DIY Dimmable White and Red LED Lantern

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Posted in OutsideCamping

Introduction: DIY Dimmable White and Red LED Lantern

About: My hobbies are electronics and photography. I have an Arduino which I like to program, and I make stop motion videos with my camera. I also have a great interest in DIY.

There are many lantern istructables on the web, but I haven't seen any independently dimmable ones yet. I needed a lantern to suit my lighting purposes, from a nightlight, to a bright emergency light.

Step 1: Materials

  1. 2 AA batteries
  2. A 2-AA battery holder
  3. 10K ohm potentiometer
  4. Wire
  5. 3 Brads
  6. Paper clip
  7. 3 watt LED
  8. Red LED
  9. Aluminum foil
  10. Cardboard
  11. 100 ohm resistor
  12. Wire strippers/cutters
  13. Container
  14. String
  15. Hot glue gun
  16. Soldering iron

Step 2: Finding the Ingredients

AA batteries on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B003SI0TD4/ref=dp_olp_0?ie=UTF8&condition=all&qid=1526060812&sr=1-1

AA batteries on Ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Duracell-Coppertop-Alkaline-AA-Batteries-48-pk-Sealed/302730257707?epid=1386075457&hash=item467c21252b:g:vo8AAOSwob9a6OIf

AA battery holder on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/uxcell-Battery-Holder-Storage-Black/dp/B00E0IXRUS/ref=sr_1_5?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1526060612&sr=1-5&keywords=aa+battery+holder

AA battery holder on Ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Wired-10Pcs-Black-Plastic-Connector-2x-1-5V-AA-Battery-Holder-Case-Storage-Box/282614066441?hash=item41cd1c6d09

Potentiometer on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/a14052600ux1117-Horizontal-Trimmer-Resistor-Potentiometer/dp/B00SWK15KE/ref=sr_1_3?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1526060397&sr=8-3&keywords=10k+potentiometer

Potentiometer on Ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Pcs-Potentiometer-Trimmer-Variable-Resistor-3362P-103-10K-Ohm/182523085804?epid=2113651162&hash=item2a7f3943ec:g:yRAAAOSw4CFY6gdr

Wire on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/StrivedayTM-Flexible-Silicone-electronic-electrics/dp/B01KQ2JNLI/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1526061018&sr=1-1&keywords=Wire

Wire on Ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/16-GAUGE-WIRE-PICK-4-COLORS-50-FT-EACH-PRIMARY-AWG-STRANDED-COPPER-POWER-REMOTE/281110899695?epid=26012045340&hash=item417383ebef:g:XnYAAOSwfa9ZruNp:sc:USPSPriorityFlatRateEnvelope!67037!US!-1

Find brads at a craft store such as Hobby Lobby in the US.

There's got to be a paper clip in you residence.

3 watt LED on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/6000K-6500K-600mA-700mA-Intensity-Components-Lighting/dp/B01DBZIB4W/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1520438522&sr=8-3&keywords=3w%2Bled&th=1

3 Watt LED on Ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1W-3W-5W-10W-20W-30W-50W-100W-White-Warm-White-High-Power-LED-Chip-Light-Beads-/122044236962

Red LED on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Diffused-Lighting-Electronics-Components-Emitting/dp/B01C3ZZT0A/ref=sr_1_5?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1526061426&sr=1-5&keywords=Red+LED&refinements=p_89%3ACHANZON

Red LED on Ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/50-100-5mm-LED-Diodes-Light-Bulb-Lamp-Pre-Wired-12V-DC-For-DIY-Car-Boat-US-Stock/132088915796?var=431440316208&hash=item1ec11ce754:g:oCkAAOSw4CFYrAeB

Aluminum foil is used for cooking.

Get cardboard from a box.

100 ohm resistors on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/uxcell-Axial-Flameproof-Metal-Resistor/dp/B00RECM4H4/ref=sr_1_6?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1526061740&sr=1-6&keywords=100+ohm+resistor&refinements=p_89%3Auxcell

100 ohm resistors on Ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/100-Ohm-1-4-Watt-Carbon-Film-Resistor-5-Pieces-Prime-Parts-US-Seller-Free-S-H/152868968921?hash=item2397b359d9:g:1VYAAOSwDkpaXmYv

Wire stripper tool on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/DOWELL-Stripper-Crimper-Pliers-Multi-Function/dp/B06X9875Z7/ref=sr_1_3?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1526061905&sr=1-3&keywords=wire+stripping+tool

Wire stripper tool on Ebay:

Wire stripping tool on Ebay:https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultimate-Self-Adjusting-Wire-And-Cable-Stripper-Cutter-Tool-Stripping-Tools-Hand/322937518268?hash=item4b309378bc:g:1BIAAOSwmg9Z4bCYszacgdjwefyhjkaswedf

Use an old unneeded container that lets light through.

String is string.

Hot glue gun on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Crenova-Repairs-Office-Transparent-Included/dp/B01MS1ZQUC/ref=sr_1_1?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1526062160&sr=1-1&keywords=hot+glue+gun

Hot glue gun on Ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313.TR12.TRC2.A0.H0.Xhot+glue.TRS0&_nkw=hot+glue&_sacat=0

Soldering iron kit on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Tabiger-Soldering-110V-Adjustable-Temperature-Welding/dp/B01H1IFT54/ref=sr_1_3?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1525110010&sr=1-3&keywords=Tabiger+Soldering+Iron+kit

Soldering iron kit on Ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Soldering-Iron-Tool-Kit-Welding-Adjustable-Temperature-Gun-60W-6-Tips-Electric/142421078354?epid=25004068777&hash=item2128f53152:g:5yIAAOSw8nBa4wFa

Step 3: Lantern Controls

On the bottom, there is a toggle switch. This one is an updated design from this switch by coolrobot. One setting is for white, and the other is for red. On the side of the lantern, there is a 10K potentiometer for dimming the white LED only. The white LED can switch between being a nightlight, to being a full blown lantern. The other setting is a red light that needs a 100 ohm resistor to keep it from exploding. The red one is for night vision.

Step 4: Setting Up the Base

Get the tub and place it on the cardboard upside down. Measure a circle and then cut it out. Fit the circle into the tub to see if it fits. Glue the battery holder to the bottom of the tub. Turn the tub over and place a paper clip there.Mark the two ends. Now, while keeping one end surrounding the first mark, turn the paper clip 45 degrees. mark that end as well. Poke the holes into the tub where the marks are. Pop a brad into each mark. Then put the paper clip around the first brad. That is the switch.

Step 5: The Wiring

Basically, follow the schematic. Cut a 1" square of aluminum foil. and glue it to the top. Then glue the LED to it. Connect a wire from one of the outer brads to the LED and solder or glue. The positive wire of the battery holder will go to the center brad. Connect a wire from the LED to the potentiometer and the negative wire of the battery holder to the other end of the potentiometer. For the red LED, poke two holes in the top of the cardboard and run the Resistor wires through. Then connect a wire from the last brad to one end of the resistor. Poke two holes through the bottom of the cardboard and run the red LED through. Connect the resistor wire to the positive LED wire and run another wire from the negative of the LED to the negative wire of the battery holder. Put the cardboard in place and close the lid.

Step 6: String

Poke two holes into the sides and run string through. Tie a stopper knot (overhand) to keep it from slipping out.

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    Someone broke this lantern. So I can't post any videos.