 



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