Introduction: Very Simple Emergency Lantern

Picture of Very Simple Emergency Lantern

This is a simple candle powered lantern made from a candle stick and a V-8 juice can. It is meant for power outages when flashlight batteries are dead(this happens to me more than i like to admit)or you want to conserve those batteries.I used this in a power outage and while not terribly bright it provided plenty of light to see by.This was also done during the time i didn't have a digital camera handy, so once again it's a bit skimpy on the pics. I will not have this problem anymore now that i have a new camera.

Step 1: Get One of Those Brass Candle Sticks You See in Thrift Stores.

Picture of Get One of Those Brass Candle Sticks You See in Thrift Stores.

Make sure you get one that has a screw off top(the candle holding part). Also find a V-8 or simalar sized tin can. Un screw the top of the candle holder and set the two pieces aside.

Step 2: Now Drill a Hole in the Juice Can

Picture of Now Drill a Hole in the Juice Can

Get a drill and bit with about the same size as the candle holder, size doesen't really matter as long as it fits ok.Now find the center of the can(i eye balled mine)and drill your hole.

Step 3: Put the Shaft of the Candle Stick Through the Hole.

Picture of Put the Shaft of the Candle Stick Through the Hole.

Now screw the candle holder cup back on inside the can so it looks like the pic .

Step 4: Get Out the Epoxy.

Picture of Get Out the Epoxy.

Get some 5 minute epoxy and mix some up, now raise the candle holding part off the can by pushing on the bottom of the stick, just enough to get some epoxy under the candle holder. Pull it back down when the epoxy is in place by now pulling on the bottom of the stick so the holder if set firmly in the epoxy.You can also put some on the outside bottom where it enters the can.Now just let it sit and dry.

Step 5: Get a Candle Stub for the Holder.

Picture of Get a Candle Stub for the Holder.

Now your done. Make sure you hold it under the can by gripping the stick, it gets hot very fast, i think i should drill some vent holes in the top to let out some heat.Also this was never meant as a continuous burning lamp it's just supposed to light your way to like the bath room or to find some more candles if your flashlights are dead. It's a back up.

Step 6: The Finished Lantern.

Picture of The Finished Lantern.

All done.


blodefood (author)2010-01-04

I see one issue with the size of the candle.  It would cause a lot of heat in one spot if too tall.  You could use a tealight tub candle so the flame stays in the same place.  It should sit on top of the candlestick or use a candlestick that holds tealights.

meddler (author)blodefood2010-01-04

Yeah. I've already ran into the heat problem. Tea lights would be better. In The older days when kids made these, they would just bore a hole in the bottom of the can  and shove the candle up from  underneath. So you just pushed up what you needed. I think I will build one of them and try it out.

porcupinemamma (author)2009-07-06

Wow! I bet your bicycles looked really cool! what fun memories :0)

Wasagi (author)2009-05-25

This could also be used as a steam punk desk lamp! 4 stars!!

meddler (author)Wasagi2009-05-25

Thanks, you would have to put some brass fittings on it and a gauge or something.

monkeyman123 (author)2009-05-22

I would like to see a video of it in use.

meddler (author)monkeyman1232009-05-25

Sorry I don't have access to a video camera.

Benjoe96 (author)2009-04-26

If you could find one at Dollar Tree or somewhere get a round mirror that fits in the bottom of the can and glue it there, it would reflect the light.

meddler (author)Benjoe962009-05-25

You know, that's not a bad idea. My lantern got packed away when we moved, I'll have to dig it up and try it.

michaelkaer (author)2008-11-18

Your project gave me an idea. What would happen if the top of the can was flattened? If it was sturdy enough and used tea lights you could heat up a cup of coffee or cocoa. I got the idea to use 4 candle sticks and a metal olive oil container. What do you think? Michael

meddler (author)michaelkaer2009-05-25

Sorry to take so long to reply. My back injury put me out of commission for quite a while. Your idea would probably work quite well, I found an old article 1900 or so, that showed a thin metal box with an oil lantern inserted in a hole in the bottom. The article said you could cook light meals and make coffee with it.

meddler (author)michaelkaer2008-11-18

I don't see why it wouldn't work. The can in this got very hot very fast. Mostly due to the flame being right under the metal. Maby you could devise a way to raise and lower the candles to control the heat. You know like a boil setting and a simmer or warmer setting.If you wanted to do more than make a cup of coffee or cocoa, like cooking i would recommend a hobo stove with a buddy burner. In the old days people would mount a tripod with a small pan over a oil lantern and cook small meals or heat water for coffee and such.

power (author)meddler2008-12-03

just cover it with something heatproof works best with old jeans

wtfnot (author)2008-01-08

Great idea so simple even i could make it thank you

LinuxH4x0r (author)2007-10-29

Or just get a can, a car battery, and the rods in the middle of dead AAs (or any small battery), and jumper cables and make a high power spotlight! (don't try it inside) Nery nice, but I personally prefer old mayonaise (glass) jars.

meddler (author)2007-05-19

tried to take a pic of it in a dark room the flash ruined it,Lemonie: The can is just to focus the light into a beam and cuts down on drafts, you can use a candle just fine, i just perfer a lantern type spot of light when i move around in a dark house, i use candles on sticks for general lighting when required.

lemonie (author)meddler2007-09-24

One thing I know about these things (having made 'em with glass, and little doors etc) is that the top gets very hot. You've got a serious burn-hazard there, but I quite like the look. L

lemonie (author)2007-05-19

I don't see an advantage to the can, over just using the brass candle stick found in a thrift store(?)

chuckr44 (author)lemonie2007-09-21

The can protects the flame from wind, thus allowing you to use it outdoors in not-too-windy situations.

Weissensteinburg (author)2007-05-19

Could you take a picture of it with the lights turned off? (of the wall)

CementTruck (author)2007-05-19

A combination of shorter candles(i.e. tea lights) and bigger cans will alleviate your vent hole issue. We used to make these as kids and we used a piece of old coathanger wire as a handle. We would also attach them to our bicycle handle bars for night time escapades. Putting vent holes on the top would have snuffed the canles out when travelling at high speeds. Having only the large gaping hole in the front of the can kept the wind from blowing through the can, but still allowed the oxygen(for the fire triangle) to flow in freely. Brings back good memories. Thanks. :)

CementTruck (author)CementTruck2007-05-19

By the way, when the lights go out, and the kids are bored from lack TV, this is a great lo-tech boredome buster. Just face this towards a blank wall and do shadow puppet theater. Great fun for bringing the family together.

meddler (author)2007-05-19

Maby i should cut out some stencils of animals and such to hold in front of the can. My son would love a big lion on the wall. By the way when the power on our side of town went out from a bad transformer i put this lantern on the porch and my wife said it was the only light she could see in the whole neighborhood.

About This Instructable




Bio: pushin 40(50 now,where did the time go?) partialy disabled veteran, like to tinker with stuff, not very good at it, but i have ...
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