Picture of How to Make an Easy Electric Lantern
My wife came home the other day with an old paraffin lantern that she had found at the local Op Shop.  Now this thing hadn't worked in many moons and she wanted me to "get the thing started" so instead of trying to fix something that was clearly never going to burn a wick again, I decided to "electrify" the old lantern and bring it into the 21st century.

Pretty simple instructable really but the end result looks great and now I never have to fill it up with paraffin to keep it going!


Step 1: Parts and Tools

Picture of Parts and Tools
You will need the following parts to make your Electric Lantern:

1)   Paraffin Lantern
this can be any old lamp as long as it is big enough to hold a globe.

2)   The light socket and power cord from an electric lamp. 
I used a lamp with an on/off swich attached to the cord for easy access.

3)   Plastic cable ties

I used the following tools but just use whatever you have that will do the job

1)   Dremmel

2)   Needle nose pliers

3)   Drill

4)   Stanley knife

5) Hot glue gun

SIRJAMES093 years ago
It is better to be safe than sorry...

and to make an error is only human.

But I think if you are going to make any errors with this lamp, it would be to forgo the 3 wire cord & stay with a 2 wire...ESPECIALLY if it is outside. The fact that it is hanging under a sheltered place, makes no difference. Condensation can still get to the inside parts of the lamp & create ALL KINDS of mischief...IE: short circuits, fires, etc,etc,etc. I love what you have done here, & I love how you documented everything, but for the sake of your family, ground it please. They will be able to appreciate it more that way. :)
to err is human ????
three wires for proper ground !!!! not 2 ???????????????????
Junophor3 years ago
Hi lonesoulsurfer
Another very nice project mwith modifying aan old kerosenelamp!
You have done a great job. If you want to use a flickeríng bub you can get an impression here. I used an solution usin batteris as power supply so you need no power cord outside the lamp. With this installation you can also run a cfl bulb  (if you like to look at my other projects you will see it) 
Cheers Aeon Junophor

maxhuey3 years ago
I am going to take the fun out of working on a project - bought one at the dollar store for $1.12, runs on a single AA battery (included but I use rechargeable) for a long long time (super bright LED with a small chip to up its voltage). but buying is no fun...
Why do so many people post comments like this on instructables? We come to this site for DIY tips, not go-out-and-buy-it tips. If we wanted to know how much it costs (incongruously over a dollar, for a dollar store!) we would be on a different site whose stated purpose is to discuss such things.
Come on guy, he was only trying to make a suggestion. Besides, we have greater matters at hand. You need to take this lamp to the old abandoned mill and find a guy named Horace. Tell him,"Eggs sunny side down." He'll know what it means. Good Luck!
Bubbler3 years ago
An old lantern with a nice new touch. The problem I see here though, is that lanterns could be carried anywhere, and this one cannot. I like the idea though, because I have some old Coleman's here, and rather than see them die completely, I may turn them into battery powered LED lights. Dare I say it, I will go out and buy some of those great little torches, and use them for the mod.
skidrum3 years ago
The final product looks great!
skidrum3 years ago
If you don't have a spare lamp, you can buy a light socket and cord at any hardware store. Make sure you connect the right wires! See link for reason-
applemang33 years ago
I've made about a hundred of these conversions. You should really use 3 wire and ground the body of the lantern. Especially, if you plan to move it by hand or use it outside. Also, many lamps don't have a hollow arm, so you have to go out the back of the oil basin.

Otherwise, well done.
databoy3 years ago
The offset pins on the plug-top and bayonet lamp holder looks like Australian or New Zealand 240 volt AC products.

If that is the case it is mandatory for a licensed electrician to modify and wire the appliance using flexible double insulated three core cable, earth the metal housing and install a strain relief fitting on the three core cable where it enters the metal housing.
mampoer3 years ago
Two-wire mains leads are only intended for double-insulated appliances (the "donor" electric lamp appears to be made of plastic or glass). With a conversion like this, where the lamp body is metal, it really should be earthed, which needs a three-wire cable and a three-pin plug. There is a real risk of electric shock if the wire insulation gets damaged or chafed, or if moisture gets inside the lamp.
lonesoulsurfer (author)  mampoer3 years ago
If you can get your hands on a 3 prong plug then definitely use one.
Some hot glue down the arm of the lantern should stop any movement, help with insulation and help stop any water getting into the lantern.
skiedra3 years ago
Very well done! Keep up the good work!
lonesoulsurfer (author)  skiedra3 years ago
Cheers - I appreciate it.
hjjusa3 years ago
Put a flamed shaped bulb in it, more authentic.
lonesoulsurfer (author)  hjjusa3 years ago
Definitely agree. I've ordered a flicking one from the net so I'll see how it goes