This instructable will guide you to make a simple LED lantern using only:
-plastic see-through cup
-2 clip on wires
-6" of copper wire
-5 LED small lights
- four D batteries
Step 1: Housing for the Bulbs
Drill two parallel lines of five holes each across the top of the cup. The wires on the lights will thread through the holes, so make sure the lines are the right length apart to do this. Look at the photograph for reference, the holes are outlined in red. If the bulbs are diodes, and they only work in one direction, make sure they are all facing the same way.
Step 2: Wiring
Thread the wire from the five bulbs through the holes. Make sure the LED's are going the same direction if they are diodes. cut the 6" copper wire in half, so you have two 3" sections. Make sure the wire is stripped, so the copper is exposed along the whole length. Wrap the wires coming out of the LED's around the copper wire, so that the 3" copper wire makes a firm connection with all of the bulbs. do the same on the other side. Now, connect the Wires with the alligator clips to each 3" copper wire. Secure the connections with electrical tape. Making sure the copper wire is connected to all of the LED's is the most difficult part of this project and can take a few tries to get right. The wiring is set up the way it is so that the bulbs are all in parallel with each other. When bulbs are in parallel, as opposed to series, the brightness of each bulb does not drop when additional bulbs are added.
Step 3: Constructing the Frame
Place all four batteries in the case. Then, Wrap the case in cardboard, and use hot glue, to keep the cardboard in place. Make sure the battery case is placed so that the parts designed to connect to a wire are sticking out for easy access. Place the cup on top of the cardboard and glue it down. Thread the wires through the backside of the base and out the front, where the wire's can be connected to the battery case. Wrap a few rubber band around the cup in order to hold the wires in place. If you want, you can secure a handle or a hook (like we did) to the top of the cup so the lantern can be held or hung. Your lantern should now be completed. Turn it on by clipping the wires on to the battery case. One wire can be left permanently connected, and the other can be used as an on and off switch.