There are lots of great lighting solutions out there for camping however I was looking for something that I could control remotely for general lighting. I initially thought I was going to have to build something but during one of my weekly trips to Costco I came across some LED puck lights which seemed to cover all of my needs. It allows me to switch the lights on/off and set a timer for the lights to turn off after a certain amount of time. These lights are not intended for outdoor use however after by following this project you will be able to use them for camping as I do.
This project is entered in the "Brave the Elements 2016" contest so please vote.
Please ask questions or provide feedback since input from the community can only make this project better.
Step 1: What to Buy
I was able to buy a set of great LED puck lights at Costco. If you get lucky you might be able to still find them at Costco. They have the same set on Amazon however not as cheap.
You will also need some "feet" to add to bottom of the lights which will increase grip and allow better placement on uneven surfaces. I found some perfect 1/2" vinyl bumpers on Amazon.
Step 2: Tools
This project only requires two(2) things to build, which everyone should have.
Step 3: Unboxing LED Lights
You will want to be careful when unboxing your lights since we will want to retain/re-use the plastic blister packaging. There will be no need for the double stick mounting tape in this project. I would save them since double stick tape always comes in handy for other projects.
Step 4: LED Puck Light Setup
Getting the LED puck lights setup is pretty straight forward.
- Rotate the bottom cover so the arrows align and remove the bottom cover.
- Remove the paper sign from the battery compartment. You will need three(3) AAA batteries for each light.
- Install first two(2) batteries as shown.
- Install the last battery as shown. If this battery doesn't snap into place it means you either have your first two(2) batteries installed backwards OR not installed fully into the battery compartment.
- Install the bottom cover in the reserve order you removed the cover and ensure that your either feel or hear a slight click of the cover being fully installed. The cover can pop off if it's not fully installed.
- Repeat steps 1-5 with the remaining five(5) lights.
Step 5: Check Lights
After you have all the batteries installed you want to check that the remote controls all the lights properly. Cycle through all the buttons. I would also check to ensure the timer function (10 minutes) works. To conserve power I did my timer check with 10% light intensity.
If all the functions of the remote control work properly you can continue otherwise troubleshoot until you can get everything working or return lights if you think they are defective.
Step 6: Weatherproof Cover
I am re-using the plastic blister packaging to make a weatherproof cover for the lights. They should protect your lights from a majority of the wet weather conditions you would encounter while camping.
I used the thickness of my marker body to create a lip of my cover so that rain/moisture would shed away from the lights. The extra lip also gives the cover more stability.
Once marked, you just need to trim them to size using a scissors.
Step 7: Adding Tripod Feet
Adding three(3) "rubber" feet to the bottom of the lights will add a ton of grip along while allowing placement on uneven surfaces.
Step 8: Final Product/Tips
Once complete you can use these lights around your tent to mark stakes/guidelines, along the path to/from your campsite or anywhere else you need some light.
I have not found a need to set the lights to greater than 10% since I am just in need of general lighting to mark/locate things, not to read a book. This should also greatly help your extend your battery life.
I would also recommend removing the batteries and wiping down the batteries and battery compartment between uses. This will prevent battery drain and any potential battery corrosion due to moisture.
Finally, thanks of taking the time to read my instructable.