Introduction: Camping 12v LED Free Standing Light
Free Standing 12v L.E.D. Lamp
I built this light from bits and pieces found in my shed when I realise I needed something for my imminent off grid camping trip. It all consists of bits bought for another project's and were never used, if you had to buy them though I think £6 would cover it.
20mm electrical conduit
20mm inspection T
Self adhesive L.E.D. Lighting strip
12v car plug and cable
Heat shrink tube
Tools used were
20mm conduit bending spring
Copper pipe cutter
Heat source (gas lighter)
Step 1: Bending and Cutting
Bending and cutting
The whole thing stands around 1.5 mtr high but that was determined by the scrape pieces of conduit that I had to hand.
The first job was to bend the pieces 1 x 45 degree and 2 x 90 degree. When bending PVC conduit you will find that when you stop bending it the conduit relax's so you will probably have to over bend it i.e. for a 90 degree bend you will possibly have to go to 110 degrees or more. Conduit is normally held in place by brackets so without brackets getting two bends exactly the same is hard. But as the engineers around here say “it's not to a thou”.
Next cut the pieces to size (your size), I used copper pipe wheel cutters because I had them to hand but a hack saw is perfectly fine.
Which ever cutter you use be sure to clean away the swarf from the ends, it's a take down light and swarf can make the conduit stick in the fitting.
Take a piece of conduit and place a 20mm socket on one end and an inspection T on the other, when your happy bond the two fittings to the conduit.
Next drill 2 2.5mm holes about 10 millimetres from the end and on the same side as the inspection plate. Remove and discard the plate then screw the two screws that held the plate in position into the holes (the screws from this plate were self tapping), they are used to secure the 90 degree bends in place. I haven't drilled corresponding holes in the bends as I want the bends to be adjustable.
All the pieces were then assembled in place.
Two pieces of shrink tube were placed on the two wires and moved away from the joint then the LED unit was soldered to the wire and plug. The light was then tested to see if the electrical polarity was correct. After I was satisfied that everything was fine the shrink fit tubing was positioned over the soldered joints and a flame was used to shrink it in place.
From the inspection plate opening I inserted the LED and cable until it comes out at the top (you
can remove the top piece to make the cable threading easier). Then the self adhesive LED strip is then simply stuck onto the end.
Step 3: Breakdown
The unit breaks down to four pieces for transportation or storage.
One idea that I have used before is to cut out a light reflector/shade from a drinks can but I think it would be over kill on a simple project like this and also the thin walled can metal would probably get damaged in transport.
It was a simple project and in use works very well but I will be drilling two holes in the 90 degree bends so that I can peg it down on ruff land.