These days LEDs are a dime a dozen. Sure they're cheap, bright, and they last seemingly forever, but if you really want to turn some heads on your next bike ride, leave the 200 dollar Cateye at home and carry some FIRE on your bike! *

This idea started when I found this small oil lamp in our landlords storage shed. I have been working on bikes for a while now and I remembered that I had this old incandescent bullet light knocking around. This thing was pretty useless; it wasn't very bright and the batteries were not held in place very well, making the light cut in and out as you rode. I had been thinking about doing an LED conversion on it because I liked the style of the light so much, but the idea just seemed a little boring. Enter the bike lantern.

Note: I apologize for any confusion it may cause, but you will notice work being done on two different versions of this. The first was with the found pewter lamp and the second is with the brass one ordered from the internet. I have them mixed in the steps but the brass one is the final product that I have used for three months now.

*Actually I would still keep the commercial light as the candle-power of this project is pretty easy to quantify; It's one. Also check your local laws for bike regulations. We get pulled over pretty regularly here in Berkeley for light violations and I have yet to get a ticket, although I can't wait to see what happens when I do get pulled over!

Step 1: Materials

Here's what you will need:

A mini Lantern either homemade or store bought. The closest thing I could find to the 5" pewter version I originally used for this project can be purchased here http://www.vermontlanterns.com/content/wedding-lantern-brass-mini-5 (this is the model you see used in the final version).

Something to house and affix your lantern to your bike. I used the steel housing from an old bullet light because it already had the mounting bracket for a bike and it looks cool. These can be found with a quick Google search however I think it might look equally cool if someone made their own housing out of a soup can or similar for that "Mad-Max" dystopian feel. If you do decide to order a bullet light pay close attention to the dimensions as these come in a number of sizes and it is crucial that the flame has some space to breathe. My light measures about 4"x 5". Also, it should go without saying that plastic lenses would be a bad idea.

Lamp oil. You can get super pure paraffin oil at most hardware stores or craft shops. While it may not be the brightest burning, it produces less smoke than a dirtier fuel like kerosene and is less likely to combust... I assume.

Drill and Dremel
<p>HAHA,good idea</p>
Good Effort, I will try to make a larger scale (windproof) for the balcony..
....<br>i am out of things to say, it is that amazing.<br>actually, suggestion.<br>wouldn't that look much better on a penny-farthing?<br>old fashioned lamp, old fashioned bike.<br>prepare for a singularity of awesome!
dude that thing is so AWEsome man!! i love it it just so simple and small and cute
&quot;<em>don't blame me if you hit a curb and become engulfed in flames. You've got to pay to play.</em>&quot;<br/><br/>I'm sold. :D<br/><br/>Do oil lamp flames play nicely with mantles? Actually, I guess the vibration might not be good for a mantle, and I suppose if you can be pulled over for having no lights you could maybe get in trouble for riding around carrying radioactive thorium oxide...<br/>
if i crashed and my bike caught fire, i personally would be proud, if it was my car i would be embarrassed.
It would definitely warrant some style points. Unfortunately this paraffin oil is basically just liquid wax, it won't light up like some fuels would.
like BBQ lighter fluid?
&nbsp;...UNfortunately? I dunno about you guys, but that comment just reassured me a lot :P I have nowhere near -that- much confidence in myself!
parifin only burns on a wich
umm... no... he's talking about wick lanterns...
It was a joke, you know, witch burnings.
If I were to report you the the Wiccans I know, They'll come and ream you good for writing that.&nbsp;
ok... that's great...
To make it better, have a little balloon attached to the side to make it completely engulf in flames.
I love it I really do but I would have to go with an LED because I really enjoy having skin without first second or third degree burns on be. Especially since I live in New Orleans the pot hole capital of the world. We actually had to block off a street because we got a sink hole the size of a car in the middle of a busy street. Yea that wasn't very good for safety lol.
I live there too!
I don't think you can use a mantle with an oil lamp, but I have considered building a similar light using a propane lantern.
i took an old schwinn round light from the sixties and reworked it for l.e.d lighting, the batteries even fit inside the housing. anyone interested in an Instructable?
Sure! Why Not? &nbsp;The more the merrier. The more ideas out there the better for everyone.
Yeah, that'd be really good!&nbsp;I'm thinking of doing the same thing for my girlfriend's bike
Yes yes yes thats just what I was looking for. Please post or send me the plans. Thanks
i'll work on it, keep looking
Great idea! I like the fact that I can burn a couple of dinosaurs while trying to pedal my way to carbon neutrality. I think a Skull lamp would be excellent!
now u could have a REALLY bright headlight if you have some acetelyne and you put a water resevoir on top, and you could try making a carbide lamp.
that would be a great idea where do you get those lamps?
I dunno, there hard to find. Try asking a miner. Some miners still use it because it's REALLY bright.
I can have a super bright lamp if i just use bacon grease, but, its not gonna happen.
it's horrible
It's all fun and games until someone burns their eyes out...
then its hilarious
Fresh idea! Does that thing burn scented oil? It would smell like a ride through the pine forest instead of the smog from the cars.
I don't know. I'll have to try adding some essential oil to the mix and see, good idea!
My dad has a model T ford. It has a kerosene headlight. BUT, the headlight has a lens and a weather proof chimney made of sheet metal (same as the rest of the lamp). Not sure how you could work a chimney into your contraption, but a little wind-proof chimney might add to its allure.
Sweeet! That car sounds wicked-awesome! All of the old-timey bike lanterns had chimneys as well. <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.thelampworks.com/lw_bicycle.htm">Check it out.</a> I had wondered if I would need one, but so far it hasn't been an issue.<br/>
thats cool i never would have thought of that
What a delicious idea, it's wonderful, bring a touch of the 1800's to your part of the world, well done you!
This would be a great base for a steampunk themed light. With just a little work you could turn the bezel over to allow better light in front of the bike. Very cool.
Love it. As a fellow cyclist I understand the importance of good lights :)
nice light! also good to see other inventors posting here from berkeley!
OMG! I had one of those egg-shaped lights in the 1970's!
This is amazing, great job alpacalypse!!!
I LIKE it!!!
A lantern like that should give you at least 4 or 5 candlepower. Great ible!
I like this. But I'd probably regret it when the paramedics scape me off the street after that car doesn't see the barely visible bike light.
Yeah, one candle power can't compete with the flood-light-like LEDs they have now days. Hey, that's why I need those safety pants! Vote for me so I don't get hit by a car!

About This Instructable


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Bio: I studied Literature at UC Berkeley and now spend most of my time making things.
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