Steampunk Style LED Lantern


Introduction: Steampunk Style LED Lantern

I converted an old style lantern into an LED torch. The battery life is now measured in hours and I don't have to worry about carrying spare bulbs or finding 19th century batteries.

Step 1: Torch Dissassembly

To get the batteries and LED assembly I took apart a cheap silver torch, which cost me $4.

The PCB holding the LEDs was soldered directly to the metal barrel of the torch. Holding a jeweler's screwdriver on the joints and hitting it with a rubber mallet allowed the assembly to come off quite easily. Actually I was pretty impressed with the quality of the torch, so I've bought half a dozen of them.

Step 2: Wiring

The lantern is pretty old. It takes some weird large prism shaped battery I've never seen before. I'm not sure if it's an old mining lantern or for the front of a bicycle.

The switch is the large bolt on top. If you turn the bolt a few times it presses down on the contact and makes a connection to the body of the lantern. The design is clearly from before the era of cheap plastics. The switch mechanism uses strong cardboard for insulation!

I soldered a wire to the contact (I had to file it first to make it stick). and another wire to the body. Then the battery was wired up so that the switch made a series connection, and the two wires to the lamp were passed through the hole to the front.

I soldered the lamp wires directly to the PCB assembly and insulated them with a bit of tape. Some hot-melt glue helps hold the lamp wires in place and prevents them from being seen from the front.

Step 3: Finished.

With the wires in place I put everything back together.

So now I have a steampunk looking lamp, with the double bonus a many hour long battery life, and not having to worry about replacement bulbs.



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    Great repurposing of an old lamp! From the period this lamp came from (WWII), and the design style, IMHO, I think it qualifies more as Dieselpunk, than Steampunk... Great job!

    Perfect Headlight for a Steampunk Motorized bike I was thinking of building. I would add some brass wire around the body to add to the steam punk theme.

    Such lamps, I know from my childhood. My grandpa worked for the railroad company.

    This is so cool! I so want to make one where did you get the supplies

    1 reply

    lol, I have the same led flashlight at home. Bought in Germany. (so called 1 euro laden / 99cent shop)

    Good Job, I think in my personal opinion, You can increase the steampunk look-like adding some clock gears, or brass parts.

    I like this a lot!
    and it is steampunk in the sense that it's antiqued and unusual.
    It would add to the steampunkyness if you added a color filter, an eerie green would look really awesome :)

    I'm sorry, but I'm having a very difficult time understanding what this has to do with steampunk. nevertheless, nice lamp.

    4 replies

    It looks somewhat steam punk to me.

    really? I think it looks like a rusty old antique. but I guess the LED makes it sort of steampunky...


    Dude, it's that rusty old antique look that makes it Steampunk

    yes, I know that might give a steampunk impression, but say if everything in your living room was rusty and old, I wouldn't think it was steampunk themed. I would think you were old fashioned.

    hey i had that same LED lamp.... note "had". i turned it into navi the fairy from legend of Zelda

    I bought the same LED lamp!
    Steampunk folk could have a field day with the open source "The boy Mechanic" E-Book...

    See about it here, even has a self-lighting Arc searchlight :

    The Boy Mechanic

    You know at first I thought I couldn't do this since lets face it not many people have something like this sitting around to mod but then I had an idea for an Instructable of my own. to make one of the actual lanterns is so easy, thanx for the great idea =D

    Oh sweet.... It's throw out week where I live. Went on a steampunk junk to mod etc.... Found a hurricane lantern, now I have somthing to do with it..... Nice!

    Whoops. Spoke too soon. Googling does turn up something.

    It looks like it is an old WWII era bicycle lamp, but it doesn't have the blackout feature that the linked one does.

    Thanks for the comments everybody! BTW, The writing on the back is 'Trehawk'. Googling dosen't seem to yeild any info. I'm guessing it's an old bicycle lamp. From the pre-plastic cardboard insulation I'm assuming WWII vintage.


    well done. What' s the lettering on the back? Tre??awK?. Might give a clue to the origins of your lantern.

    very nice, i dont have a torch, though. nice instructable. -gamer