Introduction: The Best Camping Lantern I've Ever Used.

Picture of The Best Camping Lantern I've Ever Used.

This is my all time favorite camping lantern I made this lantern and so can you. It's simple it's cheap and it has the best beam diffusion I've ever seen on any camping lantern.

Step 1: For Easy to Follow and Best Visuals.

In the above video you will see a quick and simple step by step instruction for building the lander. For those of you who prefer written/picture for, follow me--------->

Step 2: Parts List

Picture of Parts List

The parts list for our camping lanternis pretty short. The things that we’ll need are:

1. A battery holder of some kind you can use either a three AA battery holder like this one will work. I’m gonna use 18650 battery holders.

2. An LED or LEDs, I’ll be using three batteries so I’m gonna use 3 LEDs.

3. A piece of aluminum for a heat sink. You could get some flat bar from the hardware store just whatever you have laying around. I will be using aluminum sheet metal.
4. A switch. I want to use a dimmer switch so I ordered this PWM Control.

5. A diffuser we’re going to use this chocolate icecream bucket.

I know some of are thinking right now. "Dude seriously", but I’m telling you the beam will be spectacular!

Step 3: Cut the Heat Sink

Picture of Cut the Heat Sink

I marked a circle on the sheet metal using a piece of string and then cut it out and sanded the edges smooth.

Step 4: Attaching the Parts.

Picture of Attaching the Parts.

Using thermal epoxy I attached the 3 LEDs and 3 battery holders. I also laid down a one ohm resistor too. This is added to reduce the maximum current to the LEDs.

Step 5: The PWM

Picture of The PWM

Next I marked the holes for my PWM to sit and also ran the screws through the center of each battery adapter ( the epoxy keeps them from spinning since there was only one screw hole).

Using 4-40x 1" screws I made stand offs for the PWM control.

How to solder

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Solder-the-Easy-Way/

Step 6: Solder It Up.

Picture of Solder It Up.

In a 3 series pattern I soldered the wires in. At this time I also checked the max current to the LEDs and found that I had 1.75 amps which was still too high so I added 2 more of the 1 ohm resistors in series to bring the max down to about 850ma.

Step 7: Attaching to the Bucket

Picture of Attaching to the Bucket

For this I used some spray glue, and then also a few screws from the bottom side for strength. A holed was drilled in the side of the bucket for the PWM control knob.

Step 8: Beam Shots

Picture of Beam Shots

The first picture is a control shot. The diffusion on this lantern is the best I've ever seen. I think its much softer than even the store bought lanterns that use florescent bulbs. Having total control over the output via the PWM is a nice feature too. It makes for some super long runtimes.

Step 9: Alternatives

Picture of Alternatives

If you don't want to go to the trouble of building the complete lantern you can make a simple one by cutting a hole in the top for a flashlight, or strapping a head lamp to the side.

Step 10: Thanks for Watching.

Picture of Thanks for Watching.

For more indestructible like this be sure to follow me.

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Comments

PogueMahone1775 (author)2017-09-07

Man, so many uses there besides a lamp, thanks! How long does it last? You can also use the handle to hang it up, too.

Thanks for watching Pogue. On high the battery lasts about 4 hours, on low it would be several days.