Tennis Can LED Lantern





Introduction: Tennis Can LED Lantern

I created this lantern while wandering around in the dark with an LED touch light and a can of tennis balls (which I'm known to juggle with on occasion).  It generates a nice radiant light when sitting on a table, and can be turned on and off by shaking it so the tennis ball taps the face of the light.

Step 1: Everything You Need to Build a Tennis Can Lantern

To build this lantern you won't need to use any tools beyond some electrical tape.

Items Required:
1 empty plastic tennis ball container
1 tennis ball (or similarly sized ball)
1 LED touch light approximately 6.8 to 7 cm in diameter.  These usually cost about $4 for a pack of three.
1 length of electrical tape (if necessary)

Step 2: Enlarging the Diameter of the Light Casing

I found that sometimes the LED light fits exactly in the mouth of the tennis can, but if it's too small you can wrap some electrical tape around the edge of it until it fits snugly in the top without falling through.

Step 3: Insert the Light in the Top of the Can

Be sure that you put a ball in the can before you do this.  The ball is used to tap the light on and off. 

Step 4: Basically You're Done

If you don't want to decorate or modify it, then you're done!  Shake it to turn it on.  Shake it again to turn it off.

You can decorate the exterior of the can with stencils or colored paper or cellophane.  I've decorated mine with a festive bar code sticker.

I haven't tried different colored balls, but I'm sure it would change the mood of the lamp.



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    19 Discussions

    This works very well.


    2 replies

    That's convenient!  This would work well during emergencies.  If you know where it is at all times, then you could easily find it because of the size, and wouldn't have to fumble around with buttons, etc.

    I know from experience.  Finding a flashlight when we had a fire outside was impossible.  It took me at least two or three minutes (too long), to find a flashlight, considering the lights were out.  Everything turned out okay, but it was a little frightening.  If this were there, it would have made everything better!

    4 replies

    Doctor, you should have simply lifted the shade and used the ambient light generated by the fire, my good man... Shades of Consumerisim!!! Wouldst thou prefer that a Union-Backed, High-Pension-Having, Working-4-the-Man, City-Worker heft a torch to help 'Ye to escape the fire?

    Surely thou jesteth me... All due respect notwithstanding...

    But sir!  I was in the basement!  And the fire was ground level!  And the windows that you speak of, do not exist in a basement!

     good idea..interesant

    That is a great Idea.I like that.

    Очень нужная штука  в жизне пригодится.

    А почему на Русском   ничего  нету???

    Hahaa thats so nice im gonna try it I have one of these lights !!

    Great idea using the tennis ball as a 'switch.' 

    That's awesome, and a terrific idea.  When I saw the video the first thing I thought was wow! That would be an awesome magic trick to see lights mysteriously come from your hands, or something like that.  The idea of tapping the light with something other than the hand has limitless possibilities, and this instructable is a great idea.

    charming! very cool effect for something so simple. you could maybe also use one of those balls that lights up when you bounce it for a really trippy effect :)