Here's what we came up with. 10 watts (between 150-200 lumens is our guess), $34.00 including light, battery pack and charger. Using disposable batteries can bring this project into the sub $15.00 range real quick.
The light burns bright. It's completely waterproof and the PVC holds up to the heat the lamp produces without issue.
Step 1: Materials & Tools
We believe in making use of available materials. If you have something laying around that you think will work as a suitable substitute for any of these materials, by all means, use that instead. Beyond that, the 1¼" compression fitting found at my Home Depot may not be the same as the one at your Home Depot. When we ran the workshop, we ran in to this very issue. This is a very versitile project. Here are some examples of the many variations that could be done to this project.
- The enclosure could be made more compact if you glue it together so when the lamp eventually burns out, you just throw it away and build a new one. This part of the project would be about $5.00 if built this way.
- Omit the switch. You can have it so you plug it in to turn it on. By doing this, the whole thing could fit into the 1" pipe cap.
- Build it in to something you already have.
- Make it brighter! 20, 30 and 40 watt lamps are available. Just remember, the brighter the lamp, the more battery power it will take to deliver a useable burn time. Something as bright as a car doesn't do much good if it only lasts 5 minutes.
The possibilities are endless. That said, here's the variation we built. We had a workshop where we built 26 units at a cost of $34.00 each including light, battery pack and charger.Materials (per unit)
1ea. - 10 watt, 6 volt, Halogen Lamp with MR 13 base
1ea. - 2 pin screw terminal to connect to the back of the lamp
1ea. - Waterproof pushbutton switch (push-on, push-off)
1ea. - 2.5 mm Male coaxial power connector with cord. (Power wire)
1ea. - 2.5 mm Female coaxial power connector
1ea. - 7.5 volt dc wall charger with 2.5mm Male coaxial power connector (omit if using alkyline batteries)
1ea. - 8" piece of zip cord (AKA speaker wire, lamp cord etc.) It should be at least as heavy as the wire on your wall charger.
1ea. - 1" PVC pipe cap
1ea. - 1¼" ABS compression fitting
1ea. - PVC solvent cement
5ea. - Nickle Metal Hydride (NiMH) Recharable Batteries. Size "4/3 AA"
1ea. - 4 cell alkyline battery holder for "AA", "C" or "D" cells
Hot Glue Gun
Soldering iron or gun
Screwdriver (small flat)
Drill & bits