400 Lumen 12v Lantern

Introduction: 400 Lumen 12v Lantern

    Easy way to create a long lasting brighter than Fluorescent style lantern and re-chargeable for camping or tailgating

    Step 1: Materials

    materials list:

    Any table lamp with a spot big enough to hold heat sink near base for LED - inexpensive ones can be found at Home Depot in lighting section for under 20 bucks or old battery lantern big enough to hold 12v 4 amp hr battery 4 inches by 4 inches ( this is what I based this instructable on)

    12v 4 ahr battery -radio shack or amazon 20 bucks

    star LED - can be 1 watt xpg series from Cree mounted on star heat sink - Deal extreme.com has these for 5- 10 bucks or other led supply houses

    LED lens- this can be any glass or plastic tube such as a prescription bottle or container

    LED driver - this supplies current and does all the thinking to make this easy and efficient to build - some choices are Buck puck 3021 from led dynamics - can be found directly or digi- key - mouser electrical suppliers or deal extreme has a bunch of 12 in to LED out converters (2-20 bucks)

    LED heat sink - can be found at Mouser or digi key - 6 bucks

    basic toggle switch or rotary switch rated for at least 3 amps dc current (10 bucks max)

    Step 2: Construction

    remove guts from whatever you would like the lantern to be made from , in my case a new but broken alpine designs lantern and was on clearance for 10 bucks - another idea would be a mason jar mounted on a wooden box

    figure out where the battery will go and somehow clear a spot right on top of it to hold the heatsink that LED is mounted to

    solder leads from LED driver to led and mount on heat sink and be sure the star LED sits flat and a precaution you should use a dab of the heat sink compound found on the back of CPU chips on computers

    mount diffuser on top of LED by a method you choose that will stay on - I drilled and tapped cover then screwed onto heatsink ( LED not on on this pic)

    drill and mount toggle switch on side of lantern and also leave pigtail black and red wires exiting the housing for a way to attach a trickle charger to recharge battery

    Step 3: Final Construction

    Wire up driver to LED as shown by supplier schematic - basically +12v input to module and LED output to LED itself

    series connect a on/off switch and it should last 8-12hrs full blast on a charge sorry about the blurry night time pic but it was all I have right now....good luck


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      8 years ago on Introduction

      I really think this is good, I love lighting and 12 volts, lol.
      But I do want to warn you that it's dangerous to charge the battery sideways, even if it's sealed, it can still leak.
      But, nice idea!

      that makes it even sweeter!
      do look for batwing luxeon lenses before testing it apart. these project the light backwards and sideways.


      Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

      Yeah those luxeon batwing profile LEDs are awesome


      8 years ago on Introduction

      It is a nace idea usig an old lantern avían

      Voted For you!

      The Idea to resurrect a Lowly, chinese Emergency light with pure Cree pedigree is very useful and Long term idea. Keep it up!


      Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

      Hah..thanks ..with intermittent use it will last a week when camping, the one thing i would change is mount the led so it shines downward - that way when held up high it covers a big area, also not mentioned is that there are 2 multi color leds that draw very little current I use for night light option and the Driver module has dimmer option